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Top 9 Beach Hotels in Southern California

Southern California is all about beautiful golden beaches. While there aren’t a ton of beachfront hotels to choose from, you’re still likely to find one that’s ideal for soaking up the sun and the sand just steps from your room. These, in particular, are the cream of the crop if you’re looking for the very best.

Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa
Credit: Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa by catamaranresort.com

Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa

The Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa sits along the shores of Mission Bay, offering a tranquil spot away from the chaos of the boardwalk yet only steps away from white powdery sands. This luxury resort is one of the best in San Diego and has a wonderful peaceful tropical feel with lush gardens, koi ponds and meandering pathways. Guests can enjoy quiet strolls on secluded Mission Bay beach or get more active by taking part in water sports like kayaking, surfing, sailing and water skiing. There’s also a swimming pool, hot tub, loungers, and a poolside bar and grill.  The waterfront day spa is ideal for enjoying pampering body treatments or a therapeutic massage.

Key Amenities:

  • Secluded Mission Bay beach access

  • Gardens, koi ponds and pool

  • Waterfront day spa

Shutters on the Beach, Santa Monica Shutters On The Beach
Credit: Shutters On The Beach by shuttersonthebeach.com

Shutters on the Beach, Santa Monica

Shutters on the Beach is known for its historic elegance and offers plenty of upscale amenities. It recalls the traditional architecture of the nation’s top resorts and cottages along the west coast during the 1920s and ‘30s, located in the heart of Santa Monica opening right onto the beach promenade. Multiple shops, restaurants and bars are nearby, and the property also offers a number of outstanding restaurants right on-site.  The iconic Santa Monica Pier and its legendary amusement park is just a short walk away while surfing and yoga classes are offered right on the beach.

Key Amenities:

  • Beach concierge with bikes, surfboards and boogie boards

  • Oceanfront restaurants with al fresco dining

  • Located near Santa Monica Pier

Malibu Beach Inn Malibu Beach Inn
Credit: Malibu Beach Inn by malibubeachinn.com

Malibu Beach Inn

The Malibu Beach Inn sits along the Pacific Coast Highway north of Santa Monica offering private beachfront access. Ideal for romance-seekers, you’ll be able to cozy up to the one you love while the sounds of the crashing waves lull you to sleep each night. Each of the luxurious rooms showcases spectacular ocean views through full glass doors that open to private balconies along with high-end amenities like fireplaces and expansive minibars. Guests can also look forward to indulging in treatments at the oceanfront spa and lounging along the hotel’s private stretch of beach.

Key Amenities:

  • Located on Pacific Coast Highway

  • Private beach access

  • Oceanfront rooms with fireplaces and private balconies

Hotel del Coronado, San Diego Hotel Del Coronado
Credit: Hotel Del Coronado by hoteldel.com

Hotel del Coronado, San Diego

The iconic Hotel del Coronado enjoys 28 beachfront acres on Coronado Island. Built in 1888, this National Historic Landmark has attracted countless celebrities, politicians and other VIPs and was the filming location for Marilyn Monroe’s “Some Like It Hot.” Guests enjoy the historic ambiance as well as modern conveniences, including an award-winning spa, high-end shopping and all sorts of recreational activities. Look forward to paddle boarding and surfing, roasting s’mores at private beach bonfires and indulging in signature ocean-inspired treatments at the spa. There are also two swimming pools and multiple dining options that range from beachfront dining and a wine bar to a MooTime Creamery.

Key Amenities:

  • Private beach with paddleboarding and surfing

  • Ocean-inspired treatments at spa

  • Two pools

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort And Spa in Huntington Beach, California
Credit: Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort And Spa in Huntington Beach, California by hyatt.com

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa

The Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa offers miles of unspoiled, uninterrupted sands that provide the ultimate relaxing beach vacation. The Spanish-inspired architecture coupled with countless luxuries sets the perfect scene for an idyllic retreat, including lavish spa treatments, exceptional service, outstanding eateries and a variety of water and land activities, including surfing lessons with the pros. It also has a heated pool and direct access to the beach. Book an oceanfront room and you’ll get a private balcony where you can enjoy the salty sea air and breathtaking views of the crashing waves.

Key Amenities:

  • Direct beach access

  • Heated pool and cabanas

  • Oceanfront rooms with private balcony

Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, Dana Point Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, Dana Point
Credit: Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, Dana Point by ritzcarlton.com

Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, Dana Point

The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel is spread across seven miles of scenic coastline in Dana Point set atop a high bluff boasting panoramic views of the Pacific. It’s renowned for its over-the-top service and top-notch accommodations with especially beautiful spaces. Rooms include ultra-luxe beds and marble bathrooms. Some even include an outdoor fire pit. In the summer, guests have access to a beach butler, and there are plenty of activities to enjoy onsite as well, from cooking classes and surfing to stand-up paddle boarding and family-friendly eco-adventures. The hotel also hosts six restaurants, bars and dining lounges, and a spa that’s been named among the top 100 spa resorts in the world.

Key Amenities:

  • Ulta-luxe beds with marble bathrooms

  • Beach butler with eco-adventures

  • Spa named one of top in the world

Montage Resort and Spa Montage Laguna Beach
Credit: Montage Laguna Beach by montagehotels.com

Montage Resort and Spa

The Montage Resort and Spa is spread across 30 acres on a coastal bluff on the south side of Laguna Beach. The luxury resort provides 5-star service, and all of its rooms enjoy extra deep tubs, private balconies and stunning ocean views. There’s a beautiful pool and pool deck with more awe-inspiring views of the Pacific along with beach trails that are ideal for a scenic stroll. In the 20,000-square-foot oceanfront spa and fitness center, you can indulge in a sea-salt scrub or take a yoga class. Live piano music can be enjoyed most evenings in the bar attached to the spacious lobby.

Key Amenities:

  • Rooms with deep tubs and private balconies

  • Pool and pool deck

  • Oceanfront spa with yoga class

Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes Terranea Resort
Credit: Terranea Resort by terranea.com

Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes

One of Southern California’s few mega-resorts, the Terranea Resort offers a Mediterranean-style retreat with everything from ocean-view guest rooms and suites to golf villas and poolside bungalows. There are four swimming pools, including one for the kids with a giant water slide for the kids and the adult-only saltwater Cielo Pool where you can enjoy bar food and alcoholic beverages along with ocean views. The stunning spa defines luxury with its breathtaking Pacific vistas and a wide range of treatment options that go beyond facials, body wraps and massage. It also has steam rooms, saunas, its own pool, fire pits and a cafe.

Key Amenities:

  • Adults-only saltwater pool

  • Spa with steam rooms and saunas

  • Mediterranean-style suites and bungalows

La Valencia Hotel La Valencia Hotel
Credit: La Valencia Hotel by lavalencia.com

La Valencia Hotel

The historic La Valencia Hotel has impressed guests since opening back in 1926. Once a popular hideaway for Hollywood stars like Ginger Rogers, the “Pink Lady” as it’s affectionately known enjoys a prime spot along the ocean in La Jolla just a couple blocks from La Jolla Cove and sandy beaches. It features a Spanish-inspired saltwater pool that faces the Pacific, a lively bar and the sophisticated La Med restaurant which also enjoys ocean views. It serves delicious California cuisine with classic Spanish flavors, including lots of seafood dishes.  The majority of rooms offer views of the coast while “Classic” rooms are extra-spacious, ranging from 400- to 850 square feet. The “Villa” rooms include fireplaces, private balconies or patios, seating areas with wet bars and soaking tubs.

Key Amenities:

  • Saltwater pool with bar

  • Villas with private balconies

  • La Jolla beach access

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