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Whether you’re looking for the best beachfront hotel, a wine country property, a lakeside retreat, or a glamourous city getaway, you’ll find plenty of options for luxury accommodation in California. Think beautiful pools, pampering spa services, and maybe even your own butler. The sky is the limit at these properties throughout the Golden State.
Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel - Beverly Hills
The iconic Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel has been around for nearly a century, located right across from the shopping on Rodeo Drive. Service is exceptional, and there’s even a house car available that will bring you anywhere you want to go within a three miles radius. There’s a huge two-story fitness center, a Mediterranean-style pool with fountains, daybeds, and poolside cabanas with flat-screen TVs. The lavish spa offers facilities that guests can use for free, while the on-site Wolfgang Puck restaurant offers memorable dining. Rooms include ultra-comfy beds with very high-thread-count linens, 42″ flat-screen TVs with DVD players, and Italian marble bathrooms with deep soaking tubs. For something truly unique, book the Veranda Suite and discover the ultimate urban glamping experience.
L’Auberge Del Mar - Del Mar
The beachfront L’Auberge Del Mar is one of the top resorts in Southern California, a favorite among well-heeled couples who enjoy rooms that feel more like a luxurious beach house. All have flat-screen TVs, minibars, Keurig coffeemakers, fluffy robes, and furnished balconies or kitchens, some of which provide ocean or garden views. The grounds include a full-service spa, a renowned farm-to-table eatery, a gym, and an outdoor pool and hot tub surrounded by cabanas and loungers. A landscaped footpath will bring you right to the powdery sands of Del Mar Beach.
The Ritz-Carlton Bacara - Santa Barbara
One of the best hotels in Santa Barbara, The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara is a Mediterranean-inspired resort that offers breathtaking ocean views from its bluff-top perch. It’s filled with beautifully landscaped gardens and includes three saltwater pools, while the beach is popular for watersports. Staff can arrange SUP, kayak, and surfboard rentals. If you prefer to explore on land, mountain bikes are available too. The 42,000-square-foot spa is a highlight, with over 60 different treatment options, a eucalyptus steam room, and a redwood sauna. At the on-site Foley Wine Tasting Room, guests can enjoy reserve tastings and cooking classes with outstanding wines available for purchase. There are a wide variety of rooms and suites to choose from, but all have furnished terraces or balconies, stocked minibars, and Keurig coffeemakers.
Albion River Inn - Albion
The romantic Albion River Inn offers accommodation in homey New England-style cottages that overlook the dramatic seascape where the Albion River flows into the ocean. All rooms include fireplaces, and nearly all come with decks that face the Pacific. Some have two-person whirlpool tubs, making them especially popular with honeymooners and other romance seekers. The restaurant, one of the most beautiful restaurants in the U.S., is a destination in and of itself, renowned for its panoramic views of Albion Cove, the ocean, colorful sunsets, and memorable meals featuring coastal cuisine. Guests can also enjoy a complimentary, continental-style breakfast here every morning.
Auberge du Soleil - Rutherford
A boutique resort designed to provide the “couple’s experience of a lifetime,” Auberge du Soleil offers an ideal resort base in wine country with some 500 wineries for touring and tasting throughout the surrounding area. Right on-site, guests can enjoy a lavish spa with rejuvenating water rituals, soaking in the perfectly warmed springs that overlook the gorgeous property, and some of the best dining in the state. The Restaurant at Auberge du Soleil has a longstanding legacy for being a “must experience” culinary destination, while the Bistro offers casual, French-inspired dishes that can be enjoyed with panoramic views from the outdoor terrace. Accommodation is in Mediterranean-style villas with wood-burning fireplaces and private verandas that look out to the olive groves.
The Stavrand - Guerneville
Recently named to Travel + Leisure’s “It List” of Best New Hotels, The Stavrand opened in October 2021 and offers just 21 rooms for an intimate and luxurious stay, nestled on six acres with fruit trees, redwood groves, and organic gardens. Most of the orchard trees date back to over a century ago when the original owner of the property planted them. Today, guests can pick their own fruit when in season, enjoy the outdoor pool, cedar hot tubs, board games next to the warmth of wood-burning fireplaces, evening aperitifs, candlelit dinners, and s’mores making.
Post Ranch Inn - Big Sur
When it comes to luxury hotels, the Post Ranch Inn isn’t just one of the best in the country, but the entire world. Carved right into the cliffs, this best-in-class hotel on the Big Sur coast is an adults-only property and highly honeymoon-worthy, complete with an award-winning spa and dining at the exclusive Sierra Mar, one of the best restaurants you’ll find in the region. Enjoy swimming in clifftop pools, daily yoga, nature hikes, and incredible stargazing too. The spacious rooms, situated inside of cottages and treehouses, offer ocean or mountain views, hot tubs or outdoor showers, radiant floor heating, wood-burning fireplaces, and organic bedding.
Bardessono Hotel and Spa - Yountville
Bardessono is a five-star hotel in the heart of California wine country and one of the top hotels in Napa Valley, within walking distance of Somerstone Wine Company and Girard Winery. One of the highlights is its rooftop pool, although the B spa is impressive too, offering blissful massages and a sauna. The on-site restaurant features dishes made with locally grown organic ingredients, and a bar with wine tasting is available on Friday nights. Guests can also look forward to spacious suites with private balconies, fireplaces, flat-screen TVs, robes, and slippers.
Hyatt Carmel Highlands Inn - Carmel Highlands
The cliffside Hyatt Carmel Highlands Inn offers a prime location with some of the most jaw-dropping views along the Big Sur coast. It has a heated outdoor pool and multiple Jacuzzis, an outdoor fire pit to gather around under the stars, a large fitness center, and a glass-paneled restaurant that serves locally sourced cuisine in front of sweeping views of the Pacific. Kayak rentals are available for a scenic day of paddling, while the rooms feature more balconies or terraces with yet more impressive views, fireplaces, and all the essential amenities.
The Inn at Spanish Bay - Pebble Beach
Located at Pebble Beach and part of Pebble Beach Resorts, The Inn at Spanish Bay is a popular resort among golfing enthusiasts and luxury travelers of all types. It’s the perfect base for taking advantage of some of the best golf courses in the country as well as enjoying the coast, including a seaside boardwalk. There’s a lap pool surrounded by lush greenery, and the sounds of the property’s famous bagpiper can be enjoyed while cozying up to the warmth of one of the outdoor fire pits. Guests have multiple dining options available in the Pebble Beach complex, while the spacious rooms feature balconies – many ocean-facing – fireplaces, and Italian marble baths.
The Landing Resort & Spa - South Lake Tahoe
Set along the lakefront in South Lake Tahoe, The Landing Resort & Spa is consistently ranked as the most luxurious property in the area. It has an award-winning spa that offers everything from reflexology, hot stone massage, and olive oil wraps to vanilla brown sugar exfoliation scrubs, while Jimmy’s Restaurant on-site serves a menu of delectable Greek and California fare. Rooms are impressive, with lavish features designed to melt stress away with aromatherapy, light therapy, steam showers, granite stone fireplaces, and private balconies or patios with jaw-dropping lake views.
Four Seasons Hotel - San Francisco
The Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco is spread across the 5th through 17th floors in a SoMa skyscraper, providing an urban oasis from the busy downtown area. The luxurious rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase views of the city, Yerba Buena Gardens, or the bay, along with many desirable features like flat-screen TVs, down bedding, and marble bathrooms with deep-soaking tubs. Guests can enjoy 24-hour concierge services and 24/7 room service along with access to the popular Equinox Sports Club with a spa, pool and fitness classes. Dining can be enjoyed at MKT Restaurant which offers a menu of fresh California fare.
The Ritz-Carlton - Half Moon Bay
Located just a short drive south of San Francisco on a cliff overlooking the Pacific, the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay offers some of the most spectacular views around (some of the best hotel views in the U.S.) with plenty of luxuries on its sprawling grounds. There are multiple walking paths, an 18-hole golf course, an outdoor pool, two restaurants, a lounge, a wine bar, and an outdoor terrace bar with fire pits. Guests can also enjoy pampering at the spa, which offers a wealth of relaxing treatments, along with steam rooms and saunas. Some rooms offer ocean views, including marble bathrooms with soaking tubs. For a fireplace and more space with a separate living room, book a suite.
Malibu Beach Inn - Malibu
Enjoy the luxurious Malibu beachfront with a stay at the Malibu Beach Inn, a top beach hotel in Southern California. Start your day with yoga on the beach, and then perhaps pamper yourself at the spa. The Carbon Beach Club is the place to be for memorable dining on upscale coastal cuisine with ocean views, while rooms have sliding glass doors that open to the sounds of the waves and provide private beach access. They also include hand-picked California wines, fireplaces, custom robes, and high-end bath products.
Chateau Marmont - West Hollywood
One of the most notorious hideaways for celebrities and an iconic destination in LA, Chateau Marmont is located in West Hollywood in a prime spot just above Sunset Boulevard. If you want to rub elbows with the stars, this is the place to do it. You can live as they do, if only temporarily, by booking one of the bungalows – the most luxurious choice – complete with living areas and full kitchens. All ooze Old Hollywood glamour with high-thread-count linens and throws, plus many tech amenities like flat-screen TVs with DVD players, stereos, and iPod docking stations. The best place for people-watching is the famous Chateau Marmont Bar. You’ll find a small outdoor pool for lounging around too.