- #1View all PhotosRancho Santa Fe, CA#1 in Best Resorts in CaliforniaTripAdvisor (363)Free ParkingFree WiFiRead MoreAbout a 30-minute drive north of San Diego, Rancho Valencia is a little off the beaten path. But that's why people love it. This Relais & Châteaux property brims with carefully manicured greenery on top of plenty of amenities and activities to woo any type of traveler. Visitors are complimentary of the respectful, thoughtful staff while guest rooms stun for their aesthetic. Accommodations here exude a Mediterranean ambiance with hacienda-style architecture, hardwood furnishings and colorful design accents, as well as deep-soaking tubs and private balconies or patios. For pampering, Rancho Valencia's spa offers indulgences such as herb-infused body wraps and a variety of massage therapies. The delicious cuisine served at the on-site Veladora restaurant complements the serene environment.Free ParkingFree WiFi
- #2View all PhotosSan Diego, CA16 miles to city center#2 in Best Resorts in CaliforniaTripAdvisor (2014)Free BreakfastFree ParkingFree WiFiRead MoreAbout 20 miles north of central San Diego in Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, the Fairmont Grand Del Mar offers coastal California visitors a hearty helping of luxury from the moment they enter the lobby. Guests rave about the incredibly spacious guest rooms, saying that the deep-soaking tubs, Nespresso coffee makers and rich Tuscan decor makes for a relaxing stay. And if that isn't enough, there's also a five-star spa, swimming pools and a Tom Fazio-designed golf course. The Grand Del Mar also receives high marks for its cuisine; the hotel's Addison and Amaya restaurants respectively serve award-winning French and Mediterranean fare coupled with regional wines. Add to that the hotel's consistently friendly customer service, and it's easy to see why guests frequently refer to their stays here as five-star experiences. As a member of the AccorHotels portfolio, this hotel allows guests to earn and redeem Le Club AccorHotels perks.Free BreakfastFree ParkingFree WiFi
- #3View all PhotosNewport Coast, CA#3 in Best Resorts in CaliforniaTripAdvisor (1753)Free ParkingFree WiFiRead MoreOverlooking several golf courses and the Pacific Ocean, The Resort at Pelican Hill earns praise for its relaxed ambiance and luxurious amenities, as does the impressive circular Coliseum Pool. Here, you'll have your choice of bungalow or villa accommodations – villas are more spacious with separate living quarters, making them a good choice for families. No matter which type of room you choose, you will be greeted with warm neutral tones, exposed wood-beam ceilings and Italian limestone fireplaces, not to mention views of the ocean or the fairways from private terraces. Families particularly enjoy The Resort at Pelican Hill thanks to its abundant outdoor activities for teens and the Camp Pelican program and clubhouse, which offers games for kids ages 4 to 12. Adults also have opportunities for fun on the spectacular golf course, at The Spa at Pelican Hill or at one of the on-site eateries. You can find this hotel just south of Balboa Island along Highway 1.Free ParkingFree WiFi
- #4View all PhotosTruckee, CA#4 in Best Resorts in CaliforniaTripAdvisor (1157)Free WiFiRead MoreSweeping mountain vistas and rustic furnishings are just two of the many reasons why guests are drawn to The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe. Others include fantastic customer service, great food and a sumptuous atmosphere. With a ski-in/ski-out location near the shores of Lake Tahoe, California, this Ritz allows visitors prime access to the slopes and two nearby championship golf courses. As for the hotel itself, on-site amenities include a tranquil spa and several gourmet restaurants. As far as lodging goes, recent guests raved about the large rooms, comfy beds and beautiful setting. Rooms and suites adopt a mountain lodge feel with stone fireplaces, wood trim and beautiful views. Guests generally loved their stay here, however, some visitors lamented the resort fee, especially given the hotel's high room rates. Marriott Bonvoy members can use points to keep costs down, though.
- #5View all PhotosLa Jolla, CA#5 in Best Resorts in CaliforniaTripAdvisor (1447)Free WiFiRead MoreIf you like hiking, golfing, swimming or sunning, you might be interested in booking a stay at The Lodge at Torrey Pines. You can explore state park to the north and the La Jolla beaches to the south, or you can enjoy the woodsy, rustic ambiance of coastal California from the comfort of the hotel. The guest rooms feature hardwood furnishings, and some overlook the beautiful Torrey Pines Golf Course. Cozy fireplaces are sprinkled around some guest rooms and hotel common areas. The Lodge features an outdoor pool and hot tub, as well as a fitness center. Visitors loved the unique touches here, including the kilt-wearing doormen and the delicious California cuisine at A.R. Valentien restaurant. Guests will also have access to the spa and the adjacent Torrey Pines Golf Course. The hotel does charge a $35 daily fee plus tax, which covers an array of amenities like property-wide Wi-Fi access, dry sauna and steam room use, weekend yoga classes, morning coffee and balls for use on putting greens.
- #6View all PhotosBig Sur, CA#6 in Best Resorts in CaliforniaTripAdvisor (356)Free ParkingFree WiFiRead MoreImpeccable service and beautiful grounds are what people expect at Ventana Big Sur, and, according to recent travelers, guests get those luxuries with a whole lot more. Lodgers have opportunities to work up a sweat while hiking or taking an outdoor yoga class before cooling off at the spa or in one of two on-site pools (one of which is clothing-optional). Recent diners also rave about the delicious cuisine served at The Sur House, which features a menu composed of locally sourced ingredients prepared in creative ways and served alongside the restaurant's fine wine list. And, although the accommodations vary in size from approximately 414 to nearly 1,200 square feet, all of the rooms feature comfortable beds, artisan-curated minibars and private decks offering breathtaking views of Big Sur's scenery. Ventana Big Sur is located about 30 miles south of Monterey along Highway 1.4.5-star Hotel ClassFree ParkingFree WiFi
- #7View all PhotosSt. Helena, CA#7 in Best Resorts in CaliforniaTripAdvisor (2094)Free ParkingFree WiFiRead MoreSitting on 250 acres in quaint St. Helena, California, Meadowood Napa Valley resort automatically wins guests over with its serene landscape and isolation. The guest room decor embodies a rustic elegance, with cottage-like beamed ceilings, private terraces and, in most rooms, fireplaces. Although the cost of a stay here is admittedly steep, many travelers feel the exceptional service and on-site activities, such as croquet, tennis and golf, make the expense worthwhile. Guests will also find several pools and an extensive fitness center here. Meanwhile, those who splurged on a treatment at the on-site spa certainly didn't regret it, nor did they have second thoughts about repeat meals at The Restaurant. Should you stay at the Meadowood, you'll be close to the Castello di Amorosa Winery and Schramsberg Vineyards, both of which offer exceptional tours and tastings.Free ParkingFree WiFi
- #8View all PhotosLaguna Beach, CA#8 in Best Resorts in CaliforniaTripAdvisor (1477)Free WiFiRead MoreThe Montage Laguna Beach epitomizes the relaxed class and beauty for which Southern California is known. The property's location (right along the shore just south of downtown Laguna Beach) is a particularly popular perk among guests. Accommodations at the hotel also include feather-top beds and marble bathrooms, not to mention beautiful turn-of-the-century decor and private terraces or balconies that overlook the ocean. But don't plan on spending too much time in your room. In addition to enjoying the large beach area, you can lounge poolside, shop at the in-house boutiques, receive spa treatments and eat gourmet meals at one of three on-site restaurants. If you happen to be here for date night, recent guests say that the intimate atmosphere and the locally sourced California cuisine at Studio will set the tone for a romantic evening. There are also family programs for children, though previous visitors say that the upscale environment at Montage Laguna Beach is better suited for couples.
- #9View all PhotosCarlsbad, CA#9 in Best Resorts in CaliforniaTripAdvisor (2332)Free WiFiRead MoreSouth of downtown Carlsbad, California, on the Batiquitos Lagoon, the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa wows guests with its palatial size and romantic ambiance. The Spanish colonial architecture houses spacious rooms, all dressed in plush furniture, marble bathrooms and separate living areas. The property also houses four eateries and the 15,000-square-foot Aviara Spa. Golfers are particularly smitten with the esteemed Kip Puterbaugh's Aviara Golf Academy and Club. But what epitomizes this Park Hyatt's commitment to providing luxury is everything extra it offers guests. Need umbrellas, towels and chairs to take to the beach? The hotel has you covered. Want to learn how to hang 10? Schedule a session with the hotel's Surf Concierge for lessons on how to navigate waves on a surfboard. Need another reason to stay here? Members of the World of Hyatt program can use or accrue reward points for additional perks, like free nights.
- #10View all PhotosSanta Barbara, CA3.6 miles to city center#10 in Best Resorts in CaliforniaTripAdvisor (2320)Free WiFiRead MoreWith stunning views of the Pacific Ocean from its shorefront perch east of downtown Santa Barbara, the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara is consistently lauded by guests for its friendly staff and stunning decor. The Spanish Colonial Revival structure houses 207 spacious guest rooms and suites that feel bright and airy and feature large windows and views of the 22-acre property, and visitors say that the down bedding adds an extra dose of luxury. Recent guests also praised the in-house spa for its extensive list of treatments, but should you desire some rest and relaxation without the additional cost, a day spent by the outdoor pool should do just fine. If you're traveling with kids, let the resort's certified staff provide them with a host of supervised activities while you enjoy a romantic meal at Tydes (if you like seafood) or Bella Vista (if you prefer your Californian cuisine infused with some Italian flair).
- #11View all PhotosCalistoga, CA#11 in Best Resorts in CaliforniaTripAdvisor (1096)Free ParkingFree WiFiRead MoreSolage hardly misses a step when it comes to pleasing guests. This Auberge Resorts outpost's 89 suites and studios are set on 22 acres of beautifully landscaped property and come equipped with amenities such as LCD televisions, iPod docking stations and high-speed internet access. And recent lodgers praise the quality of the beds and the extra large bathrooms. Guests also rave about the complimentary cruiser bikes that give personality to the resort. And the lodging decor – composed of neutral hues, expansive windows and fairly simple accents – makes for a relaxing respite. Meanwhile, the Michelin-starred Solbar restaurant garners rave reviews for its outdoor dining space and inventive "California soul food." The Spa Solage is also unique for its "mud bar" and on-site geothermal pools. You'll find this hotel on the northern fringes of Calistoga in northern Napa Valley.4.5-star Hotel ClassFree ParkingFree WiFi
- #12View all PhotosDana Point, CA#12 in Best Resorts in CaliforniaTripAdvisor (2624)Free WiFiRead MoreWhen booking a room at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, guests expect to receive superb service. And that's what they get. On top of that, they get a breathtaking ocean view and gorgeous grounds just northwest of Dana Point Marina. If you need any help reaching inner peace, the well-reviewed spa is happy to accommodate you. And this is no ordinary Ritz: In addition to the standard pool-tennis-fitness center combination, this property has access to several area golf courses and some excellent surfing waves. Plus, guests can explore the local environment with expert naturalists on eco-adventures organized by the hotel. As for dining, you can satiate your appetite at one of several on-site eateries. And when it comes time to call it a day, you won't be disappointed with the accommodations. Previous visitors love the serene pastel blue and cream decor in the guest rooms, as well as the private balconies and technology such as flat-screen TVs and internet access (included in the $50 daily resort fee). Plus, this hotel particpates in the Marriott Bonvoy program, so members can earn and use points by staying here.
- #13View all PhotosRancho Palos Verdes, CA23.1 miles to city center#13 in Best Resorts in CaliforniaTripAdvisor (4395)Free WiFiRead MoreAbout 32 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, Terranea Resort is a palatial resort in the city's backyard. Many rooms look out onto the Pacific Ocean from balconies and come equipped with a long list of luxury amenities, including flat-screen TVs, four-fixture stone bathrooms and Wi-Fi access. (Covered by the $40 daily resort fee.) But most guests appreciate what's outside their quarters, particularly the fitness center and multiple pools. The hotel also houses a noteworthy spa, and visitors are in awe of the expansive, manicured grounds – all 102 acres. This family- and pet-friendly resort has eight delectable eateries and watering holes. Of those, Catalina Kitchen is the true standout with its breakfast and patio setting.
- #14View all PhotosCarmel Valley, CA#14 in Best Resorts in CaliforniaTripAdvisor (485)Free ParkingFree WiFiRead MoreUnlike many of its Monterey Peninsula competitors, the Bernardus Lodge is situated away from the beach in the rugged hills and vineyards of Carmel Valley, California. With Nespresso coffee makers and a complimentary wine bar stocked with Bernardus wines, the guest rooms at this property aspire to a homey atmosphere that encourages you to indulge. Guests also appreciate the large tubs and the private balconies or terraces overlooking the property's gardens and the nearby mountains. The boutique resort's romantic side can be found at its restaurant and in the spa, which offers couples treatments. And despite the availability of wireless internet, guests find this the perfect place to disconnect from the outside world. Lastly, guests should not neglect exploring the Bernardus Winery, which offers daily tastings. Though this hotel charges a daily resort fee, it includes free parking and a 24-hour concierge service, among other amenities.4.5-star Hotel ClassFree ParkingFree WiFi
- #15View all PhotosPebble Beach, CA#15 in Best Resorts in CaliforniaTripAdvisor (69)Free BreakfastFree ParkingFree WiFiRead MoreThe smallest and most intimate of the Pebble Beach Resorts, Casa Palmero is an exquisite, 24-room property along the fairways of Pebble Beach Golf Links. The attention to detail is evident throughout this Italian villa-inspired property: Guests claim that staff members bend over backward to make guests comfortable, including delivering breakfast baskets to your room each morning and replenishing flowers in your room daily. Not to mention, there are complimentary cocktails served at the hotel every evening. Should you want to explore beyond the premises, guests are allowed access to the Pebble Beach resort's Beach & Tennis Club, as well as the spa. Keep in mind that you need to stay at least two nights here, at The Inn at Spanish Bay or at The Lodge at Pebble Beach to get a reserved tee time on the course. And be sure to book the tee time when you reserve your room to ensure your spot. As a member of the Preferred portfolio, iPrefer members can earn and use points here.Free BreakfastFree ParkingFree WiFi
- #16View all PhotosWestlake Village, CA#16 in Best Resorts in CaliforniaTripAdvisor (1695)Free WiFiRead MoreAccording to previous guests, the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village offers excellent relaxation and isolation opportunities despite being just a short drive from hectic Los Angeles and posh Malibu. Recent visitors raved about the on-site spa and its extensive treatment menu, steam rooms, hot tubs, saunas and outdoor cabanas. And kids will love the on-site game room, activity lawn and family pool here. Although there aren't many dining options in the surrounding area, the resort's eateries, Hampton's and The Lookout, can keep guests' appetites satisfied for the duration of their stay. And the rooms receive high praise for their dreamy bedding and spacious bathrooms. Though parking is expensive here, it's worth visiting to check out the many amazing shops and boutiques in the surrounding area, all of which are accessible via the property's complimentary local shuttle.Free WiFi
- #17View all PhotosOjai, CA#17 in Best Resorts in CaliforniaTripAdvisor (1864)Free ParkingFree WiFiRead MorePrevious guests praise the rejuvenating and romantic powers of the Ojai Valley Inn, located about 40 miles east of Santa Barbara, California. Hosting an 18-hole golf course, several tennis courts and an award-winning spa, the Ojai Valley Inn's sprawling grounds have all the makings of a relaxing getaway. Ojai Valley Inn's 303 guest rooms and suites boast elegant grey and white decor, as well as custom bedding, flat-screen TVs with DVD/Blu-ray players and in-room pantries. (Some rooms also feature private balconies and fireplaces). Between enjoying Ojai Valley Inn's facilities and heading off to bed, travelers recommend sampling the cuisine at one of the on-site eateries; The Oak is the standout, with diners saying that outside seating and tasty lunch and dinner offerings will make you want to return to again and again.Free ParkingFree WiFi
- #18View all PhotosRancho Mirage, CA6.4 miles to city center#18 in Best Resorts in CaliforniaTripAdvisor (1716)Free WiFiRead MoreThis Ritz outpost is located about 9 miles southeast of Palm Springs, California, in Rancho Mirage. The hotel's suites feature balconies, stone bathrooms with separate showers and soaking tubs, beds with 400-thread-count Frette linens and Nespresso coffee makers. But with the resort's ample amenities, guests won't want to spend all their time in their rooms. The property has multiple pools and a spa boasting treatments like the Coconut Body Polish and the Sec-He Rock Ritual. Plus, nearby hiking trails and the on-site fitness center offer ample opportunities for exercise. When it's time for a bite to eat, try the casual cuisine at the Air Pool Bar or go for a more upscale meal at either The Edge Steakhouse or the State Fare Bar & Kitchen. Recent guests said the hotel's setting is beautiful but warn of exorbitant prices for everything from food at the on-site restaurants to the mandatory valet parking. Keep in mind that because of its Marriott ties, the Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage allows Marriott Bonvoy members to earn perks or use points to cover stays at the property.
- #19View all PhotosHalf Moon Bay, CA#19 in Best Resorts in CaliforniaTripAdvisor (2345)Free WiFiRead MoreThe palatial Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay's jaw-dropping setting atop sea cliffs along the Pacific Coast is hard to beat. As its name suggests, this Ritz-Carlton property is in Half Moon Bay, California, located between San Francisco and San Jose. But the exceptional service is what has most travelers talking: From the congenial front desk staff, to the spa therapists to the restaurant servers, travelers praise the entire staff for its friendliness and efficiency. But that's not all guests have to say. The Ritz's guest rooms earn a thumbs-up for their goose-down bedding, marble bathrooms and spacious floor plans, and those traveling with pets will be pleased to know that accommodations here are animal-friendly. But don't plan on spending too much time in your room. Through the concierge, you can book surf lessons, bird watching excursions, bike rides, Segway tours, horseback rides and even whale watching tours. Back at the resort, you'll find two golf courses, a spa and four eateries. Families like to take advantage of the Ritz Kids Day Program, which includes trips to the beach, as well as movies and s'mores at the fire pit. Keep in mind that Marriott Bonvoy members can earn and use points by staying here.
- #20View all PhotosDana Point, CA#20 in Best Resorts in CaliforniaTripAdvisor (3121)Free WiFiRead MoreFormerly a St. Regis property, guests can't stop raving about how beautiful the Monarch Beach Resort is. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Monarch Beach – about 60 miles southeast of Los Angeles – this resort caters to perfectionists. The grounds are well-manicured, the decor is both lavish, comfortable and up-to-date (accommodations were renovated in summer 2015), and the resort has a private beach. What more could you ask for? Well, you can also indulge at the handful of on-site eateries, swing a golf club in view of the Pacific Ocean or treat yourself to a decadent massage or sugar scrub at the Miraval Spa. Families love the wide range of activities for children, ranging from treasure hunts to the kids club to babysitting services. And previous visitors say the steep price is worthwhile and that the resort's staff deserves the highest praise.Free WiFi
- #21View all PhotosPebble Beach, CA#21 in Best Resorts in CaliforniaTripAdvisor (515)Free ParkingFree WiFiRead MoreFor golf fans, a stay at The Lodge at Pebble Beach – which sits on the 18th hole of the historic Pebble Beach Golf Links – is a dream come true. You won't regret requesting a room that overlooks the fairway and the Pacific Ocean. Aside from the outstanding views, recent visitors rave about the staff, calling them professional and attentive. There are five exceptional bars and restaurants on-site, as well as multiple shops. Access to the Beach & Tennis Club is also free for guests. Just keep in mind that you must stay at least two nights at the Lodge (or The Inn at Spanish Bay or Casa Palmero) to get a reserved tee time on the course, and you'll have better luck securing a spot if you book your tee time when you reserve your hotel room.Free ParkingFree WiFi
- #22View all PhotosSan Martin, CA#22 in Best Resorts in CaliforniaTripAdvisor (288)Free ParkingFree WiFiRead MoreRecent visitors say that CordeValle — located just 30 miles southeast of downtown San Jose, California — serves as an indulgent retreat from Silicon Valley. The isolated setting wins over guests with its views of the Santa Cruz Mountains. While here, travelers can work on their golf game at the surrounding course, or practice their backhand on the tennis courts. For a more relaxing day, plan to lounge alongside the heated outdoor pool, or book a massage or a skin treatment at Sense Spa. Guests can indulge their senses further at the three eateries; previous guests say that the food here is expensive but worth the price. What's more, visitors can head to the on-site winery for a tour and some tastings. At the end of the day, CordeValle's 45 enormous rooms enchant many previous visitors with their fireplaces, private patios and spectacular views. Yet travelers say that it's the friendly customer service staff at this Rosewood property that makes staying here truly enjoyable.Free ParkingFree WiFi
- #23View all PhotosSouth Lake Tahoe, CA#23 in Best Resorts in CaliforniaTripAdvisor (1148)Free ParkingFree WiFiRead MoreLocated along the South Shore in Lake Tahoe, about 60 miles south of Reno, Nevada, the Landing Resort & Spa is a 77-room lakefront hotel. Guest rooms here boast heated bathroom floors, flat-screen TVs and fireplaces. The resort's location makes for a good spot for travelers craving outdoor pursuits, including skiing, snowmobiling, swimming at the nearby beach, fishing and golfing. Plus, the hotel puts guests within easy reach of Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, South Tahoe's casinos and Heavenly Mountain Resort, a popular ski resort. Recent visitors praise the hotel's lakeside location and the California cuisine served on-site at Jimmy's Restaurant. Other on-site features include a spa, an outdoor pool and hot tub, a 2,000 wine vault. Overall, the Landing Resort & Spa makes for an upscale home base for those looking to enjoy the many outdoor activities in Lake Tahoe, though some guests lamented the $25 daily resort fee tacked onto their final bill.4.5-star Hotel ClassFree ParkingFree WiFi
- #24View all PhotosNapa, CA#24 in Best Resorts in CaliforniaTripAdvisor (1482)Free ParkingFree WiFiRead MoreSitting just a few miles southwest of Napa, California, Carneros Resort and Spa is often described by recent travelers as charming and quiet. Accommodations consist of cottages, suites and homes. Many previous visitors recommend reserving a cottage for an added sense of privacy. (Guests also suggest requesting a room that's not near the highway for a more peaceful night's sleep.) But no matter which type of lodging you choose, you'll find yourself with a flat-screen TV, a Nespresso coffee machine, heated bathroom floors and a private outdoor patio with a garden. When you crave a change of scenery, take some time to explore all 22 acres of the property – you'll find a vegetable garden, two pools with hot tubs, a general store, three restaurants and The Spa at Carneros. Other amenities – such as weekend fitness classes, use of loaner bicycles and on-site parking – are covered by the property's daily $36 resort fee. Members of the I Prefer program can offset costs by cashing in points here.4.5-star Hotel ClassFree ParkingFree WiFi
- #25View all PhotosDel Mar, CA18.8 miles to city center#25 in Best Resorts in CaliforniaTripAdvisor (1202)Free WiFiRead MoreAt the center of the Del Mar Village north of San Diego, L'Auberge Del Mar offers lavish comforts in a relaxed setting. Recent guests say that the friendly staff – particularly behind the front desk – were always eager to lend a hand. With plush beds and a light color palette, the rooms exude a quaint rather than ritzy atmosphere, according to visitors. The property also encourages visitors to take advantage of the treatments offered at Spa L'Auberge and the fresh seafood served at both Coastline and Living Room. But travelers say L'Auberge's best asset is its proximity to the beach – just a short downhill walk. The hotel's location also places guests near boutique shops, golf courses and Del Mar Racing track. Though there are hefty resort and parking fees at this hotel, other amenities like a fitness center, business center and complimentary shuttle service make staying here worthwhile.Free WiFi
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