Best Hotels in California

U.S. News & World Report ranks the best hotels in California based on an analysis of industry... READ MORE
U.S. News & World Report ranks the best hotels in California based on an analysis of industry awards, hotel star ratings and user ratings. Hotels that scored in the top 10 percent of the Best Hotels in the USA earned a Gold badge. Hotels that appear after ranked hotels are sorted by hotel class and then by user rating, as provided by TripAdvisor.

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1 star - 5 stars

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  • #1
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    Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa
    Rancho Santa Fe, CA
    #1 in Best Hotels in California
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 363 reviewsTripAdvisor (363)
    Free Parking
    Free WiFi

    About 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.

    Rancho Santa Fe, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 363 reviewsTripAdvisor (363)
    5.0-star Hotel Class
    Excellent Critic Rating
    Free Parking
    Free WiFi
  • #2
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    Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills
    Beverly Hills, CA
    #2 in Best Hotels in California
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 479 reviewsTripAdvisor (479)
    Free WiFi

    A new addition to the luxury hotel scene in Los Angeles, the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills opened in June 2017. This Hilton-affiliated property occupies a prime spot on Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards, putting guests near shopping and dining hot spots in Beverly Hills. Accommodations are outfitted in a cream and white color scheme, with espresso machines, minibars and bathrooms with two sinks and a separate shower and bathtub. Some rooms and suites also come equipped with terraces overlooking the city. Those looking for pampering should head to La Prairie Spa for a rejuvenating facial, body treatment or massage, or book an appointment at the Tracey Cunningham Salon. Fitness buffs can work out in the 24-hour gym or enjoy rooftop yoga (on weekends). Also available on the rooftop: a pool (a guest favorite) and The Rooftop by JG, which serves cocktails and light bites. For something more substantial, head to Jean-Georges Beverly Hills. Travelers rave about the exceptional service here, the hotel's location and all of its facilities. However, they warn a stay at this Waldorf Astoria outpost won't come cheap. To save some coin, Hilton Honors members can use accrued points to pay for rooms.

    Beverly Hills, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 479 reviewsTripAdvisor (479)
    5.0-star Hotel Class
    Excellent Critic Rating
    Free WiFi
  • #3
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    The Peninsula Beverly Hills
    Beverly Hills, CA
    #3 in Best Hotels in California
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 967 reviewsTripAdvisor (967)
    Free WiFi

    A favorite among professional and leisure travelers alike, this luxury hotel has an inside edge on other hotels by truly coddling its guests. Why should you have to wait until 3 p.m. to check in? The Peninsula Beverly Hills will make your room available to you whenever you need it  even from the moment your plane lands at Los Angeles International Airport. Do you need to hold onto your room until 8 p.m. on your last day? No problem  The Peninsula also allows you to check out whenever is most convenient for you. And the first-class treatment doesn't end there. This hotel on South Santa Monica Boulevard is also known for its sumptuous garden villa suites (which come with complimentary fruit selections, flat-screen TVs, and large marble bathrooms), its rejuvenating Peninsula Spa and the mouthwatering fare served at the on-site see-and-be-seen restaurant, The Belvedere. Recent guests describe the hotel as "perfection" ... but at a price: room rates here are on the expensive side. 

    Beverly Hills, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 967 reviewsTripAdvisor (967)
    5.0-star Hotel Class
    Excellent Critic Rating
    Free WiFi
  • #4
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    Fairmont Grand Del Mar
    San Diego, CA
    #4 in Best Hotels in California
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 2014 reviewsTripAdvisor (2014)
    Free Breakfast
    Free Parking
    Free WiFi

    About 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 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.

    San Diego, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 2014 reviewsTripAdvisor (2014)
    5.0-star Hotel Class
    Excellent Critic Rating
    Free Breakfast
    Free Parking
    Free WiFi
  • #5
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    Pendry San Diego
    San Diego, CA
    #5 in Best Hotels in California
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 964 reviewsTripAdvisor (964)

    Though it's only been open since February 2017, the Pendry San Diego has already made a long-lasting impression on its guests. Reviewers raved about the hotel’s ample amenities, well-appointed interiors and unbeatable location in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter. Recent guests also praised the chic decor in rooms, which have Fili D'oro bedding, complimentary Wi-Fi access and 50-inch TVs. Other standout hotel amenities include a 24-hour fitness center, a spa, a rooftop pool and six restaurants and bars. Lodgers were appreciative of the on-site dining options (especially the seafood-focused Lionfish), but also suggested guests take advantage of the Pendry's stellar location by visiting the Gaslamp Quarter's trendy bars and restaurants. And since this property is part of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts family, members of the iPrefer loyalty program can apply or accrue points here.

    San Diego, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 964 reviewsTripAdvisor (964)
    5.0-star Hotel Class
    Excellent Critic Rating
  • #6
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    The Beverly Hills Hotel
    Beverly Hills, CA
    #6 in Best Hotels in California
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1359 reviewsTripAdvisor (1359)
    Free WiFi

    The Beverly Hills Hotel is iconic to La-La Land lore, made famous by The Eagles tune "Hotel California." But the Pink Palace has racked up quite a few fabled stories: Katharine Hepburn is said to have jumped into the pool fully clothed, and Elizabeth Taylor enjoyed six honeymoons here. Today, this Dorchester Collection hotel continues to cater to discerning travelers with stylish guest rooms (equipped with marble bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, high-speed internet access and gourmet minibars), business amenities and a supreme Sunset Boulevard location. Travelers say the customer service is just as legendary as the hotel itself, praising the hotel staff for its attentiveness. And the on-site Polo Lounge is not only known for its celeb-spotting – it's known for serving up a mean breakfast as well.

    Beverly Hills, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1359 reviewsTripAdvisor (1359)
    5.0-star Hotel Class
    Excellent Critic Rating
    Free WiFi
  • #7
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    Montage Beverly Hills
    Beverly Hills, CA
    #7 in Best Hotels in California
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 786 reviewsTripAdvisor (786)
    Free WiFi

    This hotel looks like it belongs somewhere along the Mediterranean Sea, with classic archways, soaring columns, trickling fountains and polished walkways. But previous guests assure that the amenities found here befit discerning Beverly Hills clientele. Located just a few blocks from Rodeo Drive, the Montage Beverly Hills treats visitors to amenities such as a sprawling spa, rooftop pool and refined American cuisine at The Restaurant. Guest rooms here are as sumptuous as the rest of the property: Design elements such as antique wooden furnishings, upholstered chaise lounges and marble and mosaic tiled bathrooms that evoke old Hollywood-era glamour. Plus, rooms include more modern amenities such as in-room tablets, flat-screen flat-screen TVs and complimentary Wi-Fi. According to many recent visitors, the Montage Beverly Hills is the place to go for L.A. luxury.

    Beverly Hills, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 786 reviewsTripAdvisor (786)
    5.0-star Hotel Class
    Excellent Critic Rating
    Free WiFi
  • #8
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    Bardessono
    Yountville, CA
    #8 in Best Hotels in California
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 1393 reviewsTripAdvisor (1393)
    Free Parking
    Free WiFi

    Visitors are impressed with the Bardessono's environmental stewardship, daring architecture and exceptional service. This LEED Platinum Certified hotel in Yountville, California, is dedicated to protecting the environment while providing a luxury experience for guests. Accommodations are heated and cooled using an underground geothermal system, while rooftop solar panels keep the lights on. Visitors are certainly respectful of Bardessono's mission, but they're more vocal about the property's deluxe amenities, praising the guest rooms' huge bathrooms and modern technology. The on-site spa and outdoor pool are also popular features, and many visitors are quick to praise the personalized customer service. Don't miss eating at the traveler-recommended Lucy Restaurant & Bar, which serves up seasonal, locally sourced cuisine and an extensive list of wines.

    Yountville, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 1393 reviewsTripAdvisor (1393)
    5.0-star Hotel Class
    Great Critic Rating
    Free Parking
    Free WiFi
  • #9
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    Hotel Bel-Air
    Los Angeles, CA
    #9 in Best Hotels in California
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 792 reviewsTripAdvisor (792)
    Free WiFi

    A member of the esteemed Dorchester Hotel collection, Hotel Bel-Air offers Los Angeles lodgers a taste of respite and romance within easy commuting distance of big city sights (though, not much is within walking distance). Sprawling across 12 acres in the Bel Air Estates neighborhood, this luxury hotel adopts the aura of 20th-century glam. With fine Italian linens, expansive terraces, charming gazebos and an actual Swan Lake, the Hotel Bel-Air is better suited to relaxation seekers than meeting-making movers and shakers. Guests appreciate the property's quiet atmosphere and superb customer service, while the guest rooms and suites win visitors over with bright, airy decor and tech-savvy amenities, such as flat-screen TVs and in-room iPads. Also, the Hotel Bel-Air Spa and the outdoor pool ensure that travelers return home refreshed and rested.

    Los Angeles, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 792 reviewsTripAdvisor (792)
    5.0-star Hotel Class
    Excellent Critic Rating
    Free WiFi
  • #10
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    The Resort at Pelican Hill
    Newport Coast, CA
    #10 in Best Hotels in California
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1753 reviewsTripAdvisor (1753)
    Free Parking
    Free WiFi

    Overlooking 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 of all ages. 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.

    Newport Coast, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1753 reviewsTripAdvisor (1753)
    5.0-star Hotel Class
    Excellent Critic Rating
    Free Parking
    Free WiFi
  • #11
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    Auberge du Soleil, Auberge Resorts Collection
    Rutherford, CA
    #11 in Best Hotels in California
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 853 reviewsTripAdvisor (853)
    Free Breakfast
    Free Parking
    Free WiFi

    Situated in the quiet town of Rutherford in Napa Valley, Auberge du Soleil beautifully showcases the area's stunning vistas. But there's more than scenery to boast about here. This Auberge property also offers a well-equipped fitness center and spa, and you can arrange additional off-site activities, such as hot air balloon rides and golf outings, through the concierge. Should you prefer to stick around the resort, you can lounge away the hours by the pool, tour the Aerena Sculpture Garden or enjoy some private meditation in La Pagode. Foodies adore the gourmet meals served at the Restaurant at Auberge du Soleil, which specializes in Mediterranean cuisine and expert wine pairings. For a more relaxed atmosphere, you can grab a bite to eat at the Bistro & Bar. At the end of the day, luxury-seekers love the spacious guest rooms, which boast private balconies or terraces, fireplaces, as well as contemporary artwork and bath oils and candles for the room's soaking tubs. But keep in mind that a stay at this bit of heaven on earthas it is often described by visitorsdoesn't come cheap.

    Rutherford, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 853 reviewsTripAdvisor (853)
    5.0-star Hotel Class
    Excellent Critic Rating
    Free Breakfast
    Free Parking
    Free WiFi
  • #12
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    Calistoga Ranch, Auberge Resorts Collection
    Calistoga, CA
    #12 in Best Hotels in California
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 845 reviewsTripAdvisor (845)
    Free Parking
    Free WiFi

    When you can simply borrow a Mercedes-Benz for an afternoon drive through wine country at no extra cost, you know you're experiencing the epitome of luxury. Here at Calistoga Ranch in northern Napa Valley, guests rejoice in luxury amenities that include the Mercedes-Benz Drive Program, a private lake, a private wine cave and more. And when they need a little rest and relaxation, visitors head to Calistoga's spa for outdoor lakeside treatments or a dip in the on-site mineral pool. If your interests lie more in gastronomy, head to The Lakehouse where vino makes the perfect accompaniment to the restaurant's California cuisine. Travelers say they relish the privacy and comfort offered in this Auberge resort's free-standing guest accommodations, which feature fireplaces, private decks and outdoor rain showers, not to mention floor-to-ceiling windows and warm, wooden decor.

    Calistoga, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 845 reviewsTripAdvisor (845)
    5.0-star Hotel Class
    Excellent Critic Rating
    Free Parking
    Free WiFi
  • #13
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    Hotel Californian
    Santa Barbara, CA
    #13 in Best Hotels in California
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 31 reviewsTripAdvisor (31)
    Free WiFi

    According to recent visitors, a stay at the Hotel Californian is worth the high room rates, the $30 daily resort fee and the $38 valet parking fee. Adjacent to the Santa Barbara, California, waterfront in the city's Funk Zone area, this Preferred LVX outpost delivers Spanish colonial-style architecture and modern Moorish decor. Guests will find large flat-screen TVs, Nespresso coffee makers, custom Hotel Californian bath products, stocked cocktail carts, Martyn Lawrence Bullard furnishings, light fixtures and wallcoverings inside all of the stylish accommodations. What's more, the property features a Moroccan-inspired spa, multiple meeting rooms (including a rooftop deck and a ballroom) and two restaurants – Goat Tree and Blackbird. Goat Tree offers casual breakfast fare and picnic baskets with seasonal items, while Blackbird features Mediterranean-influence cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients. No additional facilities are available on-site; however, members of the iPrefer program can earn or redeem points while staying here.

    Santa Barbara, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 31 reviewsTripAdvisor (31)
    5.0-star Hotel Class
    Great Critic Rating
    Free WiFi
  • #14
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    The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe
    Truckee, CA
    #14 in Best Hotels in California
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1137 reviewsTripAdvisor (1137)
    Free WiFi

    Sweeping 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.

    Truckee, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1137 reviewsTripAdvisor (1137)
    5.0-star Hotel Class
    Excellent Critic Rating
    Free WiFi
  • #15
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    The Lodge at Torrey Pines
    La Jolla, CA
    #15 in Best Hotels in California
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1447 reviewsTripAdvisor (1447)
    Free WiFi

    If you like hiking, golfing, swimming and sunning, you might be interested in booking a stay at The Lodge at Torrey Pines. Here you'll have the state park to the north and the La Jolla beaches to the south. You can enjoy the woodsy, rustic ambiance of coastal California all throughout the hotel. Guest rooms feature hardwood furnishings and overlook the beautiful Torrey Pines Golf Course, and cozy fireplaces can be found in the hotel's common areas. The Lodge also 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, which covers an array of amenities like property-wide Wi-Fi access and balls for use on putting greens.

    La Jolla, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1447 reviewsTripAdvisor (1447)
    5.0-star Hotel Class
    Excellent Critic Rating
    Free WiFi