Best Beach Hotels in California

U.S. News has identified top beach hotels by taking into account amenities, reputation among... READ MORE
U.S. News has identified top beach hotels by taking into account amenities, reputation among professional travel experts, guest reviews and hotel class ratings. Use the filters and settings below to help find the best beach hotels for you.

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Hotel Name
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1 star - 5 stars

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    The Lodge at Torrey Pines
    La Jolla, CA
    5-star HOTEL CLASS
    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
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    Montage Laguna Beach
    Laguna Beach, CA
    5-star HOTEL CLASS
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1477 reviewsTripAdvisor (1477)
    Free WiFi

    The 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.

    Laguna Beach, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1477 reviewsTripAdvisor (1477)
    5.0-star Hotel Class
    Excellent Critic Rating
    Free WiFi
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    Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara
    Santa Barbara, CA
    5-star HOTEL CLASS
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2320 reviewsTripAdvisor (2320)
    Free WiFi

    With 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).

    Santa Barbara, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2320 reviewsTripAdvisor (2320)
    5.0-star Hotel Class
    Great Critic Rating
    Free WiFi
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    The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
    Dana Point, CA
    5-star HOTEL CLASS
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2588 reviewsTripAdvisor (2588)
    Free WiFi

    When 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). 

    Dana Point, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2588 reviewsTripAdvisor (2588)
    5.0-star Hotel Class
    Great Critic Rating
    Free WiFi
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    Terranea Resort, A Destination Hotel
    Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
    5-star HOTEL CLASS
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 4395 reviewsTripAdvisor (4395)
    Free WiFi

    About 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.

    Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 4395 reviewsTripAdvisor (4395)
    5.0-star Hotel Class
    Great Critic Rating
    Free WiFi
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    Casa Palmero
    Pebble Beach, CA
    5-star HOTEL CLASS
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 69 reviewsTripAdvisor (69)
    Free Breakfast
    Free Parking
    Free WiFi

    The 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.

    Pebble Beach, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 69 reviewsTripAdvisor (69)
    5.0-star Hotel Class
    Good Critic Rating
    Free Breakfast
    Free Parking
    Free WiFi
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    The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
    Half Moon Bay, CA
    5-star HOTEL CLASS
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2328 reviewsTripAdvisor (2328)
    Free WiFi

    The 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.

    Half Moon Bay, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2328 reviewsTripAdvisor (2328)
    5.0-star Hotel Class
    Great Critic Rating
    Free WiFi
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    Monarch Beach Resort
    Dana Point, CA
    5-star HOTEL CLASS
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 3121 reviewsTripAdvisor (3121)
    Free WiFi

    Formerly 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.

    Dana Point, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 3121 reviewsTripAdvisor (3121)
    5.0-star Hotel Class
    Great Critic Rating
    Free WiFi
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    The Lodge at Pebble Beach
    Pebble Beach, CA
    5-star HOTEL CLASS
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 515 reviewsTripAdvisor (515)
    Free Parking
    Free WiFi

    For 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.

    Pebble Beach, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 515 reviewsTripAdvisor (515)
    5.0-star Hotel Class
    Great Critic Rating
    Free Parking
    Free WiFi
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    Casa del Mar
    Santa Monica, CA
    5-star HOTEL CLASS
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1218 reviewsTripAdvisor (1218)

    According to recent guests, Casa del Mar meshes a little art deco flair with Mediterranean styling – a mélange that has a beautiful effect. And compared to its sister property, the Cape Cod-esque Shutters on the Beach, this hotel affords a more upscale aesthetic. Count the Italian marble featured in the lobby and guest room bathrooms as proof. And the cool blue decor, intricately carved furniture, in-suite iPads and complimentary in-room movies only add to the experience. One of the southernmost hotels along Santa Monica's pricey beachfront strip, the Casa del Mar has 129 rooms and suites to choose from, as well as the tasty restaurant, Catch, and the gorgeous Sea Wellness Spa.

    Santa Monica, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1218 reviewsTripAdvisor (1218)
    5.0-star Hotel Class
    Great Critic Rating
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    The Landing Resort & Spa
    South Lake Tahoe, CA
    4.5-star HOTEL CLASS
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1148 reviewsTripAdvisor (1148)
    Free Parking
    Free WiFi

    Located 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.

    South Lake Tahoe, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1148 reviewsTripAdvisor (1148)
    4.5-star Hotel Class
    Great Critic Rating
    Free Parking
    Free WiFi
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    Shutters on the Beach
    Santa Monica, CA
    5-star HOTEL CLASS
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 1864 reviewsTripAdvisor (1864)

    In Santa Monica, proximity to the beach and pier translates to more expensive lodging. So know that you'll pay a pretty penny to enjoy a stay at Shutters on the Beach. But you'll be rewarded with a shabby-chic, oh-so-irresistible hotel that travel experts fawn over and guests can't stop gushing about. Guest rooms here are reminiscent of those found in a beachside bed-and-breakfast, though they come stocked with flat-screen TVs, marble bathrooms and balconies overlooking Santa Monica. The lovely views are the big plus, but people also like this hotel's friendly staff and the fare served at the property's three restaurants. When you're not relaxing on the sand, indulge in a treatment at ONE the spa or borrow one of the hotel's bikes to ride the nearby bike paths. You can find this sprawling, Cape Cod-style hotel just west of the pier and directly on the Santa Monica waterfront.

    Santa Monica, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 1864 reviewsTripAdvisor (1864)
    5.0-star Hotel Class
    Great Critic Rating
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    L'Auberge Carmel
    Carmel, CA
    4.5-star HOTEL CLASS
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 403 reviewsTripAdvisor (403)
    Free Breakfast
    Free Parking
    Free WiFi

    Perfectly situated in the heart of Carmel, California, and just a 15-minute walk to Carmel Beach, L'Auberge Carmel, charms guests with its intimate luxury. With only 20 rooms, this Relais & Châteaux property appeals to travelers looking for an experience more akin to that provided by a bed-and-breakfast without sacrificing the amenities  like in-room spa services and the gourmet California cuisine served at Aubergine  found at a deluxe hotel. Guest rooms here all feature unique decor, but no matter which accommodation you occupy, you'll be treated to down bedding, soaking tubs and iPod docking stations. Previous visitors raved about the hotel's European influence, though some wished the small property had more on-site amenities.

    Carmel, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 403 reviewsTripAdvisor (403)
    4.5-star Hotel Class
    Great Critic Rating
    Free Breakfast
    Free Parking
    Free WiFi
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    The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey
    Marina Del Rey, CA
    5-star HOTEL CLASS
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 782 reviewsTripAdvisor (782)

    Right on the marina and about 5 miles from Los Angeles International Airport, The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey attracts visitors with its picturesque location. Guests describe the rooms here as comfortable, with warm blue and gold tones reflecting the hotel's harbor vistas (not to mention balconies and feather beds). Visitors also appreciate this Ritz's convenient and luxurious amenities, such as the bicycle rentals  perfect for riding along the boardwalk  and the waterfront pool and whirlpool. Make the most of the hotel's harborfront location with some California cuisine at Wave Poolside Bar + Grill, or sample the locally sourced small plates at Cast & Plow. For even more pampering, indulge in a treatment at Sisley Spa. Though a stay here can cost a pretty penny, you can offset the cost (or earn points) with Marriott Rewards.

    Marina Del Rey, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 782 reviewsTripAdvisor (782)
    5.0-star Hotel Class
    Good Critic Rating
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    The Inn at Spanish Bay
    Pebble Beach, CA
    5-star HOTEL CLASS
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 781 reviewsTripAdvisor (781)
    Free Parking
    Free WiFi

    Like its sister properties, The Lodge at Pebble Beach and Casa Palmero, the Inn at Spanish Bay caters mostly to avid golfers and luxury travelers. Guests praise the staff for their exceptional service and friendly dispositions. The rooms, many of which face the ocean, are spacious, with flat-screen TVs, complimentary internet access and minibars – some accommodations even come with fireplaces and balconies. There are many restaurants and bars that reside in the Pebble Beach complex, but Pèppoli and Roy's are the true culinary standouts. Just keep in mind that you must stay at least two nights at the Inn at Spanish Bay, Casa Palmero or The Lodge at Pebble Beach to reserve a tee time on the Pebble Beach Golf Links. Located along 17-Mile Drive, closer to Monterey than Pebble Beach, the hotel allows guests to enjoy easy access to all the shops and eateries near Cannery Row.

    Pebble Beach, CA
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 781 reviewsTripAdvisor (781)
    5.0-star Hotel Class
    Good Critic Rating
    Free Parking
    Free WiFi