California is the top vacation destination in the United States. The Golden State and it’s many sunny days draw tourists from all over the world. It has tons of sites and activities to offer all around its borders, from lakes, national parks, and mountains, to dozens of big and small cities and towns. However, equally important as the destination goal is the accommodation that you need. With that in mind, below is a list of top 10 luxury resorts in this American state. Keep in mind most are on the very expensive side, but some do offer different discounts throughout the year.
1. Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa
Around 30 minutes north from San Diego by car is the Rancho Valencia, somewhat off the beaten path, which is why the people going there actually love it. This is a Relais & Châteaux property that has amazingly well-manicured plants all around. When it comes to amenities and activities, they offer anything that a traveler might need. Visitors have a respectful and thoughtful staff to tend their needs, while the guest rooms are filled with aesthetics. They here are of the Mediterranean kind and have hacienda-inspired architecture, hardwood furnishings, and colorful accents. The tubs are those deep-soaking ones, while private balconies or patios are there for an amazing dinner out in fresh air. Pampering-wise, the Rancho Valencia has a spa that offers such indulgences like herb-infused body wraps and numerous different massage therapies. The cuisine that is served at their Veladora restaurant is mouthwatering, and it perfectly complements this stunning environment.
2. Fairmont Grand Del Mar
This resort is located around 20 miles north of San Diego, in the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve. It offers the visitors of coastal California luxury from the very moment they are inside its lobby. People who have been here posting reviews praising the incredibly spacious rooms, the deep-soaking tubs, Nespresso coffee machines, and a very rich Tuscan décor. This all sounds like a perfect place to relax. However, if this is still not enough for you, a five-star spa, swimming pools, and a golf course are all available for the guests of the resort. The Grand Del Mar is famous for their food as well, and the Addison and Amaya restaurants of the hotel serve French and Mediterranean food and regional wines. The consistently friendly customer service tends to your every wish, and it is therefore easy to see why the guests leave with a five-star experience of a lifetime. The hotel is a member of the AccorHotels portfolio and allows guests to both earn and redeem Le Club AccorHotels perks.
3. The Resort at Pelican Hill
The next resort on our list overlooks several golf courses and the Pacific Ocean. It earns praise for a very relaxed ambiance and a set of luxurious amenities. They have an impressive circular Coliseum Pool, and you can choose between a bungalow and a villa accommodation type. Their villas are more spacious and have separate living quarters, perfect for family trips. However, no matter what room you choose, warm neutral tones and exposed wood ceilings will be there to welcome you, complete with Italian limestone fireplaces. The views of the ocean or the fairways from your private terraces are the stuff of dreams. Most families enjoy The Resort at Pelican Hill because of its dozens of outdoor activities for kids and teens through their Camp Pelican program and clubhouse. Adults can try their luck at a golf course, have a relaxing session at The Spa at Pelican Hill, or have a peaceful dinner at one of the eateries.
4. The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe
If you decide to stay here, get ready for sweeping mountain vistas and lots of rustic furnishings. Guests love visiting The Ritz-Carlton at Lake Tahoe for their fantastic customer service, great choice of tasty food and a lovely atmosphere. This is a ski-in-ski-out location near Lake Tahoe shores, which allows the visitors prime access to the slopes and two championship golf courses located close by. When it comes to the hotel itself, amenities include a peaceful spa and different gourmet restaurants. Reviews praise the large rooms, comfortable beds, and the overall beautiful setting. Rooms and suites have that comfy mountain lodge look and vibe, along with stone fireplaces, wood trims and beautiful views out of the windows. Guests usually adore their stays at this hotel, but some were not happy with the fee, especially because of the high room rates. Members of Marriott Bonvoy can use points for discounts.
5. The Lodge at Torrey Pines
If you are a fan of activities like hiking, swimming, golfing, and sunbathing, a stay at The Lodge at Torrey Pines could be your perfect California vacation. There is a state park to the north, while La Jolla beaches are to the south. There is a woodsy and rustic ambiance of coastal California to enjoy all around the hotel grounds. Guest rooms have hardwood furnishing and they overlook Torrey Pines Golf Course. The resort also comes equipped with cozy fireplaces in the common areas, while the spa, an outdoor pool, and a hot tub are in charge of relaxation. If you want to stay active during your stay, the fitness center is there for you. The visitors who have been here usually love the unique touches like the doormen in a kilt, while the delicious California food at the A.R. Valentien restaurant is a fan favorite. There is a $35 daily fee on top of your payment, which covers amenities like the free Wi-Fi access throughout the property and golf balls.
6. Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort
The impeccable service and beautiful grounds are the things Ventana offers to its guests. According to the reviews by travelers, the guests have many opportunities to take up different activities like hiking or taking outdoor yoga classes, all before cooling off at the spa resort or in the two swimming pools. At one, clothing is optional. Guests are also generally happy with the delicious cuisine at The Sur House, which has a menu filled with local ingredients prepared in many creative ways and paired with a whole list of fine wines. The accommodations vary in size from 414 to 1,200 square feet, but all of the rooms have comfortable beds, artisan minibars, and private decks with breathtaking Big Sur views. The hotel is some 30 miles south of Monterey.
7. Meadowood Napa Valley
Spread across 250 acres in the quaint St. Helena, California, the Meadowood Napa Valley resort is known for winning its guests over with the serene landscapes and a perfectly isolated spot. The decor of the rooms oozes rustic elegance. It has details like cottage beamed ceilings, private terraces, and fireplaces in most of the rooms. The cost of this hotel is quite high, but the guests are treated with exceptional services and activities like croquet, tennis, and golf. Several pools and a large fitness center are also located on the grounds. The on-site spa is an amazing experience while repeating meals at The Restaurant is a common practice. If you happen to stay at the Meadowood one day, keep in mind that you will be close to the Castello di Amorosa Winery and the Schramsberg Vineyards. These two sites have exceptional tours and tastings worth your time, especially if you adore wine.
8. Montage Laguna Beach
This resort is the epitome of relaxed class and beauty of Southern California. The hotel is located along the shore, south of downtown Laguna Beach, and it is famous among tourists. Accommodations include feather top beds, bathrooms in marble, turn of the century décor, and private terraces or balconies with stunning ocean views. However, you will not spend that much time inside your room. Except for the usual activities at the large beach area, you can relax at a lounge next to the pool, shop at boutiques, book a spa treatment, and eat gourmet meals at their three great restaurants. If you have a date night here, guests say they had an intimate atmosphere and local California cuisine at the Studio, in what was a perfect romantic evening. Family programs for children are also available, while the upscale environment of the resort is nice for couples.
9. Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa
South of Carlsbad, California and on the Batiquitos Lagoon is the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa. Former guests speak of giant size and romantic ambiance of this hotel. The architecture of the houses is Spanish colonial, and the rooms inside are spacious and dressed in plush furniture. They have marble bathrooms and separate living areas, while the grounds also have four restaurants and an amazing 15,000 square foot Aviara Spa. If you are a golfer, the esteemed Kip Puterbaugh’s Aviara Golf Academy and Club will be the place you spend a lot of time. However, it is what comes extra that really provides luxury to the guests. If you need umbrellas, towels or chairs for the beach, you can rent them. If you want to learn how to surf, the Surf Concierge provides lessons. Lastly, members of the World of Hyatt program can use points for perks.
10. Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara
For some of the best views of the Pacific Ocean from their shorefront perch, make your way east of downtown Santa Barbara to the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara. It is famous for its lovely décor and friendly and attending staff. The architecture of the resort is Spanish Colonial Revival, and there are 207 spacious rooms and suites for the guests, which are bright and airy thanks to the large windows and views. The overall property is spread on 22 acres, and there is a lot to do here. The in-house spa has a whole list of treatments, and if you need rest and relaxation without paying extra, the outdoor pool is just perfect. The certified staff will provide the kids with supervised activities while you are off for a romantic meal at the Tydes if you like seafood, or the Bella Vista if you are in the mood for local Californian cuisine with a touch of Italian.