There is an amazing variety of high-end coastal accommodations in California. There’s a natural beauty, which ranges from the secluded beaches and rocky cliffs of the North Coast to the waves, surfers, and dolphins of the South. Each vacation spot also features its own set of high-end services, activities, and facilities, such as luxury spas, gourmet restaurants, swimming pools, golf courses, and beachside yoga.
Top 8 hotels in California, US
Check out these top 10 hotels in California, sorted from north to south, that are just as breathtaking as their locations.
- Montage Laguna Beach
- Shutters on the Beach
- Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara
- Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur
- Hotel del Coronado, San Diego
- The Surfrider, Malibu
- Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa
- Carneros Resort and Spa
Montage Laguna Beach
Located on 300 lush acres of soaring cliffs and pristine beaches, this resort represents Laguna Beach at its finest, and it is one of the finest hotels in all of California. Every one of the hotel’s 258 rooms and bungalows, because of the building’s unique horseshoe shape, looks out over the Pacific Ocean.
The rooms are bathed in soothing, horizon-framing tones that promote a sense of calm. Unwind in one of the 21 treatment rooms at the Spa Montage, located in the facility’s 20,000-square-foot spa. The tasting menu at Studio, one of three restaurants at Montage Laguna Beach, features local specialties such as spiny crab, antelope meat, sturgeon, and Santa Barbara abalone, as well as other exotic dishes.
- Address: 30801 Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651.
Shutters on the Beach
If you want to wake up to the fragrance of the Pacific Ocean and the salt in the air, but be close to all the excitement, then Shutters is the place for you. Perhaps its A-list guests (including Angelina Jolie, Christian Bale, and Brad Pitt) are the reason it’s known as Hollywood’s Beach House and one of California’s top hotels.
On the boardwalk next to the Santa Monica Pier, you can watch the world go by. Hotel guests may relax in comfort thanks to the hotel’s blue-chip art collection, which includes pieces by John Baldessari, Ellsworth Kelly, and Jasper Johns, among others.
The rooms on the beach have shutters that open up to the ocean. After a busy day in Los Angeles, you’ll appreciate the four-poster mattresses, walnut furnishings, and custom-made bedding. Fresh seafood (and other alternatives) and an impressive wine selection can be found at both 1 Pico and Coast.
- Address: 1 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405.
Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara
This 22-acre resort resembles the Mediterranean (with hints of Spanish Colonial) and is located in an area known as the American Riviera, and it is one of California’s top hotels. The rooms, which have rain showers, deep soaking tubs, decorative ironwork, and walnut furnishings, are just as impressive as the hotel’s jungle-like gardens and manse-like architecture.
The Four Seasons Resort Santa Barbara is a true heaven on Earth. Surrounding the 22-acre Biltmore Santa Barbara property are majestic oak trees, colorful flowers, and swaying palm trees. The Spanish Colonial style from the 1920s is also very remarkable.
The 207 rooms offer the air of an elegant cottage, while the lobby includes tile detailing, wood-beamed ceilings, and lovely arches. Bungalows, such as the Anacapa Suite with its private plunge pool, fire pit, driveway, and balconies overlooking Butterfly Beach, are also available. Meanwhile, the spa has rooms that look out over the water from where guests can get treatments.
- Address: 1260 Channel Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93108.
Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur
The Post Ranch Inn, perched spectacularly on the cliffs above Big Sur, is unlike any other hotel in the world, and it sure is one of the best hotels in California. The divide between the hotel and the surrounding redwood forest is nearly invisible at this 39-room establishment. There are fireplaces, outdoor showers, and hot tubs on their own decks, and the floor-to-ceiling windows provide breathtaking views of the ocean.
The spa has a strong focus on healing, and if you want to get to the bottom of whatever is bothering you, you may schedule a session with Shaman Jon Rasmussen. The ponds on the cliff’s edge make for a breathtaking vantage point for stargazing.
- Address: 47900 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920.
Hotel del Coronado, San Diego
The Hotel del Coronado, or “Del” to locals, turns 135 in 2023 and can lay claim to a heritage that few other American hotels can match. At the time of Marilyn Monroe’s popularity in 1958, when the beaches were packed with fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the actress, the film Some Like It Hot was shot here. This resort is, without a doubt, one of the top hotels in California.
In 1920, the hotel hosted a lavish banquet in honor of Edward, Prince of Wales, where he met the love of his life, Wallis Simpson, who lived only a few blocks away (her quaint Craftsman cottage now resides on the hotel’s grounds).
Its wooden Victorian splendor has attracted celebrities like Charlie Chaplin and Katherine Hepburn, and today’s guests are drawn by the hotel’s prime beachfront location, comfortable guest rooms, and lush garden courtyard, which was once home to a menagerie of monkeys, parrots, and tortoises.
- Address: 1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118.
The Surfrider, Malibu
Located just off Pacific Coast Highway, this formerly run-down hotel is now one of Malibu’s most popular destinations and California’s top hotels. The atmosphere is chill and surf chic. The hotel’s youthful, worldly proprietors renovated it into a chic, upscale beach resort filled with unique touches like souvenirs and wares from local artisans.
Additionally, guests can rent custom surfboards and a vintage Land Rover to get to nearby surf spots like Leo Carrillo Beach. The 20 airy rooms are furnished with clean linen, reclaimed wood, and neutral color palettes, and all include balconies with breathtaking ocean views. However, the rooftop terrace, which is accessible only to hotel guests, is a popular gathering spot after sundown.
- Address: 23033 E Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265.
Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa
Despite being situated on a peaceful 45-acre plot, the resort’s primary attractions are active ones. Rancho Valencia is a haven for tennis players, with 19 courts (including two European clay courts) for serving up aces, while nature lovers may go on hikes, bike rides, or participate in outdoor yoga sessions. This hotel is surely one of the finest hotels in all of California.
The close proximity to the Farms and Torrey Pines, two of the best golf courses in the world, should not be overlooked. Private and spacious, each of the 49 casita rooms at this hacienda-style hotel features vaulted ceilings, fireplaces, and patios with views of the olive and citrus forests and culinary gardens. The hotel’s two restaurants, Veladora and The Pony Room, invite guests to use foraged fruit as cocktail garnishes.
- Address: 5921 Valencia Cir, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067.
Carneros Resort and Spa
situated in the heart of Napa Valley, this region has the look and feel of a vineyard rather than a normal resort. The main structure, as well as the cottages and courtyard rooms, are laid out in a series of cul-de-sacs, creating the impression of a little town. If you are planning a trip to California and you are looking for a place to stay, you have to consider this resort as one of your options, as it is one of the best hotels in California.
The spacious rooms maintain the opulent country feel with individual fireplaces and French doors that open to stone patios and well-kept gardens. Farm, the resort’s restaurant, uses the hotel’s gardens and orchards to create dishes that change with the seasons and feature live music. You may not even feel the need to leave the facility.
- Address: 4048 Sonoma Hwy, Napa, CA 94559.