Best Luxury Hotels In California

The glamorous vibes of California attract the rich and famous, not least as this state is home to the international capital of movie-making, Hollywood, Los Angeles. The state manages to be simultaneously laid-back and perfectly polished, depending on where you choose to go. Come here to walk the steps of celebrities, get the Baywatch beach experience, enjoy a near-perfect climate, observe the latest trends in wellness, lifestyle, food and fashion, or to road trip the epic California coastline. Here are the hotels we recommend for your next west coast adventures.

Los Angeles

The Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles

A brand that needs no introduction, The 123 bedroomed Ritz-Carlton offers a British touch. This family-friendly property stands on the edge of the city’s downtown district. An in-house WP24 Restaurant by Wolfgang Puck serves fancy Chinese cuisine – and is one of the places to be seen in the local area. Or dine in one of its alternative cafes, eateries and bars. Take a dip in The Ritz-Carlton’s rooftop cabana-lined pool, or the outdoor hot tub, while soaking in the panoramic views of LA’s skyline. The spa is one of the largest in town and it has a state of the art fitness centre. 

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Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel

In possession of a salubrious address, this hotel is found right across the road from Rodeo Drive. At the centre of the property, is the hotel’s Mediterranean styled heated pool and dining terrace, providing an opportunity to quaff cocktails and soak up some rays from your own comfy cabana. Michelin starred cuisine is on-site, in the form of CUT, a seafood and steakhouse restaurant (also by acclaimed restauranteur Wolfgang Puck). Or watch the world go by from the front of the building, with a chic and healthy lunch at THE Blvd. Pets are made very welcome if you want to bring them along, with bowls and baskets provided. 

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Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills

Towering above the neighbouring properties with its 12 floors, the Waldorf Astoria cuts a striking presence on Beverly Hill’s Wilshire Boulevard. As you may expect, this means it has the most breathtaking views around. Seek out its rooftop deck offering 360 degrees vistas – it has a hot tub, bar, a saltwater pool and a restaurant. Each of the 170 rooms has a private terrace and smart technology providing an extra wow factor. The hotel was designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon featuring an epic three-story lobby. Guests are treated to the hotel’s Rolls Royce chauffeur service within the local area and can book divine treatments at in-house La Prairie Spa. 

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The West Hollywood EDITION

Located on Sunset Boulevard (a setting used by Billy Wilder for his 1950 movie by the same name), this glass-fronted hotel has a tiered, eco-friendly greenery-clad exterior. This was Edition’s first property on the West Coast, having opened in 2019 in collaboration with the Marriott group. It has 190 loft-like rooms with floor to ceiling windows, a basement, club, spa, two restaurants, a moodily lit rooftop pool, a screening room and oodles of artworks. 20 penthouse residences have been included in the build, for those who want to linger longer. There’s a focus on sustainability here, in a hotel that attracts cool, creative types. 

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The Langham, Huntington, Pasadena

A veteran of the LA hotel scene at over a century old, this grand hotel was rebuilt (to be earthquake-proof) in the 1980s. Flanked by the San Gabriel mountains, its 23 acres include Japanese gardens, a croquet lawn, a badminton area and an outdoor pool. Inside, guests can enjoy a European style vintage opulence. Chinese medicine-based treatments are offered at the Chuan Spa. And meals are taken alfresco on a poolside terrace, or in The Royce Wood-Fired Steakhouse, while an art deco era prohibition-style bar is a sophisticated spot for cocktails.  

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SLS Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Beverly Hills

For incredible views over Beverly Hills, head to the Altitude Pool and cocktail bar – in the summer, guests can take part in calming rooftop yoga by day and party with the Sounds Like Summer weekend DJ sessions by night. Seven categories of room are available in this large establishment (comprising a total of 297 bedrooms, 61 of which are suites). All of them come with a fully stocked minibar and Philippe Starck designer features. Its Ciel spa is one of the few in the city to offer the Biologique Recherche facial and anti-ageing treatments. 

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Mondrian Los Angeles

A four-star property situated on Sunset Boulevard’s lively strip, the Mondrian received a trendy makeover to the tune of 19 million dollars in 2019. Concrete and glass contribute to Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz’s bold design aesthetic, alongside whimsical features like the indoor swing and mushroom style reception desk. 237 soundproofed contemporary rooms are spread across 12 floors and a sleek swimming pool area is surrounded by teak decking. Seafood is the speciality at the hotel’s Herringbone Restaurant. Pets and children are welcome to stay here too. 

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The Peninsula Beverly Hills

Previously named the best hotel in Los Angeles by readers of Travel + Leisure, this is the only hotel in the region to have received an AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star accolade every year since 1993. Offering an enhanced level of flexibility, check-in (and out) can be arranged at any time of the day or night as part of the brand’s Peninsula Time experience. Accommodating 195 rooms, suites and villas, it’s nestled in lush tropical gardens, with an additional rooftop garden home to a pool and dining area. The Peninsula is on Santa Monica Boulevard (an address made famous by Sheryl Crow’s song All I Wanna Do), which is a short walk to Rodeo Drive. 

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Napa Valley

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley

Surrounded by hundreds of acres of vineyards and a backdrop of forests and mountains, the Four Seasons Resort and Residences offers a supreme location. It’s set on a highly esteemed vineyard in Calistoga and is brand new for November 2021. The resort has 85 bedrooms and suites and a stone spa sanctuary with the option of alfresco treatments using local mud. The dining offer includes Truss, with its signature farm-to-table dishes, a Californian-Mexican open-air eatery and a wine tasting room. There are two outdoor pools one of which is adults only and a programme of activities for younger guests, making it ideal for families wishing to relax together.

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Auberge du Soleil

First imagined by the French restauranteur Claude Claude Rouas in the 1980s, this was the valley’s original fine-dining destination. Here hotel guests get a taste of Provence, surrounded by US wine country. There are 50 bedrooms at the property ranging from private Maisons to classic rooms. But of course, it’s the culinary offer that is the highlight at Auberge du Soleil. Three and four-course set menus are offered alongside five and six-course tasting menus – these are sensory experiences that excite the pallet. Meals are accompanied by French-inspired cocktails, bubbles from the tableside champagne cart and of course the extensive wine list. There’s also a bistro and bar for a more relaxed approach to mealtime, with stunning sunset views at the end of the day. Auberge du Soleil has been in receipt of a Michelin star for 14 consecutive years.

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Bardessono Hotel and Spa

Opened in 2009, this 62 room boutique hotel and spa are set on a five-acre site in Yountville. The brand is committed to sustainability with reusable materials, including salvaged wood, found throughout the property. Bardessono Hotel may be eco-friendly, but it’s nevertheless extremely luxurious. The rooms teem with natural light thanks to large picture windows, fountains bubble outside and art adorns the walls. It has a heated rooftop pool with a hot tub and gym, yoga classes and complimentary bike hire for those who wish to get active. Guests seeking the VIP treatment can book a steam spa suite with champagne soaking tubs and massage tables. Many rooms offer 100% Egyptian cotton linens, gas fireplaces, REN toiletries and iPads for use during the stay.

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Alila Napa Valley

Located in St Helena, a stroll away from shops and restaurants, this Hyatt hotel is linked via a wooden footbridge to the prestige Beringer Vineyards. Book a room on one of the upper floors to take advantage of the best views over the winery and a suite, if you want a space the size of an entire apartment (with an expansive terrace). The gym has Peleton bikes, or you can use one of the hotel’s Trek bikes to get outdoors and there’s a small outdoor pool, set into a sleek terrace. Acacia House is Alila’s restaurant and it’s open to the public. Order small plates like burrata and tuna tartare, with mains including diver scallops with smoked pork belly, local McFarland’s spring trout and California burger.

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Carneros Resort and Spa

Housed in a range of what were originally farm structures, Carneros rocks a kind of sustainably-minded agricultural chic. The spa carries this theme, with earthy natural ingredients, as does its lounge-style restaurant, The Farm. An infinity pool provides a wonderful spot to soak in the countryside (it’s adults-only, so you can enjoy some peace and quiet – there’s another pool for families). Choose to stay in one of 86 cottages on-site, all with their own gardens, patios and decks with gas heaters and outdoor showers.

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Solage, Auberge Resorts Collection

Palm trees stand sentinel at the end of the pool, with neatly arranged plush sun loungers and angular parasols in front of a mountainous backdrop creating an aesthetic that wouldn’t be out of place in – not so far away – Los Angeles. There’s another six pools at Solage – one for kids and five geothermal pools in the spa. Rooms here have a calming, minimal feel and botanical toiletries, while some have outdoor patios with sofas, fire pits and hot tubs. Farm-fresh fine cuisine is served in the restaurant, with snacks and drinks available on the terrace during the day.

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Palm Springs

The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage

Stay among the gated communities of Rancho Mirage, in this Ritz-Carlton property overlooking Coachella Valley — the hotel’s Edge Steakhouse offers some of the best vistas. The hotel opened in 1988 but has been modernised many times since. It has two restaurants serving seasonal dishes, two pools surrounded by plush exclusive cabanas and a high tech fitness centre. Its spa treatments take their inspiration from the surrounding land, using indigenous botanicals within the treatments. And guests can join yoga classes or request personal training sessions. Bedrooms exude a typical Palm Springs feel, with polished dark wood, offset by light-coloured soft furnishings.

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Parker Palm Springs

Displaying a slightly bohemian, artistic flair, the Parker Palm Springs takes on Morrocan, maritime, pop art and retro American influences in its styling. The design plays beautifully with colour in the spaces and bedrooms are filled with unique, eclectic collectables. Guests can find nooks and crannies among the two swimming pools (one for families) croquet lawns, bocce courts, fruit trees and herb gardens; lie in a hammock, play ping-pong, play tennis, sip on boozy fresh lemonade and dine in the two restaurants. Those arriving at the wellness centre – The Palm Springs Yacht Club – are furnished with white cotton terry robes, flip flops and a thimble of cucumber-infused vodka.

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Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs Hotel

Rising seven floors (very high by Palm Springs standards), this artful Kimpton hotel has a rooftop pool area – which feels a little like a cruise liner – with a view of the downtown area. On arrival, guests are greeted by a double-height light-filled lobby, with huge windows and a huge macrame owl. Beyond this, there’s the orange celinged Juniper Table restaurant, the top floor 4Saints dining room, a fireside Window Bar and a poolside High Bar. Valet parking, a house car for short journeys, free bicycle hire and use of yoga mats are all included in your stay.

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San Diego

Fairmont Grand Del Mar

An award-winning championship golf course, a Forbes Five-Star spa (with its own custom organic product line), four heated pools, tennis courts, indoor and outdoor gyms and a Michelin starred restaurant are just some of the facilities you can take advantage of when checking in here. It has 249 rooms and suites, with opulent marble bathrooms and balconies. The Spanish Mission-style property is surrounded by 400 acres of landscaped gardens and a wild coastal canyon. It’s easy to see why the Fairmont Grand del Mar was voted the #1 Luxury Hotel in California by Trip Advisor travellers. 

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The Lodge at Torrey Pines

Inspired by the Pasedenan Gamble and Blacker houses, The Lodge at Torrey Pines (read our review here) is family-owned and run by locals. Leather, dark woods, crisp white linens and vintage touches play heavily in the decor aesthetic. 170 rooms include mini-bars, complimentary shoeshine service and toiletries featuring the hotel’s signature scent. The lodge is found on the 18th green of the Torrey Pines South Course (once played by previous President Barack Obama). So it presents a prime location for those seeking to practice their swing in the finest of company – this year the same course hosted the US Open providing guests with grandstand views. The onsite restaurant is suitably high-end and the hotel offers delightful extras such as twice-daily guided hikes. 

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Park Hyatt Aviara Resort

This Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond luxury resort has an enviable coastal location in a quiet neighbourhood, along with excellent amenities. There’s an 18-hole Arnold Palmer designed golf course, first-rate tennis courts, a spa with 20 treatment rooms, an adult-only pool and cabanas, waterslides for the kids, and a sociable programme of varied activities ideal for those travelling solo. The Park Hyatt Aviara is sizable – it has 327 spacious rooms and lots going on throughout the day and night. This makes it perfect for families – or single travellers – wanting plenty to do, both in and around the hotel’s perimeter.

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The Loews Coronado Bay Resort and Spa

For a full-on beach (or boating) holiday, choose this 439 room resort on the Coronado Peninsula. It has its very own full-service 80-slip marina offering gondola rides, surf lessons and sunset cruises. And there’s a beach shuttle – although it is just a five-minute walk along a private path from the resort to the sandy shores. This location does mean it’s a little further out from San Diego, but still within a 20-minute taxi ride. Pet and family-friendly, the hotel has a programme of events for kids, a teen lounge, three pools and a global fusion restaurant to keep all palates happy. 

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Pendry San Diego

Set downtown in the lively Gaslamp Quarter, this smart 12-storey hotel opened in 2017. Geared toward a young and trendy crowd, it has a stylish rooftop pool house (the place to party on summer nights), a chic cocktail bar, a nightclub, multiple restaurants, a beer hall, coffee bar, Moët & Chandon champagne vending machine and a bijou boutique. Urban rooms have ocean-inspired artwork, vintage writing desks, 50” TVs and French macarons popped on the pillow during the nightly turndown service. On higher levels, guests can enjoy views across the city and toward the bay. 

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San Francisco

Four Seasons San Francisco at Embarcadero

Conveniently located just a short walk from Union Square, the Ferry Building and Fisherman’s wharf, the second Four Seasons hotel in San Francisco is a sky high urban retreat. With unparalleled panoramic views from the 11 floors of the 48-storey landmark building the hotel offers guests a choice of contemporary designed rooms and suites; from a deluxe city view room to a golden gate view corner suite. With a 24-hour fitness and business centre this hotel is as equally suited to business guests as it is leisure. The hotel eagerly anticipates its new concept signature restaurant and bar (due to open 2022) and meanwhile an all-day In-Room dining service is the convenient choice for great food for those who don’t wish to venture far. The expert concierge team is always on hand to tailor the best experiences for guests to fully immerse themselves in the incredible things to do in this culturally diverse and vibrant city.

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InterContinental Mark Hopkins

This historic hotel boasts impressive period architecture and one of the best views over the city from its vantage point in the classy Nob Hill neighbourhood. Whilst the InterContinental preserves the luxurious atmosphere and stunning decor dating back to the 1920s, it’s recently undergone a multi-million dollar modernisation and restoration to ensure you have the most comfortable stay. In easy reach of all the top sightseeing destinations, you’ll be able to visit the sights and relax in the beautifully appointed rooms and suites. Head to the rooftop lounge and restaurant, Top of the Mark, to watch the sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Area while you sip cocktails and taste the delectable cuisine.

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The iconic Fairmont San Francisco is renowned as one of the most luxurious hotels around, offering incomparable customer service. You can dine at any of its three restaurants, offering a variety of cuisine from California-inspired dishes at the Laurel Court Restaurant to Polynesian fusion in the Tonga Room and European cafe culture at Caffe Cento. The Fairmont’s location offers spectacular views over San Francisco and with the cable car lines just a few steps away, there’s easy access to Union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown and other famous tourist attractions. You’ll be able to explore the bustling vibrant city and then retire to the peace and serenity of your hotel. Check out the One-of-a-Kind Suites if you’re really wanting to push the boat out and indulge yourself – and why not?!

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Hotel VIA

This chic boutique hotel in South Beach, San Francisco will wow you with the personalised services and packages it provides. You can relax and enjoy your vacation without needing to do any planning or stressing about a single detail. From the San Francisco Giants Experience to champagne and caviar under the stars in the Celebration package, there’s something for everyone. Take in the eye-catching art in the City Room as you breakfast, make use of the high-speed technology throughout the hotel and in each room or use the state-of-the-art Fitness Centre, all whilst knowing that Hotel VIA has ensured that everything from the construction to the laundry is carried out in an environmentally friendly manner.

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Hotel Drisco

Hotel Drisco, a sophisticated Edwardian building dating back to 1903, will impress you with its excellent service, luxury fittings and little perks like free bicycles to use during your stay. Guests have a distinctly San Franciscan experience here, staying in the friendly Pacific Heights neighbourhood nestled in the hilltops, a short step away from the bustle of the city centre. You’ll be able to help yourself to delicious local delicacies like currant scones with lemon curd, smoked salmon and brie and local hand-made granola from the breakfast buffet and the daily evening wine reception is not to be missed.

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Hotel Zetta

Located in the SoMa neighbourhood, the Hotel Zetta is perfectly situated in central San Francisco. This sleekly sophisticated modern hotel is the ideal place to stay while you take in the city. Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, Hotel Zetta will not fail to impress with its unique blend of an elegant historic exterior and a sharp interior design showing off the best of cutting-edge art and design elements. Dine on British staples at The Cavalier brassiere, like fish and

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