California

Hotels in California

The folks at the Philo Apple Farm once owned the French Laundry; now they grow 80 varieties of apples and rent out four charming cottages. Everything seems art-directed at the four-room property—from the honor-system harvest stand to the arbor-shaded table for alfresco dinners.

This beachfront hotel is located near the Santa Monica Pier, Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica’s Ocean Front Walk. Each of the 173 rooms have canary-yellow walls and come with private balconies and marble-tiled bathrooms.

In downtown Yountville, a series of 100-year old train cars that have been converted into overnight rooms that make up the Napa Valley Railway Inn. Bright red in color, there are nine suites within the property and a small shop called the Coffee Caboose that sells morning beverages and pastries.

Stay right on the beach at the affordable hotel, whose once-shabby rooms have been nicely renovated; many still contain full kitchens.

A white picket fence and a 300-foot cliff are the only things that come between guests of Lucia Lodge and the Pacific Ocean.

Secreted away on the less-touristed western edge of the park, Evergreen Lodge is a 1921 former general store and tavern (and brothel, as legend would have it) that recently built 24 cedar cabins in old-growth forest.

Staying in the 100 rooms or suites, each with its own balcony, at the Borrego Springs Resort, is like staying at a spa. Play the 18-hole Desert Willow and Mesquite courses or sip herbal tea in the lounge at Spa Serenity.

The hotel opened in 1992 and is made up entirely of small buildings set on a ridge high above the Pacific. In 2008 Post Ranch added 10 new sculptural structures, spiraling Pacific Suites, cantilevered Peak Houses, and Richard Serra-esque Cliff houses clad in torques of rusted steel.

A retro façade and otherworldly interior distinguish this 1925 Spanish-Moroccan-style hotel just blocks from the Staples Center.

A secluded go-to spot for Hollywood royalty since opening in 1946, Alisal is a resort as much as a ranch, with two 18-hole golf courses, a spa, a private pond for fishing, boating, and tennis courts (and no TVs in the rooms to distract you).

Santa Cruz’s only beachfront hotel, the just-renovated 165-room property has morphed (thanks to new management by the Joie de Vivre group) from tired 1960s cinderblock to jaunty retro-chic boutique—and has its own pool to boot.

The sunny seaside town of Del Mar, between L.A. and San Diego, offers an increasingly hard-to-find slice of old-school SoCal relaxation.

Fresh off an $8 million renovation in 2010, Paradise Point offers travelers a getaway on a private island—though it’s conveniently only minutes from downtown San Diego and is adjacent to SeaWorld.