Hotels in California

Built on pylons over Monterey Bay, the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is the closest hotel to the ocean on the northern California peninsula. Dolphins swim by the property almost daily, and travelers on their private balconies can often spot sea otter searching for oysters.

A stay at Bernardus Lodge proves that Napa hotels don’t have a monopoly on California’s premier wine country.

Ideal for couples, this adults-only inn originated as a 19th-century stagecoach stop on the east bank of the Napa River.

The Palm Springs Modern architectural style owes its beginning to William F. Cody, and this low-profile hotel, built in 1952 for a Hollywood producer, is preserved as a tribute to his mid-century modern designs.

Check into this groovy, early 70s-inspired boutique hotel with a saltwater pool and 14 rooms kitted out in white lacquer, glass, chrome, and 500-thread-count sheets.

The 29 airy rooms, decorated in neutral creams and beiges, are situated on a bluff above the harbor, and many have views of the Pacific. French doors open to the ocean air in the downstairs sunroom, where a breakfast of artichoke quiche and fluffy pancakes is served.

This 1927 historic landmark in Yosemite Valley has a stunning setting, surrounded by forest, waterfalls, and towering cliffs and just minutes from the trailheads to El Capitan and Half Dome.

This luxury retreat in the Santa Monica Mountains is focused on exercise, nutrition, and a tech disconnect from everyday life. Ten hours of daily exercise, mostly hiking, is mandatory during the week-long stay, along with a regiment of yoga, stretching, and toning.

Set on the waterfront of a small-craft marina, the Ritz-Carlton is one of the more traditional hotel spaces in Los Angeles. Public spaces, such as hallways and the lobby lounge, have a rich, ballroom feel from a mix of polished wood and fabric furnishings.

Ideal for first-time visitors, this four-story hotel is within walking distance of the wharf and less than two miles from the Embarcadero and Union Square. Originally built in the mid 1970’s, the hotel was extensively renovated in 2009, introducing a tasteful beach theme.

The most fun of the four California hotels designed by Kor Hotel Group collaborator Kelly Wearstler, the 162-room Viceroy seems like an extension of the nearby amusement park on Santa Monica Pier .

This sprawling, opulent resort, set just a few miles north of downtown Sonoma, might as well be its own private island; its vast array of on-site amenities could lead you to completely forget about the surrounding wine country.

The 59-room Best Western Movie Manor Motor Inn is so named as it is attached to a drive-in movie theater. Film season runs from the middle of May to the middle of September, during which time guests can watch featured films from their rooms.

Formerly a dairy (dating from the 1850’s), and saved from condominium development by Clint Eastwood in 1986, the hotel features a delightful restaurant.