The Best Resort Hotels in California in 2016

Farmhouse Inn
Photo: Courtesy of Farmhouse Inn

The Golden State has a lot to offer travelers: towering redwoods, 840 miles of coastline, the country’s most famous wine region, and 10 national parks, for starters. If you need a place to stay while enjoying California’s natural bounty, the choices are nearly as wonderful and varied, from oceanfront resorts to vineyard inns. Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe—to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise lines, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated hotels on their rooms and facilities, location, service, food and drink, and overall value. Properties were categorized as city or resort based on their locations. Perhaps unsurprisingly, wine-country properties proved tough to beat. You may be able to smell the ocean from the terrace of Montage Laguna Beach, which ranked seventh on our list. The Brewery Gulch Inn, an upscale-rustic property perched on a bluff on the Mendocino coast, made it to No. 5. And three of the top 10 resort hotels in California are in Napa and Sonoma counties. MeadowoodNapa Valley, in St. Helena, offers an impressive range of activities, including golf, tennis, and croquet, while Bardessono, in the middle of the Napa Valley town of Yountville, offers personalized wine tours and in-room spa treatments. “Very luxurious without being stuffy,” was how one T+L reader described the hotel. “The rooms are state of the art, and the outdoor shower can't be beat.” Read on for the full list.

01 of 10

No. 10: Bernardus Lodge & Spa, Carmel Valley

Bernardus Lodge & Spa
Courtesy of Bernardus Lodge and Spa

Score: 94.18

02 of 10

No. 9: Meadowood Napa Valley, St. Helena

Meadowood Napa Valley
Courtesy of Meadowood Napa Valley

Score: 94.20

03 of 10

No. 8: Bardessono, Yountville

Courtesy of Bardessono

Score: 94.24

04 of 10

No. 7: Montage Laguna Beach

Montage Laguna Beach
Courtesy of Montage Laguna Beach

Score: 94.31

05 of 10

No. 6: Inn Above Tide, Sausalito

Inn Above Tide
Courtesy of Inn Above Tide

Score: 94.62

06 of 10

No. 5: Brewery Gulch Inn, Mendocino

Courtesy of Brewery Gulch Inn

Score: 95.59

07 of 10

No. 4: Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, Rancho Santa Fe

Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa
Courtesy of Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa

Score: 95.69

08 of 10

No. 3: Rosewood Sand Hill, Menlo Park

Rosewood Sand Hill
Courtesy of Rosewood Sand Hill

Score: 96

09 of 10

No. 2: Château du Sureau, Oakhurst

Château du Sureau
Courtesy of Château du Sureau

Score: 96.77

10 of 10

No. 1: Farmhouse Inn, Forestville

Farmhouse Inn
Courtesy of Farmhouse Inn

Score: 97.07

In Sonoma County, Farmhouse Inn is surrounded by more than 400 wineries and features a world-class spa and Michelin-starred restaurant. It has just 25 rooms and suites, done in a modern-country style — and an extraordinary guest-to-staff ratio, including six concierges and four bellmen. In the evening guests gather around a fire pit for s’mores made from house-made marshmallows and Valrhona chocolate. “This is a true hidden gem in the heart of west Sonoma County,” one survey respondent wrote. “The food is five-star quality and the service is equal to any big city hotel.”

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