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California has it all – from large canyons, stunning bays, excellent surf beaches, striking redwood forests, deserts, and a host of luxurious resorts.

Thanks to this diversity, it’s no surprise you’ll find the most perfect hotel for your trip, whether it’s a city jaunt you’re after, a winter ski resort, or a mountain retreat.

But as with anything luxurious, these hotels and resorts won’t come cheap.

The good news, though, is that we’ve found the best resorts in California you can book with points!

Learn more about our points consulting services!


1. Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort

Ventana Big Sur

Ventana Big Sur. Image Credit: Ventana Big Sur

After Hyatt acquired Two Roads Hospitality in 2018, and by extension, the Alila brand, Ventana Big Sur has been dubbed as Hyatt’s most beautiful resort in the U.S. And once you set your eyes on this place, it’s easy to see why.

This adults-only California resort became an all-inclusive property starting in 2020, making it a fantastic place to splurge and redeem points.

Ventana Big Sur is located by Highway 1, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) on the south portion of Big Sur. For a lot of people, driving by this coastal highway is part of the experience when traveling to the state.

Once you arrive at the property, you’ll be enclosed in lush redwood forests with countless hiking trails to explore. For instance, the redwood trail at the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is a 10-minute drive from the resort, while the Bixby Bridge, is 20-minutes by car. The Big Sur Village and its many quaint shops and restaurants are also nearby.

In terms of accessibility, Ventana Big Sur is a 3-hour drive from San Francisco International Airport, a 2.5-hour drive from San Jose International, and a 1-hour drive from Monterey Regional Airport.

Ventana Big Sur is divided into two sections: the proper hotel at the lower portion and a glamping area, nestled amongst the redwoods.

There are 59 guest rooms, private villas, and suites in this hotel. Each room is as elegant and cozy as the other. Room sizes start at 414 square feet.

Inside the standard room is a smart TV, Nespresso machine, a minibar with curated items, premium bedding, king-sized bed, private bathroom, desk, free bottled water, iron/ironing board, in-room safe, free Wi-Fi, and a patio.

The bathroom is decked in glass and stone. They also come with large vanity sinks, toiletries, a hairdryer, a soaking tub, and rainfall showerheads. They’ve also made sure most rooms feature large windows to let in a lot of light and stunning views of nature.

Despite being in the middle of the mountains, Ventana Big Sur contains a lot of amenities including 2 heated outdoor swimming pools, a 24-hour fitness center, an art gallery, a spa with indoor cabins and a sauna, a restaurant, 1 main bar, 1 poolside bar, and free Wi-Fi.  

There’s also free self-parking and valet parking, a 24-hour front desk, room service, luggage storage, laundry, dry cleaning, and concierge services.

Ventana Big Sur was always pricey, and since it turned all-inclusive, the cash rates have skyrocketed. However, this is balanced out by the fantastic amenities, service, and the option to book with award points.

Luckily, points prices are the same, and this resort falls under World of Hyatt’s Category 8 designation, allowing you to exchange a room for points starting at 35,000 points per night.  

Room prices in the low season start at $2,250 for a standard room up to $3,000 per night (average $1,500). 

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2. Montage Laguna Beach

Montage Laguna Beach

Montage Laguna Beach. Image Credit: Montage Laguna Beach

Found off Southern California’s Orange County, Montage Laguna Beach has one of the best views if you’re after an authentic California beach escape.

This impressive hotel is located near key attractions in the region while being isolated enough to ensure you’re away from the craziness of Los Angeles or San Diego. However, if you do want to socialize then you’re just 40-minutes from Disneyland and 15-minutes away from Pelican Hill Golf Club.

Accessibility is also convenient when at the resort, it’s only an hour’s drive to Los Angeles International and 75-minutes to San Diego International Airport.

There are 250 rooms at the Montage Laguna Beach ranging in sizes from 500 to 2,800 square feet for the largest suites. Each one is modern and fresh with luxurious details and stylish balconies to boot.

Basic rooms have air conditioning, blackout drapes, hypo-allergenic Egyptian cotton linens, a pillow menu, and pillowtop cover. It also has an Espresso maker, minibar, a microwave (upon request), desk, flatscreen TV,  and free Wi-Fi. The rooms have large and stylish bathrooms with a soaking tub, designer toiletries, a hairdryer, a shower, a slipper, and robe.

In terms of amenities, the hotel has Wi-Fi available in all rooms and public areas. There’s valet parking with a fee, airport shuttle upon request, limo/town car service, electric car charging, 3 restaurants, 1 coffee shop, 1 bar, 1 poolside bar, an 18-hole golf course, 2 swimming pools, 2 spa tubs, a fitness center, full-service spa, sauna, steam room, and yoga classes.

There’s also a laundry service, a 24-hour front desk, a 24-hour business center, a conference room, a meeting area, and concierge services.

As a participating member of the Preferred Hotels-Choice Privileges partnership, you can redeem 55,000 Choice Privileges points per night for a stay here, which is exceptional.

Staying at Montage Laguna Beach will set you back $1,100 for the basic room in the low season. The same room costs $1,350 in the peak months. During the regular season, the rates are $1,300.

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Nugget of Advice:

Interested in learning how to optimize your points for incredible hotel stays and first class flights? Our students in The Points University, our 16-week travel hacking bootcamp, learn all the ins and outs of travel hacking!

3. The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel

The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel. Image Credit: The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel

If you want a luxury beach hotel with expansive ocean views, look no further than the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel.

Located in Dana Point, halfway between San Diego and Los Angeles, the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel is surrounded by beautiful scenery and a thriving locale. Dana Point itself was once a surfer town and a whaling capital.

Another nearby town is Laguna Beach, rife with artists and great for art lovers because of its abundant galleries, art museums, as well as shopping.

When at the resort, it’s just a 5-minute drive to the Ocean Institute as well as the Monarch Beach Golf. If you want to visit the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum, it’s 30-minutes away while attractions like the San Diego Zoo, Legoland, and California Adventure are just a 40-minute drive.

Expect a stunning coastal palette decorating the majority of the rooms here at the Ritz-Carlton. The most basic room in the property is a 400-square-foot space with plush blue and coral shades, white crown molding, and touches of gold trim.

All the rooms here feature a balcony or terrace, giving you a great view of the outside. You also get a  large king bed, hypoallergenic bedding, pillowtop cover, Egyptian cotton linens, and free Wi-Fi. They also have a coffee/tea maker, desk, fridge, closet, and private bathroom with shower, robe, slipper, designer toiletries, and towels.

The hotel comes with free Wi-Fi in the rooms as well as in public areas. There’s an electric charging station on the property, 5 restaurants, 1 coffee shop, 2 swimming pools, 2 bars, 1 poolside bar, 2 tennis courts, a full-service spa, spa, and yoga classes.

There’s also a 24-hour front desk, laundry service, concierge services, luggage storage, turndown service, supervised childcare, and 24-hour room service.

Without a doubt, this is one of Marriott’s most popular hotels, standard rooms here can be booked using 74,500 to 106,000 points per night.

The cash price for the basic room starts at $950 up to $1,800 per night (an average of $1,200). 

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Nugget of Advice:

Even if you have the highest Marriott elite status, you aren’t entitled to benefits like free breakfast, suite upgrades, and hotel credits. AuPACS clients get access to luxury and VIP benefits on all cash bookings for no additional cost!

4. Alila Napa Valley

Alila Napa Valley

Alila Napa Valley. Image Credit: Alila Napa Valley

The Alila Napa Valley was once a Marriott property known as the Las Alcobas. This adults-only retreat officially opened with its new name on March 2021. It’s equipped with 68 stylish rooms and a modern setting. This is the third hotel under Hyatt’s Alila brand, which centers on properties with an eco/nature-focused slant.

Near the hotel, you get a host of attractions to check out including Beringer Vineyard, a 3-minute walk away. The Culinary Institute of America is only a 12-minute walk. Take a car and head to the Old Faithful, it’s only a 15-minute drive. Alternatively, visit the Calistoga Hot Springs, which is a 13-minute drive. Now if it’s the wine you’re after, check out the Silver Oak Napa Valley Winery, a -15-minute drive from the resort.

The Alila Napa Valley features standard rooms and suites. Their standard room contains a king-sized bed, a balcony/terrace, air-conditioning, blackout drapes, hypo-allergenic bedding, and a pillowtop cover. There’s free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV, electric kettle, minibar, utensils, desk, safe, and a private bathroom with showers, toiletries, slippers, as well as towels.

Amenities inside the hotel match the luxury the hotel offers. You get free valet parking as well as an electric car charging station. Free Wi-Fi in public areas of the property, 1 restaurant, 1 bar, 1 poolside bar, gym, spa, 1 swimming pool, winery, steam room, and yoga/aerobics classes. There’s also a business center and conference spaces, a 24-hour front desk, concierge services, laundry service, and tour assistance.

As a World of Hyatt Category 8 property, the resort lets you book a free night using at least 35,000 points to 45,000 Hyatt points per night for a standard room. 

Rooms at the hotel start at $887 to $1,540 per night (an average of $947). 

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Looking for the perfect beach vacation without straying too far from home? We’ve got you covered with our guides to the best resorts in Florida you can book with points and the best resorts in the Caribbean you can book with points!

5. Fess Parker Wine Country Inn

Fess Parker Wine Country Inn

Fess Parker Wine Country Inn. Image Credit: Fess Parker Wine Country Inn

Once owned by Hollywood actor, Fess Parker, the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn has become a luxurious and stylish family inn for those who want to explore Santa Barbara’s vineyards.

Located in Los Olivos, this area is known as a historical district with attractions matching the laid-back vibe of the area. Nearby attractions include the Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum, the Hans Andersen Museum, as well as various wineries, like Bridlewood, which is a 5-minute drive from the hotel.

Other attractions to explore include the Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard, a 6-minute drive;  the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum, and the Janeway-Parks Carriage House, both a 10-minute drive from the hotel.

Standard rooms at the resort are a little on the small side when compared to other luxury properties in the area. The Luxury Room with Garden View is 375 square feet with a king bed, premium hypo-allergenic bedding, air-conditioning, ceiling fan, down duvet, and pillow-top cover.

There’s also a coffee/tea maker, minibar, fridge, free Wifi, large private bathroom with designer toiletries, hairdryer, robe, and towels. Finally, there’s a desk, a safe, flatscreen TV with a DVD player, a fireplace, turndown service, and the rooms are individually decorated.

Amenities at the hotel that guests can enjoy include free Wi-Fi in both the rooms and public area, van and wheelchair accessibility parking, and free offsite parking. There’s a gym, an outdoor swimming pool, an elevator, a library, front-desk safe, meeting room, garden with a picnic area, and a 24-hour front desk.

As a premier property partnered with Choice Privileges, Fess Parker Wine Country Inn is bookable for 55,000 Choice Privileges points per night!

The cash price for the rooms starts at $900 during the low months for the standard room. During the peak season, the cash price for the same room is $1,150. Meanwhile, the average season rates begin at $980.

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6. The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage

The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage

The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage. Image Credit: The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage

Known for being at the heart of Coachella Valley, the Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage offers desert views, excellent dining, and a spa facility to rave about.

The hotel echoes elegance in every nook and cranny. From the light to dark brown interiors echoing the colors of the mountainside to the neutral stonework which complements the beauty of the desert, every space is well-thought-out.

The hotel is 30-minutes away from Palm Springs Station and about 85-minutes from the nearest airport, the Los Angeles-Ontario International Airport. Other nearby attractions include the Canyon Plaza Shopping Center, the Big League Dreams Sports Park, and the Sunnylands Center and Garden, all within a 6 to 8-minute drive from the hotel.

The elegant motif of the property extends to its guest room. Expect plenty of sandy shades with browns and greens sprinkled in places. All rooms come with a king or 2 queen beds, premium hypo-allergenic bedding, down duvet, blackout drapes, pillowtop cover, Frette Italian linens, and wheelchair accessibility.

There’s also a microwave, fridge, flatscreen TV, coffee maker, desk, safe, iron/ironing board, wardrobe, and mobile key entry. Bathrooms are large and spacious with a soaking tub, designer toiletries, slippers, towels, and a hairdryer. There’s also a balcony or patio in the rooms which either looks out to the garden, the resort, or a mountain view.

Hotel amenities in the property are also generous, like the free Wi-Fi, the 24-hour gym and room service, 2 restaurants, 2 poolside bars, 1 main bar, an arcade, 2 swimming pools, a full-service spa, ballroom, and yoga classes. There’s also a front desk safe, an elevator, a business center, garden, meeting room, and large conference space. Parking is available at $32 per night.

The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage can be booked starting with 59,000 points up to 74,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night. 

For room prices, you can start at $756 to $1,566 per night (average $850).

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Nugget of Advice:

You can also use points to book some of the best desert resorts in Arizona!

7. The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay

The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay. Image Credit: The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay

One look at this hotel perched on a cliff and you’ll know you’re in for a treat!

Half Moon Bay is a gorgeous, seaside town just 30 minutes away from San Francisco. The town has been around since the 1800s and is considered to be the oldest one in San Mateo County.

To get to the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay, it’s ideal to have a car or go for a rental since there’s no reliable public transport in the area. Luckily, there are restaurants and a gorgeous beach within walking distance.

There are other amazing attractions several minutes away. A 10-minute drive will take you to the main town of Half Moon Bay, and 5-minutes more will bring you to the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company. If you prefer to be in the middle of nature, there’s the Purisma Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve, at 25-minutes away.

The hotel itself has 261 rooms and each one is decorated in a modern gray, blue, and slate palette with minimal coastal accents. This allows the room to feel modern and stylish without being kitschy.

All rooms have a good view of either the mountains, the coast, or the golf course. At 450 square feet for the Deluxe Room, expect to have either a king bed or 2 double beds, premium Egyptian cotton linen, hypo-allergenic bedding, blackout drapes, down duvet, air-conditioning, and free Wi-Fi. Rooms also have a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a coffee/tea maker, desk, a large bathroom with designer toiletries, a bathrobe, hairdryer, a tub, ana d shower as well as bath slippers.

Free Wi-Fi is offered in the rooms as well as in public areas. Valet parking is available for $54 a night. There’s also a charging station for electric cars and wheelchair accessibility.

Other amenities include 3 restaurants, 1 bar, a 24-hour room service, 1 coffee/tea room, a 24-hour gym, a golf course, 6 tennis courts, free bike rentals, spa, sauna, an indoor swimming pool, steam room, business center, meeting room, conference center, and yoga and aerobics classes.

Standard guest services also include a 24-hour front desk, laundry, dry cleaning, luggage storage, golf lessons, tour/ticket assistance, turndown service, as well as daily housekeeping.

One of the most popular redemption options in the U.S., this Marriott resort is bookable starting with 83,500 points per night up to 106,000 points per night. 

The cash price at the hotel starts at $885 to $1,485 per night for a standard room, averaging $1,000. 

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8. Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas

Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas

Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas. Image Credit: Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas

Being the third Alila resort in California, the Alila Marea Beach Resort is getting everyone excited. The resort is located by the beach, making this the perfect fit for anyone who wants to have a relaxing stay at a hotel with a view.

Nearby, there are attractions to explore including Grandview Surf Beach, an 18-minute walk from the resort. You can also drive and head to Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation Nature Center, a 6-minute drive, or the Oceanside Pier, a 21-minute drive away. The nearest airport is SAN (San Diego International), about 30-minutes by car.

This new Alila resort contains 130 rooms offering both garden and ocean views. The rooms are split into four categories: the standard guest rooms, junior suite, premier suite, and presidential suite.

The basic room contains 1 king bed or 2 queen beds, blackout drapes, premium bedding, air-conditioning, and crib or rollaway beds upon request. There’s a 66-inch flatscreen TV, coffee/tea maker, free Wi-Fi, a desk, and a private bathroom with toiletries, slippers, and towels.

There’s no shortage of facilities in this new resort, it has valet parking at $52 per night, 2 restaurants, 1 coffee shop, 2 main bars, 1 poolside bar, a full-service spa, 1 outdoor swimming pool, a ballroom, banquet hall, conference space, and 6 meeting rooms. There’s also a multi-lingual staff, fire pit, tour/ticket assistance, a terrace, concierge services, and a 24-hour front desk.

Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas is a World of Hyatt Category 7 hotel, requiring 25,000 to  35,000 points per night for a standard room. 

Staying at the Alila Marea Beach Resort means paying $961 up to $1,240 per night with an average of $1,050. 

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9. Carmel Valley Ranch

Carmel Valley Ranch

Carmel Valley Ranch. Image Credit: Carmel Valley Ranch

Carmel Valley Ranch is a family-friendly resort perfect for those who want an outdoor luxury vacation with the family.

Known for being one of California’s ultimate wine destinations, Carmel Valley is set against the Santa Lucia Mountains. All around are various attractions waiting to be experienced.

From Carmel Valley Ranch, it’s only a 7-minute walk to the Carmel Valley Ranch Golf Center. Take a car and you can explore even more attractions like the Garland Ranch Regional Park, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey and Fisherman’s Wharf, and Garrapata State Park. All of these range from a 6-minute to a 30-minute drive only.

Their basic room, the Studio, comes with a king bed, premium bedding, blackout curtains, and air-conditioning. There’s also a fridge, 42-inch flatscreen TV, iPod dock, desk, iron/ironing board, some rooms have a fireplace, private bathroom with toiletries, tub, shower, as well as a hairdryer.

Standard hotel amenities like free Wi-Fi in the rooms and public areas are expected. Carmel Valley Ranch also has free self-parking and valet parking. Like most California hotels, there’s an electric car charging station on the property as well. Other amenities to expect in the resort include 8 outdoor tennis courts, 3 swimming pools, 1 children’s pool, a full-service spa, 2 spa tubs, a gym, a playground, a yoga and aerobics class, and a ballroom.

Various guest services like a 24-hour front desk, laundry and dry cleaning, luggage storage, daily housekeeping, turndown service, front-desk safe, multilingual staff, and concierge services are also available for guests.

Carmel Valley Ranch falls under World of Hyatt’s Category 7 bucket which means booking a free night on points will cost 25,000 to 35,000 Hyatt points per night. 

Cash prices at the Carmel Valley Ranch start at $569 up to $1,263 per night with an average of $750. 

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10. Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club

Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club

Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club. Image Credit: Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club

Just 6 miles from beautiful Laguna Beach, the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach is quickly becoming a favorite among Hilton Honors loyalists.

Ohana Real Estate acquired this property in 2019, and today, it’s a part of Waldorf Astoria. A huge chunk of the hotel was revamped and upgraded to create one stunning resort hotel by the popular Pacific Coast Highway.

The Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort is located on top of a hill that offers you a sweeping view of the Pacific. A 20-minute walk will take you to the beach so you can enjoy a quick dip. Of course, there’s a hotel shuttle that will take you there too.

If you prefer surfing, head to Dana Point, a popular surfing spot. From there, you can hop on a ferry and head to Santa Catalina Island. Other nearby area attractions include the Laguna Art Museum, a 13-minute drive, and the Mission San Juan Capistrano, just a 10-minute drive away. If you have kids, then taking them to Disneyland or Legoland means driving 45-minutes to get to the parks.

After the renovations and upgrades in 2016 and 2019, the rooms here are more spacious with luxurious modern decor and stunning bathrooms. Basic rooms come with a king bed with blackout drapes, air-conditioning, hypo-allergenic bedding, a down duvet, free cribs, free Wi-Fi, flatscreen TV, a coffee maker, a minibar, and 24-hour room service.

There’s also a desk, safe, soundproofing, wardrobe, private bathroom with soaking tub, hairdryer, toiletries, slipper, robe, and towels. All rooms come with a patio or balcony with the most basic having a garden or resort view while the suites have a view of the ocean.

Basic amenities like Wi-Fi and parking are offered. There’s also a free beach shuttle to get you to the beach and back. You’ll find 7 restaurants in the hotel including 1 coffee shop. There are 5 bars, 1 poolside bar, 1 beach bar, and 24-hour room service.

A gym, golf course, 3 swimming pools, 2 spa tubs, beach yoga, aerobics and pilates classes, bike rentals, steam rooms, sauna, designer stores, and even a full-service spa are also at the hotel.

This is a Hilton Honors property bookable at the standard room reward rate of 95,000 points per night.

If you visit in the low season, prices start at $430 up to $1,075 per night (average $880). 

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11. Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa

Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa

Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa. Image Credit: Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa

The Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa is a 200-acre resort set on top of a hill with a view of the coast.

Most of the resort is surrounded by residential homes and a golf course, so you can expect a lot of peace. There’s hardly any nightlife and there are limited restaurants nearby. If you have a car, you can drive to various attractions like Legoland, which is 11-minutes by car, and Carlsbad Beach, in only 5-minutes by car.

The basic bedroom comes with a king bed, down duvet, pillowtop cover, premium hypo-allergenic bedding, air-conditioning, blackout curtains, a free crib, and free Wi-Fi. There’s also a flatscreen TV, coffee maker, desk, safe, wardrobe, and iron/ironing board. There’s also a spacious bathroom with free toiletries, a soaking tub, a water closet, a hairdryer, and towels. Most rooms also feature a balcony or patio.

For hotel amenities, you get free Wi-Fi in the rooms and public spaces, paid valet parking at $40 per night, an electric car charging station, as well as wheelchair accessibility.

There are 4 restaurants, 1 poolside bar, 1 regular bar, 1 coffee shop, a 24-hour gym, 5 tennis courts, 2 spa tubs, an 18-hole golf course, a basketball area, yoga classes, 2 swimming pools, gift shop, ballroom area, a children’s pool, and an arcade area.

There’s also a 24-hour front desk, laundry, dry cleaning services, golf lessons, tour assistance, and concierge services.

This is one of World of Hyatt’s Category 6 properties, charging 25,000 points up to 29,000 points per night for a standard category room. 

But if you’ve got plenty of Chase Ultimate Rewards and/or Hyatt points and want to experience boutique luxury, you’ll love our guide to the best Small Luxury Hotels in the World you can book with points

The room price during the average season is $740 up to $1,000 per night (an average of $850). 

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12. Hotel Californian

Hotel Californian

Hotel Californian. Image Credit: Hotel Californian

Santa Barbara is not only a historic location, but it’s also a fantastic spot to experience delicious cuisine, fantastic beaches, and amazing nightlife while staying at a luxe resort like The Hotel Californian.

This Spanish Colonial-style property comes with 121 guest rooms and sits by the seaside. Entering this hotel is like stepping back in time when the original 1925 Hotel Californian first stood in the same spot. The front facade of the original hotel is incorporated into this new property.

For the rooms, The Hotel Californian exudes a Moroccan and Spanish Colonial vibe, but with a twist of modern chic. Expect crisp marble details with bronze metal hardware and intricately patterned details.

The most basic room is 450 square feet and comes with a queen bed. There are blackout drapes, air-conditioning, comfortable bedding, extravagant black headboard, and lovely patterned tile on the walls. A flat-screen TV, minibar, espresso maker, and champagne service are also available. Bathrooms here are stylish and modern too, with designer toiletries guaranteed to be eco-friendly.

Like any modern resort, there’s never a lack of facilities for guests on the property. There are 3 restaurants in the hotel 1 coffee shop, 1 poolside bar, and the main bar. Room service is offered as well. There’s also a gym, a full spa, a swimming pool, private and public winery tours, wine tasting events, a ballroom, a library, a business center, and a meeting room.

If you prefer to stay outside in nature, there’s a garden and picnic area. You might also like to hang out by the pool or head to the rooftop terrace to soak up the view.

This historic property is a Preferred Hotels property partnered with Choice Privileges, which means you can redeem 55,000 Choice Privileges points per night here.

The rates at The Hotel Californian average $650 during the regular season. In non-peak months, the cash price goes down to $550, but in peak months, you’ll shell out at least $850 for the standard rooms.

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13. Oceana Santa Monica, LXR Hotels & Resorts

Oceana Santa Monica

Oceana Santa Monica. Image Credit: Oceana Santa Monica

Located on Ocean Avenue, the Oceana Santa Monica is only a 10-minute walk to Santa Monica Beach. Ocean Avenue is the main strip in Santa Monica that runs alongside the beach’s shores on top of the bluffs.

This scenic hotel is near popular local attractions. It’s a 15-minute walk towards the Third Street Promenade and a 24-minute walk to the Santa Monica Pier. You can of course drive to get there faster. If you want to explore Venice Beach, it’s only 15-minutes via car then 30-minutes to Rodeo Drive or Beverly Hills.

Because the building was once built as a residential space in the 50s, the rooms here are larger compared to luxury properties you would find in the area. They start at 450 square feet for the standard rooms while the bigger suites start at 700 square feet.

All the rooms are modern with plenty of sunlight seeping through. Expect a light or neutral color palette with grays and touches of blue. Everything is chic and elegant while exuding comfort. The rooms have a king bed, hypo-allergenic bedding, air-conditioning, ceiling fan, and blackout curtains. Cribs and rollaway beds are available upon request and can be subject to a surcharge.

You’ll also find a minibar, microwave, fridge (upon request), flatscreen TV, room safe, private bathroom with toiletries, hairdryer, slippers, and towels, and. Turndown service, daily housekeeping, and 24-hour room service are also available for guests.

While you can explore the nearby areas of the hotel, there are also a lot of amenities to enjoy on the property. Aside from the usual offerings of free Wi-Fi, on-site parking, electric car charging stations, limo/town car service, and airport shuttle, there are also free bike rentals as well as wheelchair-access parking in the hotel.

Other amenities include 1 restaurant and 1 bar, a 24-hour front desk, daily housekeeping, tour assistance, and concierge services. There are beach umbrellas and a terrace for a stunning view of the ocean. The hotel is also pet-friendly so you can bring your pet.

Oceana Santa Monica, LXR Hotels & Resorts happens to be a member of Hilton Honors, and you can access free stays for 95,000 Hilton Honors per night.

Staying at the Oceana Santa Monica means shelling out a cash price of $919 until $1,491 per night for a standard room (average $1,200). 

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14. JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa

JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa

JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa. Image Credit: JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa.

If you’re looking for a fantastic resort in Palm Desert, the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa would make a great pick.

This sprawling resort is found close to Interstate 10 and only a 30-minute drive to Palm Springs downtown. Because it’s such a big property, there’s hardly any reason to leave the resort. Although if you do venture out, you can explore nearby attractions like the Desert Willow Golf Resort, a 5-minute walk away. There’s also the El Paseo Shopping District, Sunnylands Center and Gardens, and the Palma Village Park, attractions that are only a 5 to 7-minute drive away.

A stunning focal point of the resort is its amazing water feature which is a highlight for flamingo lovers as the birds use the area as a hangout. If you fancy, there’s also a gondola ride available during sunsets, which is a fantastic way to experience the water feature too.

As for the rooms, each one has its balcony. Standard rooms are equipped with pillowtop covers, premium bedding, blackout curtains, and a sofa bed. There’s a flatscreen TV, an iPod dock, access to streaming services, minibar, coffee/tea maker, desk, safe, and iron/ironing board. Each room has a spacious bathroom with toiletries, a tub, a shower, a hairdryer, and towels.

Unlike most hotels where Wi-Fi is complimentary, the Wi-Fi at the hotel comes with a surcharge of $14.95 per day. It is also available in all of the public areas of the resort. Valet parking has a surcharge of $39 per day. There’s also a charging station for electric vehicles and specialized parking for vans and wheelchair accessibility.

The large resort comes with multiple amenities like a golf course, 5 swimming pools, 15 tennis courts, a basketball area, a fitness center, a spa, a golf course, a driving range, a mini-golf, a spa, a hot tub, sauna, and steam room. Other guest services are available too like concierge services, a 24-hour front desk, dry cleaning, a hair salon, multilingual staff, luggage storage, tour/ticket assistance, as well as golf and tennis lessons.

You can book a room here starting with 40,000 to 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night for a standard room. 

The prices for the resort are pretty good considering it’s a high-end property. Cash rates start at $591 per night up to $1,144 per night (average $700). 

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15. Ojai Valley Inn

Ojai Valley Inn

Ojai Valley Inn. Image Credit: Ojai Valley Inn

Catering to laid-back luxury travelers, Ojai Valley Inn is set in the middle of the Topatopa Mountains. Because of the Mediterranean vibe of the area, the Ojai Valley Inn also features lovely terra cotta red root tiles and all-white buildings.

Some of the nearby attractions to explore include the Ojai Valley Museum of History and Art as well as Galerie 102 – both around an 18 to 20-minute walk away from the hotel. Drive for 7-minutes and you’ll reach the Soule Park Golf Course, perfect if you intend to spend part of your vacation on the green.

Rooms at the property are decorated in a neutral palette with blue patterned rugs, sandy and beige throws, and lamps. Standard rooms come with a king bed, premium bedding, blackout drapes, Egyptian cotton linen, pillowtop cover, and free cribs. Rollaway beds can also be requested but prepare for a surcharge.

Other things to enjoy include free Wi-Fi, a fridge, a coffee maker, flatscreen TV, a desk, a safe, and a private bathroom. Inside the bathroom, you get a rainfall showerhead, hairdryer, designer bath products, a soaking tub, slippers, towels, and robes. Most rooms come with a balcony and patio too.

Amenities you can expect at the hotel include 4 restaurants, 2 coffee shops, 2 bars, 1 poolside bar, an 18-hole golf course, 4 tennis courts, 4 swimming pools, a full-service spa, a playground, sauna, spa tub, and steam room, yoga and pilates classes, and a gym. There are also other things to do like hiking or biking, playing basketball, going on private picnics, or even horseback riding.

This iconic property can be booked for 55,000 Choice Privileges points per night, assuming you find standard room availability.

The price here on the average month is $640 for the most basic room. In the low season, the price goes down a little to $600 and goes higher in peak months, at $700 per night.

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16. La Quinta Resort & Club, Curio Collection

La Quinta Resort & Club

La Quinta Resort & Club. Image Credit: La Quinta Resort & Club

Ever since it opened in the 1920s, the La Quinta Resort & Club was known as the perfect hideaway for the Hollywood elite. Today, the resort still thrives by catering to the Hollywood demographic. More recently, the hotel was used as the primary location for a season of the reality show, “The Bachelorette.”

The La Quinta Resort is the oldest hotel in Coachella Valley and features 796 Spanish-style casitas. They have an impressive list of amenities, exquisite restaurants, and a host of other facilities for their guests.

Because it’s in a residential area, the neighborhood is generally quiet but you won’t be bored here. There are plenty of nearby shopping and dining areas to enjoy. What’s more, being surrounded by the nearby Santa Rosa Mountains means there are hiking trails to explore.

There are also several golf courses to try out. If you need to head downtown, the resort is a 35-minute drive to Palm Springs town and about 20 miles to the Palm Springs International Airport. The best way to get around the area is to have a rental or to bring your car when visiting.

Accommodations here will differ from casita-style rooms to large duplex studios and residential villas, with a few of the others being owned privately. Because the property is so massive, you have to do a bit of navigation since even getting to and from your room can become confusing.

Their most basic casita-style rooms come with classic decorations matching the style of the hotel. There’s either a king or 2 queen beds dressed in a sheet, duvet, and comfortable pillows. Patterned rugs and blackout curtains also add to the space. Wooden headboards with colorful art hang on the wall.

There’s a fridge, flatscreen TV, coffeemaker, lamp, small desk, seating area, and in some, a fireplace. Most rooms also have a balcony or patio.

As for the bathroom, it’s decorated with handprinted Talavera tiles. While it may look dated compared to the modern design of today’s luxury hotels, it is in keeping with the hotel theme and is in great shape for the hotel’s age. The room is designed to be spacious with twin sinks, a walk-in shower, a tub, and toiletries.

Amenities at the hotel are as amazing as the hotel is huge. There are 41 swimming pools and 53 hot tubs around the resort. There’s an adult-only pool and most of the others are kid-friendly. There’s a spa, fitness center with personal classes, 5 golf courses, 7 restaurants, a bar, several high-end boutiques, valet and self-parking, and of course, free Wi-Fi.

La Quinta Resort & Club stays can be booked with Hilton Honors points for 70,000-80,000 points per night in a standard room.

The cash price at the La Quinta Resort & Club starts at $450 to $783 per night for a standard room (average $650).

Make a reservation

Wrapping Up

Planning a luxury escape in California is easy thanks to the fact they have a host of luxurious beach and mountain resorts around.

So next time you head to the Golden State, book a stay in any of these fabulous luxury retreats. Not only will you have a grand time, but you can even book a bargain with points!

Safe travels!

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Featured Image Credit: Montage Laguna Beach

 Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re after sunny weather, the best months to visit the Golden State is between May to September. The chances of encountering rain at this time is low so you can enjoy the gorgeous beaches and mountainside resorts.

Choosing the most beautiful resort in California is subjective since guests will have different preferences over what they think is beautiful.

Nevertheless, the resorts mentioned below are considered some of the most beautiful in California:

  • Montage Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach
  • San Ysidro Ranch, Santa Barbara
  • North Block Hotel, Yountville
  • Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, San Diego

On average, prices for hotels in California is between $150 to $180. This price could vary though depending on the type of hotel you want to visit, the room you will be booking, and the time of season you book.

California has such varied dramatic scenery – from beautiful coastlines to lush mountains – there’s something for everyone.

The following are the top locations to check out. Look for hotels and resorts in these areas.

  1. Big Sur
  2. Santa Barbara
  3. Carmel
  4. Santa Catalina Islands
  5. Sonoma County
  6. Lake Tahoe
  7. Mendocino County
  8. Half Moon Bay
  9. Paso Robles
  10. Avila

Considered one of the cleanest, not just in California, but in all of America, is Laguna Beach. This beach is found between San Diego and Los Angeles.

You can find amazing luxury resorts here like the gorgeous Montage Laguna Beach.