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Travel Inspiration

Best Beach Hotels in California

Last Updated

October 19, 2023

California is renowned for its stunning coastline and beautiful beaches, making it the perfect destination for beach lovers. Whether you're looking for a luxurious getaway or a budget-friendly option, California has a wide range of beach hotels to suit every traveler's needs. From upscale resorts with breathtaking ocean views to charming boutique hotels just steps away from the sand, you'll find endless options for your beach vacation in this sunny state. With top-notch amenities, exceptional service, and unbeatable locations, these beach hotels offer an unforgettable experience that will leave you wanting to come back for more. So, dive into the world of California's best beach hotels and get ready to indulge in the ultimate coastal retreat like never before.

InterContinental the Clement Monterey, an IHG Hotel

Panoramic ocean views and coastal charm await you at the InterContinental® The Clement Monterey hotel. Situated on Cannery Row, overlooking the sapphire waters of Monterey Bay, this waterfront hotel, resort, and spa offer a truly luxurious and beautiful experience for guests. Whether indulging in a rejuvenating spa treatment or savoring a delightful waterfront dining experience featuring Californian coastal classics, this hotel leaves no stone unturned when it comes to providing ultimate luxury and relaxation. Moreover, the customizable event space provides a perfect setting for hosting your next signature event, with breathtaking views of the picturesque waters of Monterey Bay.

At The InterContinental The Clement Monterey, every detail is carefully thought out to ensure utmost comfort and sophistication. The spacious rooms boast state-of-the-art technology, offering high-speed Internet access through both wired and wireless connections. The marble bathrooms feature soaking tubs and separate showers, along with plush bathrobes to enhance your bathing experience. Entertainment options include a 37" plasma TV and media center, in-room movies, and two phones for your convenience. Additionally, amenities such as a writing desk, Nespresso coffeemaker, tea maker, iron and board, and a mini-bar are provided to cater to all your needs.

Indulgence doesn't stop at accommodation; the hotel's dining options also promise a culinary delight. Experience the epitome of California cuisine at The InterContinental's restaurants, where locally sourced, fresh ingredients take center stage. From perfectly cooked steaks and delectable vegetarian dishes to mouthwatering seafood specialties, the menu is designed to satisfy even the most discerning palates. Prepare to embark on a culinary journey that captures the essence of the surrounding coastal region.

To complete your luxurious getaway, look no further than The Spa at InterContinental The Clement Monterey. It offers a sanctuary for nurturing and rejuvenating your mind, heart, body, and soul. The spa's expert therapists provide a selection of therapeutic massages, revitalizing body treatments, and wellness therapies that will leave you feeling refreshed and renewed. Immerse yourself in the timeless beauty and tranquility of this spa, where every treatment is tailored to soothe your soul and enhance your well-being.

Montage Laguna Beach 

The Montage Laguna Beach reigns supreme over Laguna Beach with its breathtaking cliff-top location and impeccable art-and-crafts style. This luxurious full-service resort offers a range of accommodations, from rooms to suites and even bungalows. Each space is adorned with 400-thread-count linens and lavish five-fixture marble bathrooms that feature a large shower and tub. The private balconies or patios provide guests with stunning ocean views, creating a bright and airy ambiance befitting a seaside retreat.

The allure of this hotel extends beyond its elegantly appointed rooms. The grounds are simply irresistible, boasting a crystal-blue pool that invites relaxation during the day and fiery fire pits that light up the nighttime sky. One highly recommended experience is visiting the lobby bar, where live music serenades guests as they savor delicious cocktails against the backdrop of a breathtaking sunset. Even the arrival and departure experiences at The Montage Laguna Beach are memorable, with departing guests receiving a thoughtful logoed cap as a memento.

When it comes to entertainment, the Lobby Bar takes center stage, featuring nightly live performances by talented musicians. Whether it's the skillful melodies of a solo pianist or the soothing sounds of popular songs, guests can unwind in the comfortable indoor and outdoor seating areas. The Mosaic Pool stands as the outdoor focal point of the hotel, with its clear waters revealing a vibrant tile sun beneath swimmers and majestic palm trees anchoring each corner. For those seeking tranquility, the adults-only Spa Pool provides a quiet saltwater lap swimming experience while overlooking the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean.

The Montage Laguna Beach also offers secluded beachside coves nestled between captivating rocky formations, setting the stage for a romantic evening. The striking backdrop of the open sea enchants guests, particularly during the mesmerizing sunset moments that leave one breathless. Additionally, Studio, the hotel's Five-Star restaurant, offers an unforgettable dining experience with its modern coastal cuisine and a remarkable setting atop a 50-foot bluff, providing unparalleled views of the Pacific vista.

With its recent renovations, each room at The Montage Laguna Beach now welcomes guests to their own private balcony or patio, showcasing breathtaking ocean views. It's the perfect spot to savor a cup of coffee or simply revel in the beauty of the surroundings. From the 500-square-foot Ocean Horizon rooms to the expansive villas suitable for eight guests, these bungalows evoke a sense of home, offering two fireplaces, Viking kitchen appliances, and even an outdoor grill.

Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club

The Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club is the epitome of luxury, offering guests breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and access to a private, tucked-away beach. Situated on a cliff-top perch in Dana Point, this resort is a true retreat all on its own. From the moment you step into the deep-blue, white, and gray lobby mirroring its ocean surroundings, you are enveloped in an atmosphere of elegance and relaxation.

The resort's sprawling terrace provides a stunning vantage point to admire the remarkable tiers of scenic activity leading to the beach. From the veranda of AVEO Table + Bar, you can take in the breathtaking Mediterranean fountain, turquoise pools, sun chairs, a delightful sculpture garden, and the greens of the Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed golf course blending seamlessly into the ocean beyond. With acres of lush gardens and the soothing sound of crashing waves, it's easy to forget about the outside world and simply immerse yourself in the beauty that surrounds you.

While there are plenty of attractions nearby, the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club goes above and beyond to provide everything you need within its grounds. Indulge in delectable cuisine at one of the six ocean-view restaurants, with Bourbon Steak Orange County being a standout favorite. Pamper yourself at the Waldorf Astoria Spa, where a comprehensive menu of immersive treatments awaits. Enjoy exclusive access to the private Monarch Bay Beach Club, housed in a charming mid-1960s cottage-like structure that perfectly embodies the laid-back luxe beach life of the West Coast.

Every accommodation at this resort features its own patio or balcony, allowing you to savor the gentle breeze and catch glimpses of the sparkling water. For those staying in ground-floor rooms and suites, cozy evenings can be spent around fire pits, adding an extra touch of warmth and intimacy to your stay. The Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club seamlessly combines elegance with a casual ambiance, ensuring that you have the perfect Southern California experience without ever needing to leave the property.

Nobu Ryokan Malibu

The Nobu Ryokan Malibu is a true gem among the best beach hotels in California. This exclusive hideaway, located in the heart of Malibu on Billionaire's Beach, offers an unparalleled oceanfront escape. With only 16 rooms, it provides an intimate and tranquil atmosphere for guests to unwind and indulge in the art of relaxation.

Designed by the renowned hospitality design firm TAL Studio, the teak-infused interiors combine Japanese minimalism with a warm, California casual vibe. Each room is meticulously appointed with floor-to-ceiling teak accents, neutral-toned furnishings, and luxurious amenities such as 800-count linen sheets by Anichini. The attention to detail is further evident in the Japanese art and fresh ikebana floral arrangements that adorn the space.

What truly sets Nobu Ryokan apart is its exceptional level of service. With a three-to-one staff-to-guest ratio, this hotel ensures that your every wish is granted. From the moment you step onto your private patio, you are enveloped by the soothing sounds of the crashing waves, creating a serene ambiance that instantly transports you to a state of pure bliss.

Whether you choose to spend your time lounging in the comfort of your room or exploring the nearby beach, you can expect a sense of privacy and seclusion. Even at full capacity, the hotel remains delightfully uncrowded, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the serenity of your surroundings.

Elevate your beach hotel experience and treat yourself to the luxurious tranquility of Nobu Ryokan Malibu. It's no wonder this exclusive retreat has become a favorite among jet setters and tastemakers from coast to coast. With its harmonious fusion of Japanese aesthetics and California chic sensibilities, it truly embodies the epitome of beachside luxury.

Rosewood Miramar Beach 

The Rosewood Miramar Beach: Nestled in Montecito, California, a town frequented by celebrities like Oprah and Ellen, the Rosewood Miramar Beach is a new star on the horizon. This luxury oceanfront resort, which opened its doors in March 2019, stands out as one of the few in California with rooms directly on the sand. The property, owned by legendary developer Rick Caruso, feels more like a regal family estate than a typical hotel, offering an experience that is both luxurious and intimate.

The design of Rosewood Miramar Beach is coastal-chic, blending approachable and playful features with opulent touches. Guests are shuttled around the 16-acre resort in pink open-air Jolly cars, while a sweeping spiral staircase graces the lobby. The manor-style home at the heart of the property, private bungalows for rooms, and posh "backyard" amenities such as a grand lawn, English-garden-style landscaping, a bocce ball court, giant hammocks, and a fire pit all contribute to the feeling of pristine perfection. It's as if you've been given special access to an exclusive haven before it officially opens its doors to the world.

One of the standout features of the Rosewood Miramar Beach is its exceptional location directly on Miramar Beach. True beachfront hotels are rare in California, making this proximity to the sand an incredible amenity for guests of all ages. Whether you're renting sea kayaks for a family adventure or unwinding at the seaside bar with colleagues, the possibilities for enjoyment and relaxation are endless.

Spread across 16 acres, the resort offers 158 guest rooms and suites, each providing a unique retreat. Connecting bungalows are perfect for families, signature suites offer a romantic escape, and beachfront rooms deliver unparalleled serenity. At the Rosewood Miramar Beach, every occasion is catered to with the utmost attention to detail.

El Encanto, A Belmond Hotel, Santa Barbara 

The El Encanto, A Belmond Hotel, Santa Barbara is a true gem among the best beach hotels in California. Located on the Riviera, a scenic low mountain offering breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and downtown's red-tile roofs, this historic boutique hotel exudes an undeniable charm. With a long lineage that includes hosting President Franklin D. Roosevelt, it is clear that this property has a reputation for excellence.

One of the standout features of El Encanto is its serene and quiet atmosphere, making it the perfect place for relaxation. The hotel boasts a generous fitness room and spa, ensuring that guests can take care of their well-being while enjoying their stay. Moreover, El Encanto is pet-friendly, welcoming furry friends into the luxurious experience. The property itself is beautifully designed, with no fences obstructing the unobstructed feel of the surroundings. Brick pathways wind through the grounds, leading guests to the numerous bungalows that are nestled amidst mature cypress, palm, and eucalyptus trees, providing a peaceful retreat away from the bustling crowds.

In addition to its stunning location, El Encanto offers 92 rooms built as bungalows, each showcasing either California Mission style or classic California Craftsman design. From the traditional red-tiled roofs and white stucco walls to the simple clean lines and earthy wood tones, the accommodations exude an undeniable charm. Moreover, all of the bathrooms feature deep soaking or freestanding tubs, complemented by white marble countertops and radiant heated floors. Even though the weather rarely gets cold here, this attention to detail enhances the overall luxury experience. When it comes to dining options, The Dining Room is the hotel's exclusive restaurant, providing full-service meals. For a more casual setting, guests can visit The Lounge, where they can indulge in afternoon tea or sample cocktails infused with herbs and citrus grown on the property grounds – such as the lavender lemonade with Beluga vodka, lemon, sage, and lavender.

Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara

The Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara is a truly iconic and historic hideaway situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains. This luxurious resort, known as the American Riviera, has long been a favorite destination for celebrities seeking a glamorous retreat. Set within 22 acres of lush landscaped gardens, complete with tranquil courtyards, fountains, and gas lantern-lit red-brick pathways, the Spanish Colonial villas and bungalows evoke the same casual elegance that captivated Hollywood's elite in the 1930s.

Whether you want to take a leisurely stroll along Butterfly Beach, spend your day lounging by the poolside at the Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club, or indulge in some pampering at the award-winning Spa, The Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara offers an array of options for guests to enjoy. After a day filled with adventures, make sure to stop by Ty Lounge for their signature Original Moscow Mule and gather around the fire to share stories. With accommodations ranging from secluded jungle garden hideaways to beachfront havens and rooms just steps away from all the resort amenities, the spacious and stylish suites provide the perfect setting for family vacations or romantic couple retreats.

For the ultimate relaxation experience, the resort also offers a unique full-body massage enhanced with healing sounds and vibrations utilizing Peter Hess® Singing Bowls. Certified therapists skillfully manipulate these Tibetan Singing Bowls, placing them on your body to create a blissful vibration and soothing sound. This combination immerses both you and your body into a deep state of relaxation, leaving you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

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