15 Most Romantic Hotels in California
With beautiful coastline, mighty mountain views, rolling vineyards as well as desert charm, there is no dearth for romantic places in California. If you are looking for romantic hotels to stay in California for this Valentine’s day or celebrating a special day, do check out these incredible hotels that are some of the most beautiful, romantic and luxurious in California. I have tried to cover the most luxurious hotels all around including Northern, Southern and Central California. You will be hard pressed to find a better list!
Don’t miss my other blogposts about California –
Most romantic hotels in California
Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur
Post Ranch Inn sits atop the cliffs of the most pristine part of the Pacific Coast Highway – Big Sur. Post Ranch Inn is not as imposing as the others in this list but that is the beauty of it; All the villas and homes blend in with the surroundings and also provide panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and mountains. We spent a couple of nights at the Cliff House for our anniversary in 2020 and had the most amazing time! If you are going to splurge, I suggest spending a bit more and choosing the Cliff House that comes with an outdoor hot tub. If you are looking for something surrounded by woods, they also offer tree house style accommodations at a lower price. If you want to get away to a quiet place with no one but yourself, incredible farm-to-table dining and count the stars in the sky at night, you must stay here. This is arguably THE most romantic stay in California (or even the West Coast of the US).
Selling points: Breathtaking ocean views, sustainable and eco-friendly, farm-to-table dining at Sierra Mar, privacy
Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay
Looking for a luxurious escape in the Bay Area? Ritz Carlton should be on top of your list. Located right next to the Half Moon Bay beach on top of a bluff, it has the perfect romantic setting. I recommend taking a jacket and booking a room with a fireplace as Half Moon Bay can be quite chilly. Also a room with a fire pit in order to spend outdoors without freezing. It is a great place to enjoy the spa or walk along the coast.
Selling points: Ocean views, spa, golf course
Casa Palmero, Pebble Beach
This one holds a special place. This was the first hotel that we had stayed in after our baby was born. While we did stay here as a family, I can see how the Tuscan architecture, beautiful gardens, ocean views can be enticing to the romantics. I recommend a stroll along the beach and a couples round of golf at one of the most popular golf courses in the world. It is a stone’s throw away from the quaint and beautiful village of Carmel-by-the-sea.
Selling points: Tuscan architecture, golf and ocean views, drive to Carmel
Montage resort, Healdsburg
Just a few miles away from Healdsburg is the 130 acres property of Montage Resorts. About a third of the property is outdoors so you can have a romantic stroll with no one around. The rooms and the interiors are aesthetically pleasing with world class facilities. You can really relaxing and romantic weekend here enjoying the spa and wine.
Selling points: Outdoors, wine tasting and vineyards, ambience
Carneros Resort and Spa
Private luxurious cottages surrounded by rolling vineyards – what more could you ask for in Napa? The pool is amazing with great vineyard views and it is the perfect place to enjoy a sunset. This is a beautiful romantic setting to sip some wine and relax.
Selling points: Rolling vineyards, pool and wine
Edgewood Resort Lake Tahoe
If you prefer lake view to ocean views, Edgewood Resort is a beautiful property to escape to. This one also has a golf course and a great restaurant at the property. I love view of Lake Tahoe from the restaurant.
Selling points: Lake views, golf
Allegretto Vineyard and Resort, Paso Robles
If Napa is too mainstream for you or need a less expensive option, try staying at the Allegretto Vineyard and Resort tucked away in Central California’s Paso Robles. I love the relative quiet of Paso Robles wineries and the downtown. In the heart of Paso Robles’ wine country, Allegretto Resort is filled with beautiful artworks. I highly recommend taking a tour or walking by yourself and check out the beautiful sculptures and artwork.
Selling points: Wine tasting, art, architecture
Vespera on Ocean, Pismo Beach
Pismo beach is one of the best places on the Central Coast for a romantic stay. It is on Highway 101 and there are many oceanfront and ocean view hotels with best sunset views. How awesome it would be to step out of the hotel and be at the beach? We stayed at Vespera most recently and loved our stay. It has a chill vibe and is a great escape from the chaos of the city. Vespera is also steps away from the beach and Pismo Beach Pier.
Selling points: Beach access, ocean views
Belmond El Encanto, Santa Barbara
Belmond El Encanto is where Spanish colonial architecture meets California’s coast. If you want a feel of how Hollywood peeps spend their romantic weekends, find out by staying at this Belmond. Belmond properties are grand and like any other Belmond property, this one also has almost a century of history behind it. It also provides amazing views of the American Riviera and gorgeous sunsets from the pool. If you like anything over the top, this is a must stay! The restaurant is also a great place to dine!
Selling points: Restaurant, pool, the grounds, spa
Four seasons The Biltmore, Montecito
Four Seasons properties across the world are of incredibly high standards and this one is no exception. Enjoy a romantic stay with beach views, immaculate grounds and beautiful architecture. Butterfly beach adjacent to the Four Seasons provides great sunset views. You will love it!
Selling points: The restaurant, ambience, gardens and beach
Ojai Valley Inn, Ojai
Ojai Valley Inn is a luxury resort in the Ojai Valley known for its pink sunsets, Celeb spottings and organic everything. This place just has a different vibe. Enjoy the multiple trails, beautiful property and the cute farmers markets.
Selling points: Pretty sunsets, boho vibes
Terranea Resort, Palos Verdes
Palos Verdes has a special place in my heart. It is one of the first places I had explored in California and love the panoramic ocean views from the cliffs. Terranea luxury resort is an oceanfront resort in Palos Verdes and is a great escape from the busy-ness of LA. You can spend a well rested and relaxed weekend watching the sunsets, enjoying a lap in the pool or a stroll along the ocean.
Selling points: SoCal sunsets and ocean views
Ritz Carlton Rancho Mirage, Palm Springs
If you prefer desert vibes a la Los Cabos over mountains or ocean, head over to Ritz Carlton in Palm Springs. Stay cool by jumping into the pool.
Selling points: Desert, pool
Avalon hotel, Catalina Island
If you are looking for Mediterranean island vibes in California, hop on a ferry and stay at Avalon hotel on Catalina Island. If you have not heard of Catalina Island, you are missing out. The island reminds me of the island of Capri in Italy. Avalon hotel has amazing views all around and Catalina Island is a great romantic spot to spend the weekend.
Selling points: Mediterranean feel, panoramic ocean views, island setting
Fairmont Del Mar, San Diego
It is no secret that I love Fairmont hotels. I make it a point to look for Fairmont hotels everywhere I go. Fairmont Del Mar is opulent with a world class golf course, several pools and beautiful grounds that are perfect for a stroll or photoshoot. Do yourself a favor and stay here if you are looking for a romantic stay in Southern California or San Diego. This is probably the most romantic hotel in Southern California.
Selling points: Architecture and grounds, pool, golf course
Writing about these reminded me of the wonderful time we had spent at these beautiful hotels. Ahh, how I wish I could teleport myself back to these hotels. If you think I missed something out, please comment below!
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I am Aswani Kurra. I am an engineer, dreamer and part-time wanderlust, writer and wine lover. I always had an urge to write, create and travel. So I created this space to satisfy my creative itch and combine all my skills to help you plan your Charming Escape.