The Most Romantic Hotels in California

10 Ridiculously Romantic Hotels in California

With its sandy beaches, redwood forests, sprawling vineyards, and desert landscapes, there are just so many romantic settings in the state of California. Whether you’re looking to surprise your partner with a 5-star beachfront hotel in Santa Monica or want to toast to a special occasion at a small-town winery in Healdsburg, California is brimming with romantic retreats.

But with so many incredible romantic getaways in California, you might not know where to begin. So, I’ve put together a list of the 10 most romantic hotels in California to help you plan an unforgettable getaway!

Ridiculously Romantic Hotels in California

Montage Healdsburg (Healdsburg)

Most Romantic Hotels in California: Montage Healdsburg
Photos: Montage Healdsburg

Located in Sonoma Valley and surrounded by wineries galore, the tiny town of Healdsburg is a great place for a romantic California getaway. While there are a lot of excellent hotels to choose from, Montage Healdsburg stands out from the rest for its spectacular setting and luxurious amenities. 

You’ll find Montage Healdsburg hidden away on 258 acres of vineyards and oak forest, 10 minutes from town. The rooms and suites here ooze luxury with their floor-to-ceiling windows with forest, mountain, or vineyard views, the marble baths with standalone soaking tubs, and the large outdoor spaces with personal firepits.  

The resort also features an 11,500-square-foot spa with curated couples treatments, educational wine experiences, and all sorts of excursions into the heart of wine country. Plus, the two “treehouse-inspired” dining rooms at Hazel Hill restaurant offer the perfect setting for romantic meals.


Ojai Valley Inn (Ojai)

Most Romantic Hotels in California: Ojai Valley Inn
Photos: Ojai Valley Inn

If you’re ever been to Ojai before, you’ll know that this place is home to one of the most romantic resorts in California. At Ojai Valley Inn, all luxury guest rooms are outfitted with fine Frette linens, in-room tablets, plush cotton robes, smart TVs, Nespresso machines, and artisanal bath amenities. 

If you can manage to tear yourself from your room, the world-class spa here offers a Couples Package with 60-minute Relaxation Massages in the Couples Suite, a Private Kuyam for two, and a complimentary lunch at Spa Café. 

After that you can spend the day over at the adults-only pool, which features a full bar in an oasis-like setting, or embark on one of the inn’s many romantic excursions or experiences. End your day with a locally-sourced dinner prepared by Chef Andrew Foskey at Olivella’s before grabbing a nightcap at Wallace Neff Heritage Bar.


Alila Ventana Big Sur (Big Sur)

Most Romantic Hotels in California: Alila Ventana Big Sur
Photos: Alila Ventana Big Sur

When it comes to romantic hotels in California for nature lovers, Alila Ventana Big Sur is tough to beat. This all-inclusive, adults-only retreat was tailor-made for romance, and you’ll love getting couples massages overlooking the forest, dining with unobstructed ocean views at The Sur House, and stargazing from the firepits at night.

From rooms with two-person outdoor showers to glamping tents in the middle of a redwood forest, there are a variety of guest rooms to choose from here. But for the ultimate romance, the Pacific House Suite gives you a private deck and hot tub with ocean views, an oversized two-person tub, and a cozy wood-burning fireplace.


L’Horizon Resort & Spa (Palm Springs)

Most Romantic Hotels in California: L’Horizon Resort & Spa
Photos: L’Horizon Resort & Spa

Built in 1952, L’Horizon was once visited by America’s rich and famous, including Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, and multiple US Presidents. Fast-forward to today, and this 21+ getaway has a new life as one of the most romantic resorts in California.

This exclusive 3-acre retreat is home to just 25 individual bungalows featuring mid-century and vintage decor, copper fireplaces, Frette linens, and marble baths with Le Labo amenities. Some even have cool extras like outdoor showers and private patios.

You can spend your entire getaway getting massages at the spa, working on your tan at the pool, dining alfresco at SO•PA restaurant, and so much more!


Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club (Malibu)

Most Romantic Hotels in California: Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club
Photos: Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club

Tucked away on 250 acres of land in the Santa Monica Mountains, Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club offers the ultimate romantic getaway. You can choose from a variety of guest rooms, but for something truly special the Single Bungalow gives you a master bedroom with a plush king-size bed, a living room fit for a star, a double vanity bathroom, and a lush outdoor patio with a freestanding bathtub and lounge area.

You’ll also get exclusive access to the Calamigos Beach Club, a five-acre ranch right on the Malibu coast where you can spend your days relishing in the natural beauty of the area. But if you’d prefer to spend your time at the main resort, you’ll love treating yourselves to the Couples Shakra Massage at the spa before sipping poolside cocktails in the afternoon and having a romantic dinner at The Ranch Club at night.


Bardessono (Napa Valley)

Most Romantic Hotels in California: Bardessono
Photos: Bardessono

If you’re dreaming of a romantic Napa getaway, Bardessono might be just what you’re looking for. You’ll find this luxury boutique hotel surrounded by gourmet restaurants and sprawling vineyards in the town of Yountville.

For a truly romantic option, choose one of the Maple Grove Villas, and you’ll get a living room, king bedroom, spa-like bathroom, and floor-to-ceiling stackable glass doors leading out to your private courtyard and “cocktail pool.” Villas also come with complimentary breakfast to enjoy either at your villa or at the on-site Lucy Restaurant.  

Explore the property, and you’ll find a heated rooftop pool and hot tub surrounded by luxe cabanas, as well as a spa and fitness center.  


Shutters on the Beach (Santa Monica)

Most Romantic Hotels in California: Shutters on the Beach
Photos: Shutters on the Beach

When it comes to a luxurious beach getaway in Southern California, it’s tough to beat Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica. Set right on the beach, this place is known as “Hollywood’s Beach House,” so expect to be treated like a celebrity during your stay.

To take full advantage of the location, it’s well worth splurging on the Ocean Front King Room, which features Cape Cod-inspired decor, a handcrafted king bed, a smart TV, a Nespresso coffee maker, and a hydrothermal massage tub (in most rooms). But the real standout is the private balcony with uninterrupted ocean views. 

Let the romance continue by getting relaxing treatments at ONE Spa, lazing the day away in a poolside cabana, sipping sunset cocktails with an ocean view at the Living Room and Terrace, and capping it all off with a romantic dinner at 1 Pico Restaurant and Courtyard.


El Encanto (Santa Barbara)

Most Romantic Hotels in California: El Encanto
Photos: El Encanto

Set high in the hills overlooking the Santa Barbara coast, El Encanto is perfect for a romantic retreat. As Santa Barbara’s oldest hotel, this place dates back to 1918 but rest assured the amenities are firmly rooted in the 21st century. 

Take in the ocean views from the infinity pool, book the “Time For Two” massage and chakra balancing session at the spa, take a stroll around the 7 acres of gardens, and enjoy alfresco meals with an ocean view at The Dining Room & Terrace.

Book one of the Signature Suites and you’ll be spoiled with all sorts of VIP extras, like a curated in-suite bar and coffee station, El Encanto’s “Dedicated Host” service, daily breakfast, and more!


Villa Mara Carmel (Carmel-by-the-Sea)

Most Romantic Hotels in California: Villa Mara Carmel
Photos: Villa Mara Carmel

With its cobblestone streets and fairytale-like buildings, Carmel-by-the-Sea is one of the most romantic destinations in California. But if you want to do your romantic retreat right, book a stay at Villa Mara Carmel!

Located just steps away from Carmel Beach, this intimate hotel has just 15 luxury rooms, most of which feature a private balcony with an ocean view. But no matter which you choose, you’ll get a smart TV with Apple TV, a complimentary locally sourced minibar, and a luxurious bathroom with heated floors and Le Labo amenities.

You’ll love the complimentary extras, including a glass of wine at check-in, breakfast in the mornings, and use of the Linus bikes to cruise around town. If you’re in the mood for a tipple, you can order drinks at the full bar in the evenings and get cozy by the fireplace or around the firepit in the backyard.


1906 Lodge (Coronado) 

Romantic Getaway Hotels in California: 1906 Lodge
Photos: 1906 Lodge

If you’re planning a romantic weekend away in San Diego and you’re looking for something truly intimate, look into a stay at 1906 Lodge in Coronado. Built in 1906, this place has been given new life as a 17-room bed and breakfast.

For the most romantic room in the house, reserve the Grand King Spa Guestroom and you’ll get a plush king-size bed, an oversized in-room spa tub, and a spacious living area. You can even arrange to have romantic extras in your room, like a bottle of champagne, a box of truffles, or a Bath Bliss Set.

In the morning, you’ll be treated to a lavish complimentary breakfast with bottomless mimosas, while in the afternoon, you can enjoy freshly baked cookies before mixing and mingling with your fellow guests at the evening wine socials!

There you have it! The 10 most romantic hotels for couples in California. What’s your favorite? 


Author

  • Justine Lopez

    Justine is a writer and editor who always seems to take the unconventional route in life. She also suffers from a serious case of wanderlust!

    In 2013, she left her hometown in California and set off on a yearlong round-the-world journey with her now-husband – they never looked back. Since then, she’s lived the expat life in Indonesia, Cambodia, China, Vietnam, Mexico, and now Dubai. Along the way, she's written and edited for magazines, newspapers, and websites in Asia and beyond.

    When she's not stoking her wanderlust by working on travel articles for Wandering Wheatleys, Justine is busy caring for her many foster cats in Dubai, seeking out all the delicious vegetarian food, and taking every chance she gets to explore a new corner of the world!

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