I’m the kind of girl who goes absolutely crazy over holidays. Well, any milestone, actually. Forgive me if I come across as slightly basic, but I believe that the memories created by holidays, weddings, graduations, birthdays, anniversaries and even passings of loved ones is what transcends us from merely existing to really living. So it’s no surprise that this mushy sap goes completely ga-ga over Valentine’s Day. I know… I’m that girl who TYPES IN ALL CAPS against the cupid scrooges posting anti-Valentine’s Day propaganda on Facebook as I source Pinterest for unique Valentine-themed cupcakes.
Valentine’s Day is 1 week away, but if you’re not like me and haven’t started planning for your wanderlust-ing sweetie since December, have no fear! I’ve compiled 10 of the most romantic hotels in California to celebrate any occasion. Why California? Because it has every type of climate, activity and travel budget. (Oh, and because I live there.)
Korakia Pensione, Palm Springs
A taste of the Mediterranean with a glimpse of Morocco amidst the tranquil desert of Palm Springs is the perfect, offbeat retreat for you and your loved one. This boutique hotel is all about enjoying a magical night under the stars in true, Sahara desert fashion. Korakia is still a bit of a secret, so make sure to visit this tucked-away gem before it becomes a must-visit hotel.
Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur
Big Sur is still a major travel destination and it’s no wonder why. With amazing ocean views, fresh air, and peace and quiet, Big Sur is rapidly becoming the “it” spot for Californians and tourists alike. Instead of glamping or just straight up camping, trade up for an even more romantic experience at the famous Post Ranch Inn. With the hotel nestled cliffside, that picturesque sunset will be worth every penny.
Allegretto Vineyard Resort at Paso Robles
This resort may be apart of the Ayres chain, but this vineyard retreat is one of a kind! Imagine yourself sipping local wine by the pool in your own Tuscan villa (perhaps shared with a few other guests). This resort is brand new so be prepared for extra pampering so that they can create a legacy to match their other famous resorts.
The St. Regis Monarch Beach, Dana Point
Unlike Laguna Beach, Dana Point is much more laid back and quiet. If you’re looking for quality hospitality paired with a more authentic atmosphere, the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort is it! This popular wedding destination may even lead you to spot a celebrity or two.
San Ysidro Ranch, Montecito
This posh hideaway is perfect if you’re looking for a storybook staycation. Enjoy a sunset dinner amongst the lavender fields before you retreat to your private cottage. If you’re not afraid to splurge, make sure to book John and Jackie’s honeymoon retreat. This large room was one of the president’s favorite vacation spots!
Calistoga Ranch, Napa Valley
In a place where wine and indulgence comes first, Calistoga prides itself in providing a tranquil and natural environment before even thinking about drinking. Contrary to every other resort located along Napa’s famous vineyards, this ranch allows all the perks of wine tasting while having your much needed privacy. In addition to an amazing spa date, you’ll be treated to some amazing food.
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
Ojai, also known as California’s own shangri-la, is the best place to go when looking for some R&R with your loved one. The state of the art spa and endless activities make this century-old hotel seem like a dream while the 1920s Spanish architecture and large pool make for the perfect environment to enjoy the famous “Pink Moment.”
La Valencia Hotel, La Jolla
Way down south in one of my favorite places in California is the perfect blend of atmospheres for your romantic getaway. Think Palm Springs meets The Beverly Hills Hotel where old Hollywood glamour is paired with secluded beaches and a deserted feeling. If you want to get a little more of the hustle and bustle during your stay, San Diego is only 20 minutes away!
Inn on Mt. Ada, Catalina Island
Looking to get away from it all? Hop on the $75 ferry to Catalina and stay in the lavish and historical Inn on Mt. Ada. Catalina can be a tad busy during Valentine’s Day, but nothing compared to the hour-long wait at your favorite restaurant in Los Angeles. If chain hotels or resorts aren’t your style, this 6 guest room mansion has more of a b&b feel. However the personal transportation, concierge and service will surpass your average, typical inn.
The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe
If you’re more of an adventurous couple who look for activity rather than bedtime, than you can head to the glitzy Ritz-Carlton ski and spa resort in Lake Tahoe. Enjoy hot chocolate with your honey before hitting the slopes as you have direct access to the mountains behind you. You can even get a relaxing couples massage after skiing all day long.
Where do you stay when looking for romance in California?