6 Unforgettable Southern California Luxury Hotels
From historic beachfront properties to exciting urban getaways, Southern California boasts an array of hotels and resorts as varied as its landscape. The region is home to both the glamorous surroundings of Hollywood and the picturesque qualities of a Mediterranean oasis. Here, in no particular order, are a few memorable places to stay in the southern part of the Golden State.
Kicking off the list at #1, La Valencia Hotel is a historic inn located in San Diego's La Jolla community. Constructed in 1926, and used as a getaway for many of Hollywood's early elite, it incorporates various styles of the Spanish school of architecture. The establishment is a charter member of Historic Hotels of America. Nicknamed the "Pink Lady," it has undergone renovations and improvements throughout the years to combine an old-world ambiance with modern amenities.
From luxury rooms and suites with updated vintage designs, to an ocean-view pool that looks out over the shoreline, La Valencia Hotel provides a California coastal retreat for both couples and families. Guests may savor fresh-caught seafood at The Med, or enjoy cocktails and music at the Art Deco-inspired Cafe La Rue. The area is home to many recreational activities, like diving, snorkeling, or the picturesque greens at Torrey Pines Golf Course.
In at #2 is the InterContinental Los Angeles Century City at Beverly Hills. The hotel's lavish rooms and suites feature sofa beds, marble baths, and private balconies or terraces with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, Downtown LA, and Beverly Hills. Mari Los Angeles, the property's restaurant, serves globally-inspired cuisine that reflects the diversity of the city's neighborhoods. Guests may also try signature variations of classic cocktails at the Copper Lounge.
A variety of five-star amenities, like an outdoor edgeless pool and hot tub, spa, and fitness center, provide guests with opportunities for rejuvenation. The surrounding area offers upscale shopping in Beverly Hills, relaxing beaches, the multicultural Downtown Los Angeles, and museums including the Getty Center and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
At #3 on the list, Pelican Hill borrows its design from grand Venetian villas, with indoor spaces that open up to the outdoors to provide sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. Architectural details, like its Italian plaster finish and handmade terra cotta finials, lend an old-world atmosphere to this Newport Beach resort. Each one-story bungalow guest room or suite features a limestone fireplace, private terrace, wood beam ceiling, and a marble bath. Completing the Italy-inspired environment is a landscape of olive trees, cypress, pine trees, and Canary palms.
Visitors can reserve a private cabana at the resort's Coliseum Pool, which is decorated with over one million hand-cut glass mosaic tiles. The Spa at Pelican Hill personalizes treatments based on the needs of each individual. Therapists use only natural oils and infusions. After a relaxing afternoon, guests can dine at one of the hotel's many restaurants or cafes. The chefs at Andrea specialize in Northern Italian fare, with hand-rolled fresh pasta and sauces made from scratch. Meanwhile, Pelican Grill offers California coastal cuisine, such as fresh seafood and steaks.
Next at #4 is The Beverly Hilton. Opened in 1955 by Conrad Hilton, the Forbes Four-Star hotel stands at the crossroads of the iconic Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards. Accommodations include guest rooms, suites, luxury penthouses, and accessible rooms. Technologically advanced indoor and open-air spaces may be reserved for private events. The International Ballroom plays host to glamorous red carpet affairs, including the Golden Globe Awards, which has been held at the hotel since 1961.
The Beverly Hilton is home to multiple restaurants, serving everything from casual fare to private dinners. At Mercato, guests can sample baked pastries and coffee or enjoy artisan sandwiches and handmade pizzas poolside. Meanwhile, the kitchen at Circa 55 prepares classic California dishes from market-fresh and locally sourced ingredients. Amenities like the Aqua Star Pool and Upgrade Labs offer relaxation and rejuvenation, while a series of salons and boutiques provide shopping opportunities.
Coming in at #5, Balboa Bay Resort spans 15 waterfront acres of Newport Beach coastline. The Four-Diamond Resort caters to couples, families, and business travelers. Rooms boast ocean views and contemporary furnishings, with custom-designed shams, pillows, and throws. Waterline, Balboa Bay's primary restaurant, offers coastal-inspired cuisine within a beachfront setting. The menu focuses on seasonal ingredients, featuring local and regional seafood.
Visitors may relax poolside, drink-in-hand, on lounge chairs, daybeds, or private cabanas. On-site equipment rentals, like electric boats, paddle boards, kayaks, and bikes, may be reserved for a day of beach recreation. The spa at Balboa Bay Resort has a complete menu of traditional and signature massage services, skin treatments, and body therapies, while the Drybar offers full-service hair blowouts.
Lastly, at #6 is Solamar. This San Diego hotel, located in the East Village Gaslamp Quarter, is centrally positioned among the city's restaurants, bars, activities, and eclectic nightlife. The lobby is fashioned in soft gold tones, pops of color, decorative glass pendants, and curated artwork. With a casual rooftop pool and rooms, the location provides a luxury retreat amidst a bustling urban center.
Solamar's signature restaurant, Jsix, serves up a rotating menu of New England-influenced cuisine. Casual diners may visit Upper East, the property's rooftop bar, for craft cocktails and small plates, like rosemary french fries and house-made charcuterie. The pool, terrace, and lounge feature fire pits and private cabanas for a relaxing evening or fun social gathering.