The Best Boutique Hotels in California

Best Boutique Hotels in California

Being based out of The Golden State again these days, I’m finding myself spoiled for choice when it comes to incredible places to visit in California (and not just Los Angeles).

Staycations and generally just sticking close to home in California is easy when you can explore the beaches, mountains, vineyard, and other incredible local gems without crossing state lines.

Whether you are traveling across the state or across the globe, the array of options is dizzying. So, I’ve broken ‘em all down for you!

From the edges of Northern California to the southern border, here are the very best boutique hotels in California!

The Francis House Calistoga Boutique Hotel

Calistoga | Napa Valley

It’s easy to see why this stately spot was featured in Architectural Digest. A hidden gem tucked away beside the world-famous hot springs of Calistoga, there are only 15 rooms in this luxurious French-inspired historical home.

This adults-only spot with an infrared sauna, salt room, stone fire pit, swimming pool, and on-site massages was made for a relaxing retreat.


Wine Country | Napa Valley

Set on 27-acres of the vineyard just out of Napa, you’ll find a home away from home in one for the cozy cottages dotting the gardens.

With your pick of three farm-to-table restaurants, two sparkling pools, a luxurious spa, a 3000-square-foot fitness center, you can have a dream escape without ever leaving the resort.


San Francisco Proper Hotel California Boutique Hotel

Mid–Market District | San Francisco

On the famous Market Street, you’ll find this historic flatiron building with all of the bells and whistles that you would expect from a four-star hotel. Steps away from the Civic Center BART Station, this is an easy option for exploring the best of the city.

With noise-proof rooms, in-room craft cocktails, and seasonal dining options, you’ll feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city here.


Highway 1 | Big Sur

On a dramatic cliff overlooking the sparkling seas of the Pacific, this award-winning luxury hotel was made for romantic escapes.

Start your day with a yoga class right outside of your door, soak in the sea views from the basking pools, get the five-star treatment in the spa then head out on a nature hike.

When you are ready to settle in for the evening, pull up a seat outside for incredible star-gazing.


Highway 1 | Big Sur

On the rugged California coast, you’ll find the perfect spot for a chill weekend away. Opt for a cozy guest room for two or a spacious cottage for the whole crew.

Soaking in the Japanese tub, linger over the wine-and-cheese reception, and just taking in the incredible nature. I had such a good time staying at Ventana Big Sur, and I’d highly recommend it for taking your visit to another level.


Autocamp Russian River Guerneville

Guerneville | Sonoma County

Love the great outdoors? Into wine? Welcome to your new favorite destination: the Russian River. Nestled amongst soaring Sonoma redwoods, you get an elevated glamping experience at AutoCamp Russian River.

Stargaze outside of your retro Airstream, sip local vintages from your suites, or disconnect inside of your lurry tent. From one of the world’s greatest Pinot Noir regions, you can reconnect with nature.


The Inn Above Tide Boutique Hotel California

Sausalito | San Francisco Bay

Tucked away just beside the Sausalito Ferry Terminal, you’ll have the best of San Francisco at your fingertips… and the madness of urban life a world away. From this luxury retreat, you can sit on your private deck and take in the panoramic view of San Francisco.

From The Inn Above Tide, you’re just beside the best galleries, restaurants, and cafes of the leafy Sausalito village, then take a quick drive to the vineyards of Sonoma and Napa.


Carmel Valley Ranch California Boutique Hotel

Carmel-By-The-Sea | Monterey Peninsula

Part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, this lovely town has a beautiful resort with everything that you would expect from a four-star hotel, along with some great surprises.

Clever little perks like the “Ask the Farmer!” with Farmer Mark chat and nightly s’mores by the Lodge Pool make your stay that much more memorable.

One of the top honeymoon destinations in the United States, it’s a perfect spot for couples to get away from it all.


San Luis Obispo | Central Coast

Amongst all of the tourist hotspots of California, you will find a highly underrated treasure: San Luis Obispo. There is so much to do and see in SLO — and, even still, staying at the Madonna Inn was one of my favorite experiences!

I adore the cotton candy pink interiors and whimsical vibe of this vintage gem. No matter how many times I visit, the Barbie dream that is the Madonna Inn makes me smile.

If you’re looking for the ultimate girls’ getaway destination, you’ve come to the right place.


Santa Barbara | Central Coast

A Kirkwood Collection property, the Hideaway Santa Barbara is perfected placed just between the famous Funk Zone and the picture-perfect harbor.

This effortlessly chic four-star resort is a quiet hideaway within easy walking distance to Stearns Wharf for all of the best shopping and dining in town.


Santa Barbara | Central Coast

With non-stop nightlife, world-class wine, and stunning beaches, Santa Barbara is another one of my favorite California destinations so I’ve got a few local favorites.

To explore this dream destination, stay just off the iconic State Street at Haley Hotel. With easy walking distance to the best of the entertainment district and endless beaches, you won’t find a better location in town.


Santa Barbara | Central Coast

If you’re looking for a luxe option in Santa Barbara, it’s all about Hotel Californian. I had a great stay in this Spanish Colonial seaside resort.

From the luxurious spa treatments to the locally sourced menu in the on-site restaurant, this place impressed me at every turn.


Ojai | Ventura County

This five-star luxury resort with its lavish spa and golf course spread out over 220 lush green acres is way more than just a place to lie your head at night.

Explore the Artist Cottage & Apothecary, sample one of the seven on-site eateries, then try your hand at the immersive beekeeping experience. Named one of the top hotels in the world by Travel + Leisure mag, this place is a destination in and of itself.


the line hotel los angeles

Koreatown | Los Angeles

This industrial-chic spot in Koreatown is one of the hippest destinations in the city.

With a view of the Hollywood Hills, a buzzy restaurant, loaner bikes, and a dream location, this dog-friendly find in the heart of LA is the kind of place you’ll never want to leave.


Malibu | Los Angeles County

Welcome to your dream Malibu home! Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this four-star gem beside Malibu Pier offers sunny spaces with kitchenettes and terraces, along with a dream view of the sea (or mountainscape).

Grab a complimentary surfboard or stand-up paddleboard and let the laid-back beach vibe steal your heart.


Hollywood | Los Angeles County

Just off Hollywood Boulevard, this upscale spot is perfect for a girls’ trip to LA. Lounge by the pool, lunch at the on-site farm-to-table restaurant, then hit the town.

Plus, the dreamy aesthetic will make you feel like you’ve been whisked away for a Mediterranean getaway.


palihouse santa monica california boutique hotel

Santa Monica | Los Angeles County

This boutique beach spot offers a range of guest rooms and studio residences that will have you feeling right at home. Soak in the Moorish-style Mediterranean Revival Architecture of this stylish space then start exploring.

With one of the best locations in town, you’re just a short walk from the Santa Monica Pier, Third Street Promenade, and the Farmer’s Market.


Rancho Santa Fe | San Diego County

The five-star suites and villas of the Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa that dot the 45 acres of lush gardens and olive groves will take your breath away.

Linger in plush bedding, take in the view from your private patio, then wander down to the wine bar. This Mediterranean sanctuary is the ultimate destination for a special occasion when you just deserve a treat.


hotel joaquin laguna beach california boutique hotel

Laguna Beach | Orange County

Nestled between the San Joaquin Hills and the Pacific Ocean, the swanky Hotel Joaquin is an idyllic adult-only retreat where you can disconnect from the world.

Treat yourself to a spa afternoon, chill at the saltwater pool, then sample the delights of the farm-to-table restaurant on-site.

As a perk, this green hotel works with the Clean the Ocean conservation, collaborates with local farmers for the resultant, and provides cruelty-free bath products.


Downtown SD | San Diego County

A Tribute Portfolio Hotel set in the center of downtown San Diego, The Guild Hotel is a stylish four-star pick with everything that you need at your fingertips.

Soak in the cityscape from the open-air restaurants, work up a sweat in the handy on-site gym, then hit the town. Before you go, be sure to grab my all-in-one San Diego travel guide.


Palm Springs | Coachella Valley

From girlfriend getaways to romantic escapes, staying at ARRIVE in Palm Springs is a dream. Relish the Hollywood glamour as you lounge poolside in this four-star spot in the center of the action.

Oh, and be sure to check out the amazing brew in nearby cafe Customs Coffee to bring back a treat to your private poolside cabana.


Palm Springs | Coachella Valley

This Mediterranean-style pensione in Palm Springs was named one of the sexiest hotels in America by the New York Times.

With the eclectic Morrocan-inspired gardens filled with olive trees and citrus blossoms, this architectural gem is an essential visit for design lovers.


Laguna Beach | Orange County

Home to some of the best beaches in SoCal, Laguna Beach is one of the top stops along the Pacific Coast Highway. Between the canyon and the sea, you’ll find a five-star hotel that you will never want to leave.

Wander the 15,000 acres of hiking terrain right outside the door then lounge in the infrared sauna. When you’re ready to unwind, get a seat by the fire pit and sip a craft cocktail when you check out the live music act of the night and roast s’mores.


Planning the ultimate California adventure? Steal some inspiration from my two-week CA road trip itinerary!

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