Hotels on the beach in California

A vacation at any of these renowned beaches is bound to be fun and relaxing, especially if you book one of these top hotels on the beach in California.

Enjoy the beauty of the Californian coastline this summer. Image credit: Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa

Whether you’re checking into a hotel near Huntington Beach or San Diego to chase the surf breaks, relaxing in posh luxury in Santa Barbara, or opting for a little razzle-dazzle in LA, a Californian beach holiday is always a great choice.

Take a look at these amazing hotels on the beach in California.

San Diego – sun, sand, and golf

San Diego offers some of the best weather in the country, and multiple beachfront locations let you choose exactly the kind of relaxation you want. When you’re looking for hotels on the beach in southern California, you can’t do much better than these beautiful hotels on the beach in California.

Hotel del Coronado

Affectionately known as “The Del”, Hotel del Coronado has been a landmark on San Diego’s Coronado Peninsula for more than 130 years, with its classic wooden Victorian architecture attracting millions of visitors to its comfort and amenities over the decades.

For a touch of added luxury, book a room at the Beach Village, which offers spacious cottages right on the beach. You’ll have access to private pools with beach towels, beach chairs, and umbrellas all available for your time on Coronado’s white sands.

Enjoy free breakfast daily, and stop in at the dining room for Sunday brunch or a special dinner. You’re just a bridge away from San Diego’s downtown, with its happening Gaslamp Quarter filled with restaurants, clubs, and theaters.

La Valencia

This old-world hotel has been entrancing visitors to La Jolla for almost 100 years, with its pink Spanish exterior that wraps you in beauty as soon as you step through the gates. High-end bedding, in-room whirlpools, and private balconies help make each room at La Valencia Hotel a gem — and listening to the waves wash into La Jolla Cove doesn’t hurt the effect. Enjoy drinks and dinner in the hotel’s beautiful rooms, or stroll through the heart of La Jolla’s art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants, right outside the hotel doors.

The Lodge at Torrey Pines

The pool at the Lodge at Torrey Pines. Image credit: Lodge at Torrey Pines

The spectacular arts and crafts styling of this five-star hotel is something not to be missed and its ideal location — just north of La Jolla and just south of the Torrey Pines State Reserve — surrounds you with natural beauty.

While not technically on the beach, this property boasts ocean views, with lush green parkland in the foreground, or views to the Torrey Pines Golf Course from the ambiance of your room.

On those colder nights, cuddle up with a book at one of the many welcoming fireplaces around The Lodge at Torrey Pines. Guests have access to the PGA-Tour golf course, as well as a full spa, fitness center, and pool. Dine in the award-winning farm-to-table restaurant A.R. Valentien to make your stay complete.

L’Auberge Del Mar

L’Auberge del Mar main lobby. Image credit: L’Auberge del Mar

San Diego’s North County offers the Del Mar Racetrack, Legoland, and the flower fields of Carlsbad — and the L’Auberge Del Mar gives you a comfortable spot to relax while you enjoy it all.

Located in Del Mar, this picture-perfect property features 121 guestrooms with access to an “ocean-inspired” wellness spa, to help you get into the mood of the coastal village.

Don’t want to leave your pooch at home? This dog-friendly accommodation boasts chef-inspired meals for your furry friend and is a short walk to hiking trails where dogs on leashes are welcome and a well-known dog beach.

Explore the farm-to-table restaurant at the hotel, or the many intriguing eateries in Del Mar Village. Easy access to one of North County’s most beautiful beaches lets you soak up the rays.

Orange County – luxury hotels on the beach in California

While life in the O.C. can be just as over-the-top as it’s portrayed on TV, you can find some beachfront serenity at these posh beachfront hotels in California.

The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel

The ocean views are breathtaking, the Sunday brunch is legendary, and the surfing is excellent at this Ritz-Carlton hotel at Dana Point. The hotel is perched on a cliff over the ocean, which means you can count on seeing the sunset clearly.

Join expeditions with local naturalists to explore the wild areas surrounding the hotel, or pamper yourself at the top-notch spa. If you’re a golfer, the hotel will connect you to any of several local courses. At the end of the day, you can relax in the sense of serenity engendered by the beautifully decorated rooms.

Montage Laguna Beach

Balcony views out to the ocean from the Catalina Suite at Montage Laguna Beach. Image credit: Montage Laguna Beach

Long known as an artistic haven, Laguna Beach now hosts a hotel with a sense of elegance that dovetails perfectly with the tiny town’s posh boutiques and galleries. Montage Laguna Beach is an ideal romantic getaway, with one of the most intimate and sensual restaurants in the county at Studio.

Relax on a terrace overlooking the ocean, or lounge by the pool as you while your cares away. In-house boutiques are worthy of a look, and the hotel’s location immediately south of downtown Laguna makes it easy to stroll into town for further shopping. Don’t miss the luxurious spa treatments to top off your stay.

Los Angeles – beachfront luxury and urban hotels

While LA is a bustling city offering tourists and locals with plenty to explore, the sprawling city also home to some spectacular beaches and beautiful places to stay. Take a look at these amazing hotels on the beach in California, Los Angeles.

Terranea Resort

An bird’s eye view of Terranea Resort. Image credit: Terranea Resort

This hidden gem in the southwest corner of Los Angeles County provides a sophisticated retreat that’s nonetheless family-friendly, with kids’ programs, a large pool with a water slide, and s’ mores every night. The 100-acre resort’s casitas and bungalows overlook the Pacific Ocean, each of them packed with wellness-minded amenities.

At Terranea Resort, you can enjoy the award-winning golf course, your choice of four swimming pools, a fitness center, or head out on a hike through the wilderness of the stunning Palos Verdes Peninsula — then bliss out in the full-service spa. Nine restaurants offer a wide variety of dining choices, ranging from fine dining to kid-friendly.

Shutters on the Beach

If you think you’ve spotted a celebrity at this beachfront resort in Santa Monica, you’re probably right. Shutters on the Beach is a Cape Cod-style hotel that feels like your personal beach house, whether you’re watching the sunset from your balcony or lounging by the pool.

The white sands of Santa Monica are at your feet or stroll to the nearby Santa Monica Pier for carnival fun or to the Third Street Promenade for high-end shopping and entertainment. Indulge yourself at the ONE Spa, which prides itself on its organic wellness treatments, before you dine lavishly at the renowned 1 Pico restaurant in the hotel.

Hotel Casa del Mar

Hotel Casa del Mar Presidential Suite. Image credit: Hotel Casa del Mar

This sister hotel to Shutters on the Beach has a completely different vibe — more sophisticated, more Mediterranean. The entire first floor at Hotel Casa del Mar is given over to an enormous lobby bar that somehow manages to be intimate and welcoming as you linger over drinks, coffee, or afternoon tea.

Guest rooms are luxurious and appointed with iPads, marble bathrooms, and antiques. Pamper yourself in the Sea Wellness Spa, head outside to visit Santa Monica’s Muscle Beach, and dine at Catch, one of the top seafood restaurants in all of LA.

The Central California Coast – breathtaking natural beauty

Whether you drive through the lush golden and green hills adjoining Route 101 or venture onto the twists and turns of California’s Highway 1 as it winds along the Big Sur coastline, the central coast of California invites you to a world of wineries and incredible beauty.

The Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara

Just wandering through the grounds between the Spanish revival casitas lifts your spirits when you visit this hotel on the beach in California, Montecito, an idyllic suburb on the south-side of Santa Barbara.

The in-house spa at this Four Seasons Resort will bring many treatments right to your room, just in case you want to linger swathed by luxurious down bedding for a few more moments. Highly regarded as one of the best hotels in Santa Barbara, you can’t go wrong with a stay at this luxurious establishment.

Relax by the pool or head to the beach to enjoy the best of SoCal’s near-perfect weather, or hop a bit north to Santa Barbara’s beautiful State Street for some high-end shopping. Romantic meals at the hotel’s two restaurants add to the fulfillment of your time at this gracious, old-world resort.

El Capitan Canyon

For a change of pace, try glamping at El Capitan Canyon, a cozy nook that pairs outdoor beauty with a touch of luxurious comfort. Heated safari tents, yurts, and cedar cabins feature queen beds, private picnic areas, and fire pits.

Just across the road to the west is El Capitan State Beach, or hike up into the 300 acres of wilderness through the Santa Ynez Mountains to commune with nature. A pool awaits you when you don’t feel like the beach, and nearby annual summer concerts add to your fun.

Dolphin Bay Resort and Spa

A view from the balcony at Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa. Image credit: Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa

If you’re planning a wine-tasting trip to the Central California tasting rooms in Arroyo Grande and Avila Valley, make this Pismo Beach resort your stopping place. Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa’s beachy feel and ocean views delight guests. The hotel is happy to pack a picnic basket for you and arrange for free bikes to let you explore coastal trails — or head to Pismo State Beach to enjoy the fun of driving your car on the sand and through the surf (the only beach in California where that’s allowed).

The Monterey Bay region – history, golf and beauty

Whether you prefer world-class golf or want to pamper yourself with a spa weekend, you can choose from ocean-front hotels with spectacular views and service.

Post Ranch Inn

Enjoy the expansive ocean views from your room. Image credit: Post Ranch Inn
Enjoy the expansive ocean views from your room. Image credit: Post Ranch Inn

This intimate hotel built into the Big Sur cliffs seems to grow right out of the coastline itself. Floor-to-ceiling windows in many rooms reveal unbelievable views of the Pacific Ocean, the mountains, and the redwood trees surrounding the inn.

Stay cozy with wood-burning fireplaces and radiant floor heating, or relax outside with your private deck and hot tub. Post Ranch Inn is designed to help you unwind, with cliff-top pools, free yoga classes, and a state-of-the-art spa that focuses on relaxation and rejuvenation. The lack of TVs and alarm clocks helps you disconnect as well. All linens and bath products are organic, and each of the spacious rooms enjoys eco-sensitive design. The hotel’s restaurant, Sierra Mar, is worth the drive all on its own.

Casa Palmero

This intimate hotel sits right on the fairways of the Pebble Beach Golf Course just south of Carmel, providing you with both spectacular views of the greens and access to the Pebble Beach resort’s Beach & Tennis Club, which also includes a full spa.

Stay at least two nights at Casa Palmero, and you also get a tee time at the legendary golf course. Service at this Italian villa-style resort is exemplary, with breakfast baskets delivered by room service daily, complimentary cocktails each evening, and fresh flowers in every room.

The Inn at Spanish Bay

It’s all luxury at this ocean-facing hotel on the famous 17-Mile Drive. This sister hotel to Casa Palmero also offers a tee time at the renowned Pebble Beach Golf Course if you stay at least two nights. Because The Inn at Spanish Bay is a bit north of Pebble Beach itself, you have easy access to the shops and eateries in Monterey’s Cannery Row, as well as the fascinating Monterey Bay Aquarium and the butterfly sanctuary in Pacific Grove.

Northern California – San Francisco and wineries

It’s all too easy to think of San Francisco alone when you think of Northern California, but the state stretches farther north from there. When you’re considering the best places to stay in California, don’t neglect NorCal.

Little River Inn

View From Deck in Alice Abbot Suite at Little River Inn. Image credit: Brendan McGuigan
View From Deck in Alice Abbot Suite at Little River Inn. Image credit: Brendan McGuigan

Little River Inn on the Mendocino coastline brings the romance with Victorian furnishings and rooms with private Jacuzzis and fireplaces. Spot whales from your ocean view room or from the restaurant, where you can enjoy the rare treat of fresh abalone. Local golf courses feature spectacular ocean views, as does the resort’s deck, where the Pacific Ocean stretches out in front of you as you enjoy an evening drink.

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

This romantic resort sits on the Pacific Ocean side of the San Francisco Peninsula, offering you views of the bay surrounded by elegant appointments. At The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, you can spend your day on the meticulously cared-for golf course (though expect to be distracted by the views), or wander over to the village of Half Moon Bay to do some shopping or watch world-class surfers at the famous Mavericks surf break. Evenings bring you to oceanfront fire pits before you retire to your spacious shuttered room.

Whether you’re flying into LAX, SFO, San Diego, or Orange County’s John Wayne Airport, making that final connection to your hotel is an important leg of your journey. Book a reliable Blacklane airport transfer to start and end your travel in comfort and style.