Gorgeous rooms, great amenities, incredible surroundings and next-level relaxation… for your honeymoon, only the best will do. These California stays fit the bill, and they’re bookable on Culture Trip.
There’s something about California that just invites romance. Its sandy beaches practically beg you to walk hand in hand along them. The dramatic sunsets cajole you to sit down and share a bottle of local, world-beating wine. Its pools and sunloungers implore you to stop looking at emails and instead rub sun cream onto each other’s backs. From the coast to the mountains, these gorgeous hotels offer plenty of good reasons to take a well-earned rest together, whether you’ve just got hitched or simply because you deserve it.
Picture yourself in 1950s California, lounging beside a pool in impeccably tasteful surroundings. Originally designed in 1952 as a retreat for a Hollywood power couple, today its iconic mid-century house and 25 bungalows provide sensuous backdrops for your own love story. Get a complimentary foot massage by the infinity pool, or shower outside under the stars. Then, snuggle up by a wood fire in Marilyn Monroe’s old holiday let and feel the chill of those desert nights melt away.
Slip across the bridge from San Diego and step back in time at this charming hacienda on Coronado Island. Its 1900 building has been renovated in the original Spanish style, giving the hotel an exotic flavour – as well as a heated swimming pool and hot tub. You’re just five minutes from what might well be the best beach in California – its sands actually sparkle, thanks to a high mica content – making this a perfect choice if you’re looking for a week of pure sun, sea and sand.
If you’re not one of those couples who plan to vegetate on your honeymoon, then this cliffside Mendocino gem is for you. Surrounded by dramatic northern California scenery over 37 private acres (15ha), it enables guests to get out and hike Pacific coast trails, hit the beach or visit local wineries. That is, when you’re not simply lolling around in the spa in matching robes. Opt for an ocean-side suite and you can sit out on your private deck by day, then be lulled to sleep by the waves at night.
There’s nothing rustic about this country lodge in the Carmel Valley. This is a proper luxury hotel, with not a pillow or a teaspoon out of place. It just happens to be located in a natural environment that feels abundant and manicured at the same time. As you’d expect from a vineyard hotel, its wine list is next-level; restaurant Lucia grows its own ingredients, too. The hotel even has its own romance butler, who can arrange picnics, couple’s massages, and, yes, a sprinkling of rose petals on your bed.
A honeymoon resort on steroids, everything about this Laguna Beach pad is that bit extra. There’s not one, but two outdoor pool decks. You can dine at three signature restaurants, all with Pacific views, and the Montage spa covers a whopping 2,000sqm (21,500sqft). There are even reports of dolphin spotting from the private balconies, so sit sipping a local chardonnay at sunset and watch them play. It doesn’t get much more “extra” than that.
Raise a glass and toast to the future at this classy urban boutique hotel in the heart of wine country. Whether you’re stepping out to hyperlocal tasting rooms for a champagne-sipping session, or raising a glass with newfound friends around the fire pit at the hotel’s rooftop bar, you’ll certainly be saying cheers for the recommendation. Opt for the king suite or the den and, the morning after, you can shut the curtains on your four-poster bed and just cocoon.
It’s not something you’re supposed to admit to, but some of us worry we might get bored with just whispering sweet nothings while on honeymoon. If that’s you, then opt for this star of the Sonoma Coast. A thoughtful 2016 renovation of a 1960s design icon, this property now has an outdoor games room, fire pits, on-site wine tastings, and plenty of watersport options. Plus, there are more than 2mi (3km) of coastal hiking trails to explore. Suites also come with record players, yoga mats, fireplaces and large soaking tubs. So – whether you’re hiking, making smores or downward-dogging together – you’ll have plenty to keep you entertained.
Be a part of real LA culture at this uber-trendy West Hollywood design hotel. Not only are you right in the heart of the action physically, between Melrose Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, but you’ll be rubbing shoulders with the beautiful people at the poolside bar, and regularly curated restaurant pop-ups. It’s not the quietest or most relaxing honeymoon experience, sure. But, if you want somewhere buzzing where you can play at being a real Angeleno, this is the one.
It may be celebrating its 40th birthday this year, but this celebrity favorite has never looked better. Set up by a French restaurateur in the early 80s, Auberge Du Soleil aims to bring the soul of Provence to northern California’s wine country. Its dedication to Gallic style and hospitality can be seen in everything from the Michelin-starred restaurant to the spa, pool and incredible 100-piece sculpture garden. Maisons named after southern French towns are dotted around the grounds, giving romantic views across the sun-washed vines and the mountains beyond.
This is a rewrite of an article originally by Deanna Morgado.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.