The Most Beautiful Honeymoon Hotels to Book in California

Yosemite National Park, California, United States
Yosemite National Park, California, United States | © Giuseppe Milo/Flickr
Photo of Sarah Warwick
20 September 2021

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.

L'Horizon Resort & Spa

Boutique Hotel, Spa Hotel
4.5/5 (421 Reviews)
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Courtesy of L'Horizon Resort & Spa / Expedia
Price Drop
Now from $556 per night

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.

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El Cordova Hotel

Hotel
4.2/5 (921 Reviews)
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Courtesy of El Cordova Hotel / Expedia
Price Drop
Now from $229 per night

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.

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Heritage House Resort & Spa

Hotel, Resort, Luxury
Heritage House Resort & Spa 4
Courtesy of Heritage House Resort & Spa / Expedia

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.

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Bernardus Lodge & Spa

Hotel, Luxury
4.8/5 (429 Reviews)
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Courtesy of Bernardus Lodge & Spa / Expedia
Price Drop
Now from $335 per 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.

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Montage Laguna Beach

Resort, Luxury
4.7/5 (461 Reviews)
Montage Laguna Beach
Courtesy of Montage Laguna Beach / Expedia
Price Drop
Now from $951 per night

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.

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  • Archer Hotel Napa

    Boutique Hotel
    4.6/5 (953 Reviews)
    The Archer
    Courtesy of Archer Hotel Napa / Expedia
    Price Drop
    Now from $403 per night

    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.

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    Post Ranch Inn

    Resort, Inn, Hotel, Treehouse
    5/5 (8 Reviews)
    This collection of chalets and cottages really makes the most of its location in the stunning Big Sur. Choose from a secluded woodland cabin (some are actual treehouses) or one of several romantic bungalows strung along the cliffside. The majestic Pacific provides a dramatic backdrop and a regular reminder that this is no ordinary setting – particularly at sunset. The infinity pool, daily yoga, forest bathing and two couples’ spa rooms ensure that natural beauty and extreme relaxation are at the centre of any stay.
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    Timber Cove Resort

    Resort, Luxury
    H2Hotel
    Courtesy of Timber Cove Resort / Expedia

    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.

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    Kimpton La Peer Hotel, an IHG Hotel

    Chain Hotel
    4.5/5 (170 Reviews)
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    Courtesy of Kimpton La Peer Hotel / Expedia
    Price Drop
    Now from $324 per night

    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.

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    Auberge Du Soleil

    Boutique Hotel, Suite Hotel, Luxury
    4.8/5 (57 Reviews)
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    Courtesy of Auberge du Soleil / Expedia

    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.

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    This is a rewrite of an article originally by Deanna Morgado.

    These recommendations were updated on September 20, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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