Luxury living in California

Beverly Hills offers some of the finest hotels in the world, providing luxurious accommodations and unparalleled service set within a glamorous enclave in the centre of Los Angeles


Beverly Hills, Los Angeles County

Beverly Hills offers some of the finest hotels in the world, providing luxurious accommodations and unparalleled service set within a glamorous enclave in the centre of Los Angeles. Hotels in this city cater to movie stars, monarchs, studio moguls and visitors alike, offering first-class amenities and service. When it comes to finding a home away from home, Beverly Hills hotels offer luxury for every taste.

Santa Barbara’s luxury resorts

Lodgings in Santa Barbara specialise in laid-back luxury, with settings ranging from hilltop areas, to secret bungalows, to edge-of-the-sea dazzlers. The Belmond El Encanto offers terraced gardens and sweeping views of the Pacific perched in the hills above town. Natural beauty meets luxury at San Ysidro Ranch, nestled in the Montecito foothills. At the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore has onsite tennis courts and provides access to nearby golf courses. Guests can also use the Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club, across the street at secluded Butterfly Beach.

Ahwahnee Hotel, Yosemite National Park

This national historic landmark in Yosemite Valley has several “public rooms” where visitors can soak up its 1927 architecture, designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood. Adorning this hefty structure are colourful stained-glass windows, Native American tapestries and baskets, Turkish kilim rugs, and Yosemite-inspired 19th-century paintings depicting the park’s waterfalls and giant sequoia trees. Many famous people have slept in the Ahwahnee, including John F Kennedy, Greta Garbo, Queen Elizabeth II, and Winston Churchill. It’s considered a worthy splurge to stay in one of its 123 rooms, suites, or cottages. One can also book a table for the sumptuous Sunday brunch at the Ahwahnee Dining Room, or simply sit by the fireplace in the Great Lounge, look up at the wrought-iron chandeliers dropping from the dining room’s 34-foot, painted ceilings, or enjoy a cocktail at the bar. Free one-hour guided tours of the Ahwahnee are offered throughout the year.

Napa and Sonoma

In the 1980s, St Helena’s Auberge du Soleil started pampering visitors, offering rooms with wood-burning fireplaces and French doors leading to private verandas, and a pool with valley views. At country-club-like Meadowood, on Napa’s Silverado Trail, guests can swing a golf club, thwack a tennis ball, play croquet, or relax in an exclusive spa, then primp for dinner at three-Michelin-starred The Restaurant at Meadowood. Sonoma Mission Inn – now a Fairmont property – focused on healing waters and lush surroundings. In Yountville, one can relax on the rooftop pool at Bardessono, built from salvaged stone and reclaimed wood. At Calistoga Ranch, 50 freestanding guest lodges are nestled among oak trees and babbling brooks, and fire pits warm outdoor living rooms.

Orange County’s luxury resorts

With spas, elegant dining, posh lodgings, and impeccable service, plus ocean views, these lodgings set the bar for coastal luxury. Guests can on their private oceanfront balcony at the Mediterranean-inspired Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel or play golf on the Robert Trent Jones, Jr-designed course. The oceanfront Montage Laguna Beach is set on an oceanfront bluff with craftsman-style design, and celebrates the town’s rich artistic history by displaying plein air works by notable California artists in the lobby and reception area. Just north in posh Newport Beach, The Resort at Pelican Hill wraps guests in Tuscan luxury, with amenities such as villas with butler service and a private clubhouse.

Luxury in the deserts

California is a one stop destination not only for its landscapes, but also for its desert resorts. The Parker Palm Springs, the former ranch of singing cowboy Gene Autry, has the sleek, low-slung coolness of mid-century modern design. The flower-filled courtyards and red-tiled adobe casitas at the La Quinta Resort & Club, opened in 1926, hint at romance under a desert moon. At The Willows historic Palm Springs Inn, once a millionaire’s private retreat, terraced gardens beckon. At Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage, guests can settle into a suite with contemporary furnishings and mountain views, and then play a round of golf before enjoying a body treatment featuring desert herbs and minerals.

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First published on: 23-02-2016 at 17:20 IST