You’re dipping your toes back into travel this season, but you may not be quite ready to fly to Europe. Soon, just not yet. That’s OK — you live in the greatest country on earth. These three picks are among the best west coast hotels, until you’re ready to spread your wings again.
The Hotel: Rosewood Miramar Beach
The Location: Santa Barbara, California
Why We Like It: If you want to snap your fingers and be at a place all about relaxation, Rosewood Miramar is the spot. Santa Barbara itself is an enclave where it’s idyllic. There’s a reason why the likes of Gwyneth, Oprah, Ellen, Meghan and Harry – you know, anyone known by their first name only – live in Santa Barbara. It’s an easy getaway if you’re based in LA, about 1 1/2 hours up the Pacific Coast Highway. If you’re not local, it’s well worth the plane ticket from elsewhere. This isn’t just one of the best west coast hotels, it’s also amongst the best hotels in the US.
Rosewood continues to outdo themselves on every new hotel. Design is a major focus and they pay attention to detail. Chef Massimo, who is the master of culinary, is a rare breed. He’s passionate about ingredients, and has mad skills in the kitchen. Food is excellent and you don’t need to leave the resort.
As for the rooms, you know something is up when you see the rates. Basic rooms are north of $1k and coveted beach suites can be over $6,500/night. It’s worth it though, and why a large percentage of their clients are repeat.
The Hotel: Post Ranch Inn
The Location: Big Sur, California
Why We Like It: We’ve waxed poetic before about the Post Ranch Inn. If there’s a hotel in California that should be on the Icon Best Dressed List a la Vanity Fair, Post Ranch Inn is it. When you want to see one of the most beautiful parts of the United States, head here. Don’t expect crystal chandeliers and tuxedoed staff though. Post Ranch Inn is California luxury, but taken to the next level.
Rooms here are the destination. Guests are known to check in and rarely leave their Pacific suites, which face the ocean. If you want to focus on sleep, fireplace and hot tub, this is your circuit.
The food at the restaurant, Sierra Mar, is honest yet expertly executed. Dishes like the burger with fries are somehow not your average burger. The secret is the ingredients. You have not tasted greens and avocados until you’ve come to Post Ranch Inn. It’s the only other destination, besides the sublime spa, that will get you out of your room.
For those who do want to explore the area, it’s nature abound. You’re minutes from Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, with their famed redwoods. The town of Carmel is also a quaint spot to take a wander and stop for a casual lunch.
The Hotel: Montage Healdsburg
The Location: Sonoma County, California
Why We Like It: This is pretty brand spanking new, and the early reviews are excellent. It may be early to put it on the list of the best West Coast hotels, but the prospects are good. The word from our experts is the grounds, hotel and rooms are beautifully done. The hotel gives you the feel of seclusion, but is only a few minutes drive from town.
On rooms, go all the way and reserve a Mountain View. The rooms are situated around a loop, so depending on the locale of your room, you may be far from the public spaces. However, they have golf cart shuttles if you’re not interested in a stroll. Word is Room 483 is easily walkable to the pool, but not too close, to achieve the balance of privacy and quiet. Even the service is excellent, right out of the gates.