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7 New and Reimagined Hotels and the California Regions They Call Home

Whether making their debut or unveiling renovations, these are some of the best accommodations to book for a Golden State getaway—and regional travel tips for each.

The Inn at Mattei’s Tavern and its surrounding gardens

The Inn at Mattei’s Tavern

Courtesy of The Inn at Mattei’s Tavern

From its coastal havens and valleys dotted with award-winning wineries to its magnificent desert landscapes and beyond, there are many excellent reasons to explore California—and now seven spectacular new ones await. Checking in to any of these incredible hotels means checking out the best of the newest places to stay in the state, no matter what kind of trip you’re planning. In addition to these newcomers and freshly renovated properties, we also included some tips on plenty of wonderful lodging nearby to extend a trip. For more detailed offerings and trip inspiration, download the comprehensive new guidebook, Extraordinary California: The Ultimate Luxury Travel Planning Guide, that Visit California created for travel advisors in partnership with AFAR.

The Inn at Mattei’s Tavern, Los Olivos

For a delightful hotel in the Santa Ynez Valley, a rural region rife with family farms, boutique wineries, and timeless, walkable towns, look to The Inn at Mattei’s Tavern, situated at the heart of historical Los Olivos. This new luxurious lodge in a circa-1800s setting epitomizes modern agrarian bliss, combining contemporary farmhouse design with rustic elements of nearby ranch life.

You’ll find more than 50 tasting rooms lining the charming streets of Los Olivos—where visitors can sample some of the area’s award-winning fine wines before slumbering peacefully at the Inn. Consider heading north to San Luis Obispo afterward for the best of Slo Cal living or head just due south to Montecito in the Santa Barbara area and stay at the historic 500-acre San Ysidro Ranch, where John and Jackie Kennedy once honeymooned.

Coastal Suites at Pierside Santa Monica

Hotel Pierside’s pool surrounded by modern decor, plant walls, and a colorful mural

Hotel Pierside’s pool

Courtesy of Pierside Santa Monica

With three miles of sunny beaches along the Pacific, incredible restaurants and shopping, and its legendary pier, the enclave of Santa Monica, has long been a favorite travel destination. It remains current with updates like the Coastal Suites at the new Pierside Santa Monica, which offer modern-day playgrounds with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Pacific surf. The Board Shop provides guests with complimentary loans of everything from bikes, record players, and video games to surfboards and GoPros. Design lovers might also seek sanctuary in the stylish, Kelly Wearstler-designed Santa Monica Proper or The Viceroy Hotel’s mid-century modern public spaces and fabulous pool cabanas, just a 10-minute walk from the Santa Monica Pier.

Shore House at The Del, Coronado Island

Sun shining from behind the rounded, red peaked roof of Hotel del Coronado

Hotel del Coronado

Photo by Amanda Friedman

A legend of its namesake island, the iconic Hotel del Coronado is steeped in Old Hollywood lore (think Some Like It Hot). Its glam style of California dreaming reaches new heights in modern hospitality with the Shore House at The Del on the white sands of the Pacific. The beachfront, residential-style accommodations evoke a private beach house, complemented by cabanas around a zero-edge oceanside pool. Or soak up the nightlife and robust restaurant scene in downtown San Diego, with the elegant Pendry San Diego as home base. Its suites, decorated in the hotel’s signature blue tartan, serve up views of the city and the bay.

Sensei Porcupine Creek, Rancho Mirage

Wellness seekers will find self-care nirvana at Sensei Porcupine Creek in Rancho Mirage, an area within Greater Palm Springs. Owned and founded by physician and author Dr. David Agus and Silicon Valley giant Larry Ellison (the site was once the tech magnate’s estate), this resort offers guests an ultra-personalized, science-based approach to health under the guidance of accredited experts in the fields of nutrition, rest, and physical therapy. Or relax in luxury at the suites at The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage, which all include large, private balconies. Some suites also have firepits, perfect for watching the desert night sky—a mindfulness practice for the ages.

Villa Mara Carmel and Le Petit Pali at 8th Ave, Carmel-by-the-Sea

A woman relaxing in an outdoor spa at Carmel Valley Ranch

A hot soak at the Carmel Valley Ranch

Courtesy of Carmel Valley Ranch

Coastal Carmel-by-the-Sea boasts galleries, fine dining, and shopping, plus two recently opened boutique hotels. Enjoy the residential-style comforts of Villa Mara Carmel, a 16-room luxury property, and Le Petit Pali at 8th Ave, which has picturesque rooms with gas fireplaces, hardwood floors, and rain showers.

While here, stroll the town’s gracious avenues and dig into celebrated restaurants such as Aubergine (at L’Auberge Carmel) and the newly Michelin-starred Chez Noir, two restaurants worth reserving well in advance. Then head to Carmel Valley, considered the Tuscany of the region, for a rejuvenating stay at the 500-acre Carmel Valley Ranch. Here, you can fill your day with yoga, self-enrichment, and golf, while nourishing the soul with food crafted from fresh ingredients grown onsite—even the fragrant lavender at its spa hails from the ranch.

The Fairmont Century Plaza, Los Angeles

The tall facade and courtyard of the Fairmont Century Plaza

The Fairmont Century Plaza

Photo by Brandon Barré

For star-studded glamour, there’s perhaps nothing like a trip to LA. Try The Fairmont Century Plaza, a building that’s held a storied spot in the City of Angels’ history since it opened in the mid-‘60s. Designed by Minoru Yamasaki (the architect of the original World Trade Center), it was recently revamped by studio Yabu Pushelberg, adding “more texture, drama, and greater comforts” to the large suites. West Hollywood provides any number of famed locations that are celebrity haunts, such as Art Deco masterpiece the Sunset Tower Hotel and the Sunset Marquis, a place beloved by musicians—the all-suites hotel even has its own recording studio for guests.

Get more info on these properties and other unparalleled California experiences in the Extraordinary California guide.

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