This curated selection of the best Southern California beach hotels and resorts will help you decide where to stay on the stunning coastline between San Diego and Santa Barbara.

These hotels and resorts also cater to a variety of needs, be it an adults-only getaway, a supervised kids’ club, full-service spas, or oceanfront golf, in addition to easy access to nearby theme parks and sightseeing. You’ll have easy access to the sun, surf, and sand cultures that make this part of the state one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world.

These properties skew upscale, which is why you have access to VIP amenities are most of them through me.

What to Know Before Booking Beach Hotels in Southern California

With ongoing state and local health mandates changing constantly, some services may not be available. Check your selected beachfront hotels for the availability of specific amenities that are critical to your stay.

It’s important to check how far of a walk the resort is to the beach if any. A few of the properties on this list are set back from the beach but still advertise themselves as beachfront thanks to easy shuttle service and other beach amenities.

I will show you how to book Virtuoso rates directly and access other VIP programs where relevant so that you’ll get those extras that add value to your vacation.

You can save on tickets, tours, and hotels through my affiliations. If you make purchases through the links in this post, I may be compensated.

1. Beach Village at The Del

Location: Coronado Island (San Diego County)
Beach: Coronado Beach
Hotel Class: Luxury

A living room overlooking the ocean at Beach Village in Coronado.
Beach Village at The Del suite with a full kitchen and dining table.

Why Go: Beach Village at The Del gives you an exclusive beach experience that you’ll find at few Pacific Ocean properties. Guests have access to everything on the main Hotel del Coronado resort, but only Beach Village guests have access to its pools and amenities.

Choose from rooms, junior suites, suites, and multiple-bedroom suites for short and long stays on the glorious Coronado beach. This resort is featured on many of my local hotel lists, such as San Diego luxury hotels, top Coronado hotels, and San Diego hotels on the beach.

Beach Amenities:

  • Exclusive access to the seasonal Windsor Beach Club, the resort’s private beach club offering beach chairs, plush couches, complete food and beverage service, and a private attendant right on Del Beach
  • Sunrise yoga on the beach
  • Two complimentary beach chairs and one complimentary umbrella per day
  • Beach equipment rentals for water sports

Hotel Amenities:

  • Highly personalized concierge service that can coordinate your activities
  • Babysitting service and seasonal DelVentures kids’ club
  • Some accommodations have kitchens full kitchens, fire pits, and outdoor soaking tubs
  • Secluded pools and hot tubs are scattered throughout the property
  • Cabanas at Oval Pool with a sofa, 47-inch television, amenity basket, fresh fruit, and complimentary drinks

Good to Know:

  • Windsor Beach Club only operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day
  • Quieter than the main resort
  • No direct beach access from rooms — it’s a gated community which is what keeps it private but there are plenty of access points for a quick walk to the sand
  • Renovations are still underway on the main resort

Reservations: I can book you into Beach Village with the following Virtuoso amenities that include the below.

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability (room upgrades are not possible in Beach Village)
  • Daily breakfast credit of $40 per person for two guests per bedroom
  • $100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

2. Montage Laguna Beach

Location: Laguna Beach (Orange County)
Beach Name: Treasure Island Beach
Hotel Class: Luxury

View from the water to the beachfront resort set on top of small bluffs above the sand.
Aerial view of the resort

Why Go: The location here is hard to beat, especially if you want a family vacation though the resort caters to couples and friend getaways equally well. Montage Laguna Beach is well-known for its supervised kids’ program called Paintbox that accommodates kids through age 12 with special activities and events throughout the day.

You’ll love the Mosaic pool overlooking the beach or head out to the Pacific Ocean waves for paddleboarding, swimming, and exploring local tide pools. Rooms here are generous, too, offering ample space for rest and relaxation. Don’t miss the lovely 20,000-square-foot spa, which has its own pool.

This Southern California luxury resort is great for families who want to visit Orange County theme parks like Disneyland. Stay here also if you want to partake in Laguna Beach art festivals or simply enjoy a luxe beach holiday.

Beach Amenities:

  • Seasonal beach food and beverage service
  • Beach-oriented activities include snorkeling, kayaking, surfing and beach volleyball
  • Nearby adjacent coves and tide pools

Hotel Amenities:

  • Poolside cabanas with complimentary champagne
  • Three pools
  • Family-friendly dining
  • Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning wine cellar
  • 20,000-square-foot spa
  • Exclusive Cadillac Ride-and-Drive Experience

Good to Know:

  • Hollywood-style A-list services
  • You’ll have to walk down to the beach and then walk back uphill on a walkway or a staircase

Reservations: I can book you in with Virtuoso amenities that include the below.

  • View upgrade at time of booking, subject to availability (applicable to Ocean Coastal & above)
  • Welcome Amenity
  • $60 daily breakfast credit per bedroom at The Loft or Room Service
  • $100 USD Resort or Hotel credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in, subject to availability
  • 4pm guaranteed late check-out
  • Complimentary VIP Access to South Coast Plaza, Southern California’s Premier Shopping Destination and exclusive shopping offers/discounts at select luxury retailers.
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

*The desktop version of Virtuoso.com is where you’ll search rates and book online. To enable the desktop version from a mobile device, after clicking on a Virtuoso hotel link, scroll down to the navy blue section at the bottom of the web page and click “Full Site.” When searching rates, do not input children ages 17 and under as they will be priced as adults. I’m notified when you book and will add them when I contact you about your reservation. You can also use my form to request rates.


3. Hotel del Coronado

Location: Coronado Island (San Diego County)
Beach: Coronado Beach
Hotel Class: Luxury

Cabana Ocean View Terrace Fire Pit Room with a view to the beach.
One of my favorite rooms on the resort – Cabana Ocean View Terrace Fire Pit Room, with direct beach access.

Why Go: What was once the largest beach resort in the world is still one of the best in California. And, it’s the most frequently booked San Diego beach resort through me.

Stay at the Hotel del Coronado on stunning Coronado Central Beach if you want a full-service hotel experience mixed with the charm of a historic property that has been visited by the likes of Hollywood elite ranging from Marilyn Monroe to Oprah Winfrey, multiple U.S. Presidents, Thomas Edison, and British royalty like Prince Edward VIII.

Beach Amenities:

  • Beach s’mores, clambakes, and movies
  • Beach equipment rentals like surfboards and SUPs
  • Beach chair, umbrella, and cabanette rentals at Del Beach in addition to food and drink service (the latter is rare in SoCal)
  • Beach yoga and beachside spinning classes

Hotel Amenities:

  • Seasonal DelVentures kids’ club
  • Nice selection of high-end shops (some reopen in fall 2021) and restaurants
  • Full-service spa and salon
  • Main pool with cabana rentals
  • Awesome fire pit rooms in the renovated Cabanas and Views buildings
  • A long list of winter activities including a beachfront ice skating rink

Good to Know:

  • Expect some noise and inconvenience because of renovations.
  • Avoid booking a “property enhancement view” room as you’ll be near construction.
  • Daily resort and self-parking fees (if you have a car, at the hotel is the only place to park it).
  • For the best experience book Beach Village (mentioned above) until the renovation is complete at the end of 2022.

Reservations: I can book you in with Virtuoso amenities that include the below.

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability (room upgrades are not possible in Beach Village)
  • Daily breakfast credit of $40 per person for two guests per bedroom
  • $100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

*The desktop version of Virtuoso.com is where you’ll search rates and book online. To enable the desktop version from a mobile device, after clicking on a Virtuoso hotel link, scroll down to the navy blue section at the bottom of the web page and click “Full Site.” When searching rates, do not input children ages 17 and under as they will be priced as adults. I’m notified when you book and will add them when I contact you about your reservation. You can also use my form to request rates.


4. Rosewood Miramar Beach

Location: Montecito (Santa Barbara County)
Beach Name: Miramar Beach
Hotel Class: Luxury

View over the swimming pool to the ocean from the Manor Suite balcony at Rosewood Miramar Beach.
View from the Manor Suite

Why Go: Large rooms and thoughtful staff members make this Southern California beach resort one of the best. Rosewood Miramar Beach is set up like an oceanfront residence spanning 16 acres that house 124 rooms and 36 suites, multiple dining outlets, a Sense spa, and the exclusive Miramar Club. It’s kid-friendly and romantic at the same time, so choose your vibe.

Beach Amenities:

  • Beach butler service
  • Complimentary beach chairs and umbrellas
  • Complimentary beach toys

Hotel Amenities:

  • Kids’ club
  • Personalized concierge service
  • Custom pet menu and amenities

Good to Know:

  • $45 daily resort fee covering a host of cool extras like the use of a Rolls Royce car within three miles.
  • Adult and family pools
  • Electric vehicle charging stations

Reservations: I have two ways to book you in here through Rosewood Elite or Virtuoso. You can book Virtuoso, and I’ll check each program to see which is best and switch you if need be.

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily Breakfast credit of $30 per person, for up to 2 guests per room (credit is non-cumulative)
  • $100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during stay (excludes taxes and gratuities. Not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early Check-In / Late Check-Out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

*The desktop version of Virtuoso.com is where you’ll search rates and book online. To enable the desktop version from a mobile device, after clicking on a Virtuoso hotel link, scroll down to the navy blue section at the bottom of the web page and click “Full Site.” When searching rates, do not input children ages 17 and under as they will be priced as adults. I’m notified when you book and will add them when I contact you about your reservation. You can also use my form to request rates.


5. Shutters on the Beach Santa Monica

Location: Santa Monica (Los Angeles County)
Beach Name: Santa Monica State Beach
Hotel Class: Luxury

View from the sand Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica.

Why Go: Along with its sister property, Hotel Casa Del Mar (mentioned below), Shutters on the Beach has direct beach access and unobstructed views that you won’t find anywhere else in this resort town.

This sand resort mixes Cape Cod with a quintessential West Coast beach retreat. You’ll see families, well-dressed business people, and possibly even celebrities when you stay here. The Living Room Bar and 1 Pico provide world-class food and drink.

Beach Amenities:

  • Beach activities center
  • Complimentary beach cruisers
  • Surf lessons
  • Poolside cabana rentals
  • Beach yoga

Hotel Amenities:

  • 1 Pico Restaurant provides locally sourced farmer’s market food
  • ONE spa has sybaritic treatments by the beach
  • Live entertainment nightly
  • Large rooms with four poster beds

Good to Know:

  • Short walk to Santa Monica Pier
  • Malibu to Manhattan Beach bike path is just outside this sand resort
  • Not all rooms have ocean views
  • Two-night stay required during busy periods
  • Book Deluxe Rooms and above as Superior Rooms may face the street

Reservations: The best way to book into Shutters on the Beach is through Virtuoso with these benefits.

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily Breakfast credit for two guests per bedroom ($60 per room, per day)
  • $100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early Check-In / Late Check-Out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

6. La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club

Location: La Jolla (San Diego County)
Beach Name: La Jolla Shores Beach
Hotel Class: Moderate

A child runs with an inflatable flamingo around him behind parents carrying beach gear on the beach.
This is one of my favorite beaches.

Why Go: This beach resort in Southern California is the only hotel in La Jolla with a private beach. La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club is perfect for families who need easy beach access and larger accommodations with one or two bedrooms.

It’s not fancy, but between tennis, the big swimming pool, playground, pitch and putt golf course, and activities there is plenty to keep all ages occupied. The hotel is also on my list of best kid-friendly hotels in San Diego.

Beach Amenities:

  • Private beach for club members and hotel guests only
  • Food and drink service to the sand
  • Seasonal cabanas and beach fireplaces are available from January through mid-June and Labor Day through December
  • Private rentals for snorkeling, scuba, surfing, laying, boogie boarding, and paddleboard
  • Beach party barbecues with table and chair rentals for up to 10 people
  • Customized menus available through Club dining

Hotel Amenities:

  • Tennis lessons and tournaments
  • Junior Olympic-sized swimming pool
  • Summer kids’ club

Good to Know:

  • Guest rooms are slightly dated
  • Near the famous, seasonal La Jolla leopard sharks
  • No resort or parking fees
  • You’ll hear the ocean at night and may get a little beach barbecue smoke in your room (it’s part of the experience).

Reservations: Most of my readers book in directly or through Hotels.com.


7. Hotel Casa Del Mar

Location: Santa Monica (Los Angeles County)
Beach Name: Santa Monica State Beach
Hotel Class: Luxury

View over the pool to the beach from Hotel Casa Del Mar.
The beachfront pool

Why Go: As one of the few beachfront hotels in Santa Monica with unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean, Hotel Casa Del Mar sports a vibe of posh Mediterranean elegance mixed with Californa beach culture.

Interior designer Michael Smith, who had a hand in restyling the Obama White House, redesigned this historical property with coastal decor and a beach-blue palate.

Beach Amenities:

  • Beach cruiser bicycles
  • Surf lessons
  • Fitness sessions on the beach, including yoga classes, kinesis strength training
  • Kids Beach Camp during the summer

Hotel Amenities:

  • Fitness center with private trainers available
  • Catch seafood restaurant with a live jazz brunch
  • Large standard rooms with jetted tubs and upscale coffeemakers

Good to Know:

  • Valet parking only
  • Sister property to Shutters on the Beach Santa Monica
  • 15-minute walk to Santa Monica Pier

Reservations: The best way to book Hotel Casa del Mar is through Virtuoso for the benefits below.

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily Breakfast credit for two guests per bedroom ($60 per room, per day)
  • $100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early Check-In / Late Check-Out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

*The desktop version of Virtuoso.com is where you’ll search rates and book online. To enable the desktop version from a mobile device, after clicking on a Virtuoso hotel link, scroll down to the navy blue section at the bottom of the web page and click “Full Site.” When searching rates, do not input children ages 17 and under as they will be priced as adults. I’m notified when you book and will add them when I contact you about your reservation. You can also use my form to request rates.


8. Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas

Location: Encinitas (North San Diego County)
Beach: South Carlsbad State Beach
Hotel Class: Luxury

Alila Marea Beach Resort sits on the bluffs of Encinitas above the beach.
A boutique hotel on the border of Encinitas and Carlsbad

Why Go: Set atop a bluff and positioned to provide the most dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean, Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas has some of the best ocean views on the West Coast.

Choose this luxury resort if you want an experience that is more personalized and intimate. You’ll also love this place if eco-friendly features and sustainable design is important to you. All rooms and suites either have private balconies or private decks — some with firepits.

Beach Amenities:

  • Complimentary beach gear
  • Beach concierge setup service

Hotel Amenities:

  • Fully equipped fitness center
  • The spa features eco-friendly treatments
  • Vaga restaurant features San Diego cuisine and locally sourced ingredients (make reservations beucase it’s popular)

Good to Know:

  • It’s a new beach hotel and it had some opening service mishaps
  • The heated outdoor pool is small, along with its deck so that it can become crowded quickly
  • You’ll need your own or a rental car if you want to visit nearby attractions
  • The resort attracts couples more than families

Reservations: I can book you in with Hyatt Prive amenities that include the below.

  • Daily breakfast for 2 in Vaga (value at $30/person plus tax and gratuity)
  • A $100 property credit
  • A welcome amenity
  • Upgrade at time of booking, subject to availability
  • Early check-in & late check-out, subject to availability

9. Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club

Location: Dana Point (Orange County)
Beach Name: Salt Creek Beach
Hotel Class: Luxury

View from the main resort building over the pool to the ocean.

Why Go: Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club has retained some amenities associated with its former glory as Monarch Beach Resort while improving others. One of the best holdovers is the Monarch Bay Beach Club, the hotel’s private beach club with dining and recreational beach opportunities.

Beach Amenities:

  • Ocean Adventures program with chairs, towels, and beach equipment
  • Clear-bottom paddleboards
  • “No-Fail” surf lessons
  • Free seven-minute tram rides to the beach from the lobby
  • Beach set-up service, including chairs, umbrellas, towels, beach games, and activities

Hotel Amenities:

  • Multiple pools, including an adults-only pool
  • State-of-the-art in-room communication panels
  • Private balconies or patios
  • Resort experience planner
  • 24-hour fitness center
  • Traditional Scottish-style oceanfront golf course with pro shop
  • A variety of culinary experiences available within and near the resort

Good to Know:

  • The resort itself is set back from the beach, which is why they have the tram available
  • The fire pit rooms are popular

Reservations: The best way to book is with Virtuoso amenities that include the below.

  • Upgrade at time of booking, subject to availability
  • Daily full breakfast, for two guests per bedroom in AVEO Table + Bar or via room service ($80 credit per day)
  • $100 USD Resort credit, to be utilized during stay (Cannot be used for room, tax, valet or resort charge, not combinable, not valid on retail items, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

You will also earn Hilton Honors points with a Virtuoso rate.

*The desktop version of Virtuoso.com is where you’ll search rates and book online. To enable the desktop version from a mobile device, after clicking on a Virtuoso hotel link, scroll down to the navy blue section at the bottom of the web page and click “Full Site.” When searching rates, do not input children ages 17 and under as they will be priced as adults. I’m notified when you book and will add them when I contact you about your reservation. You can also use my form to request rates.


10. Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach

Location: Huntington Beach (Orange County)
Beach Name: Huntington State Beach
Hotel Class: Moderate

Hotel chairs and umbrellas set in the sand in front of Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach.

Why Go: Huntington Beach is the center of California surf culture, so you’ll find a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere at this resort property. Hyatt Regency Huntington Bech is great for couples and families. It has lots of activities for kids, including water slides and a water playground, poolside dining options, and nearby golf and boat tours.

Relax amid the California Spanish architecture, the stucco walls, and multiple fountains when you’re not on one of California’s most family-friendly beaches. It’s this beach that makes the otherwise four-star resort extra appealing.

Beach Amenities:

  • Beach Hut at the end of the bridge to the beach has amenities like towels and umbrellas for hotel guests
  • Private beach bonfire service for up to 10 people

Hotel Amenities:

  • Beach bridge across the Pacific Coast Highway to Huntington State Beach
  • Regency Club Lounge for Hyatt members
  • Camp Hyatt Kids Club
  • Surf shop with bicycle rentals
  • Pool cabana rentals with water, s’mores kit, fresh fruit bowl, solar-powered safe, and 32-inch TV

Good to Know:

  • Daily resort fee waived for Hyatt Diamond members
  • The resort fee does not include beach services
  • Valet parking only

Reservations: I can book you in with Hyatt Prive benefits that include the below. Benefits apply to stays of two nights or longer.

  • $100 USD Property Credit
  • Room Upgrade*
  • Breakfast for Two
  • Welcome Amenity
  • Guest Welcome Letter
  • Early Check-In*
  • Connecting Rooms*
  • Free Wifi

* Subject to forecasted occupancy


11. Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows

Location: Santa Monica (Los Angeles County)
Beach Name: Santa Monica State Beach
Hotel Class: Luxury

Signature Bungalow room at Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows in Santa Monica
Signature Bungalow bedroom.

Why Go: Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows is a historic property across Ocean Avenue from the walkway that leads down to the beach (hotel staff will take you there). A private estate built in 1889 and converted into a hotel in 1921, the hotel has seen plenty of Hollywood VIPs and politicians in its time including John F. Kennedy, Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe, and Greta Garbo (who lived there for four years), to name a few.

It takes just a few minutes to walk to the Third Street Promenade for shopping and dining. Spacious bungalows and suites are available for large families and extended stays. Feel free also to bring your dog.

Beach Amenities:

  • Miramar Beach Club
  • Complimentary games and activities, including beach volleyball, boogie boards, and sand pails
  • Available butler service with beach essentials, towels, sunscreen, snacks, and drinks
  • Hotel jeeps escort guests to and from the state beach

Hotel Amenities:

  • Huge spa and fitness center
  • Pet-room service and spa treatments
  • Tennis courts

Good to Know:

  • Beach club services are only available from Memorial Day to Labor Day
  • Fee for internet, unless a member of Fairmont President’s Club
  • Valet-only parking
  • Beach is across Ocean Avenue and down a bluff

Reservations: The best way to book Fairmont Miramar is with Virtuoso amenities. My contact there will take excellent care of you!

  • Guaranteed upgrade at time of booking (The following applicable upgrades are: Fairmont Room > Deluxe Room, Deluxe Room > Deluxe Ocean View Room, Deluxe Ocean View > Premier Ocean View, Palisades Suite > Signature Ocean View Suite, Signature Bungalow > Signature Bungalow w/ Patio)
  • Full breakfast daily for two guests per bedroom ($30.00 per person)
  • $100 USD Food & Beverage or Spa Services credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in/late check-out subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

*The desktop version of Virtuoso.com is where you’ll search rates and book online. To enable the desktop version from a mobile device, after clicking on a Virtuoso hotel link, scroll down to the navy blue section at the bottom of the web page and click “Full Site.” When searching rates, do not input children ages 17 and under as they will be priced as adults. I’m notified when you book and will add them when I contact you about your reservation. You can also use my form to request rates.


12. Oceana Santa Monica

Location: Santa Monica (Los Angeles County)
Beach Name: Santa Monica State Beach
Hotel Class: Luxury

Ocean views from a seating area at Oceana Santa Monica.
Views and blues for your beach vacation.

Why Go: If you want to stay in one of America’s most iconic neighborhoods, this is one of the most spectacular hotels in Southern California. Oceana Santa Monica is a bespoke suites-only property part of Hilton’s LXR luxury brand with top-of-the-line modern amenities.

The resort’s two on-site restaurants offer curated California cuisine. In-room indulgencies include cashmere throws, Nepalese rugs, and curated in-room libraries.

Beach Amenities:

  • Butler service
  • Complimentary beach cruisers
  • Oceanfront yoga
  • Oceanfront horseback riding

Hotel Amenities:

  • Tech-forward fitness studio with Peloton equipment
  • 24/7 concierge team
  • Curated local excursions

Good to Know:

  • Extensive, highly personalized service
  • No direct beach access but within walking distance to boutique shopping

Reservations: I can book you in with Virtuoso amenities that include the below.

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily Breakfast credit of $50 per room, applicable in our restaurant or via in-room dining
  • $100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early Check-In / Late Check-Out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

*The desktop version of Virtuoso.com is where you’ll search rates and book online. To enable the desktop version from a mobile device, after clicking on a Virtuoso hotel link, scroll down to the navy blue section at the bottom of the web page and click “Full Site.” When searching rates, do not input children ages 17 and under as they will be priced as adults. I’m notified when you book and will add them when I contact you about your reservation. You can also use my form to request rates.


13. Nobu Ryokan Malibu

Location: Malibu
Beach Name: Carbon Beach, aka Billionaire’s Beach
Hotel Class: Luxury

A ryokan-inspired room with dramatic ocean views (and a bed in lieu of a tatami mat).
Your oceanfront zen awaits.

Why Go: If you want a romantic getaway, this is the resort for you. Once a 1950’s style motel, this property has been reimagined into a boutique luxury property modeled after a traditional Japanese ryokan with a modern yet cozy atmosphere.

This 16-room property is an adults-only retreat with teak soaking tubs in all rooms, indoor/outdoor fireplaces, and the ultimate in privacy. It was created by actor Robert De Niro and Chef Nobu Matsuhisa to provide a truly intimate experience.

Beach Amenities:

  • Surf lessons and paddleboarding through Malibu Fit Concierge

Hotel Amenities:

  • Nobu Malibu restaurant onsite
  • Access to Malibu Racquet Club
  • Compact, well-equipped gym
  • Spa treatments and massages provided in-room by CURE Spa (or at the spa across the street)
  • Concierge-curated a selection of exclusive experiences for guests

Good to Know:

  • Valet parking included
  • Tipping is not necessary
  • The cuisine is exceptional (but be prepared for smaller portions)

Reservations: I can book you in with Virtuoso amenities that include the below.

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Full Breakfast daily for two guests per bedroom
  • $100 USD Resort/Hotel credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

*The desktop version of Virtuoso.com is where you’ll search rates and book online. To enable the desktop version from a mobile device, after clicking on a Virtuoso hotel link, scroll down to the navy blue section at the bottom of the web page and click “Full Site.” You can also use my form to request rates.


14. Malibu Beach Inn

Location: Malibu (Los Angeles County)
Beach Name: Carbon Beach, aka Billionaire’s Beach
Hotel Class: Luxury

White beach lounge chairs and umbrella set up on the beach in front of Malibu Beach Inn.

Why Go: Set between the iconic Malibu Pier and multi-million dollar celebrity homes, Malibu Beach Inn is an intimate oceanfront property with 47 accommodations that attracts older couples and families looking for a quiet experience.

The rooms here are rustic yet chic and contained curated book collections and well-stocked mini-bars with premium California wines.

Beach Amenities:

  • Private beach area
  • Private water experiences like kayaking, paddleboarding, and whale-watching
  • Chair service
  • Beach yoga

Hotel Amenities:

  • Add-on packages to local attractions
  • Access to Malibu Health Club
  • Carbon Beach Club on-site restaurant with locally sourced items and fresh seafood

Good to Know:

  • Spa services include medical spa treatments like IV Therapy.
  • Staff will arrange a private terminal experience for VIP guests at Los Angeles International Airport.

Reservations: Virtuoso amenities at Malibu Beach Inn include the below.

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Complimentary a La Carte Breakfast for two guests per bedroom daily ($80 breakfast credit per day, per room to be used in dining room, room service or beach)
  • $100 USD Resort/Hotel credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

*The desktop version of Virtuoso.com is where you’ll search rates and book online. To enable the desktop version from a mobile device, after clicking on a Virtuoso hotel link, scroll down to the navy blue section at the bottom of the web page and click “Full Site.” When searching rates, do not input children ages 17 and under as they will be priced as adults. I’m notified when you book and will add them when I contact you about your reservation. You can also use my form to request rates.


15. The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

Location: Dana Point (Orange County)
Beach Name: Salt Creek Beach
Hotel Class: Luxury

Aerial view of The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel down to the beach.
Cliffside luxury in Dana Point.

Why Go: This Southern California beach resort is fresh off of a renovation that included all rooms and suites. Its bluff-top location overlooks a three-mile beach.

Guests love the mixture of gorgeous scenery and classic California beach vibe. This resort is great for families with children. Original art from the local artist community graces the walls of the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel.

Beach Amenities:

  • Beach butler service, including beach chair and umbrella set-up, at Salt Creek Beach
  • Beach toys and bodyboards

Hotel Amenities:

  • Eco-Adventure Center hosts whale watching and other environmentally-related activities
  • Top-of-the-line equipment and trainers available in the fitness center
  • Two outdoor swimming pools and whirlpools
  • Variety of sports facilities, including ping pong, tennis and basketball courts, and children’s playground
  • The Ritz-Carlton Club level rooms with the brand’s traditional five food and drink presentatinos per day
  • Some guest rooms and suites offer outdoor fireplace

Good to Know:

  • You’ll walk or take a golf cart down to the beach.
  • Dana Point is roughly half way between Los Angeles and San Diego.

Reservations: I can book you in with the following Virtuoso amenities that include the below. You’ll earn Marriott Bonvoy points.

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily full breakfast for two guests per bedroom
  • $100 USD Resort or Hotel credit, (not combinable, no cash value if not redeemed in full, not applicable towards room tax, resort fee, valet parking, Eco Adventure Center, tennis, and recreation activities)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

*The desktop version of Virtuoso.com is where you’ll search rates and book online. To enable the desktop version from a mobile device, after clicking on a Virtuoso hotel link, scroll down to the navy blue section at the bottom of the web page and click “Full Site.” When searching rates, do not input children ages 17 and under as they will be priced as adults. I’m notified when you book and will add them when I contact you about your reservation. You can also use my form to request rates.


16. The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

Location: Goleta (Santa Barbara County)
Beach Name: Haskell’s Beach, Driftwood Beach
Hotel Class: Luxury

Why Go: This elegant resort set against the Santa Ynez mountains feels like a Mediterranean Village thanks to its white stucco and red tile roof architecture. Guests have their choice of various-sized accommodations, from upscale, spacious deluxe rooms with firepits, patios, or terraces to private villas and everything in between.

If you love the outdoors, you’ll find plenty to do here with two beaches, three salt-water infinity swimming pools, and access to three nearby championship golf courses, along with horseback riding, hiking, and biking. Make sure to dine at least once at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara’s signature restaurant Angel Oak. Select your favorite vintage from the resort’s 12,000-bottle wine collection while reveling in the relaxing outdoor seating.

Beach Amenities:

  • Guided beach walk
  • Kayaks, surfboards, and paddleboard rentals
  • Three saline pools

Hotel Amenities:

  • 42,000-square-foot relaxing spa with specialized treatments
  • 70,000-square-feet of event space
  • Foley Wine Tasting Room
  • Posh pooch program to pamper your four-legged furry friend, $250 per pet stay, limit two

Good to Know:

  • $50 daily resort fee covers one hour of daily tennis, tennis pro services, water aerobics classes, guided Eco-Hike Tour, bike rentals
  • Recognized as a top wedding resort
  • Beach has a lot of rocks, little sand
  • The resort’s location is north of Goleta so not in the main Santa Barbara tourist area

Reservations: I can book you in with The Ritz-Carlton STARS or Virtuoso benefits. Go ahead and book Virtuoso, and I’ll check both programs to see which one is best. The Virtuoso amenities include:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Breakfast credit $64 per day for two guests per bedroom, served in The Bistro
  • $100 USD Resort or Hotel credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

*The desktop version of Virtuoso.com is where you’ll search rates and book online. To enable the desktop version from a mobile device, after clicking on a Virtuoso hotel link, scroll down to the navy blue section at the bottom of the web page and click “Full Site.” When searching rates, do not input children ages 17 and under as they will be priced as adults. I’m notified when you book and will add them when I contact you about your reservation. You can also use my form to request rates.


17. The Resort at Pelican Hill

Location: Newport Coast (Orange County)
Beach Name: Crystal Cove
Hotel Class: Luxury

The swimming pool is famous for being one of the largest of its kind.

Why Go: The Resort at Pelican Hill is set in a hillside above Crystal Cove State Park, famous for its tide pools, gorgeous scenery, Historic District, and 18 miles of trails for nature hikes. The resort itself takes inspiration from the Italian Renaissance and is made up of bungalows starting at 847 square feet on up to 3580-square-foot four-bedroom villas.

Beach Amenities:

  • Beach bag with towels and water for guest use
  • Beachcomber Express tent with complimentary chairs and umbrella
  • Complimentary coach service to deliver guests down to the beach
  • Picnics prepared by Caffe & Market

Hotel Amenities:

  • The famous saltwater Coliseum Pool with private cabanas and panoramic ocean views
  • Adults-only pool
  • Pelican Hill Golf Club with two Tom Fazio-designed 18-hole courses
  • Spa for resort guests only with its list of fitness classes

Good to Know:

  • You’ll do a lot of walking because of the resort’s size
  • The beach is about a 20-minute walk away

Reservations: Book into The Resort at Pelican Hill with the following Virtuoso amenities.

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily $50 breakfast credit for Bungalow guests – $100 credit for Villa guests (excludes tax & gratuity)
  • $100 USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early Check-In / Late Check-Out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

*The desktop version of Virtuoso.com is where you’ll search rates and book online. To enable the desktop version from a mobile device, after clicking on a Virtuoso hotel link, scroll down to the navy blue section at the bottom of the web page and click “Full Site.” When searching rates, do not input children ages 17 and under as they will be priced as adults. I’m notified when you book and will add them when I contact you about your reservation. You can also use my form to request rates.


18. L’Auberge Del Mar

Location: Del Mar (San Diego County)
Beach Name: Del Mar City Beach
Hotel Class: Luxury

L'Auberge Del Mar hotel pool surrounded by lounge chairs

Why Go: are you looking for a retreat that is a bit away from the norm? L’Auberge Del Mar provides that by being inland from the Pacific Ocean. That fact doesn’t mean you won’t be entertained, as this posh Del Mar hotel has lots of nearby amenities like tennis courts, nearby golfing, and the Torrey Pines State Reserve. Guest rooms are thoughtfully appointed with features like marble bathrooms.

Beach Amenities:

  • A path from the hotel to the beach across the street
  • Seasonal complimentary beach valet service that includes chairs, towels, umbrellas, and a variety of beach toys

Hotel Amenities:

  • Spa L’Auberge with personalized treatments
  • Fitness center
  • Tennis courts
  • Guest rooms with private balconies
  • Year-round heated pool

Good to Know:

  • Some rooms have street noise
  • Electric car charging stations

Reservations: The best way to book in is as a Noble Select VIP with benefits that include the below.

  • A $30 daily breakfast credit per person (up to 2 people)
  • A $100 one-time resort credit
  • Upgrade at check-in, subject to availability.

19. Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort

Location: Santa Barbara
Beach Name: East Beach
Hotel Class: Moderate

Why Go: Well-appointed oversized rooms and suites, lovely ocean and mountain views make this Hilton Santa Barbara a great place to spend a few days.

You’re within walking distance of Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone with its boutique tasting rooms, cafes, galleries, and shops to round out your vacation. The same goes for Stearn’s Wharf and other fun things to do in Santa Barbara with kids. Not to mention, East Beach here is a famous place to play beach volleyball.

Beach Amenities:

  • Beach chairs and towel rental at $25 per day
  • Beach cruiser rentals
  • Concierge service will arrange special beach and ocean activities upon request

Hotel Amenities:

  • Pet-friendly rooms
  • Business center
  • Tennis academy

Good to Know:

  • Beach is across Cabrillo Boulevard
  • Guest rooms need updating
  • Was the Fess Parker Doubletree Resort

Reservations: The best way to book this hotel is by using the Hilton Honors discount (free to join).


20. Terranea Resort

Location: Rancho Palos Verdes (Los Angeles County)
Beach Name: Terranea Beach
Hotel Class: Luxury

Aerial view of Terranea
To the right of the rocky beach is a small sandy cove.

Why Go: This 102-acre resort on the Palos Verdes Peninsula features a variety of accommodation types, each with a private balcony or patio, plus sweeping views of the Pacific coastline.

You won’t want for anything when you stay here as Terranea Resort has so many unrivaled amenities for kids and adults in the Los Angeles area. Guests love the fresh air, roominess, and activity-filled vacations that this coastal resort provides.

Beach Amenities:

  • Terranea Beach Cove with chairs and umbrellas are set up for guests (accessible via a coastal walkway)
  • Kayak and paddle boarding tours
  • Surfing lessons

Hotel Amenities:

  • Nine on-site restaurants
  • Nine-hole golf course
  • Hiking paths
  • 50,000 square-foot spa
  • Tide Pool Kids Club
  • Four heated pools, one with a 140-foot water slide
  • Poolside cabana rentals with snacks, beverages, sparkling wine, and more

Good to Know:

  • Only 30 minutes from Long Beach and Los Angeles International Airports
  • Beach directly below the resort is too rocky for swimming

Reservations: I can add the following Virtuoso amenities to your booking at Terranea.

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily breakfast for two guests per bedroom served in Catalina Kitchen or In-Room dining (up to $60 credit)
  • $100 USD Resort or Hotel credit, to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

*The desktop version of Virtuoso.com is where you’ll search rates and book online. To enable the desktop version from a mobile device, after clicking on a Virtuoso hotel link, scroll down to the navy blue section at the bottom of the web page and click “Full Site.” When searching rates, do not input children ages 17 and under as they will be priced as adults. I’m notified when you book and will add them when I contact you about your reservation. You can also use my form to request rates.


Beach Hotels in Southern California FAQs

Here are a couple of questions you might have after reading this list of Southern California beach hotels and resorts.

What About Four Seasons Santa Barbara?

Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore, Santa Barbara is one of my favorite luxury resorts in California. It’s where we stay when in the area and is located on beautiful Butterfly Beach in Montecito. Like many hotels, they closed in 2020 and were set to reopen in May 2021. However, the resort remains closed indefinitely due to an ongoing legal dispute.

Where Is the Full List of California Hotels Where You Have Benefits?

Through me, you have access to VIP amenities at these hotels in California. The list covers the entire state and includes hotels and resorts on the beach and off.