Need an indulgent escape? Luxury resorts in Los Angeles County offer the high-end pampering you want in a Southern California vacation. Each of these destinations offers a different take on L.A. style and scenery, plus posh accommodations, attentive service, and grand views. For your next “I-deserve-this” vacation, try one of these over-the-top sanctuaries.
Make a date with opulence at Pasadena’s historic country-club-style hotel, where Spanish Revival bungalows and a glorious Italianate main building anchor a 23-acre property of manicured rose gardens and lush citrus trees. This is Southern California’s version of old-world luxury, with public areas and grand ballrooms marked by glittering chandeliers and luster-polished marble floors. Tradition is honored at The Langham, but not in a stuffy way. Railroad magnate Henry Huntington opened the original hotel in 1914, and ever since a bell is rung every evening precisely at 7:05 pm to salute the dinner hour. But you can dine almost any time you like at The Terrace (California bistro cuisine and indoor-outdoor seating) or The Royce (chic wood-fired steakhouse serving wagyu and kobe beef).
This timeless resort has plenty of new-school mixed in with the old, include a thoroughly modern health club and live music at The Tap Room bar on weekends. Even The Langham’s afternoon tea service (served on Wedgwood china, of course) leans more toward fun than prim-and-proper. There’s plenty to do here: Wander the palm-tree-framed grounds, play a little croquet or badminton in the Horseshoe Garden, swim in the elongated pool, get a stone therapy massage at best-in-class Chuan Spa, or just stroll the zen-like Japanese garden and let the outside world disappear.
Endless Pacific waves provide the backdrop for this sprawling 582-room hotel surrounded by a pristine nature preserve in Rancho Palos Verdes. Walk along clifftop paths for jaw-dropping vistas of the ocean and Catalina Island. Or just pick a seat at one of 200-plus outdoor fire pits and fireplaces dotted around the property and soak in the coastal scenery.
Terranea’s lavishness doesn’t end with its cinematic vistas. The resort has four pools, including an adults-only infinity pool and a splashy kids’ pool with a 140-foot waterslide; tennis courts; a links-style oceanfront golf course; and the world-class Spa at Terranea, a 50,000-square-foot sanctuary offering every type of treatment you can dream up. Eight eateries range from upscale beachfront shack to artisan coffee shop, plus fine dining at Mar’Sel and contemporary Asian cuisine at Bashi. Guests are lodged in ocean-view rooms, two-bedroom villas, and spacious casitas. Choose from an array of workshops and programs from nature walks to photography classes to culinary programs led by the resort’s chefs.
Cater to your inner jet-setter with a stay at this swanky high-rise straddling the border between Beverly Hills and West L.A. Combining modern L.A. style with Italian glamour, this 12-story hotel features 138 rooms with private balconies overlooking the hubbub of Los Angeles. The higher the floor, the more mind-boggling the view, but there’s plenty to see even on the ground floor. Designer Michael Smith masterminded the hotel’s chic lobby, furnishing it with custom-made Italian leather couches, lavish chandeliers, and a clear glass pool table. When you walk in, you don’t see a check-in desk—it’s discreetly hidden behind a sunken bar. A book-filled library and lush courtyard garden create nooks where guests can find private spaces. Sleek cabanas lend mystique to the buzzy outdoor pool scene. Even if you’re not a celebrity, you’ll feel like one as you lounge with a cocktail in hand.
The food alone is reason to visit. Owned by restaurant and hospitality entrepreneurs Ignazio and Maggio Cipriani, Mr. C hosts the world-class Italian eatery Cipriani, which consistently garners rave reviews. This location is one of a dozen worldwide that serves Cipriani’s signature grilled meats, innovative artisan pizzas, and perfectly poured Bellini cocktails.
Located right on the beach in Santa Monica, this elegant A-list retreat can’t be topped for blue-water ocean views and the Santa Monica Pier’s colorful Ferris wheel twirling in the distance. Constructed in 1926 as an exclusive beach club, Casa del Mar retains its Jazz Age sophistication with a vibrant Spanish-Moorish lobby and impeccable décor. Seventeen suites cater to guests seeking the posh life, but all 140 rooms are gussied up in luxurious Mediterranean style. Guests sprawl in chaise lounges and gaze at the Pacific Ocean from the expansive deck that surrounds the Palm Terrace Pool, or immerse themselves in pampering treatments at the eco-minded Sea Wellness Spa. The resort somehow manages to separate itself from the buzzy throng of Santa Monica, and yet the boardwalk, the Strand walking path, and Third Street Promenade are close by. The Catch seafood restaurant offers ocean-view dining, a sushi bar, and cabana-style seating in the adjacent Terrazza Lounge.