In California, luxury comes with a healthy dash of laid-back energy—even the most decadent experiences tend not to take themselves too seriously. In exclusive hotel suites across the state, you’ll find touches of whimsy and plush comfort, no stuffiness in sight. Think bright orange lounge chairs in the former Palm Springs residence of a Western movie star or a secret door dressed up as a bookshelf in San Francisco‘s most expensive penthouse.
Of course, the relaxed vibe doesn’t detract from over-the-top extravagance. From exclusive properties perched on Big Sur‘s stunning cliffs to sprawling estates built on a Napa Valley vineyard, California’s fabulous hotel suites dress to impress. See how A-listers spend their weekends off—or book a splurgy trip for yourself—at these amazing accommodations, listed north to south. (Note: Hotel rates are subject to change and reflect prices as of press time.)
Presidential Suite at The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe
Located near Lake Tahoe‘s sapphire shores, The Ritz-Carlton‘s Presidential Suite oozes mountain lodge luxury. Get views of the slopes from the ski-in/ski-out property, which also offers easy access to two championship golf courses during the summer. At 1,900 square feet, the plush one-bedroom accommodations allow for plenty of space to unwind. Up the pamper factor with a forest-inspired facial at the resort’s spa or add Lake Club access to your summer stay and access MasterCraft boat rentals from a private pier.
Starting at: $3,924/night
Estate Villa at Four Seasons Resort and Residence Napa Valley
Tucked at the edge of the on-site vineyard, this villa is the crown jewel of the Four Seasons Resort in Napa Valley. The three-bedroom Estate Villa welcomes up to eight guests to enjoy breezy indoor-outdoor living. The modern farmhouse design includes a living room with fireplace, media room, outdoor patio for dining, and secret garden–style swimming pool. Steps from the villa, try the Petite Syrah at Elusa Winery, casual-chic dining at Truss, and Calistoga‘s only Michelin-rated restaurant Auro.
Starting at: $9,000/night
Penthouse Suite at The Fairmont San Francisco
From raucous parties hosted by the Rolling Stones to President Kennedy’s clandestine affair with Marilyn Monroe, this 6,000-square-foot suite has served as the palatial backdrop for some epic improprieties. Over-the-top features include a Moroccan-style billiard room, a two-story circular library, and a grand piano rumored to have been used by Elton John. Host 60 of your nearest and dearest in the dining room and watch the fog drift away as you sit by your three-tiered fountain on the tiled balcony.
Starting at: $22,000/night
Villa Carmelo at Bernardus Lodge & Spa
Live like a French winemaker (at least for a night) with a stay in the Vintner's Suite. Located in the heart of Carmel Valley wine country, Bernardus boasts eight acres of wine grape groves on its secluded 28-acre estate. The two-bedroom Villa Carmelo is one of the property’s most recent additions. The rustic-chic decor includes a 12-person dining area, large copper soaking tub, bedside fireplace, and French doors that open to a breezy outdoor terrace. The private bathroom patios with outdoor showers are proof that the most fabulous amenities are the ones you didn’t know you needed.
Starting at: $1,800
The Post House at Post Ranch Inn
Post Ranch Inn is famous for marrying nature’s grandeur with modern luxury—and its premiere suite perched 1,200 feet above the Pacific puts this magical combination on permanent display. The private yard and patio make for panoramic Big Sur views, while an outdoor soaking tub, heated floors, and wood-burning fireplace create a sense of cozy. The chef’s kitchen comes fully loaded with complimentary treats, but you’ll want to save room for dinner at the on-property Wine Spectator Grand Award–winning Sierra Mar.
Starting at: $5,200/night
Warner at San Ysidro Ranch
Revel in Old Hollywood glamor in the Montecito foothills. The romance of San Ysidro Ranch was intoxicating enough to lure Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh on their wedding day and JFK and Jackie on their honeymoon. Warner is the 500-acre property’s ultimate escape: The 6,000-square-foot, free-standing stone cottage was inspired by country lodgings of the European aristocracy. Two primary bedrooms feature four-poster canopy beds and paned-glass doors that open up to an outdoor terrace. Take a dip in your private pool before enjoying award-winning all-inclusive dining.
Starting at: $10,000/night
The Penthouse at The London West Hollywood
If you’re going to ball out, you might as well go big. The two-story suite at The London West Hollywood boasts the distinction of the largest penthouse in all of L.A. Personally appointed by iconic designer Vivienne Westwood, the sleek interior delivers punk-rock glam. Enjoy expansive city views through glass-paneled walls, and the massive private rooftop deck, complete with marble bar and firepit. Every stay includes a private shopping experience at the Melrose Avenue Vivienne Westwood boutique.
Starting at: $10,000/night
Penthouse Suite at Hotel Casa del Mar
Retreat to the ultimate seaside hideaway. What were once rooftop racquetball courts created for wealthy beach clubbers, the Penthouse Suites at Hotel Casa del Mar are marked by high ceilings and stately windows. Sophisticated coastal decor matches ocean views—the hotel abuts Santa Monica Beach. Relax in the airy first-floor living area or retreat to the upstairs bedroom, dining area, and Italian marble powder room.
Starting at: $2,375/night
Gene Autry Residence at the Parker Palm Springs
Once home of the Singing Cowboy himself, this lavish, three-bedroom estate has just enough funk to keep things fun. Think blue velvet dining chairs, a Grecian horse head statue in the primary bedroom, and orange tufted ottomans adorning the sunken lounge. Let the spa come to you thanks to your own treatment room and sauna. Two expansive lawns work as well for an intimate picnic as they do a 300-person wedding ceremony.
Starting at: $10,000
Villa at The Resort at Pelican Hill
The Villas at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach take residential luxury to the extreme. At 3,500 square feet, the two-story, four-bedroom accommodations have plenty of room for the whole crew. Soak up ocean views from your private wraparound terrace, or enjoy a curated chef’s dinner in the great room. Guests get exclusive access to the Villa Clubhouse which includes a pool, fitness center, and relaxation rooms.
Starting at: $1,595/night
Grand Suite at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar
Experience Mediterranean opulence in sunny San Diego with a stay at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar’s premier suite. Corinthian columns line your private dine-in balcony which overlooks the resort's sprawling grounds. Both king-sized bedrooms also have smaller outdoor areas, perfect for enjoying an early morning coffee. Ask your concierge to arrange a tee time at the Tom Fazio–designed course. A reservation at San Diego’s only three-Michelin-starrestaurant, Addison, is a must.
Starting at: $2,800/night
Casa Valencia at Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa
Rancho Santa Fe, an exclusive community in north San Diego County, has a reputation for old-money luxury—and you can get a taste of the good life at Casa Valencia. The five-bedroom residence combines Mediterranean architecture with Moroccan stylings. Palm trees tower over a pool surrounded by a lush lawn. Work up a sweat in the residence’s private fitness studio or go for a spin on your own golf cart to roam the 45-acre grounds. Private chef dinners to enjoy in your dining room can be coordinated upon request.
Starting at: $11,542/night