California certainly ranks near the top for honeymoon destinations in the continental U.S. Perhaps you have your heart set on the Golden State for your first trip together as newlyweds, but can't narrow it down to which part of the state you'd like to travel too. Here's some ideas on romantic places, honeymoon hotels and suites in California to help you decide...
Hotel Drisco - this small honeymoon hotel is located in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights Neighborhood. Just a short walk from here, and you'll be treated to sweeping views of the Golden Gate Bridge as well as access to shops, boutiques and restaurants along the famous Sacramento, Fillmore and Union Streets. Grab some home-made granola or meat and cheese at their complimentary continental breakfast, and then come back after the day’s activities for the evening wine reception and sip California wines in a candlelit corner.
We think the City-View One Bedroom Suite is just right for honeymooners, but there are plenty of rooms to choose from. There’s a Romance Package that includes sparkling wine, chocolates, (silk) rose petal turn down service and a late checkout at 2 PM. You can reserve bikes for a day of cycling (ask about it when booking), and a complimentary chauffeured car service is also available to several destinations around the city.
Luxe Calistoga - if you plan to honeymoon in Napa Valley, this luxurious California wine country inn might be the place for you. It’s a European-style luxury inn right in the heart of this historic town. There's five romantic rooms, each with gas fireplace, marble bathroom and cozy robes. For true privacy, we recommend the King Suite on the first floor, which has a private entrance and garden view. Daily breakfast can be enjoyed in the dining room or at a private table on the porch. They provide snacks for you to take along on your wine-tasting adventure, but be sure to return for the evening wine and cheese reception.
Inn at Sonoma - Sonoma Valley is another great honeymoon area in Northern California, and the Inn at Sonoma is a perfect location from which to explore it. The main building has 19 guest rooms, with the adjacent Vinter’s Cottage accommodating eight. Luxury perks include fireplaces and private decks, and if you stay in one of the four new King Guestrooms at Vinter’s Cottage, a romantic jetted spa tub awaits! Outdoors, there’s a hot tub, and bikes you can borrow for a ride along the nearby bike path (stopping at wineries along the way of course). A full breakfast buffet and evening wine and hors d’oeuvres reception are included. Add-on packages, which include little things like a bottle of wine, breakfast in bed, and a box of chocolate truffles can also be purchased.
Spindrift Inn - this lovely boutique hotel on the shores of Monterey Bay has 45 rooms, each with king-sized canopy beds, hardwood floors, and marble bathrooms. Most have very romantic ocean-view window seats and wood-burning or gas fireplaces, so be sure to look for them when you book. Your complimentary breakfast will be delivered to your room… on a silver tray! There’s a wine and cheese reception and sweeping views of the Bay and McAbee Beach each evening from the rooftop garden. You may decide to reserve an in-room couple’s massage before or after dining at the Sardine Factory Restaurant. Of course there are plenty of other award-winning restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. Check out the Romance Package offered online.
Portofino Hotel - we highly recommend this nautical-themed hotel, which is uniquely set on its own little peninsula with ocean views about 20 miles southwest of downtown LA. Watch the sea lions play, take a short walk to Redondo Beach, or grab a complimentary beach cruiser bike and cycle along the oceanfront path. BALLEENkitchen is an award-winning onsite restaurant inside the hotel, so be sure and try it. (On weekends, they have a “Make Your Own - All You Can Drink Bloody Mary” Bar Menu!)
The Portofino has Ocean Side or Marina Side guestrooms, and luxury honeymoon suites with fireplace, private balcony, four-post wrought iron bed, and claw foot tub. The Romance Package includes things like rose petals sprinkled in the jet tub and turn down service at night, a bottle of champagne and a gift certificate for dining at BALLEEN Kitchen. Ask about details and book in advance.
One Note: the wonderful sea lions and birds life can be a bit surprising if you are not used to the sounds of nature. Earplugs are provided in each room, but we found it wasn’t really an issue.
Newport Beach Marriott Hotel And Spa - this romantic Marriott offers easy access to local Southern California beaches and attractions that are perfect for honeymoons. The one bedroom Luxury Penthouse Suite with ocean view and private balcony looks very nice, and comes with an evening turndown service and lots of little extras. Indulge in some spa treatments and dine at Sam And Harry’s Restaurant. There’s a nearby nature preserve, golfing and cool shops and restaurants at Fashion Island.
The Lodge At Torrey Pines - Let’s start with La Jolla. This fabulous Southern California honeymoon lodge is only a short drive from San Diego and is located on top of the cliffs of Torrey Pines State Beach. It also overlooks the famous golf course of the same name, where the 2008 US Open was held. There’s a spa offering a variety of treatments, and a romantic restaurant serving farm-to-table cuisine. Most of the 169 suites or rooms, ranging in size from 500 to 2500 square feet, have views of the golf course and Pacific Ocean. We think the Thorsen Suite is a great choice for honeymooners since it overlooks the 18th hole, and has a fireplace, balcony and Jacuzzi tub. Take the free chauffeured car service to downtown La Jolla or Del Mar as well as to other nearby attractions.
Courtyard San Diego Downtown - another great place to stay for honeymooning couples in Southern California, especially those on a budget! The famous Gaslamp District of San Diego is a 16-block historic area known for exciting festivals and great nightlife. And the Marriott is located in a 1920’s bank building right in the heart of it all. There’s a restaurant, a Starbucks, free Wi-Fi, and a fitness center. We think the King rooms with water views are fit for this special occasion, and since they include a mini-fridge and microwave, you don’t have to leave your oasis until you are good and ready! You might even splurge on the Presidential Suite. Drive or take a taxi to nearby Balboa Park or the San Diego Zoo. Fun Tip: Check out the old bank vault and old-style phone booths in the basement.
The Spanish Garden Inn - If your California honeymoon takes you close to Santa Barbara, check out The Spanish Garden Inn. An enclave of tranquility right in the heart of downtown, this small romantic inn is a fantastic place to unwind from wedding stress. They offer a complimentary deluxe continental breakfast, an outdoor heated pool, private gardens, a variety of in-room spa treatments and free parking in the underground garage. At the end of the day, take part in the evening wine bar or grab something from the DVD library and watch a romantic movie in your room. There are 23 rooms and suites, all of which include private garden patios or balconies, fireplace, French press coffee maker and much more. The suites include deep soaking tubs, and The Majestic Suite even has a private entrance with elevator access, two balconies and wonderful views overlooking Santa Barbara’s historic Presidio District. A short walk takes you to some great places to eat as well as theatres, museums and wineries.
Hint: There’s year-round whale watching opportunities in this area. Boat and helicopter tours are also available.
*Based on TripAdvisor.com Ratings & Reviews from Couples as of Sep 2015.