The Best Spots for a Romantic Getaway in Southern California
When it’s not possible to hop on a plane somewhere tropical, even one night in a nice hotel in a new neighborhood can feel rejuvenating. And let’s face it—this pandemic has meant so many cancelled vacations and so many disappointments. But there are still ways to have a change of scenery that don’t require getting on a plane. If you’re in need of a romantic weekend getaway from Los Angeles (who isn’t right now?!) most hotels in California are reopening this month now that outdoor dining is allowed—like one of these ten great options for staycations in LA or within a two-hour drive.
Staycations in Los Angeles
Located just across the street from the Malibu Pier, this 20 room stylish hotel has ocean-facing balconies and hammocks—not to mention Instagram worthy decor. Don’t miss the roof deck bar and restaurant—especially at sunset!
A classic beach retreat in LA, Shutters will transport you to a cottage in Cape Cod with its Michael Smith decor and breezy balconies overlooking the ocean. Dining al fresco was made for this hotel. See COVID guidelines here.
A hidden five star property, Hotel Bel-Air is an iconic property known for its exclusivity and privacy—hence why so many celebrities make this their reatreat when they need to get away. When you’re craving the lap of luxury, this is your place. The spa is open as of Feb. 7th. Wolfgang Puck is open for outdoor dining.
Though Pasadena is in Los Angeles County, it still feels worlds away, and the Langham Huntington Pasadena is a luxury escape perfect for those winter blues. In fact, I spent my 30th birthday here. *The spa is currently closed.
Weekend Getaways From Los Angeles
Ojai Valley Inn and Spa is a sprawling resort that still manages to feel boutique. Everything you could ever need is on property including multiple restaurants, a spa, golf, and shopping, so you never have to leave. You can read my full review here. It reopens February 24, 2021 (keep in mind most resorts right now have closed their hot tubs which is a big bummer, I know)
With breathtaking views of the American Riviera, the Belmond El Encanto offers Hollywood glamour in a tranquil setting. The rooms are private bungalows with marble bathrooms and heated floors. Book a couples massage or lounge by the infinity pool and you’ll feel worlds away from the hustle and bustle of LA.*Reopens February 11th. Read COVID guidelines here.
Located in the middle of Santa Ynez wine country—Solvang—to be exact, this hotel was exactly what was needed in the area—modern decor with a luxe feel in a boutique setting. You can read my full review here. Their restaurant is open for outdoor dining and wine country is open and doing tastings.
An elegant coastal retreat south of Los Angles, Monarch Beach Resort is a family friendly resort in Orange County with a private beach club. We loved our large room that felt up to date, comfortable and luxurious. The Miraval Spa was closed due to COVID, but we were able to relax by the pool and enjoy the incredible infinity hot tub. Just arrive early to the pool if you want a seat. Our second day, the pool was at capacity in the afternoon after we arrived back from the beach. Don’t miss Bourbon Steak, Michael Mina’s steakhouse at the hotel. *In October 2020, Waldorf Astoria bought the property.
While this isn’t a short drive (close to seven hours), during a pandemic, you’ll do just about anything for a change of scenery. We only spent one night at this fabulous hotel on our way up to Mendocino, but we will definitely be back. We loved the attention to detail, the lap of luxury that was our junior suite, and the tasting menu at their Michelin star restaurant. *They are now offering California residents a $50 credit to FARMSTAND, their all day dining option (The Restaurant is currently closed).
There is no better time of year to visit Palm Springs than in the dead of winter. The flowers are in bloom, the air is clear, and after years of slumming it in the hot summer months—when everything is cheaper—I finally understood the major appeal. Outdoor dining is open.