California is a diverse state, with beautiful beaches, mountains, national parks and some of the world”s most famous cities. It”s hard to choose where to start, but deciding where to go may be as easy finding a great family resort to make your base. The following hotels and resorts are some of our favorites, as well as the top reviewed by families like you!
Written by Lissa Poirot
Perhaps one of the most unique places to stay in California isn"t a hotel, but instead a hostel. This family-friendly hostel in Santa Barbara doesn"t look or feel like a hostel though -- it looks like a boutique inn. Twenty-seven of the Wayfarer"s 31 rooms are private and have en suite bathrooms, and families of five can easily share a room. The communal kitchen is large enough for the family to enjoy meals together, and games are located in the lounge. Guests in ground-floor rooms, where grills are also available to enjoy the California weather, can easily access an outdoor, heated pool.
West Inn & Suites
This family-operated inn located in Carlsbad, California, just north of San Diego, is a beautiful property. Its discreet location isn"t nestled on a beach or overlooking scenic views, but its interior design feels like home and suites are comfortable with separate living space with mini-fridges, microwaves and DVD players. The inn is pet friendly (dogs and cats are welcome), and onsite dining is available. Just minutes from LEGOLAND, the inn provides complimentary shuttle service to the theme park, as well as the beach.
Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
Nothing will make your family feel like they"ve arrived in California more than a luxurious stay in Beverly Hills at the Four Seasons. Your family will feel like celebrities, and be treated like them, as well. The resort boasts nearly 300 rooms with suites large enough to accommodate five or six. The Four Seasons welcomes children the moment they check in, and the swimming pool, surrounded by lush vegetation, feels like an oasis in Los Angeles" sea of traffic.
The Inn at Laguna Beach
Laguna Beach"s intimate oceanfront town makes for a great family vacation -- it"s quiet, serene and filled with Pacific Ocean views. The Inn at Laguna Beach is built right into the hills overlooking the ocean, and just steps down a sandy pathway are the beach and marina. Everything at the inn points to the water, including the oversized terraces and balconies of its 70 rooms, its rooftop terrace and its outdoor pool. Rooms are decorated in pale, seaside colors, and the inn provides free beach amenities.
Westin Desert Willow Villas
This expanding resort in Palm Springs will house 17 buildings when it is completed in 2021. In the meantime, its all-villa accommodations make it a standout in California destination hotels. Guests can select from one- to two-bedroom villas, which feature room for up to nine family members and provide kitchenettes with refrigerators, stovetops, microwaves, cookware and dinnerware. Multiple swimming pools, a game room, family programming and a Westin Kids Club round out the activities.
Lake Tahoe features a number of resorts, but none as grand as the Ritz-Carlton. While the hotel serves summer lake guests, its location within the Northstar-at-Tahoe resort makes it a fantastic winter ski destination. Its ski-in/ski-out location is particularly noteworthy, with dedicated ski concierges, limo service in Sherpa snowmobiles, and its own exclusive ski gondola. Families can also ice skate, snowshoe, and snow tube, with a kids" club available for ages 5 to 12.
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa
Huntington Beach is the longest stretch of uninterrupted beach in Southern California, and overlooking this wide sandy area is the beautiful Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort. The massive property features a village of restaurants, shops and activities, as well as landscaped grounds surrounding a large pool area with many activities sprinkled throughout for families and children. Located within minutes of Disneyland, the resort also provides complimentary shuttles to the theme park, so families can see Mickey Mouse, but stay on the coast.
Fairmont Heritage Place, Ghirardelli Square
When visiting San Francisco, staying in the heart of Ghirardelli Square is magical: the views, the chocolate and the upscale surroundings of the Fairmont. When the Ghirardelli family moved its factory from the square it had operated for 70 years, the waterfront location quickly become a haven for restaurants and shops. Fairmont joined the scene, offering outdoor terraces with views and fire pits, daily wine and cheese receptions, complimentary bicycles to enjoy the city, and other special amenities for guests.
Candy Cane Inn
This unassuming motel-style property makes our list because it has all of the necessities for being a great family hotel. Conveniently located across the street from the Disneyland Resort, the Candy Cane Inn is budget-friendly and filled with comfortable, newly renovated rooms. But what makes it really stand out are the conveniences. Free Wi-Fi, free breakfast and a free shuttle to the theme parks help parents keep costs down during a trip to Disney.
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