There are plenty of top class ocean-front resorts and hotels to choose from, too, and not all of them with rates that only movie stars can afford. There are often last-minute internet deals, special offers and out-of-season bargains – and even out of season the Pacific Coast is beautiful. So what if there is a rainy day? Isn’t that what heated indoor pools, spas and health clubs are for?
Here are a few suggestions of some of the best California beach hotels, ranging from historic inns to spa resorts.
Viceroy Santa Monica
1819 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica
Celebrities like Sting, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Alyssa Milano have all hung out here, just a few minutes from Santa Monica Pier and beach. It’s a discrete retreat, where most of the rooms have Pacific Ocean views, there are two outdoor pools, the acclaimed Whist restaurant (Cindy Crawford and Dustin Hoffman have been spotted dining here), a 24-hour fitness centre, and the Cameo Bar, where Kelly Osbourne, Mira Sorvino, and Jennifer Love Hewitt have all been seen.
450 East Harbor Boulevard, Ventura
The 4-star Crowne Plaza is Ventura’s only hotel that’s right on the beach. It’s right next to the historic Ventura Pier, and only a stroll to downtown. It’s also recently been renovated, and has balcony rooms with ocean views, a heated ocean-front pool, business centre, games room, exercise room. There’s also the AQUA Beachfront Bar, with views along Ventura’s Pacific Coast, and a new C-Street concept restaurant.
Pierpont Inn, Ventura
550 Sanjon Road, Ventura
The historic Pierpont Inn was opened in 1910 and was one of the very first California coastal hotels built to accommodate people who were starting to drive the Pacific Coast Highway. It’s got an oceanside setting, a fine dining restaurant, Austen’s, with ocean views and California cuisine, a day spa, 77 rooms and several suites including a 1950s-style apartment and old cottages in the grounds.
Hotel del Coronado
1500 Orange Avenue, Coronado, San Diego
San Diego’s best-known hotel combines luxury, history, and one of the best beaches on the Southern California coast. You can stay in the Beach Village or in the main Victorian hotel building which dates back to 1888. Since then many famous names have stayed there, including Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Brad Pitt, Humphrey Bogart, Charlie Chaplin, and eleven US Presidents. Facilities include the Spa at the Del with 21 massage and treatment rooms, several fine-dining and more casual restaurants, and a range of good shopping in Shops at the Del, including Tommy Bahama, Karen Kane, and Trina Turk.