California. Who hasn’t dreamed of taking a month (or more) off to properly explore this diverse and profoundly interesting state? Whether it’s playing the role of an old-school movie star in Palm Springs or continuously refilling your wine glass in Yountville, this is a place that almost always exceeds expectations and leaves travelers wishing they were residents.
To help you see the best of what California has to offer, we’ve looked to our trivago users and their certified reviews to point you towards the best hotels in California as compiled for the trivago Awards 2018.
For the luxury traveler, unsurprisingly Yountville comes out on top as one of the leaders in high-end, not to mention wine-fueled, hospitality. Meanwhile, Palm Springs is a clear three-star favorite with its pension for desert modern style and Hollywood glamour. Interested in seeing the best hotels in California? Get scrolling and start planning!
California’s Top Five-Star Hotel ★★★★★
Bardessono (Yountville | 9.5 tRI™)
Exceptional By Nature
Bardessono lives by the motto of being “exceptional by nature” and they meet that expectation by blending contemporary luxury with the elegance of the surrounding Napa Valley. Sitting in the heart of wine country, Bardessono is outfitted with 62 luxurious rooms complete with outstanding amenities, like in-room spa services, a rooftop pool, gardens, and an on-site restaurant. Any traveler lucky enough to find themselves at this Yountville gem will be warmly welcomed and rewarded with a truly transcendent stay.Check availability »
The Top 10 Five-Star Hotels across California
- Bardessono — Yountville
- Fairmont Grand Del Mar — San Diego
- Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa — Rancho Santa Fe
- The Peninsula Beverly Hills — Beverly Hills
- Four Seasons Westlake Village — Westlake Village
- The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage — Rancho Mirage
- Hotel Bel-Air — Los Angeles
- Ojai Valley Inn — Ojai
- Montage Laguna Beach — Laguna Beach
- The Beverly Hills Hotel — Beverly Hills
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
California’s Top Four-Star Hotel ★★★★
Hotel Yountville Resort & Spa (Yountville | 9.3 tRI™)
A Boutique, Luxury Escape
Welcome to your Napa Valley boutique luxury escape. Hotel Yountville Resort & Spa wins praise from its guests with their extravagant spa and numerous treatment rooms. The relaxing aquatic vibe is topped off with a scenic outdoor pool. If you’re able to pull yourself away from the resort, guests are free to explore with free rental bikes. On that note, it’s good to know that the Silverado Trail surrounded by a plethora of vineyards is a mere three-mile pedal away from the hotel.Check availability »
The Top 10 Four-Star Hotels across California
- Hotel Yountville Resort & Spa — Yountville
- Hotel Drisco — San Francisco
- The Rose Hotel — Pleasanton
- Ponte Vineyard Inn — Temecula
- Vintage Inn — Yountville
- North Block Hotel — Yountville
- Nobu Hotel Epiphany Palo Alto — Palo Alto
- The Landing Resort And Spa — South Lake Tahoe
- Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa — Monterey
- Solage — Calistoga
★ ★ ★ ★
California’s Top Three-Star Hotel ★★★
Little Paradise Hotel (Palm Springs | 9.3 tRI™)
Undisturbed Serenity in the Desert
“Undisturbed serenity, whispering water fountains, birds singing, and majestic view of mounts.” That’s pulled directly from Little Paradise Hotel and it sounds too good to be true, right? Well, clearly they’re doing something right in Palm Springs as they’ve nabbed the top spot in our three-star category for best hotels in California. It’s easy to see why this would be a favorite for “undisturbed serenity” considering it’s an adults-only hotel complete with an outdoor swimming pool and sundeck. Do you hear that peaceful silence? That’s right — no shrill cries from stubbornly sleepy children or cannonballs into the pool. We’re envious just thinking about it.Check availability »
The Top 10 Three-Star Hotels across California
- Little Paradise Hotel — Palm Springs
- Homestead Cottages — Ahwahnee
- Del Marcos Hotel — Palm Springs
- The Avalon Hotel — Avalon
- Homewood Suites by Hilton San Bernardino — San Bernardino
- The Palm Springs Hotel — Palm Springs
- Sparrows Lodge — Palm Springs
- Pantai Inn — La Jolla
- Spindrift Inn — Monterey
- Old Ranch Inn, Palm Springs — Palm Springs
★ ★ ★
California’s Top Alternative Accommodation
Cottage Grove Inn (Calistoga | 9.4 tRI™)
The Gateway To Sonoma Wine Country
Doesn’t a homemade breakfast with eggs, waffles, fruit smoothies, local granola, and coffee sound like a great way to start off your Calistoga, California morning? That’s just what guests are in store for (and raving about) with our Alternative Accommodation winner, the Cottage Grove Inn. Here you’re at the so-called quiet end of Napa Valley with easy access to Sonoma Wine Country. The property also serves as an ideal base to go on a relaxing stroll or for a ride on one of their complimentary bikes to sample a variety of the local restaurants or, obviously, a wine tasting (or two or more).Check availability »
The Top 10 Alternative Accommodation across California
- Cottage Grove Inn — Calistoga
- 1801 First — Napa
- Brewery Gulch Inn — Mendocino
- 1906 Lodge A Four Sisters Inn — Coronado
- Beazley House Bed and Breakfast Inn — Napa
- Arbor Guest House — Napa
- Simpson House Inn — Santa Barbara
- Yosemite Sierra View — Oakhurst
- Santa Ynez Inn — Santa Ynez
- Cedar Gables Inn — Napa
Q: How were the winners chosen?
A: The trivago Rating Index® (tRI)
Just as trivago aggregates hotel prices from across the web, we also aggregate guest reviews and ratings for a wide variety of amenities and services for all hotels that display prices on trivago. The reviews are then assigned an overall score by amenity or service category using an internally developed algorithm. The overall score is displayed on trivago, making it easy for travelers to compare amenities and services offered as they search for their ideal hotel.
For the trivago Awards 2018, the hotel with the highest score in each awarded category is deemed the category winner. To ensure accuracy, a minimum of 20 reviews were required for award eligibility with scores taken in October 2017.
The result: A comprehensive list of the cream of the crop in hospitality, and prestige and recognition for the hardworking hoteliers behind the winning hotels.
Are you a California hotelier? Visit the trivago Hotel Manager blog to learn more about the people behind the award-winning properties in the United States.
Do you have your own award-winning hotel in mind? Nominate the Best California Hotel in the comment section!