From Malibu to Santa Monica to Beverly Hills, these stunning hotels in Southern California will turn any beach trip into a luxurious retreat.
Whether celebrities flock here for its natural and cosmopolitan charms or they help give rise to them, Los Angeles and its environs—Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and Malibu—are chic destinations that never go out of style.
So whether you're dreaming of a classic beach cottage, a glamorous European-style hideaway, or an intimate retreat away from the flash of the paparazzi, these gorgeous Leading Hotels of the World properties deliver the dream.
Which SoCal dream are you ready to inhabit? Find your love match, below.
The Classic Coastal Inn: Shutters on the Beach
From its trellised drive to its shingled exterior to its white and blue guest rooms, the details at Shutters on the Beach evoke a classic East Coast retreat, perhaps in a beloved enclave like Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard. But look out from one of its beach-facing balconies or wide windows and you’ll see palm trees and the wide expanse of Santa Monica State Beach, with the world-famous Santa Monica Pier in the distance. This Santa Monica boutique hotel boasts almost 200 rooms, with two restaurants and a traditional wood-paneled lobby with nightly small plate specials (including Friday Night Ceviche, a can’t-miss). The third-floor pool overlooks the beach, so you can enjoy the sun minus the sand, and all the while the ocean is visible in the distance.
With Shutters as home base for the weekend (or week, or maybe forever), the outdoor pleasures of the beach are within easy access. Walk down to the water to watch sunset, take a ride on the Pacific Wheel out on the pier, or take the hotel’s bikes out for a spin along the boardwalk, the famous Strand path, or Santa Monica’s streets. Even those who tend to be homebodies are in luck: The soaking tubs at Shutters offer total bliss, while 1 Pico serves up world-class fare (with ocean views, to boot). Rates start at $575
Related: The Best Beaches in California
The Old-World Hotspot: Casa del Mar
Casa Del Mar, Shutters on the Beach’s sister hotel, could not be more aesthetically different from the crisp, shingled hotel (which also happens to be next door). Housed in a red-roofed stone and brick structure, the beachfront hotel is eclectically old-world, with dark woods and vibrant patterns drawing from Spanish influences. The Lobby Lounge is glamorously Moorish, with cabanas, elaborate hanging light fixtures, and plush poufs, and it hosts live music (and lively crowds) seven nights a week. Order sushi (or top-shelf tapas) from Catch Restaurant & Terrazza Lounge, where the water views are almost as good as the food.
Home to a raised, ocean-facing pool, Casa Del Mar boasts a similar pool experience to its sister hotel, albeit with a walkway in front of the pool for uninterrupted (and dry) beach viewing. Once an elite beach club, the hotel maintains its aura of exclusivity without feeling closed-off: Its open lobby, high ceilings, and arched windows allow plenty of Santa Monica sunshine in. Enjoy the beach during a stay here, or arrange a custom adventure through the concierge. Regardless of what you do during the day, you’ll have an elegant (and delightfully exotic) home to return to. Rates start at $525
Watch: Take a 15-second Escape to Malibu, California
The Intimate Retreat: Malibu Beach Inn
For a more off-the-beaten-path SoCal stay, head northwest to Malibu Beach Inn. Located in the famously chill beachfront enclave, Malibu Beach Inn offers an intimate and discreet escape from the hustle of Los Angeles (it’s a favorite spot for staycations) and a delightful retreat for anyone not familiar with the natural splendor of Malibu. Located directly on the beach, with steps down to the sand straight from the terrace, the Inn offers unparalleled access to the sea and sand. All 47 guestrooms have balconies with water views, and the Scandinavian-inspired interior design—recently remodeled—is refreshingly simple and soothing.
Complimentary yoga on the beach is available each morning, and Carbon Beach Club offers carefully crafted dishes made from hyper-local produce for breakfast (and lunch and dinner—the restaurant serves each meal to perfection, with a masterful barman to top it all off). If you care to venture beyond the Inn’s light-wood gates, Malibu Farm and The Ranch at the Pier both sit on Malibu Pier, walking distance from the hotel and with delightful dining and shopping. Excursions into the mountains (where a steep hike is rewarded by an unbeatable view) and to the famous restaurants and shops of Malibu can easily be arranged through the Inn’s team. Rates start at $549
The Old-Hollywood Stopover: Mr. C Beverly Hills
To enjoy this final SoCal dream, you’ll have to head inland—but it’s guaranteed to be worth it. Mr. C Beverly Hills is perched in the midst of Los Angeles’s film industry; the iconic Hollywood sign is even visible in the distance. Owned by the Cipriani family, the same Venetian clan that opened legendary Harry’s Bar, the hotel’s glamorous European design pays homage to its roots with furniture and fabrics reminiscent of an old-fashioned steamer, plus the family’s signature porthole windows. And don’t forget the Bellini, invented by the founder of Harry’s Bar and poured to perfection at Mr. C. (Pro tip: It’s best enjoyed while lounging on the elegant pool deck.)
With Mr. C Beverly Hills as your headquarters for the weekend, anything is possible. Spend some (or a lot of) time lounging by the pool, preferably in one of the well-appointed cabanas, or visit the intimate spa for a top-notch massage. Explore Beverly Hills and Los Angeles beyond, or stay in for divine Italian cooking at The Restaurant at Mr. C. For a nightcap, sip signature cocktails in the Lobby Lounge Bar, which also offers live music on weekends. Rates start at $325
Related: America’s Best Seaside Inns