From world-class events including February’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Golf Tournament to dining extravaganzas like Relais & Chateaux GourmetFest in Carmel-by-the-Sea and unparalleled coastal views in Big Sur, Monterey County, California exudes the quintessential California luxury escape. If these attributes aren’t enough to convince travelers to add the picturesque destination to their travel list, these six award-winning luxury resorts certainly will.
A premier boutique resort nestled in the sun-drenched mountains of Carmel Valley, Bernardus Lodge & Spa celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2019. Overnight visitors are greeted with a glass of Bernardus wine upon check-in, followed by settling into one of the resort’s 73 Mediterranean-inspired guest rooms, suites and villas arranged around the property's croquet and bocce courts, a junior Olympic-size pool, lush gardens and the estate vineyard. The resort’s on-site organic gardens offer both botanical ingredients for signature spa treatments and fresh herbs for the award-winning restaurant, Lucia Restaurant & Bar. As an added perk, car enthusiasts can enjoy the resort’s Mercedes-Benz drive program as a complimentary amenity.
Unlike any other resort in the country, Carmel Valley Ranch was designed as a 500-acre resort playground for visitors of all ages in Carmel Valley. Guests will never grow bored with the resort’s robust activity list, from hatchet throwing to learning about the lives of bees. The resort introduced a new Market and Creamery in 2019 that highlights its resident artisans, including a fishmonger, gardener and cheesemaker, with samples and workshops. The sprawling property also has its own golf course, spa and wellness offerings for those seeking a serene retreat.
Golf lovers will revel in an escape to the legendary Pebble Beach Resorts in Pebble Beach, which celebrated its centennial year in 2019. One of the hotel collection’s more intimate retreats is the Mediterranean-style Casa Palmero, featuring 24 private rooms complete with wood-burning fireplaces and oversized soaking tubs. Guests can enjoy spending time in the resort’s living room, library and billiard room, all overlooking the first and second fairways of Pebble Beach Golf Links. The enchanting resort is just steps from the award-winning Spa at Pebble Beach, which offers a variety of signature services and treatments.
Located in the heart of the charming seaside village of Carmel-by-the-Sea, the European-inspired L’Auberge Carmel is an elegant boutique hotel that was built in 1929. Guests staying at the hotel will find newly renovated guest rooms that include bathrooms with heated floors and antique furnishings from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Most notably, the hotel features a Forbes Five Star restaurant, Aubergine, which earned the central coast of California’s first Michelin Star. Diners can savor seasonal, local ingredients and a staggering 2,500-bottle wine cellar. One of only a few full-service inns in Carmel-by-the-Sea, L’Auberge also offers valet parking, room service and first-class guest services.
Big Sur is one of the most sought-after escapes in Monterey County, offering dramatic coastal views and an untouched wilderness to disconnect from it all. One the region’s premiere resorts is the serene Post Ranch Inn, nestled on the cliffs of the iconic destination. Offering 39 guest rooms and two private homes, the resort blends rustic elegance with luxury and comfort for the perfect escape. Overnight guests can enjoy a daily gourmet buffet breakfast, access to its infinity swimming pools that overlook the Pacific Ocean and a variety of complimentary activities including yoga, nature hikes, stargazing and more. The resort also features a curated art gallery showcasing artists both from the Big Sur community and around the world. Post Ranch Inn features a luxurious spa and award-winning cuisine from its fine dining restaurant, Sierra Mar.
Set among 160 acres of rolling meadows and towering redwoods in Big Sur, Ventana Big Sur is an iconic resort destination. Guests can stay in one of 59 rustic guest rooms and enjoy the resort’s social house, complete with a pool table, classic board games, morning coffee and fresh pressed juices and evening wine tastings with cheese pairings. The resort features a fine dining restaurant and resort spa that both offer epic coastal and forest views. Visitors also can choose to stay at Ventana’s glampsites featuring 15 safari-style canvas tents with a nearby bath house that features teak-enclosed showers, heated floors and all the amenities and services expected from a world-class resort.