Top 25 Hotels in Northern California
Part of the fun of a California cycling tour is looking forward to unique local lodgings at the end of the day. Northern California offers some of the country’s most charming chateaus, lodges, inns and hotels. We’ve compiled a list of 25 of our favorites, from historic, high-end hotels to tiny, tucked-away abodes. Each of them has something unique and exceptional to offer! Begin the slideshow to see who made the cut:
The ambiance of Provence is recreated in Auberge du Soleil, set amid a 33 acre olive grove on a sun-kissed hillside. “Pleasure is healing” is the motto of Auberge du Soleil, an appropriate idea for a resort that is known for its impeccable service, french cuisine, beautiful wines, and sweeping vineyard views. The rooms are decorated in rich tones of sun and earth, with private terraces, soaking tubs and every conceivable touch of luxury.
In-room spa services and a focus on sustainability inform the contemporary luxury of this Napa Valley resort. Relax in the rooftop pool at Bardessono and enjoy garden-fresh artisan cuisine offered indoors or outdoors at this LEED platinum-certified resort. Organic bedding and handcrafted bath products exemplify Bardessono’s attention to detail. Its bespoke tradition of personalized service will make your visit to the wine country unforgettable.
Bernardus Lodge & Spa is surrounded by 26 acres of lush gardens, orchards and vineyards, echoing the lovely sunlit landscape in its elegant decor. California’s exquisite Carmel Valley offers a tranquil setting in which to relish the varied spa offerings and high-touch service of Bernardus Lodge & Spa. Located on the Monterey Peninsula, this hotel is only a 90-minute drive from San Jose Airport—seclusion within easy reach of Carmel’s sophisticated community and the bustle of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Bodega Bay Lodge is poised on the rugged Northern California shoreline, offering visitors a chance to experience awe-inspiring unspoiled beaches. Stroll along soft sand beaches and catch a glimpse of migrating whales, and then relax in the spa at the end of your sunlit day. The lodge staff are locals who make a point of sharing the character of this wonderful part of California, and the design of the lodge uses natural timber and stone to express its connection to the land.
The breathtaking setting of Calistoga Ranch in a 157-acre private canyon of ancient oaks sets it apart from other wine country lodgings. Lakeside dining and other luxuries are all offered in this unique retreat where “nature is the primary amenity.” Hike alongside the ranch’s rocky creek, tour the on-site vineyard, or enjoy an expansive view from one of the resort’s own hot air balloons. Accommodations consist of individual lodges sprinkled throughout the unspoiled landscape.
Each of the 13 luxurious rooms and suites in Carriage House Inn features a fireplace and feather beds, offering you every comfort amidst the charms of Carmel-by-the-Sea. You’ll be just a few blocks from Carmel’s famous white sand beaches, and only steps away from world-class dining, shopping and galleries. Carriage House Inn makes a point of offering exceptional extras to all its guests, and complimentary hors d’oeuvres and wine are served every afternoon in its library. You’ll experience for yourself the many reasons this hotel was awarded an AAA 4-diamond rating.
Set on an expansive piece of land at the edge of Golden Gate National Park, Cavallo Point is a unique combination of luxurious contemporary accommodations and historic buildings that were once part of Fort Baker. This world-class hotel won the National Geographic World Legacy Award for "Sense of Place," and is revered for it preservation and eco-friendly design. Numerous personalized amenities are also available, from an in-room bartender to rose petal turndown.
Located just 10 minutes from Northstar at Lake Tahoe, The Cedar House strives to create an invigorating experience for guests with its deep connections to nature. Nestled amongst tall pines in refreshing mountain air, the building features LEED components, including reforested logs. Guest rooms are designed using natural color schemes, and the in-house adventure company, T3 Adventures, offers guided outdoor excursions in the area. Refuel from your active day at the Stella Pop Up, a communal dining experience where guests are encouraged to join in free-flowing, thought-provoking conversations while enjoying a delicious tasting menu from the Stella kitchen team.
Old-world European elegance is transported to Château du Sureau, perched at the doorstep of Yosemite National Park. Flawless hospitality provides a continental sanctuary, reminiscent of the countryside in France, where you can relax in every modern luxury and gaze out at the rolling foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Daydream beside formal gardens and pools, or take a quick 16-mile trip to Yosemite Valley for an unforgettable picnic. Château du Sureau will offer you sensory treats, from fairy-tale architecture to fine continental dining.
You’re in Silicon Valley, so of course the amenities of this boutique hotel include a specialized tech concierge. Relax or be productive in the modern streamlined luxury provided by The Epiphany. Its sophisticated architecture, fresh food and central Palo Alto location put everything you need right at your fingertips. Fully wired with high-speed Internet throughout, The Epiphany also caters to sensory comforts, including fine Italian bed linens and a restaurant / bar that offers 24-hour room service.
A San Francisco institution, the Fairmont is just a cable car ride away from Fisherman's Wharf, Union Square and the Financial District. Perched atop Nob Hill, this historic hotel offers panoramic views of the city and the bay. Its grandeur will transform every moment you spend there into lasting memories as you participate in a legendary part of San Francisco. Whether you’re celebrating a personal milestone or simply having a luxurious vacation, you won’t find more classic San Francisco accommodations.
Where else can you find an intimate B & B experience with a Michelin-starred restaurant on the premises? With only 25 rooms, family-owned Farmhouse Inn is all about personalizing every aspect of your stay. Travel and Leisure voted this luxurious lodging to be the #1 Best Resort Hotel in California, and it’s an easy drive from over 400 wineries. While you’re at the Inn, you’ll be pampered by the farm-to-table spa services and the dedicated staff.
The stunning h2hotel offers eco-chic comfort in the historic vineyard town of Healdsburg. Plenty of natural light, artisan food and a solar-heated creekside pool make h2hotel an oasis in California’s beautiful wine country. An aesthetic of simplicity is expressed throughout this LEED gold-certified building, while a respect for authenticity shows through the handcrafted food at the hotel’s restaurant, Spoonbar.
TripAdvisor names Hotel Drisco the number one hotel in all of San Francisco, and its many other awards tell the same story. To earn its accolades, Hotel Drisco takes the concepts of personalized service and authenticity to their highest possible levels. Beginning with an extended gourmet continental breakfast, the Hotel Drisco staff will ensure that your day in San Francisco is everything you hoped for. World-class concierge services ensure that you feel welcomed from the moment you walk through the door.
Sophistication and small-town warmth combine to make Hotel Healdsburg a delightful base for exploring wine country. Customized wine education packages are just one of numerous amenities that you’ll find at this tranquil retreat. Many Northern California artisans have collaborated on providing the artwork, woodworking and ceramics for Hotel Healdsburg. You can use the hotel as a base for exploring wine country destinations and 60 local galleries and shops, or simply relax and find a rejuvenating retreat in its spa.
Every one of the 31 rooms and suites in the Inn Above Tide has wide-open views of San Francisco Bay, with the city's romantic skyline beckoning in the distance. The sophisticated style of this waterfront inn can best be expressed as elegant and understated chic. Most rooms include private decks overlooking the bay as well as fireplaces to warm you in the cooling San Francisco fog. Take a few steps from this intimate hotel and board a ferry to the iconic city, or browse Sausalito’s famous art galleries.
A homelike yet luxurious B & B in the heart of four wine valleys, Inn at Occidental is only a 20-minute drive to one of the world's most breathtaking coasts. The Russian River wine region and Bodega Bay beaches are easily reached from the Inn at Occidental, which is only about an hour north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Five minutes from this Inn, you’ll find zip lines and skybridges on which to swoop among the stunning redwood trees.
Las Alcobas Napa Valley will open to the public in January 2017 in St. Helena, Napa Valley. Like its acclaimed sister hotel in Mexico City, the hotel is designed by Yabu Pushelberg and is part of the Luxury Collection. It will feature 68 guest rooms and suites with terraces and outdoor fireplaces (and views of the neighboring Beringer Vineyards), a signature restaurant, a 3,500 square foot spa, an outdoor swimming pool, meeting facilities and all of the brand's signature amenities and services. The hotel will be within walking distance of the Culinary Institute of America and the many restaurants, art galleries and boutiques of downtown St. Helena. Celebrity Chef Chris Cosentino will be opening Acacia House, the restaurant for the property.
Once a working vineyard and ranch, MacArthur Place offers a historic window into old Sonoma. Fine dining and a garden spa with exquisite views create visual and sensory delight in a rural setting just 45 minutes from downtown San Francisco. MacArthur Place was rated one of the “World’s Best Hotels” by Conde Nast Traveler; you’ll understand why as you wander its art-filled spaces or relax under a majestic shade tree near the landscaped pool.
Built in the 1920s, this grand wilderness hotel has been an icon for generations in Yosemite National Park. Queen Elizabeth, John Kennedy and others have savored The Majestic Yosemite Hotel's stunning views of Half-Dome, Yosemite Falls and Glacier Point. With its 34-foot ceiling, the chandelier-lit dining room truly deserves the label of “majestic.” This classic hotel is Yosemite’s only AAA 4-diamond accommodation, and it has just finished a fresh round of extensive renovation to prepare it for a whole new generation of guests.
Meadowood, a premium hideaway, is well worth a side trip on your wine country bike tour. The Restaurant at Meadowood is one of only 14 restaurants in the United States to receive three Michelin stars. Natural light streams into the resort's gracious spaces, which all feature vaulted ceilings and private terraces. Meadowood’s new spa offers a broad menu of treatments, including some that are based on antioxidant grape extracts. This resort offers golf, tennis, hiking, and (of course) wine experiences in the fabled Napa Valley.
The Lake Tahoe area is full of opportunity for adventures, and PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn is a cozy base for all of them. Skiing, mountain biking, shopping and hiking await you in this mountain resort. Equally appropriate for a wedding, a corporate event or a family vacation, PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn serves up the perfect blend of sophistication and fun. The nearby aerial tram lifts you to an elevation of 8200 feet for a bird’s eye view of Lake Tahoe, while event planning specialists and business conveniences let you stay connected during your visit.
Perched on a cliff 1200 feet above the Pacific Ocean, the Post Ranch Inn is an oasis of tranquil luxury. The innovative architecture of this serene resort echoes the natural surroundings, creating compelling spaces for romance, celebration or quiet reflection. Just 39 rooms make up the Inn, each one offering perfectly framed views of mountains or ocean. The numerous amenities include yoga classes, in-room spa treatments, and an infinity pool. Award-winning Sierra Mar Restaurant changes its menu every day, as the chef sources the freshest California delicacies.
Located in the rolling foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, the ultra-chic Rosewood Sand Hill is just one mile from Stanford University, at the gateway to Silicon Valley. A lot happens at this unique point on the map, where some of the most vibrant minds in the world come together.The soothing neutral tones of the Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel are highlighted by an outstanding contemporary art collection. Flexible venues are available for private meetings or important business events.
Geothermal pools and local mineral-rich mud makes the spa at Solage Calistoga a destination in itself. Focus on wellness while enjoying Michelin-starred cuisine in a setting of contemporary luxury. Spend your days exploring wine country destinations or relax next to one of Solage Calistoga’s outdoor swimming pools. Find tranquility in wandering the many hiking trails or participate in the resort’s yoga classes in the Wellness Center. Shopping opportunities in Calistoga are within easy walking distance.