The best hotels in west coast usa, chosen by our expert, including luxury hotels, boutique hotels, budget hotels.
1//san ysidro ranch:
JFK and Jackie chose San Ysidro as their honeymoon spot, Vivien Leigh and Sir Laurence Olivier married here and Sir Winston Churchill loved the place so much he described it as ‘grand opera scenery idealised’. San Ysidro Ranch dates back to 1893 and has long been considered as one of the country’s finest hotels.
Set on 500 acres, San Ysidro Ranch lies in the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountain Range overlooking the Pacific. Six miles from Santa Barbara, it is part of the exclusive enclave of Montecito, a haven for celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Rob Lowe and Tom Cruise.
Service & facilities
Service is first rate. Unlike most hotels, where you can expect to wait a while for any request to be fulfilled, items materialise as soon as you put the phone down. There are extras here you never knew existed, such as headed San Ysidro Ranch notepaper with your name printed followed by “…in Residence/Geranium [the name of one of the cottages]”.
The hotel has a spa and picturesque pool beneath an orchard of lemon trees. There is also an extensive library which includes books by some of their famous guests such as John Galsworthy, Somerset Maugham and Sinclair Lewis. Front desk staff are knowledgeable about the area and have maps for local hikes, which lead directly off the property and up into the mountains.
Built in classic bungalow style, all rooms have fireplaces, and many have decks with sweeping views and outdoor hot tubs. Bedrooms have four-poster canopy beds with Rivolta Italian linen bedding and goose-down duvets. The bathrooms are large with bath tubs and separate showers – both indoor and outdoor. Toiletries are by Bulgari, and Persian rugs cover the floors. The cottages are designed for lingering; several have separate sitting rooms and all have outdoor sun loungers and comfortable sofas. All tech amenities and Nespresso machines.
2//The Peninsula Beverly Hills
The hotel, a few minutes’ walk from Rodeo Drive, is at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and Wilshire Boulevard and a half-hour drive from LA International Airport. Courtesy cars, including a Rolls Royce, will take you anywhere in Beverly Hills or Century City.
Service & facilities
Service is exceptional – from the white-capped-and-uniformed bellmen to the manager who walks you to the room. A casual comment about the view (a garden view had been mentioned at check-in but the room actually overlooked a parking lot and street) led to a seamless switch to a (much nicer) room. Personally-monogrammed pillowcases – which you are urged to take home – were an extraordinary extra. Excellent spa and rooftop swimming pool with private cabanas.
The hotel has 195 rooms, including 38 suites and 17 private villas. Even the standard rooms are larger than most hotel rooms and all have French doors that open to a garden or city view. A bedside iPad controls everything from room temperature to a ‘Do not disturb’ sign illuminated next to your door. Oscar de la Renta amenities are a nice touch in the large marble bathrooms, which include both shower and bathtub. There is also a DVD menu of Academy Award-winning movies, one for every year since 1929. If you request a movie – or anything else – it is at the door almost before you put the phone down.
This boutique hotel with only nine rooms was built in 1957 and is a designated historic landmark, located in the historic Tennis Club neighborhood at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains and near downtown. Each room is uniquely furnished with original mid-century items.
It’s a short, four-block walk to many of the shops and restaurants that line Palm Canyon Drive in the centre of town.
Service & facilities
The hotel’s owners are often on site and try to make a connection with every guest. An outdoor bar sits next to the saltwater pool and is stocked with free, non-alcoholic drinks as well as a basket of sunscreen products. In the morning, organic coffee and teas are set out in the bar area so guests can access beverages at their convenience. There’s also a saltwater whirlpool and hot tub in a small, semi-private gated area. Other facilities include complimentary bicycle hire, a set of golf clubs, and a small room with games and books. All bedrooms have turntables and the office has hundreds of records you can borrow, encompassing every genre.
The Rat Pack Palm Springs is a large room featuring a seating area and eat-in kitchen that includes a table set with cool, retro dishes, plus a bathroom retaining its original pink tile. This room can be connected through a hallway to the room next door, the Twin Palms, to form a suite. The Twin Palms room itself is a bit smaller since it doesn’t have a seating/living area, but it does have a kitchen.
In the Leopard Lounge, you’ll find concrete floors (most of the other rooms have carpet), a vintage bathroom and kitchen, and original period movies posters. Four of the rooms have kitchens with quirky features like push-button refrigerators. Every room has a patio, and you’ll find classic furnishings by Bertoia, Eero Saarinen, and Charles and Ray Eames.