The California coast is always reflected in a rich variety of eye-catching places, from safari-style tents to beautiful villas; Today is the southern part of California.
El Capitan Canyon, Santa Barbara
For those who want the seclusion of camping without having to pitch a tent, there’s El Capitan Canyon, a private campsite and “cabin hotel” hidden in groves of oak and sycamare in Santa Barbara, with views of the Pacific and Santa Ynes mountains. This modern retreat offers 108 stylish cedar cabins with front porches, handmade willow beds and deep bathtubs; French windows open onto a creek. There are 26 safari-style tents on wooden platforms and during the day you can pursue activities such as sea kayaking and surfing from El Capitan State beach, excatly a mile from the resort, or hiking along nearby wooded trails. Do not worry about lunch because the resort’s market deli provides gourmet picnics for any guest on an outing.
Also excellent guided hikes into the canyon back- country, as is horse riding through the Santa Ynes coastal foothills. You can also get a hot- stone massage, do yoga or take a swim inthe solar-heated pool. The resort also hosts Saturday – night barbecue dinners, a wonderful way to enjoy the stars and the moon. 805 685 3887; http://www.elcapitancanyon.com. Cabins from $204 ; safari tents from $149
The lodge at Torrey Pines, La Jolla
The lodge at Torrey Pines is just north of San Diego and within walking distance of the Torrey Pines State reserve. The park has 8 miles of winding trails along wild standstone cliffs, canyons and beaches. The lodge is filled with Tiffany lamps and it is an intimate and elegant retreat. The interiors are simply stunning, period wallpaper by William Morris and the bathrooms tiled in marble. Poppies and lavender bloomed next to a well manicured croquet lawn. Many of the rooms overllok the18th hole of the Torrey Pines golf course. The in-house restaurant specializes in farm-to-table meals; local beets and greens; Sonoma duck confit. An excellent wine list. There is also a spa decorated in black-and-white Art- Nouveau style . 858 453 4420 http://www.lodgetorreypines.com. Doubles from $422
Hotel del Coronado, Coronado
Just south of San Diego, on Coronado island, you will find one of California’s oldest and most iconic hotels. The hotel del Coronado also known as ” the Del” is a village unto itself, with shops, bars. restaurants, and numerous pools shaded by palm trees and all lined with bird-of-paradise flowers. The main restaurant grows its own herbs and use them to excellent effect in creative and aromatic dishes. A stay at this hotel is all about its superb location and there are definitely plenty of places to kick back with a coktail and enjoy the sea air. The hotel’s beach village which openned in 2007, is a group of cottages and villas on Coronado beach featuring private hot tubs and patios with views all the way to Mexico. 619 435 6611http://www.hoteldel.com as well as beach village at The Del . 619 522 8809 ; http://www.delbeachvillage.com. Doubles from $ 703 . * The hotel was famously featured from the movie ” Some like it hot”
Casa Malibu Inn on the beach, Malibu
As you may know Malibu is no longer the bohemian stretch it was in the 1950’s. The low-key Casa Malibu Inn on the beach is a 21- room inn is the area best kept secret. The inn has a flower-filled courtyard and a very friendly, California-cottage feel with wicker furniture, floral prints and fireplaces in evey room. The second floor beachfront suites have amazing patios ; guests in the lower-level beach suites can walk right out onto the white sand. Even guests with garden rooms have access to the expansive sun deck. At high tide, the waves come crashing right up under the terrace. This affordable gem fends off the crowds by staying old-school; It does not have a website so you will have to call to make a reservation. 310 456 2219. Doubles from $189