Sometimes, all you need to reconnect with your partner is a change of scenery. Thankfully, scenery happens to be Southern California's forte. Couples that take time out of their busy schedules to go on romantic SoCal trips can touch base with each other (yeah, we said it), refill their proverbial cups, and go back home with an improved mindset. The hotels below suit different budgets—they may hold the power to haul you out of a relationship slump, reinforce why you and your honey are right for each other or make you fantasize about uncuffing season. Phew! Let's dive into the pool.
Ah, Montecito—renowned for being Oprah's chosen residence and the new home of reluctant royals Harry and Meghan. You may also succumb to the charms of this seaside town after visiting the gorgeous San Ysidro Ranch, but you'll have to break the bank or conveniently cash in on crypto to do so. This is a luxury hotel with an eye-watering price tag. But who knows? You may run into Gwyneth Paltrow or Rob Lowe and decide your better half is better looking, which is sure to get the 'ol engine firing. Wouldn't that be priceless?
Daytime soapie The Bold and The Beautiful made Big Bear world-famous in the 90s. It was the ultimate romantic winter destination for the Angelenos in the show, and you knew stuff was about to go down the minute the car showed up in front of a cabin. Like Thorne, Taylor, Ridge, and Brooke, you too can get naked in front of the fireplace in this mountainous resort town. Noon Lodge rents out cabins but isn't a full-service hotel.
This trendy hotel in Point Loma is worth it just for its contemporary yet retro aesthetic. It's close to Ocean Beach but has a cute pool area if you just want to get some laps and drinks in or lay and sunbathe without leaving. The beds and rain showers are comfortable, rooms aren't claustrophobic, and couples can enjoy movie and game nights and seasonal events.
Madonna Inn is a fun 3-star hotel with thousands of reviews on Google, the majority of which are positive. It's not for everyone, but if you love kitsch interiors and a faux Alpine exterior, you'll love this famous motel with its own Wikipedia page. Madonna Inn is reasonably priced, has quirky decor that leans pink, and is home to a legendary rock waterfall urinal. The motel has appeared in numerous TV shows and music videos and has suites with names that may be relevant to you at this stage of your life—think Love Nest, Sugar and Spice, and Hearts and Flowers.
This hotel has oodles of old Hollywood charm with stylish pool cabanas. It was recently renovated, and the resulting look and fresh feel are bound to lift your mood. The beach is a mere two-minute walk away, as are a bunch of stores and restaurants, so there's plenty to do if you don't like being hotel-bound. Complimentary bikes allow you and your lover to get the lay of the land.
This Victorian-style 4-star hotel is a sophisticated location for a wedding or a mini break after the bride tosses her bouquet. It has terrific amenities, jazzy Frank Sinatra songs playing in the background, and your booking comes with a passport to wine tastings in the area. At 8 pm, you'll be treated to dessert hour with hot beverages, cookies, puddings, or other sweet treats—it's the cherry on top of a memorable cake.
Want to go to Europe but don't have the time to venture past San Diego? You'll get 5-star treatment at Cal-a-Vie Health Spa and feel like you've been transported to Tuscany or Provence. Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards have recognized Cal-a-Vie with a Top 10 Best Spas in the World honor, so if you take your wraps, exfoliations, and deep tissue rubs seriously, you must check this vineyard spot out. Multi-night packages focus on health and wellness with mindfulness practices, stargazing, nutritious cooking demos, and sunrise hikes. You and your significant other will relish every minute here.
This woodsy hotel in Avila Beach embodies serenity and seclusion and deserves a road trip stop or a dedicated trip. The friendly staff members see to all your needs, from tasty meals to bike rentals, and info about amenities like the Secret Garden, spa, yoga, and hillside hot tubs. You can take leisurely dips in the pool and float on your back or stick to your private hot tub. If it's R&R in nature you're after, you and your partner would do well to pick Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort for a honeymoon or anniversary trip.
For excellent hospitality and gardens with chirping birds, visit Cheshire Cat Inn. The rooms are a bit old, but they have an Alice in Wonderland theme, are spacious, and the fresh flowers are a welcome touch. The showers are amazing and make you feel like you're bathing on cloud nine with Molton Brown toiletries—perfect to get you in the mood. You can walk to the beach in just over half an hour if you're fit, and State Street is even closer, but not so close as to overwhelm guests with noise.
This 5-star resort knows what top-notch service is all about. You'll feel special from the moment you arrive. You and your bae can golf, work out at the well-equipped on-site gym, or get creative in a hands-on class. If none of these activities sounds appealing, the spa is the place for you. Get a sensual couples massage to limber up and sip on lavender lemonade. Between the magnificent landscaping, gorgeous architecture, and the sights and sounds beyond the hotel, you'll return home rested and renewed.
If you and your partner are old souls looking for a peaceful weekend away, Inn Paradiso offers lesser-known rustic accommodation with a cozy feel, vintage touches, and oak tree views. You can enjoy a flavor-packed organic breakfast with fresh OJ and choose to stay in for some one-on-one time or head out to explore wine country. The innkeepers are happy to help you construct an itinerary for spontaneous wandering. Soak in a claw foot tub with luxe products or sink into a two-person hot tub when you get back and feel your worries melt away.
Korakia is a Mediterranean oasis in the desert. This 3-star hotel hits every beat, from chocolate-covered strawberries to outdoor movie nights with popcorn and poolside popsicles, fires, lanterns, and super comfy linens. It's clean, pays attention to the details, and you won't be forking out for every additional activity like you might elsewhere. Go here with company or to celebrate self-love. There aren't noisy kids around, so you can have the quiet escape you're craving.
This hotel is at the top of a hill, with a lot of ambiance, which has its pros and cons. If you can handle the steep walks up and down, you'll be rewarded with A-plus views and burn off the calories from all the vacation food. The roof is a fab place to unwind, take in some sun, and look out over Avalon and the harbor. The rooms are small but laid out well, and there's a romance package available for a lovey-dovey retreat.
Let's throw it back to when Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth were still in the honeymoon phase, shall we? Newly-rekindled love spawned the 2017 hit Malibu. Whatever else may have happened, the song remains a solid choice when you've got your car windows down and the wind plastering your hair. Here's the good news— your weekend with boo in Malibu is guaranteed a happy ending (wink wink), especially if you stay at Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club.
Temecula has loads of luxurious resorts. We recommend trying the quaint Chateau and Winery at Churon. It has big marble bathrooms with double tubs and sinks, chimneys, private patios, and, best of all; it is decently priced. You'll get to see hot air balloons at sunrise and perhaps take a selfie with said balloons in the background without paying for the actual ride—value for money!
Inn at Death Valley is a landmark that recently underwent renovations. Palm groves, a heated pool fed by a spring, and immaculate grounds—this place is a paradise in the middle of a unique and desolate landscape. Go for the insane dawn and dusk views at places like Badwater Basin and Zabriskie Point.
Fruit trees, hammocks, croquet lawns, and putting greens. The eclectic Parker Palm Springs is another aspirational 5-star hotel. If you go here, you won't really have to leave to have a blast. But if you do, the Palm Springs Village Fest makes for a wonderful date night. Families with young kids are rare in these parts, so if you find that appealing and have Benjis to spare, go for it.
Borrego Springs is remote, so you're not likely to bump into anyone you know, and that in itself is an orgasmic thought for the introverts among us. So, privacy? Check. Now for the atmosphere. La Casa Del Zorro is historic and oh-so-good-looking. The desert resort occupies 42 acres and offers tennis courts, pickleball courts, and refined casitas with private splash pools. You can even bring your dog along if a snoring pooch is where your exhibitionism begins and ends.
So you want to spice things up in your relationship. The Millennium Biltmore seems like the perfect swanky LA hotel to roleplay at a bar, dontcha think? Meet a "new" man or woman for the weekend at the kind of hotel Richard Gere may have taken Julia Roberts to in Pretty Woman. Here's looking at you, Phil Dunphy's alter ego. Let the sexy times roll.
No SoCal romantic destinations list would be complete without a nod to Napa Valley. If Big Bear is the winter destination of choice for hastily written TV episodes, Napa is the go-to summer spot. At the Meritage Resort and Spa, you'll have everything you need for a romantic weekend, including a bowling alley so you and your partner can check each others' butts out. Vineyard views, hot air balloon rides, and a stellar foodie scene await too. Be sure to reserve experiences you're interested in before they're all booked out.