The rise of the petite hotel in America has steadily grown, even pre-pandemic. Today’s hotel guests seek personalized authentic touches that big hotels can’t deliver. People often choose a hotel based on its location and design. During the time of coronavirus, staying in an intimate setting surrounded by nature or wide-open space has never been more appealing.
These days, hotels have amped up safety measures with contactless check-in, temperature checks, amenity bags, mask requirements in common areas, reserved pool chairs and room service. Some hotels have forgone food altogether.
California offers a plethora of unique hotel stays to help you feel worlds away. Consider a staycation at one of these stylish gems.
This soulful location feels like your own home with a private cove across the street for water sports and a saltwater pool for a small number of guests. Put on some vinyl in your room before bathing in a glorious bathtub drenched in sunrays with ocean waves crashing just outside. TV is replaced with real connection. A contemporary vintage living room with fireplace and bar may be less social during the pandemic, but the intimacy and privacy of the place is more desirable than ever.
Part of the Auric Road Collection, 22 individually designed rooms with vintage pieces, customized furniture and curated artwork come with 24/7 text service for every whim.
HotelJoaquin.com | 949.494.5294
Step into this intimate hideaway where Spanish revival style meets mid-century modern design. Built in 1947, this newcomer is a 38-room villa spread across a lengthy property with three pools. A vintage car parked outside lets guests know they have arrived, and bold art and colorful wall murals mesh with Spanish tiles and romantic courtyard fountains. Majestic mountains with poking palm trees hug the poolside views. The retro modern cool ambiance is alluring and accentuated with dramatic sunsets, warm winds and expertly crafted cocktails delivered poolside.
Communal breakfast is replaced with room delivery. Complimentary bikes make it easy to cruise into town or admire architectural styles of the surrounding neighborhood homes, mid-century modern, Spanish Revival, colorful doors and cactus rock gardens. On some days you might have a pool all to yourself while dinner outside under the desert stars at the hotel’s Del Rey Restaurant feels like the closest thing to normal life.
VillaRoyale.com | 760.327.2314
Just a few months old and wrapped in a mid-century modern building, Hotel June’s laid-back luxury feel meshes the spirit of California with Baja. Dubbed the "cool younger sibling" of the Proper Hotels, Proper Hospitality’s latest project, in collaboration with Studio Collective, features light natural woods, native fabrics, handmade tiles and local art. White cheery rooms with custom furnishings, Italian Fili D’oro linens and Aesop bath products, among other comforts, include stunning coastal and city views. For those who still want to sweat indoors, a high-quality gym with Pelotons and Woodway treadmills can be reserved hourly, so staff can clean before and after use.
Snag a rooftop poolside meal or sip wines from Valle de Guadalupe at the Caravan Swim Club helmed by the culinary team behind Venice’s Scopa. Surrounded by potted palms, the lush Baja-inspired pool deck with chilled-out tunes is a relaxing spot to savor shrimp tacos, ceviche, crudo, seafood and a Mexican Cobb salad. An easy drive to Playa Vista Beach and just two miles from LAX, your next staycation awaits.
TheHotelJune.com | 310.645.0400
Flying Flags RV Resort & Campground
For an adventurous stay, camp in style, park your RV or book a vintage Airstream, wine cottage or luxury safari tent. With over 400 sites to choose from in this 40-acre resort, there is something for everyone in this Santa Ynez Valley stay with nearby award-winning wineries and breweries.
The nine luxury safari tents are the most popular booking complete with heat and AC, refrigerators, top notch shower facilities, windows to allow the wind to blow through and gorgeous views of the Santa Ynez River and mountain range. Some glamping tents come with king beds and bunk beds.
Stay in a vintage Airstream decked out with different décor like a cowboy theme or a pink Marilyn Monroe bombshell style. Each trailer comes with a firepit, full BBQ and picnic table. Choose from a surf lodge or five wine country cottages (that sleep six) with lofts and patios, private backyards lined in grapes, firepits and natural gas fireplaces. Also, the Santa Ynez Guest Ranch offers 19 swanky cottages on site too.
Pet- and kid-friendly, this RV resort park offers three separate pool areas, a dog park, a Splash Zone and outdoor games. Laundry services and a general store are available, and in pre-Covid times, bands performed in the amphitheater and weddings could be held in the pavilion.
HighwayWestVacations.com/properties/flyingflags | 805.688.3716
San Luis Obispo
Located in the heart of downtown SLO, brand new Hotel Cerro is surrounded by boutiques, restaurants, bars and live music venues, fitting every mood and pocketbook. The property’s modern décor reflects a mesh of 19th century industrial influences and a hint of Mission style.
Spacious rooms and suites balance private space and open design with penthouse lofts and Garden Suites with private patios and firebowls. Many rooms overlook the Edible Garden, considered the heart and soul of the property. The Edible Garden on the second-floor terrace showcases raised beds with herbs and vegetables used in the chef’s pantry and aromatics for Spa Cerro. Savor wine in the garden nooks or a sunset on the rooftop Pool Deck with dramatic 360-degree views of the surrounding rolling hills and countryside. The hotel’s own Brasserie SLO serves Mediterranean-inspired meals all day from its wood-burning oven and wood-fired grill.
HotelCerro.com | 805.548.1000
Malibu Beach Inn
Every room sits over the expansive Pacific Ocean in view of the Malibu Pier in this seaside haven on billionaire Carbon Beach. Serenity takes over as waves lull any stress away on your private balcony and sunset hues splash across the panoramic skyline.
Throughout the casual luxe hotel, admire the Mani Brothers’ revered private art collection. Snuggle in front of your room’s fireplace, sip tea above the ocean at sunrise and savor the plush amenities, including a Toto Toilet that opens upon arrival with a warm seat and a variety of cleaning sprays.
Private beach access comes with food and drinks served right to your lounge chair where your toes practically tickle the sea. The hotel’s Carbon Beach Club restaurant on an elevated patio cascading over the open waters is the perfect spot for a romantic dinner prepared with fresh local ingredients. Sip wine under the stars, linger too long at brunch and let your mind relax in the salty air and methodic waves—could life be any better?
MalibuBeachInn.com | 800.462.5428