California has always been a sought-after dream destination for tourists worldwide. Its rich culture, pleasant climate, breathtaking landscapes, and remarkable architecture of buildings make it a captivating place to visit.
This article focuses on the most beautiful historic hotels in California, specifically in the cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Riverside, and San Diego.
Table of Contents
1. The Beverly Hills Hotel – Dorchester Collection
The Beverly Hills Hotel, famously known as the Pink Palace, has been a beloved establishment in Los Angeles for over a century. Situated on the iconic Sunset Boulevard in the heart of Beverly Hills, this hotel served as the inspiration for the Eagles’ song “Hotel California.” Its Polo Lounge has been a popular spot for Hollywood stars to enjoy breakfast, lunch, and cocktails for many generations. The hotel’s Sunday brunch remains a top choice for people who want to see and be seen in Hollywood. With 208 rooms, including 23 bungalows nestled within its 12 acres of beautiful tropical gardens, guests can indulge in a tranquil oasis. Some of the bungalows feature up to four bedrooms, cozy fireplaces, and private patios for a truly luxurious experience.
2. Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton- San Diego
Hotel Del Coronado, also known as The Del, has been an iconic and renowned resort since its opening on Coronado Island in 1888. Drawing in a wealthy clientele, it offered modern amenities such as electricity, telephones, elevators, and even private bathrooms. In fact, it was one of the largest buildings in the United States to have electricity at the time of its opening. Over the years, the hotel has served as a sanctuary for Hollywood’s elite and has been featured as a backdrop in numerous movies and TV shows.
3. The Mission Inn Hotel and Spa- Riverside
The Mission Inn & Spa in downtown Riverside is a stunning hotel that has been a prominent fixture since its establishment in 1872. The owner, Frank Miller, constructed the first wing of the hotel in 1903, following the Mission Revival style of architecture. Over time, he expanded the hotel by adding three more wings, with the final wing opening in 1931. The complex, which consists of 238 rooms, showcases an impressive blend of architectural styles, featuring elements like buttresses, grand arcades, courtyards, fountains, and bells. In 1997, the hotel underwent a remarkable $55 million renovation after being closed for seven years, restoring its magnificence for guests to enjoy.
4. The Inn at Death Valley
The Inn hotel at Furnace Creek is situated in one of the lowest and most popular spots on earth. It was established in 1927 and is a remarkable architectural achievement, recognized on the National Register of Historic Places. Operating from mid-October to mid-May, the hotel provides amenities such as swimming pools, a horse-riding center, tennis courts, a spa, and the world’s lowest golf course, which opened in 1931. The guest rooms and pool area offer breathtaking views of the Death Valley desert and the surrounding mountains. During the autumn season, light rains bring forth a vibrant display of wildflowers on the desert floor, creating an especially delightful time to visit.
5. The Queen Mary- Long Beach
The Queen Mary luxury liner, built by the Cunard Company in 1936, was a grand creation that spared no expense. With its stunning Art Deco design, it sailed the seas until 1967. Throughout its history, the ship welcomed renowned figures like Bob Hope, Clark Gable, and even the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. During World War II, it was transformed into a military transport ship, capable of carrying up to 16,000 soldiers. Nowadays, the Queen Mary is permanently docked in Long Beach, serving as a floating hotel and events center. It offers 346 rooms and suites for guests to stay in, and their restaurants are open to the public.
6. InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco
The Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel, which opened its doors in 1926, is located on Nob Hill alongside the famous Fairmont Hotel, which began operating in 1907. With 391 rooms, this hotel has had the honor of hosting five United States Presidents and notable world figures such as Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and French General Charles de Gaulle. In addition, numerous celebrities including Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, and Liz Taylor have enjoyed stays at this historic establishment.
7. The Biltmore Los Angeles
For over 92 years, the Millennium Biltmore Hotel has been a cherished gem in downtown Hollywood. Its grandeur has attracted the attention of the entertainment industry, with the hotel being featured in numerous films and TV shows like Ghostbusters, The Dark Knight Rises, and Mad Men. With 683 rooms, this esteemed hotel has welcomed many VIP guests and even served as the headquarters during the 1960 Democratic National Convention.
8. The Beverly Hilton
Since 1955, countless movie stars have graced the halls of the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. With 569 rooms, this iconic hotel has been the esteemed venue for the Golden Globes for over 50 years. It also welcomes the Oscar nominees and hosts the Pre-Grammy Gala. One of its highlights is the renowned Aqua Star pool, the largest heated pool in Beverly Hills. Situated at the intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevard, the Hilton offers 101 suites, including nine opulent private suites known as the Penthouse Collection.
9. Fairmont San Francisco
While some hotels are simply old, others hold a truly historic status, just like The Fairmont Hotel, which boasts stunning views of San Francisco Bay. The hotel’s initial opening in 1906 was unfortunately thwarted by fires caused by the devastating earthquake that struck the city. However, it reopened a year later and swiftly became a prominent social center of San Francisco, earning a revered reputation as one of the country’s finest hotels.
10. The US Grant San Diego
The Grant Hotel, located in San Diego’s Gaslamp District, was constructed by Ulysses S. Grant, Jr. as a tribute to his father, who was both a Civil War hero and the 18th President of the United States. This 11-story luxury hotel, boasting 437 rooms, was opened in 1910. Thanks to extensive renovations totaling over $130 million in recent decades, the US Grant Hotel has been saved from potential demolition and restored to its original grandeur.