Check Into These Chic New Boutique Hotels Around California

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It’s time for a California road trip. A string of new boutique hotels have sprung up throughout the state, offering travelers stylish digs in inspiring settings. From forested mountains to tropical beach coves, these eight properties need to be on your weekend radar.

Laguna Beach House

We're completely smitten with this modern surf lodge in quintessential beach town, Laguna Beach. The fetching 36-room property is dressed with an eclectic mix of kilim textiles, jute rugs, and Spanish tile. Sunny, surfboard-equipped rooms ring an outdoor pool deck that’s illuminated by strung lights and a fire pit after dark. Laguna’s bustling village is three walkable blocks away (grab drinks at Marine Room, dinner at Broadway). Better yet, you’re only one block from Heisler Park, an achingly beautiful slice of California with lush, succulent-and-palm-tree filled cliffs that slope down to coves of glimmering, aqua blue water. // Laguna Beach House, 475 N Pacific Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, thelagunabeachhouse.com

Mama Shelter

Like its fashionable Hollywood forefathers, Mama Shelter promotes conspicuous carousing in an eye-catching setting. The first U.S. outpost of the Parisian brand launched by the Club Med family, Mama Shelter Los Angeles sports modern and vintage decor under low black ceilings scrawled with colorful, mother-themed illustrations (including more lactating boob depictions than one might expect). Grab a drink and eavesdrop on industry gossip in the bustling, dimly lit bar and restaurant. Upstairs, chic rooms delight with sultry mood lighting and free porn. Sites of the palm tree-dotted Hollywood hills and famous sign fill your windows. If being outside Downtown LA inspires FOMO, a nearby Metro station will whisk you there in 30 minutes. // Mama Shelter, 6500 Selma Ave, Los Angeles, mamashelter.com

The Goodland

Don’t think that hotel groups weren’t paying attention when properties such as The Parker in Palm Springs and The Surf Lodge in Montauk caused a design stir among the creative class. For proof, look to The Goodland, Kimpton Hotel’s crack at a design-driven, warm weather resort just outside of Santa Barbara. Thankfully, they knocked it out of the park. For San Franciscans, think Flora Grubb and General Store teaming up to design a hotel (which they totally should BTW). Kimpton took a low-slung, former Holiday Inn property and transformed it with gorgeous New Boho decor, a sparkling blue pool, photo booth, and enough succulents to populate Pinterest from now until forever. Comfortable rooms include playful amenities such as a Crosley turntable with access to an honest-to-goodness Record Concierge. We love the indoor/outdoor setting at the hotel’s stylish restaurant, Outpost, and shiny Airstream that doubles as a bar for weekly margarita parties. // The Goodland, 5650 Calle Real, Goleta, thegoodland.com

The Landsby

Originally an early refuge for Danish settlers, Solvang has long charmed visitors with its windmill-filled replica of an old Danish town. Now it finally has the sleek Scandinavian design it deserves. The Landsby is a cozy 41-room inn with cool minimal spaces warmed by rich woods and sumptuous upholstery that will force you to mentally redesign your own living spaces. Stroll the quaint village—stopping for jelly topped aebleskivers—before returning for a housemade shrub cocktail and Wine Country fare at Mad + Vin. In the morning, enjoy a complimentary full-service breakfast of house granola, yogurt, fruit, and warm cinnamon buns. Back in your room, a bedside card promises seasonal ice cream delivered to your suite. // The Landsby, 1576 Mission Dr, Solvang, thelandsby.com

The Alamo Motel

This stylized 1940s motor court lures the Coachella set to suddenly-trendy Los Alamos with breezy, desert cool vibes. It’s the latest property for hip hotelier Chris Sewall who has revitalized similar motel properties in Santa Barbara, Ojai, and Solvang. Sparse but stylish rooms sport white walls and handmade wooden furniture. In a stylish repurposed studio, Municipal Winemakers pours tasty blends from the surrounding Santa Ynez Valley wine country. Take a bottle to the central lawn and join other guests congregating around the campfire. Note to maker mavens: handcrafted wares from the lobby boutique make perfect souvenirs. // The Alamo Motel, 425 Bell St, Los Alamos, rememberthealamomotel.com

Basecamp Hotel

South Lake Tahoe’s Basecamp Hotel opened in 2012 with stylish vintage camp decor that felt like Yogi Bear outfitting his new Brooklyn loft. Earlier this year, the hotel expanded significantly after snagging an adjacent property. In addition to new rooms, Basecamp gained two roof decks, an Airstream meeting room, and a spectacular beer garden. A new rustic-cool bar keeps the mood lively with craft beer, wine and wine-based cocktails (the soju-fueled Bloody Mary is no joke). Grab a s’mores kit and settle in at one of numerous fire pits that dot the grounds. True to its name, Basecamp is a block from the casinos, three blocks from the lake, and two from the Heavenly gondola. // Basecamp Hotel, 4143 Cedar Ave, South Lake Tahoe, basecamphotels.com

(Photo courtesy of Highlands Ranch Resort)

Highlands Ranch Resort

When we heard of this boutique luxury retreat just outside Lassen Volcanic National Park, we were instantly sold. Seven newly-constructed suites and cottages sit on a serene meadow surrounded by towering Douglas Firs. Highlands Ranch keeps things cozy with heated bathroom floors, stone fireplaces and, in some suites, private outdoor jacuzzis. When the sun dips, warm your hands around an outdoor fire pit and marvel at the brilliant Milky Way. Before hitting nearby lakes and trails, fuel up with a complimentary breakfast spread of lavender honey yogurt, fresh fruit, and choice of an egg dish. Tip to techies: there’s free wifi in the central lodge but don’t expect any cell service. // Highlands Ranch Resort, 41515 Hwy 36 E, Mill Creek, highlandsranchresort.com

(Photo courtesy of Inn at Newport Ranch)

The Inn at Newport Ranch

When was the last time you gazed upon the wild Mendocino coast from a hot tub placed atop a historic water tower? It’s features like these that make the Inn at Newport Ranch so special. The inn sits on an immense swath of coastal land that was once the site of an old lumber town north of Fort Bragg. Dramatic architecture makes use of local, natural materials to house snug guest suites with fireplaces and big picture windows. Miles of trails cut through the varied 2,000 acre property revealing creeks, beaches and secluded picnic spots. Explore by foot or arrange for mountain bikes or an ATV. Wind down the day with local beer, wine and nibbles around a cliffside fire pit. // The Inn at Newport Ranch, 31502 HWY 1, Fort Bragg, theinnatnewportranch.com

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