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Great Escapes: 4 Luxury Retreats Outside Los Angeles

A quartet of luxury retreats awaits less than two hours from the city

by Shivani Vora

June 19, 2024

Gene Autry Residence living room at the Parker Palm Springs, California / Photo: Parker Palm Spring

In our latest edition of “Great Escapes,” we’re taking you to the Los Angeles area, showcasing luxury retreats that are near the city and worth a stay. If time allows, extend that business trip and check in for a few days.

From the ocean to the desert—with mountains in between—the four properties here are in nature-oriented destinations and easy to reach by car in two hours or less. They all offer mild year-round temperatures and are well suited to spending time outdoors.

Parker Palm Springs

Parker entrance / Photo: Courtesy of Parker Palm Springs

A design-forward boutique resort, the Parker has been a go-to for A-list Hollywood stars such as Barbra Streisand. Renowned designer Jonathan Adler is behind the cheeky aesthetic, which includes Moroccan textiles, modern furniture and pops of bright color throughout. Spend your time at the outstanding spa indulging in a massage or other body treatment, or try your hand at tennis, pétanque or croquet. You can also book a yoga session on the large lawn, enjoy a tour and tasting in the wine cellar, or take a class in the history of cocktails. In the evening, the property features a firepit where guests are encouraged to sit and mingle. The region of Palm Springs offers hiking, biking and horseback-riding trails, while the town itself has a robust dining, architecture and shopping scene.

Ojai Valley Inn

Ojai Valley Inn, California / Photo: Courtesy of Ojai Valley Inn

Open since 1923, Ojai Valley Inn is set on a gorgeous 220-acre swath of land that’s full of oak and olive trees as well as wild sage and lavender. Located in the Topatopa Mountains, the property offers every imaginable activity to accommodate any type of guest.

You can spend your time in the 31,000-square-foot spa, for example, or learn how to make healthy meals in the epicurean center. Other amenities include a beekeeping program, artist studio, golf, tennis and several pools. The signature restaurant, Olivella and Vine, serves delicious seasonal Italian cuisine. If you feel like venturing off the resort, you can visit the artsy town of Ojai or hike a variety of trails.

Ponte Vineyard Inn, Temecula

Hot air-balloon ride at Ponte Vineyard Inn, Temecula, California / Photo: Courtesy of Ponte Vineyard Inn

Located in the wine region of Temecula, Ponte Vineyard Inn is set on a 300-acre estate that produces excellent pinot grigio, chardonnay and Tempranillo expressions. Surrounded by mountains, the California Mission-style property features many amenities, including a semi-Olympic-sized pool and hot tub, outdoor games area, manicured gardens and four restaurants including Bouquet, with a constantly changing menu highlighting local produce.

Guests can linger at Ponte Winery or walk to several in the area. They can also enjoy horseback riding, biking, hiking and hot-air-balloon rides. Other diversions include Temecula’s historic Old Town, golf, museums and breweries.

Rosewood Miramar Beach, Montecito

Garden Bungalow Suite terrace at Rosewood Miramar Beach, Montecito, California / Photo: Courtesy of Avabu/Ryan Forbes

Set on a picturesque oceanfront, Rosewood Miramar Beach is the region’s most luxurious resort. Spread across 16 acres land- scaped with trees and plants, the glamorous property offers rooms with unobstructed views of the Pacific, two swimming pools, shuffleboard and bocce courts, a spa featuring a long list of massages and customized facials, and a comprehensive gym. Dining is a high note: The Southern Italian restaurant Caruso’s has a Michelin star, while AMA Sushi serves local catch. The Cabana Bar is ideal for a midday libation, and the alfresco Miramar Beach Bar buzzes with a chic crowd at sunset. Given the location, water sports such as sailing and whale watching are mainstays, but Rosewood’s concierge can also arrange hikes, visits to the many surrounding wineries, or picnics in local parks along the water.