Exploring the Golden State's must-do activities and dream hotels.
Don’t leave without…
Breathe in the fresh air and explore the trails around national parks, such as Joshua Tree, Yosemite and Redwood. An escape to the wine lands of Sonoma and Napa Valley in a classic car reveals another side of the Golden State’s diverse landscape – Pure Luxury Transportation (pureluxury.com) arranges bespoke tours.
An exclusive party
The Golden State’s year-round sun has spawned a glitzy al fresco party culture. There are plenty of suitably opulent villas and gorgeous beach houses that can be hired for clients to host their own. At Connections California, we got a taste of the West Coast high life. During our time in Santa Monica, we hosted drinks at three such venues: Annenberg Beach House (annenbergbeachhouse.com), The Getty Villa (getty.edu) and Viceroy Santa Monica (viceroyhotelsandresorts.com).
Creative, organic dining experiences
Farm-to-table dining is the way to do it in California. A focus on everything organic has inspired a light, summery cuisine. Our pick is the Lobster Restaurant (thelobster.com). Overlooking Santa Monica Pier, and run by brilliant chef Govind Armstrong, it serves handcrafted cocktails and spiny lobster dishes, creatively presented along with seasonal ingredients.
The road trip of a lifetime
“The future of luxury travel in California is going to be all about road trips,” says Leona Reed, Visit California’s associate vice-president of global marketing. “We’re going to be combining the abundance of culinary experiences with a journey that a customer will take all over the state – going deeper into the destination and finding the hidden gems.”
Check in at…
Casa Del Mar, Hotel by the Sea
Inspired by grand Mediterranean villas, this elegant hotel has two three‑storey penthouses. Its vibrant oceanfront lounge, which has 180-degree views of the sea, is the perfect place for a sundowner.
Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
A lush five-acre resort overlooking
the Pacific Ocean and with a close connection to the local community. Its in-house jeweller creates bespoke pieces for guests, and its beautiful event space impresses for social gatherings and weddings.
Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel
Close to Santa Monica’s iconic pier, this family-friendly property has beachfront fire pits, alfresco dining options and pool concierges who supply sunbathing guests with fresh fruit and Evian mist.
Shutters on the Beach
The breezy balconies and shuttered doors of this secluded hotel are modelled on a luxury home in Cape Cod. Unwind with an organic spa treatment,
or embark on one of the property’s Beyond the Beach adventures, such as a drive in a Porsche or a street art tour of Venice Beach.