The ‘golden state’ is already a firm favorite for its Pacific Ocean coastline and excellent hospitality. But as a quick fun fact, it also has some of the best all-inclusive resorts in the US. Thanks to California’s coastline, you can find all-inclusive resorts with private beach clubs, horseback riding on the beach, and ridiculously scenic hiking trails. So if you want a dreamy place to stay while exploring the best California beaches, these top all-inclusive resorts in California are worth bookmarking.
1. Post Ranch Inn
Post Ranch Inn is a stunning all-inclusive resort in Big Sur, California. Its rooms are incredible and have private terraces overlooking the Pacific Ocean and surrounding greenery. We love its aesthetic too – our favorite part about this property – and it has a rustic atmosphere but in the most elegant manner possible. Expect beautiful wooden features and plenty of large windows with abundant natural lighting. It really feels like paradise here.
Post Ranch Inn is conveniently located to experience the best of Big Sur and its nature trails and coastline. It has an infinity outdoor pool and serves a complimentary deluxe breakfast each morning for overnight guests to ensure you are fully fueled to tackle sightseeing in one of California’s most beautiful regions. And if you need extra inspiration, check out these best things to do in Monterey or Carmel By The Sea. Post Ranch Inn isn’t too far from San Francisco if you fancy more ambitious day trips.
2. Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa
Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa is the all-inclusive of all-inclusives. When choosing from the best all-inclusive resorts in California, Laguna Cliffs is guaranteed to come up in conversation. The four-star resort sits on top of a dramatic set of cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean in a famed location called Dana Point (renowned for good views and upmarket resorts). We love Laguna Cliff’s location – especially as you are just 500 meters from the beach and harbor. However, its facilities also caught our eye.
Laguna Cliffs has two outdoor pools that are heated all year round. It also has a full-service spa offering specialist spa treatments and facilities like a top-of-the-range steam room and sauna. While Laguna Cliffs is not an adults-only resort, it does have designated child-free areas and a kid’s pool. The opportunity to access both child-friendly and non-child-friendly areas makes Laguna Cliffs ideal for a stress-free vacation. There are also plenty of thoughtful extras like in-room dining options and valet parking.
Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa is fabulous all around; fantastically located for a beach holiday in Dana Point and full of opportunities to relax. Golfers should also make the most of the proximity to the renowned Monarch Beach Golf Links.
3. Carneros Resort
This wonderful all-inclusive resort is situated right in the middle of Napa, the heart of California’s wine country, and a hotspot for winery tours and wine-tasting experiences. If you have a taste for the finer things in life, wine included, Carneros Resort is a dream come true. Carneros Resort is totally different from our other favorite resorts in California. Instead of being located next to the coastline and a few private beach clubs, it is just a 12-minute drive from some of the best wineries in the state. It is surrounded by miles of vineyards and has a country atmosphere, not a coastal one. We just had to add it to our guide for its strong sense of character and the alternative introduction to California it provides guests.
The resort has two outdoor pools plus a serene spa onsite. The pools have stunning views of the surrounding vineyards and, as Carneros has an adults-only pool, it has a low volume, maximum relaxation vibe. Its pools are the perfect places to soak after a day of wine tasting and sightseeing. And if you fancy something more active, you can use complimentary bicycles to explore the surrounding nature trails. Or head to the onsite fitness center. Carneros Resort is essentially a must if you are enthusiastic about wine. It provides a totally different experience of California and has wonderful facilities to relax when you aren’t sightseeing.
Starting Rate: $3,000/ night TripAdvisor Rating: 4.5
4. Roman Spa Hot Springs Resort
While we are on a wine roll, let’s quickly drop in the Roman Spa Hot Springs Resort. Located nearby in Calistoga, this all-inclusive resort is slightly less luxurious. Still, it benefits from a sublime location amidst California’s wine country. The major selling point for us is its natural geothermal pools. Not every day, you come across an all-inclusive resort that is within walking distance of wineries and has its own geothermal pools.
At the foot of Mt Helena, Roman Spa Resort has an impressive backdrop. And its mixture of outdoor and indoor pools is perfect for unwinding. Its onsite spa offers spa treatments and facilities like two beautiful Finnish saunas. While in each guest room, you’ll find wine glasses so that you can purchase your favorite bottle from one of the nearby wineries and settle in for a self-care night at ‘home.’ Of course, we must also mention its proximity to some significant California attractions. Roman Spa Resort is just a 5-minute drive from Old Faithful Geyser.
Starting Rate: $650 per night TripAdvisor Rating: 4.5
5. Terranea Resort
Terranea Resort is a luxury all-inclusive resort along the oceanfront. Its major plus is its location in Rancho Palos Verdes – a coastal region just outside LA. You can head to Terranea Resort for peace and quiet but easy access to LA for inner-city day trips. Set right on a peninsula jutting into the ocean, it is somewhere perfect for isolating yourself from city life.
Aside from its fabulous location, Terranea Resort has some ideal facilities, including a large swimming pool, fitness center, and golf course. While if you have to conduct some work during your stay at Terranea Resort, the business center, and meeting rooms come in very handy.
Starting Rate: $510 TripAdvisor Rating: 4
6. Catamaran Hotel and Resort
Catamaran Hotel & Resort is a beautiful San Diego resort. Just 100 meters from the water’s edge, it’s the sort of all-inclusive resort where you spend half the day by the pool and half the day at the beach. For us, that beachfront living won us over. You can rent water sports equipment like sailboats, snorkeling gear, and kayaks. Or head down to one of the sun loungers and simply sunbathe all day.
Catamaran Hotel & Resort has generously sized rooms, all of which come with a private balcony or patio. If you opt for a room upgrade, you can bag rooms with bay views – not just the garden. With free parking and the option to rent bikes or skates, you have plenty of options to explore San Diego and the surrounding areas. There’s no need to just stay on your balcony looking from afar.
Starting Rate: $450 TripAdvisor Rating: 4.5
7. Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort
Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort is easily the most dramatic-looking of our all-inclusive resorts in California. First impressions count, and honestly, looking at the backdrop Hilton Santa Barbara has your first impressions rocket. The entire resort is located along the oceanfront but is framed by mountains. Scenic and upscale, the 4-star property immediately impresses – which is why we had to add it to this guide.
The resort itself has a large outdoor pool and a full-service spa where you can splurge and treat yourself to a spa treatment. If you prefer more active self-care, you can enquire about fitness classes on arrival. Overall, Hilton Santa Barbara is not somewhere you visit on a budget; Hilton Santa Barbara is luxury embodied. And when you aren’t at the resort, you can head to nearby wineries, mountain biking, or horseback riding. Hilton Santa Barbara is easy to reach (Santa Barbara airport is nearby with regular charters) and well-located for adventurous day-tripping.
Starting Rate: $1,600 TripAdvisor Rating: 4
8. The Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort & Spa
The Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort & Spa is palatial. The grand entrance and massive scale of the main resort building are ever so slightly mind-blowing, and if you want a luxury resort, The Westin is where to book. Set on 360 acres, it really is enormous. It is one of the best all-inclusive resorts for a romantic getaway because there is just so much space to find a quiet corner or fun activities. The Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort & Spa has its own oceanfront golf course, a fitness center, and spa services. You can play golf on one of the golf courses in the morning, head for a workout, and then finish off with an evening spa before dinner. We love the variety of activities at The Westin.
The Westin (unsurprisingly) has many onsite restaurants, so you can pick a dining room and cuisine that takes your fancy for an easy meal. If you are the sort of person who craves a busy itinerary, this resort is perfect. And it’s so spacious that you won’t feel overcrowded either.
Starting Rate: $480 TripAdvisor Rating: 4.5
9. Hilton San Diego Bayfront
Hilton San Diego Bayfront is a citified version of our other resorts. But honestly, San Diego is one of the best California cities, so why wouldn’t you want to be part of the action? The hotel is located right on the bay front, next to PETCO Park, which is the home ground of the San Diego Padres professional baseball team. You won’t be whale watching or using beach club equipment in the backyard of this resort. However, you can access fantastic city attractions and still get a water view.
You can enjoy an outdoor pool and an afternoon happy hour at the poolside bar in the resort. Hilton San Diego is a trendy place to grab a cocktail or fresh craft beer. There are also two hot tubs if you want a more indulgent experience. Inner-city and trendy, Hilton San Diego unproblematically ticks lots of boxes.
Starting Rate: $990 TripAdvisor Rating: 4
10. Paradise Point Hotel & Spa
Get ready for another San Diego gem, Paradise Point Hotel & Spa, a stunning Mission Bay resort. It has a tropical allure that caught our attention immediately. And its 44 acres of private property is full of jungle-like greenery and plant life, plus a mile of white sand beach. For us, the aesthetic seems almost like you’ve dropped a tropical island onto the California coastline – which is impossible not to love.
There are 5 swimming pools in total across Paradise Point Hotel & Spa. Guests also get access to beach bonfire pits, an absolute dream on a warm evening, and an award-winning spa. The rooms are more bungalow style but still benefit from room service, and some have walk-in showers.
Starting Rate: $250 TripAdvisor Rating: 4
11. Bahia Resort Hotel
Bahia Resort Hotel has a 30-person hot tub; if that doesn’t impress you, we don’t know what will. This glitzy resort is located on Mission Bay in San Diego on a beachfront with many beach activities and upscale character. It is the sort of place that far surpasses your standard free package, instead going the extra mile with things like a business center and games room. Room-wise, you can go for anything from a king room to a studio with a kitchenette that sleeps six people. Bahia Resort Hotel really allows you to splurge as much as you want – and we like the flexibility and extra effort the resort goes to.
One of the resort’s highlights is the heated outdoor patio at Cafe Bahia. Gone are freezing days as you persuade yourself to dine al fresco “for the views.” Bahia Resort provides the impossible; a warm patio on a chilly winter morning. Between the 30-person hot tub and the heated patio, it’s easy to see why the resort bagged a 4.5 TripAdvisor rating.
Starting Rate: $1,110 TripAdvisor Rating: 4.5
12. Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa
Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa is a sleek, modern-looking all-inclusive accommodation choice. Everything is dark wood and shiny; basically, the image you get of all-inclusive resorts from luxury travel magazines. LEGOLAND is a massive draw for many people who choose the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa, as it is just a mile away. But in all honesty, its outdoor heated pool and spa facilities speak loudly for themselves. We love how luxurious Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa is, and you will too.
The business center with a fax system and the onsite 24-hour fitness center is evidence that, for some, life goes on even when you are on holiday. But when you are ready for downtime, the spa and free wi-fi will keep you relaxed and entertained. Bag a room with a balcony sea view for the best experience.
Starting Rate: $1,200 TripAdvisor Rating: 4
Header photo by Kodiak Greenwood
FAQs: All Inclusive Resorts in California
Now that we’ve covered the best of these California all-inclusive resorts – what next? Well, whether you choose a resort with a private beach club in San Francisco or an adults-only resort in San Diego, there are usually some burning questions you have to settle before booking. This section will cover all the vital details before you press book.
Where is the best place to do all-inclusive?
California is the best place to do all-inclusive because you get all the Western charm and brilliant access to resorts along the Pacific Ocean coastline.
What does it mean to be all-inclusive at a resort?
All-inclusive includes different things at each resort. Overall, it means that the fee you pay upfront includes certain expenses you’d otherwise incur during your stay. For example, some all-inclusive resorts have a full board – all your meals are covered by your original booking payment. Others include activities and tennis courts and some might consist of alcoholic beverages.
Should I pay for an all-inclusive resort?
Yes, paying for an all-inclusive resort can be a fantastic way to relax on holiday. You don’t need to worry about bringing lots of spending money, and you get high-quality service guaranteed.
What are all-inclusive resorts called?
All-inclusive resorts are often nicknamed ‘all-inclusives’ for short. You can also find details of their all-inclusive policy and what it covers on their websites.
California’s all-inclusive resorts are awe-inspiring. It’s impossible not to be won over by the generous packages and scenic locations, many of which overlook the Pacific Ocean and a private beach. These luxurious accommodations are guaranteed to treat you like royalty.
Looking for more inspiration for getting the most out of California? Don’t worry – we’ve definitely got you covered. We’ve created guides on the ultimate California road trip itinerary and road-tripping Big Sur. You can even read our tell-all guide on what it is like glamping in the Redwood Forest in Big Sur. Visiting California is a luxury in itself, so don’t forget to explore the state as much as possible. It is as tempting as staying in any of these all-inclusive resorts in California all day, every day.