This list represents my top picks for the best overnight spas in California. It includes both hotel and resort spas, where you can sample as little or as much of the spa experience as you want, and destination spas, which offer a complete immersion experience with an emphasis on transformation and self-improvement. Many resort spas welcome clients on a day spa basis.
Best Spas in California
Golden Door , Escondido. The ultimate in intimate luxury, Golden Door in Escondido is a woman-only spa that serves no more than 40 guests. Wooden walkways link a series of serene garden courtyards inspired by the ancient inns of Japan. Men are welcome during men-only weeks. Type: destination spa
Spa Montage at Montage Resort, Laguna Beach. This oceanfront spa is the only five-star winner. It's known for its "Surrender" experience, where the therapist prescribes the ideal treatment or series of treatments to heal and address individual needs. Surrender can be booked for as little as two hours or as long as a full day. Type: resort spa
The Peninsula Spa, The Peninsula Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills. The Peninsula Spa has a rooftop garden oasis. A 60-foot lap pool is surrounded by ten private cabanas with views of the city. Type: resort spa
The Beverly Hills Hotel Spa by La Prairie, Beverly Hills. The famed "Pink Lady" is home to The Polo Lounge and has a luxe but pricey spa. Type: resort spa
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is a luxury resort spa that has it all: a gorgeous Moroccan-inspired spa, challenging golf, and beautiful new rooms in a Shangri-La setting. Great shopping is just a ramble away in the charming, historic village of Ojai. Type: resort spa
The Spa at Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur. Type: resort spa
The Spa at Bernardus, Bernardus Lodge, Carmel Valley. Type: resort spa
The Carneros Inn Spa, The Carneros Inn, Napa. Type: inn spa
Auberge Spa, Auberge du Soleil, Rutherford. Type: inn spa
Cordevalle, A Rosewood Resort, draws the luxury spa and golf crowd, and even has a winery on site. All 45 rooms center on a championship golf course by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. that hugs the foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains. Sense Spa takes advantage of the on-site winery with vinotherapy treatments that incorporate grapeseed treatments.
Spa at Equinox Century City at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Los Angeles, has 18 treatments rooms, including two rooms for Thai massage, and three outdoor cabanas. It's one block from Westfield Century city Shopping Center, Fox Studios, and The Annenberg Space for Photography. Rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills are both less than two miles away.