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LIST: SPECIAL PLACES TO STAY IN CALIFORNIA

These are individual hotels, resorts, boutique hotels, inns, B&Bs and other 'accommodations' in California that I have come across and think are worth checking out.

Clearly, although subjective, this list (laid out from north to south) is very far from comprehensive, but it's a start. As it expands I'll sub-divide it down into smaller categories based on accommodation types and locations. For now I am dividing the state into three bands: Northern California = north of San Francisco, Central California = between LA & San Francisco, Southern California = south of LA.
** Northern California **
Heritage House Inn Mendocino Luxury clifftop lodge with 65+ suites on the Mendocino Coast.
Napa Valley / Sonoma Valley
Auberge du Soleil Napa Valley A luxury retreat with a handful of cottages scattered across a 33-acre hillside olive grove in Napa Valley, plus a spa and fine dining.
Carneros Inn Napa Valley Luxury resort that opened amid the vineyards of Napa Valley's Carneros winegrowing district in Sept 03. It has 96 guest cottages (and 24 for-sale residences), an infinity-edged outdoor pool and spa and activities include Carneros winemaker-hosted tastings, bird-watching, hiking, bicycling and canoeing.
Hennessey House Napa Frequently praised traditional B&B on a residential portion of Main Street in Napa, within strolling distance of 40 restaurants and other attractions.
Poetry Inn Napa Valley Luxury inn perched in the hills overlooking the vineyards of the Napa Valley.
Hotel Healdsburg North Sonoma Wine Country Elegant modern 55-room hotel in the heart of the wine country north of San Francisco, with an emphasis on using local food & produce.
San Francisco
Hotel de Arts San Francisco Each room at this 51-room boutique hotel is a work of art, having been painted by up-and-coming artists.
Inn Above Tide, The San Francisco Small boutique hotel on the water's edge in Sausalito, Marin County, with 29 rooms and sweeping views of the San Francisco city skyline, Alcatraz, & Angel Island.
Red Vic Bed & Breakfast and Art San Francisco Sixties-style hippie B&B (and 'peace cafe').
** Central California **
Deetjen's Big Sur Inn Big Sur Cozy log cabins nestled in a forest of redwood trees.
Post Ranch Inn Big Sur Elegant modern (1992) glass & wood luxury retreat in a stunning location on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific.
TreeBones Resort Big Sur Accommodation is in yurts (or you can camp) perched in a spectacular location on the cliffs overlooking the ocean.
Bearpaw High Sierra Camp Sequoia National Park A 'backcountry tent hotel' with six tents offering comfy beds, good food and a hot shower (but no electricity or phones!), accessible only on foot (11.5 miles). Open mid-June to mid-September, weather permitting. It's a little more expensive than your average campsite but that's the way it is when all supplies have to be delivered by mule trains or helicopter.
San Diego
Solama Hotel San Diego Stylish modern 235-room, 4-star hotel in San Diego.
US Grant San Diego Classic 270-room Beaux Arts hotel, almost 100 years old, recently re-opened after a $52 million renovation. It was built in 1910 by Ulysses S. Grant Jr. as a tribute to his Presidential father.
Los Angeles
Crescent Hotel, The Beverley Hills, LA Modern designer hotel with 35-rooms (each with a pre-loaded mini i-pod for musical entertainment) in Beverley Hills
Channel Road Inn Santa Monica Well reviewed 14-room B&B by the beach
Shade Los Angeles 38-room luxury boutique hotel in the Manhattan Beach area of LA
Standard, The Los Angeles Chic and innovative downtown hotel in Andre Balazs' Standard Hotels group.
** Southern California **
Lake La Quinta Inn La Quinta Large and popular B&B on the edge of the Lake.

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