1. Carmel Valley Ranch
Tucked away in the foothills of the Santa Lucia mountains in the heart of Carmel Valley, the sophisticated and sprawling Carmel Valley Ranch is set on 500 acres, comprised of 177 spacious guest suites, the treetop Spa Aiyana, Valley Kitchen restaurant and bar, three swimming pools, and an 18-hole Pete Dye-designed golf course. One of the hotel's best features is its River Ranch activity center, which offers countless activities for adults and kids alike, from guided off-road excursions to bird watching, to beekeeping and beeswax candle making, to making lavender flower crows.
Mood? Ranch livin'.
Location perks? A literal countryside resort. Dreamy.
Budget range? On the pricier side.