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Best resorts in southern california
Best resorts in southern california | Heybucketlist

Welcome to the sun-soaked paradise of Southern California, where golden beaches, breathtaking coastline, and a laid-back vibe beckon travellers from around the world. As you embark on your journey through this coastal haven, you’ll find an array of luxurious resorts that epitomize the region’s allure. From the vibrant cityscapes of Los Angeles to the picturesque landscapes of Orange County and the tranquil shores of San Diego, Southern California boasts an impressive collection of resorts that offer unparalleled experiences. 

In this guide, we will explore some of the best resorts in Southern California, each showcasing unique features and amenities that cater to every traveller’s desires. Whether you’re seeking a glamorous retreat in the heart of Hollywood, a beachfront oasis where the Pacific Ocean becomes your playground or a serene escape surrounded by pristine nature, these resorts are sure to exceed your expectations and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Southern California’s best resorts combine exquisite accommodations, world-class dining, and a wealth of recreational activities. Whether you’re lounging by a pool with a panoramic view, indulging in rejuvenating spa treatments, perfecting your swing on championship golf courses, or embarking on exhilarating water sports, these resorts offer an exceptional range of experiences to suit every taste. Read the following article curated by Heybucketlist to learn more about the best resorts in southern California, the best spa resorts in southern California and the best family resorts in southern California. 

The list of the best resorts in Southern California

There are multiple ways to find the best resorts in southern California online. However, Heybucketlist has curated a list of the best resorts in southern California to ease your research. The list of the best resorts in southern California is as follows: 

1. Marriott’s Desert Springs Villas II 

Marriott's Desert Springs Villas II 
Marriott’s Desert Springs Villas II | Heybucketlist

Nestled in the picturesque oasis of Palm Desert, California, Marriott’s Desert Springs Villas II stands as a testament to luxurious desert living. This exquisite resort offers a tranquil escape amidst lush gardens, shimmering lakes, and majestic mountain views. Marriott’s Desert Springs Villas II features spacious and beautifully appointed villas, providing a home-away-from-home experience for every guest. Each villa is thoughtfully designed with modern comforts, including a fully equipped kitchen, a cosy living area, and a private balcony or patio to soak in the serene surroundings.

Indulge in a wide range of amenities and activities that cater to all ages and interests. Take a dip in the sparkling swimming pools, unwind in the whirlpool spas, or hit the tennis courts for some friendly competition. Golf enthusiasts will be delighted by the resort’s proximity to world-class golf courses, offering an opportunity to tee off amidst stunning desert landscapes. For relaxation and rejuvenation, the resort offers a full-service spa where you can pamper yourself with a soothing massage or indulge in a rejuvenating facial. Stay active in the fitness centre or join in on organized activities and events that showcase the vibrant energy of the resort. It is one of the best resorts in southern California.

2. Marriott’s Shadow Ridge 1 – The Villages 

Marriott’s Shadow Ridge 1 – The Villages is a premier resort located in the beautiful Coachella Valley of Palm Desert, California. Nestled against the backdrop of the Santa Rosa Mountains, this luxurious retreat offers a perfect blend of relaxation, recreation, and natural beauty. The villas at Marriott’s Shadow Ridge 1 – The Villages are spacious, elegantly designed, and equipped with all the modern amenities you need for a comfortable stay. With separate living and dining areas, a fully equipped kitchen, and a private balcony or patio, you’ll have plenty of space to unwind and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding desert landscape. 

The resort boasts a range of fantastic amenities to enhance your stay. Enjoy a round of golf at the world-class Shadow Ridge Golf Club, designed by renowned golf architect Nick Faldo. Take a refreshing dip in the resort’s sparkling swimming pools, complete with a lazy river and water slides for endless family fun. Indulge in relaxation at the on-site spa, where you can rejuvenate with a massage or indulge in a pampering treatment.

For those seeking adventure, the resort offers a variety of outdoor activities, including tennis, hiking, and biking. Explore the nearby attractions, such as the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway or the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, which offer unique experiences and opportunities to connect with nature. Marriott’s Shadow Ridge 1 – The Villages provides a serene and peaceful setting, perfect for unwinding and reconnecting with loved ones. Whether you’re lounging by the pool, enjoying a delicious meal at the on-site restaurant, or taking in the spectacular desert views, this resort offers a luxurious escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Consider adding this villa to your list of the best resorts in southern California.

3. Backyard Bohemia Indoor/Outdoor Bungalow near Joshua Tree National Park 

Backyard Bohemia Indoor/Outdoor Bungalow near Joshua Tree National Park 
Backyard Bohemia Indoor/Outdoor Bungalow near Joshua Tree National Park | Heybucketlist

The Backyard Bohemia Indoor/Outdoor Bungalow near Joshua Tree National Park is a hidden gem nestled in the desert landscape of Joshua Tree, California. This unique and stylish bungalow offers a one-of-a-kind getaway, blending indoor comfort with the beauty of the great outdoors. Located just moments away from the renowned Joshua Tree National Park, this bungalow provides the perfect base for exploring the stunning desert scenery, unique rock formations, and vibrant flora and fauna that make this area so captivating. 

The Backyard Bohemia Bungalow is thoughtfully designed with a bohemian-inspired aesthetic, creating a cosy and eclectic ambience. The indoor living space features comfortable furnishings, a well-equipped kitchen, and all the modern amenities you need for a comfortable stay. Step outside and you’ll be greeted by a spacious backyard oasis, complete with a patio, BBQ grill, fire pit, and lounge areas, allowing you to truly embrace the indoor/outdoor lifestyle and enjoy the mesmerizing starry nights of the desert.


Southern California is a destination that captivates with its stunning coastline, vibrant cities, and endless opportunities for relaxation and adventure. The region boasts an impressive collection of resorts that cater to the diverse tastes and preferences of travellers. From the luxurious desert oasis of Marriott’s Desert Springs Villas II to the enchanting coastal retreats and bohemian hideaways, the best resorts in Southern California offer a range of exceptional experiences. Whether you’re seeking a glamorous escape in the heart of the city, a tranquil beachfront haven, or a nature-inspired retreat near national parks, these resorts provide the perfect setting to unwind, recharge, and create cherished memories.


How Do I Choose The Best Resort?

Choosing the best resort can be an exciting yet challenging task. To ensure you make the right decision, consider the following factors:

  1. Location: Determine the type of experience you desire. Do you prefer a beachfront resort, a mountain retreat, or an urban oasis? Consider the proximity to attractions, natural wonders, or the specific destination you wish to explore.
    2. Amenities and Facilities: Look for resorts that offer a wide range of amenities and facilities that align with your interests. This may include swimming pools, spas, fitness centres, golf courses, on-site dining options, and organized activities.
    3. Accommodations: Assess the variety and quality of accommodations available. Check if the resort offers a range of room types, suites, or villas to suit your preferences and group size. Look for well-appointed and comfortable rooms with modern amenities.
    4. Service and Hospitality: Read reviews and testimonials to gauge the level of service and hospitality provided by the resort. Exceptional service can greatly enhance your overall experience, ensuring your needs are met and any concerns are promptly addressed.
    5. Reputation and Reviews: Research the reputation of the resort by reading online reviews and checking ratings on reputable travel websites. Pay attention to the feedback regarding cleanliness, staff friendliness, and overall guest satisfaction.
What Makes A Resort Special?

What makes a resort special can vary from one property to another, but some key aspects include:


  1. Unique Location: A resort situated in a breathtaking or distinctive setting, such as a pristine beach, lush rainforest, or picturesque mountains, can provide a special ambience and natural beauty.
    2. Exclusivity and Privacy: Resorts that offer a sense of exclusivity and privacy can create a more intimate and personalized experience for guests. This can be achieved through secluded villas, private pools, or personalized services.
    3. Exceptional Service: A resort that goes above and beyond to provide exceptional service and attention to detail can make guests feel truly special and pampered. Attentive staff, personalized concierge services, and anticipating guests’ needs contribute to a memorable experience.
    4. Unique Amenities and Activities: Resorts that offer unique amenities or activities can set themselves apart. This could include signature spa treatments, gourmet dining experiences, cultural immersion programs, or adventure sports tailored to the location.
What Makes A Resort Different?
Theme or Concept: Some resorts have a distinct theme or concept that sets them apart, such as a historical charm, contemporary design, or cultural immersion experience.
1. Signature Experiences: Resorts may offer exclusive experiences or activities that are unique to their property, allowing guests to engage in memorable adventures or cultural encounters.
2. Architecture and Design: Resorts with distinctive architecture, innovative design, or integration with the natural surroundings can create a sense of uniqueness and aesthetic appeal
3. Culinary Excellence: A resort with renowned restaurants, talented chefs, and a focus on culinary experiences can stand out, offering guests exceptional dining options and gastronomic delights.
4. Targeted Audience or Niche: Some resorts cater to specific audiences or niches, such as adults-only resorts, family-friendly resorts with extensive children’s facilities, wellness retreats, or adventure-oriented properties.

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