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Aerial view of the The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel
The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel

The 6 Best All-Inclusive Resorts in California

There’s a lot to be said for the convenience of an all-inclusive vacation package. Paying for everything up front eliminates the potential for shock when the bill arrives at checkout time (something that families and other budget-conscious travelers will greatly appreciate). Choosing an all-inclusive resort in a place like California takes care of another common source of worry and one that has ruined many a vacation: bad weather. California has, for the most part, reliably blue skies throughout the majority of the year.

While it’s difficult to find many true all-inclusive resorts in the U.S. that compare to the type found in the Caribbean and Mexico, there are plenty of package deals that offer half board or at least make it possible to string together a complimentary breakfast with resort credits to cover additional meals. So, if you’re on the hunt for a fuss-free getaway to the Golden State, these all-inclusive package offers are some of California’s best. 

Alila Ventana Big Sur, Big Sur

Common area with lit fireplace at Alila Ventana Big Sur
Alila Ventana Big Sur

It’s easy to see why California’s Big Sur has inspired some of America’s most celebrated artists and writers. And though room rates have certainly increased since Big Sur’s beatnik heyday, those craggy coastal views remain the same. See for yourself at Hyatt’s upscale Alila Ventana Big Sur, an adults-only resort perched on the cliffs between California’s famed Highway One and the Pacific. Alila Ventana is one of the few true all-inclusives in California, as room reservations cover all meals and snacks, including in-room dining, poolside, or at the guests-only restaurant, the Sur House. Also included in the price are activities like guided hikes, yoga, Tai Chi, group meditations, and even your own chauffeur to cart you to and from town or anywhere else within a three-mile radius. 

Guests can choose between forest, ocean, meadow, or canyon view rooms with extras like wood-burning fireplaces, hot tubs, walk-in showers, and other amenities to help make for a cozy stay. Basic king rooms start at $2,100 and go up. 

Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur

Exterior of the Pacific Suite at Post Ranch Inn
Post Ranch Inn

If your number one vacation objective is rest and relaxation—with an emphasis on rest—the Post Ranch Inn’s current Sleep Program will be right up your alley. The Big Sur resort has teamed up with sleep specialist Dr. Michael Breus to design a guest program aimed at improving sleep quality through diet, spa treatments, and more. Also included in the deal is dinner at the Sierra Mar, the property’s on-site restaurant, and access to Dr. Breus’s seven-part “sleep sessions” video series. In their waking hours, guests can take advantage of activities like yoga, meditation, sound baths, and—for an additional fee—falconry. Also reserved for guests is a fleet of Lexuses for quick jaunts around the area.

Visitors can add the sleep package to any stay of two nights or longer for an additional $1,200 and $900 more for additional guests in the same room. 

Brisas del Mar, Inn at the Beach, Santa Barbara

Exterior of Brisas del Mar, Inn at the Beach surrounded by palm trees on a sunny day
Brisas del Mar, Inn at the Beach

Enjoy a wine-tasting weekend in Santa Barbara at the beachfront Brisas del Mar, Inn at the Beach. The intimate 39-room property offers a Wine Lovers Package which includes a guided tasting-tour of three wineries complete with a catered picnic lunch (weekends excluded). Guests also receive complimentary bottle of Chardonnay or Syrah from Santa Barbara Winery. 

Even without the special package offer, all guest reservations include a deluxe continental breakfast, afternoon happy hour with locally produced wines and cheeses, and complimentary bicycles to explore the nearby beaches.

Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort and Club, Dana Point

Exterior grounds and pool at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort and Club overlooking the ocean
Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort and Club

Located in Orange County’s exclusive Dana Point, the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort and Club offers guests some of California’s best whale watching and one of the few private beach clubs in the southern half of the state. Guests can make use of beach club equipment such as paddleboards, boogie boards, and surfboards, while golfers may instead opt for the beachfront fairways of Monarch Beach Golf Links.  

Currently travelers can book the Another Day in Paradise package, which offers guests a fourth night free during their stay. Another offer currently up for grabs, the Bed & Breakfast package includes an $80 daily credit for breakfast, either in-room or at one of the many restaurants on the property. This package starts at $710 per night for stays this upcoming spring. 

Carneros Resort and Spa, Napa

Woman walking next to a pool surrounded by lounge chairs overlooking rolling hills at Carneros Resort and Spa

The cutesy clusters of cottages that make up Carneros Resort and Spa are the absolute antithesis to the mega-resort style accommodations so prevalent in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Cottages are roomy and include private outdoor space, fireplaces, outdoor showers and tubs, on-demand wine, and other frills. Full-sized vacation homes are also scattered throughout the resort village, ideal for big families or larger gatherings. There are a number of package stays to choose from such as the Arrive Early & Stay Late deal. That’ll get you a daily breakfast for two along with early check-in and late check-out, plus a room upgrade. As you might have guessed, wine-on-demand and concierge service doesn’t come cheap, with this package starting at $1,050.

The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, Dana Point

Aerial view of the The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel
The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel

Spend a weekend or more at the upscale Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel beachfront resort and reconnect with loved ones. The resort’s Reconnect package includes daily breakfast for two guests in-room or at either of its two restaurants and a generous daily resort credit to put towards lunch, dinner, or other services. Just how much you receive in resort credit depends on the room type you book: Guestrooms earn $100 resort credit per day, Club Level rooms receive $200 in resort credit per day, and Suites receive $300 in daily resort credit. 

Also included in the package is a 45-minute photo shoot with the Ritz-Carlton photo concierge. This package starts at $699 per night and is valid for travel through December 31, 2023. 

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