All-inclusive resorts have the recipe for an easy-breezy vacation down pat. Start with unlimited food and drinks, add a dash of recreation or perhaps some spa services and finish with loads of amenities. Whereas the Caribbean and Mexico definitely corner the market on traditional all-inclusive resorts (you know, the ones with sprawling buffets, swim-up bars and nightly entertainment), the options in California feel markedly different. There are relaxing spa resorts where the rate covers everything from healthy fare to forest bathing and even some hotels with packages so robust you might forget they’re not technically all-inclusive. In both instances, the end result is the same: a stress-free vacation in the Golden State where you don’t have to reach for your wallet—and that’s really what matters most.
The 10 Best All-Inclusive Resorts in California
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1. Canyon Ranch Woodside(woodside, California)
- Getting There: 35 minutes from San Francisco International Airport
- Why We Recommend It: Wellness-focused, rejuvenating activities, spa
- Rates: Starting at $1,100 per night for single occupancy
There’s not a person among us who couldn’t use a weekend at Canyon Ranch Woodside right about now. A few days of forest bathing, meditation, redwood walks, restorative yoga, sauna sessions and restful sleep sound like absolute heaven. Of course, the last thing anyone wants during what’s supposed to be a relaxing spa getaway is dealing with finances. (It’s not like robes have pockets for your wallet.) Luckily, the only “green” you’ll have to worry about at this world-class spa resort is your juice.
2. Alisal Ranch(solvang, California)
- Getting There: 45 minutes from Santa Barbara Airport
- Why We Recommend It: Horseback riding, golf, spa, great for families
- Rates: Starting at $820 per night for double occupancy
Does your love of Yellowstone run deep? Then saddle up for some cowboy-inspired fun and also a lot of luxury! A trip to Alisal Ranch in Solvang is not your standard dude ranch vacation. It’s got all the Western charm (horseback riding, archery and fishing), plus plush resort perks like two 18-hole championship golf courses, tennis courts and a serene spa. With inclusive nightly plans that include breakfast, dinner and tons of activities, the only thing you’ll be missing from the Paramount Network hit is the Dutton family.
3. The Clement Palo Alto(palo Alto, California)
- Getting There: 11 minutes from Palo Alto Airport
- Why We Recommend It: Great packages, romantic, lively location
- Rates: Starting at $850 per night for single occupancy
We’re very much of the opinion that The Clement Palo Alto is one of the best all-inclusive resorts in the U.S.. That’s because this Silicon Valley hotel manages to do the impossible—appeal to couples, college football fans and tech talent. It’s swanky and somehow both romantic and super fun. The location in downtown Palo Alto means that after kicking butt at your big presentation you can extend your work trip into a weekend away with your sweetie, celebrate by cheering on the Cardinals at Stanford University's football stadium or just bliss out with a glass of rosé at the rooftop pool.
4. Hotel Drisco(san Francisco, California)
- Getting There: 24 minutes from San Francisco International Airport
- Why We Recommend It: Perfect for a staycation or city break, superb location, elegant
- Rates: Starting at $550 per night for double occupancy
Major cities like San Francisco aren't typically the first place you’d look for or expect to find an all-inclusive. That’s just one of the things that earns Hotel Drisco such a stellar reputation. It’s an Edwardian oasis set atop a hill in the fabled Pacific Heights neighborhood that puts everything at your fingertips (what you won’t need to grab for is your credit card, until it’s time to check out). Start the day with a gourmet continental breakfast, borrow a complimentary bike and see all the sights, return for the evening wine reception and then catch some zzzs in your elegant suite.
5. Alila Ventana Big Sur(big Sur, California)
- Getting There: 51 minutes from Monterey Regional Airport
- Why We Recommend It: Romance, stunning views, outdoor activities, wellness
- Rates: Starting at $2,100 per night for double occupancy
Alila Ventana Big Sur is the pinnacle of laid-back luxury (for background, it’s very much a place people go on their honeymoon or celebrate something big like a milestone anniversary) in an endlessly photogenic setting just off Highway 1. We were delighted to find out that this dreamy property has a truly comprehensive all-inclusive package that covers all meals—which you can enjoy in your room, poolside, or at the acclaimed restaurant—to-go snacks for fuel on your various adventures, yoga, meditation, Tai Chi and daily hikes, plus access to indoor and outdoor fitness studios, the library, rental gear, lounges and more.
6. Carneros Resort And Spa(napa, California)
- Getting There: 75 minutes from San Francisco International Airport
- Why We Recommend It: Charming cottages, wine tasting, excellent food, lawn games
- Rates: Starting at $1,249 per night for double occupancy (two night minimum)
When it comes to a wine country getaway, booking Carneros Resort and Spa is a no-brainer. It’s a stunning property with picturesque scenery, farmhouse-chic cottages that flaunt soaking tubs and awesome amenities. Who can resist a pool, lawn games and wine tasting? There’s also an acclaimed restaurant and a cafe that serves a super popular (and delicious) brunch, so you basically can just enjoy staying put. Opt for the “Choose Your Moments” package, which includes accommodations and a $300 credit to use towards dining or spa services, and you won’t have to use a lot of mental energy when it comes to the bill either—a very good thing since the wine will be flowing.
7. The Ritz-carlton, Half Moon Bay(half Moon Bay, California)
- Getting There: 35 minutes from San Francisco International Airport
- Why We Recommend It: Golf, ocean views, incredible food, spa services
- Rates: Starting at $796 per night for double occupancy
The pinnacle of Northern California luxury, The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay is an exceptional property that’s not your traditional all-inclusive but provides guests with so much to eat, see and do that you’ll never want to leave. (And isn’t that a big part of the reason people book all-inclusive resorts?). If you just want to relax and leave your wallet in the room, we recommend upgrading to the Club Level, which comes with exclusive access to a private lounge, plus food and beverage offerings. Outdoor firepits, s’mores kits, ocean views and sunset bagpipe music are just a few more of the things that make this place oh so special.
8. Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach(dana Point, California)
- Getting There: 70 minutes from Los Angeles International Airport
- Why We Recommend It: Coastal activities, oceanfront golf, beach club, restaurants,
- Rates: Starting at $719 per night for double occupancy
Set on 175 seaside acres, the AAA Five-Diamond Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach has endless coastal activities, three pools, seven dining venues and posh amenities like an oceanfront golf course. Needless to say, it’s a place you’ll want to stay forever. While it might not be possible to take up residence, you can live that WFH (work from hotel) life for a few days. The “Zoom to Zen” package, which combines a room swathed in soothing seaside hues—with dedicated office space, too—$100 daily resort credit, comped valet parking, fitness classes and access to the private beach club for a totally stress-free experience.
9. The Camp At Carmel Valley(carmel Valley, California)
- Getting There: 25 minutes from Monterey Regional Airport
- Why We Recommend It: Outdoor activities, glamping, nostalgia, family fun
- Rates: Starting at $245 per night for single occupancy
A rustic, 115-acre resort, The Camp at Carmel Valley is a legit summer camp for the whole family. It’s a place where travelers of all ages get to trade the pressures of daily life for electricity-free glamping cabins, s’mores, ghost stories around the campfire and just about every nostalgic activity you could possibly imagine. We’re talking swimming, archery, arts and crafts (who remembers how much fun it is to tie-dye a T-shirt?), hiking, tennis, pickleball, corn hole and giant Jenga. Going along with the carefree mentality, everything is included in the rate.
10. Terranea Resort(rancho Palos Verdes, California)
- Getting There: 50 minutes from Los Angeles International Airport
- Why We Recommend It: Pool, golf, dining options
- Rates: Starting at $775 per night for double occupancy
The Terranea Resort isn’t technically an all-inclusive, but it is a sprawling 582-room property and does have all the amenities (eight restaurants, an oceanfront golf course, an excellent spa and a huge pool, to name a few) and activities you’re no doubt looking for and a beautiful Southern California setting that’s too good to pass up. Fans of golf can hit the links with the PGA-approved package that bundles overnight accommodations in a king guestroom with ocean views, two rounds of golf at The Links at Terranea and delicious daily breakfast.