Skip to site content
The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

Scenic Stays in California

California’s resorts are epic.

From white-sandy beaches and sky-high redwood trees to stark desert landscapes and lush mountains, the Golden State has an abundance of gorgeous natural settings, as well as an abundance of gorgeous retreats set within them. These resorts can make ideal venues for meetings and events.

No matter the natural environment, meeting planners will not be disappointed with these California resorts.

Montage Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach

Montage Laguna Beach sits on a coastal bluff in Laguna Beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The 262-room craftsman-style resort features waterfront accommodations and 23 privately owned Montage Residences on 30 acres.

Smaller meeting groups that want to host events on the property can rent out Villa Le Ciel, which features a 3,000-square-foot living space, a full gourmet kitchen, a private patio, custom Japanese artwork and a porcelain art installation by local artists. The space can sleep up to 10 guests.

The resort features the 20,000-square-foot Spa Montage and three on-site restaurants.

The property’s Grand Ballroom can seat up to 500 guests and offers access to a pre-function foyer and an outdoor courtyard. The 3,200-square-foot Gallery Ballroom offers a more intimate setting with space for 240 banquet guests. There are several smaller meeting spaces available, as well as the courtyard, which can seat 180 theater-style.

Montage Laguna Beach has three oceanfront event lawns for outdoor celebrations for up to 300 guests. Studio Restaurant, Montage’s fine-dining restaurant, is only 50 feet above the Pacific and provides 180-degree ocean views.

For fun, the resort can help groups plan excursions, like golf outings at four nearby courses, or a small group cruise to Catalina Island. Water sports, such as paddleboarding, kayaking and snorkeling, are also available nearby. The resort’s Mosaic Pool offers stunning views of the ocean.

Sensei Porcupine Creek

Rancho Mirage

Sensei Porcupine Creek is a 230-acre desert retreat in the Coachella Valley among the foothills of the Santa Rosa Mountains. Formerly a private estate, the resort is situated in the Greater Palm Springs area. It caters to more intimate groups, such as corporate retreats or destination weddings, and offers 22 luxury accommodations for a total of 34 bedrooms, spread across individual guest rooms and two- and four-bedroom villas.

The property is an all-encompassing wellness retreat, with an emphasis on helping guests live longer, healthier lives through data-led and evidence-based wellness programs, classes, spa treatments, and a team of Sensei guides and practitioners.

There is a beautiful swimming pool, a fitness center, a spa and lush spa gardens for relaxation. The resort offers private golf and tennis facilities on-site with instruction and tournament facilitation. Private wellness consultations are also available for individuals or executive groups. Sensei by Nobu restaurant offers sushi-making classes for groups of 10.

Meeting groups can utilize the property’s Golf Clubhouse and Tennis Pavilion for their meetings or events or take over one of several spacious villas on-site for more meaningful small-group retreats. The resort can host groups of up to 16 without a buyout of the property or up to 54 with a buyout.

Nearby attractions include hiking trails, shopping on El Paseo, a BMW driving experience and natural landmarks such as Joshua Tree National Park.

Shutters on the Beach

Santa Monica

Situated on the California coast in Santa Monica, Shutters on the Beach is a seaside haven with 198 guest rooms decorated in the style of Cape Cod cottages, with shuttered doors opening onto balconies. The resort overlooks the ocean and the Malibu-to-Manhattan bike path. It offers paddle tennis, volleyball, a beautiful pool area with comfortable cabanas overlooking the beach, yoga on the sand, and ONE Spa, which offers massages, facials and signature treatments.

Shutters boasts an extensive art collection, featuring works from renowned artists Frank Gehry, Robert Motherwell and Roy Lichtenstein. Two restaurants on-site serve coastal California cuisine and casual beachfront fare.

Meeting planners will appreciate the choice of venues within the resort. The Grand Salon, which can be split into three rooms, can host up to 300 at rounds and 400 theater-style. The Promenade is a versatile indoor-outdoor space that can host 150 for a reception or 130 at rounds and features a lovely outdoor terrace lined with white trellises and lush plants.

The Pacific Terrace sits above the sand of Santa Monica Beach and can host up to 250 guests for an evening celebration or wedding overlooking the ocean. Groups of up to 30 can meet in the Oceanside room, where they will enjoy expansive sea views. Another on-site venue can host groups of 100. A private dining room is available for more intimate groups.

Rosewood Miramar Beach


Rosewood Miramar Beach is the only beachfront property in Montecito, on the central coast, five miles south of Santa Barbara. The 158-room resort offers amazing views of the ocean and the Santa Ynez mountains, which rise up behind it, and it is one of five resorts in the United States with a triple Five-Star designation from Forbes in 2024 for its property, spa and Caruso’s restaurant.

Sitting on 16 acres, with one of the most beautiful beaches in the area, Rosewood is a desirable place to host a meeting or an event. With more than 33,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space, the property can host groups of up to 400 for any occasion. Indoor spaces feature expansive windows with coastal views and outdoor terraces, and the beach, private residence, and multiple lawns and gardens offer several beautiful locations for outdoor banquets or receptions.

Guests have many opportunities to enjoy water sports, including swimming, kayaking, surfing and stand-up paddleboarding. The resort provides chairs and umbrellas, a beach butler, beach toys and sports equipment.

Rosewood has a bocce ball court and an apiary. There is a chef’s garden, and most of the resort’s produce and seafood comes from local farmers and fishermen. Caruso’s partners with local wineries to book groups for tasting events. The resort has an adults-only pool as well as a family pool, and guests can use the resort’s electric bicycles for a ride around the area or book the resort’s open-air, chauffeur-driven Jollies for free transportation anywhere within a three-mile radius.

Vintners Resort

Santa Rosa

With 82 acres of vineyards and several production gardens growing seasonal fruits and vegetables, it isn’t any wonder that Vintners Resort prides itself on its farm-to-table cuisine. Depending on the season, the resort grows blackberries, raspberries, onions, spring garlic, beans, peas and other spring vegetables, summer squash, pumpkins and tomatoes. The property also produces olive oil, which it uses in the kitchen and in the spa. Lavender fields are harvested, dried and made into lavender bath salts for a luxury in-room experience.

The Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio grapes grown on the vineyard are shipped to partner wineries in Sonoma County, where they are made into wine. The resort serves local wines made by these partners.

Groups that host meetings at the resort can walk through the vineyards on their own or take a guided vineyard tour. There’s also an opportunity to have blending sessions with local winemakers, where attendees can blend their own wines.

Vintners has 78 guest rooms and can host up to 250 guests for a banquet in its 5,000 square feet of meeting space. The Rose Ballroom is the largest venue on property. It can be split into two smaller rooms. The Rose Ballroom Terrace is an outdoor space that can host 220 seated for a banquet. The Cypress Room and Cypress Terrace can accommodate another 220 for a sit-down dinner. There are also several smaller meeting rooms that can host groups of up to 30.

In their free time, meeting attendees can hike several nearby trails or visit Armstrong Woods, which has a cross section of 1,300-year-old redwood trees.