Design-Forward California Hotels and Boutique Stays Perfect for a Girls’ Getaway

Work deadlines, school lunches, grocery shopping, laundry: It’s time for a break in the routine, so why not plan a weekend trip with your girlfriends to reset and recharge? Whether you’re looking to sip cocktails on the roof of an urban-chic boutique hotel, tuck into a hip hideaway at the beach, or soak in a therapeutic mud bath at a midcentury gem in wine country, these design-centric properties promise to check all the boxes for a fun girls’ getaway.

Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs

Dr Wilkinsons

Calistoga, from $289

Retro vibes meet California cool at Calistoga’s iconic midcentury wellness resort Dr. Wilkinson’s, which opened in 1952 and received a total design refresh by SB Architects and EDG Interior Architecture + Design last year. The 50 fully renovated rooms, which boast locally made artwork and apothecary medicine cabinets stocked with beauty essentials, include double-doubles, bunk rooms, a bungalow and even a Victorian house that sleeps 15, so there are plenty of options to accommodate your squad.

Play: Nearby, hike the challenging Oat Hill Mine Trail. Then, toast your accomplishment at any number of Napa wineries: House recommendations include midcentury oasis Ashes & Diamonds, natural-wine focused Usual Wines, and Tamber Bey Vineyards (also a horse ranch). Recuperate with a mud bath and mineral pool soak at Dr. Wilkinson’s onsite spa.

Dine and drink: Sample healthy Southwestern-inspired fare at the resort’s open-air restaurant and bar, House of Better. Detox with kombucha on tap, wellness tonics or adaptogen teas, or re-tox with more local vino and beer.

San Francisco Proper Hotel


San Francisco; from $350

Sometimes, the best getaway is an overnight with your BFF right in your own backyard or, in this case, just over the bridge. No two rooms are identical at the San Francisco Proper Hotel, where interior designer by Kelly Wearstler has evoked San Francisco’s past, present and future with era-blending furniture, original artwork and bespoke fixtures, but all offer plenty of pampering perks, including Fili D’oro Italian bedlinens, Aesop bath amenities and Bluetooth speakers.

Play: We think you might already have a good idea of what to do in the city with your girlfriends when you’re without the kids in tow, but here are a few ideas anyway: Hit the shops at Union Square or Hayes Valley; nosh your way through the Ferry Building; go to a show; peruse the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (at your own pace, for once). The hotel’s complimentary car service will also whisk guests to anywhere in the city within a 3-mile radius.

Dine and drink: Hit up Villon for seasonally driven, California-centric cuisine and classic cocktails with a twist (and afternoon tea on weekends); pair aperitifs with tapas at La Bande; or savor cocktails and elevated bar bites with skyline views at Charmaine’s Rooftop Bar & Lounge — all on site at the Proper.

White Water

White Water
Photo by Jonny Valiant

Cambria; from $329

Set atop a bluff against a picturesque backdrop of Moonstone Beach on the Central Coast, White Water, which opened in 2020, is the first luxury boutique hotel on the mile-long stretch of rocky, windswept coastline — and an ideal destination for a relaxing, low-key girls’ getaway. Merging a 1970s Scandinavian aesthetic with a California bohemian vibe, the interior design of the 25-room seaside lodge is the vision of Los Angeles-based Nina Freudenberger. Many of White Water’s modern, cabin-inspired rooms boast ocean views and fireplaces, and all feature custom California-made furniture.

Photo by Jonny Valiant

Play: Surf the sandy-bottom break at Moonstone Beach; hit the hiking trails at Fiscalini Ranch Preserve or Harmony Headlands; taste wine in nearby Paso Robles (try Booker, Daou or Hope Family Wines) — or, simply take one of White Water’s fleet of Linus bikes out for a spin on Cambria’s bike path.

Dine and drink: Hit the town for inspired global fare in the outdoor garden at Robin’s; slurp oysters (natch) at Sea Chest Oyster Bar; sample craft beers at nano-brewery 927 Beer Company. Head back to White Water for happy hour: local wines and beers and a signature cocktail program, plus shareable plates.


Encinitas; from $215

When Encinitas locals — and brothers — Nikki and Sander Harth opened Surfhouse in 2017, they envisioned a surf-inspired boutique hotel that would celebrate all their favorite things: the beach, surf lifestyle, good vibes, traveling and stewardship of the local Leucadia community where the property is situated. The modern and chic renovated motel is just a block away from the beach, and each room is inspired by a different Encinitas surf break — the downstairs “Pipe” bunk room sleeps four, perfect for your girl gang.


Play: It’s all about the beach here: Sign up for one of Surfhouse’s private yoga classes or surf lessons on nearby Beacon’s Beach. Later, book a massage at nearby Four Moons Spa and zip around town on the hotel’s complimentary beach cruisers.

Dine and drink: Grab breakfast at organic, gluten-free bakery Nectarine Grove; nosh on Baja fish tacos for lunch at Fish 101; head to Herb and Sea for raw bar classics and house-made pizza for dinner, or sample wine and Mediterranean bites at Solterra, a winery and kitchen right around the corner from the hotel.

More from Marin:

Lotus Abrams

Lotus Abrams has covered everything from beauty to business to tech in her editorial career, but it might be writing about her native Bay Area that inspires her most. She lives with her husband and two daughters in the San Francisco Peninsula, where they enjoy spending time outdoors at the area’s many open spaces protected and preserved by her favorite local nonprofit, the Peninsula Open Space Trust.