The 17 Best Hotel Restaurants In California

Hotel restaurants are known for being pretty hit or miss. One of the main reasons for this is the idea that hotel restaurants don't have to try as hard given the easy clientele from overnight guests. However, there are several hotel restaurants in California that go above and beyond to ensure that everything from the food to the service is top-notch. In fact, many hotel restaurants in the Golden State have become local hotspots that are frequented both by locals and travelers alike.

One of the reasons that California is home to so many amazing restaurants, in general, is thanks to the premium access to some of the country's best produce, wine, and seafood. Restaurants are able to rely on the community and source locally, keeping everything as fresh and sustainable as possible. That said, we've rounded up some of the best hotel restaurants in California that stand out among the crowd and continue to impress.

Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch

Just outside of Santa Barbara, Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch is one of the most renowned and popular restaurants in Montecito. This critically acclaimed establishment has been named the number one restaurant in Santa Barbara by OpenTable, winning over locals and travelers alike with quality New American cuisine and beautiful dining space. Patrons have the option to dine inside the transportive 19th-century citrus house or on the charming patio, which boasts Pacific Ocean views and is adorned with magical string lights.

The menu at Stonehouse has been carefully curated by Executive Chef Matthew Johnson and includes a variety of local ingredients. A majority of the fish is harvested fresh from the Santa Barbara harbor and the produce is gathered from the on-site organic garden. These ingredients shine in harmony across the menu in dishes like the Seared Hawaiian Big Eye tuna which is served with Tuscan farro, maitake mushrooms, Brussels, puffed quinoa, preserved Meyer lemon, and a kombu lemongrass consomme.

Madera at Rosewood Sand Hill

Rosewood Sand Hill is the premier hotel in the Palo Alto area, and its renowned restaurant Madera only enhances the overall allure of the property. The current Culinary Director at Madera is none other than Chef Seamus Mullen, and the menu keeps things simple yet enticing. Madera places an emphasis on sourcing sustainably, and a majority of the produce is gathered from the local farming communities that surround the Bay Area.

Madera serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, giving the hotel guests and diners the opportunity to eat in the sleek dining room or out on the terrace that overlooks the sparkling pool. Though certain items change with the seasons, some consistent favorites include the Ora King salmon, crispy potatoes with chive crème fraîche, and the decadent caviar service.

Soko at Fairmont Miramar Hotel

Soko at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows offers an authentic and intimate sushi experience in the heart of Santa Monica. With only eight seats available at the sushi bar, guests are treated to an up-close-and-personal experience with Chef Masa Shimakawa. Those that prefer to order at their leisure and explore their favorite kinds of nigiri can order a la carte. However, if you're looking to get the full Soko experience, the Chef's Choice omakase features six courses of fresh and vibrant fish creations that you won't soon forget.

There are also several sake options to choose from, as well as a refreshing list of cocktails like the hotel's signature Miramar cocktail made with vodka, champagne, hibiscus, and rosemary. If you're looking for quality sushi by the sea, Soko never fails to impress.

Villon at The Proper, San Francisco

Villon is the premier restaurant at The Proper, San Francisco. The menu at Villon showcases the beauty and excellence found in seasonal and local cuisine. Led by Chef Jason Fox, this hotel restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and cocktails daily, as well as a weekend tea service which includes a variety of teas, sandwiches, and handmade pastries for a set price.

In addition to the standard menu which focuses on contemporary California cuisine, guests can also opt in for the Chef's Menu Tasting Experience. For $95 (with an optional $60 wine pairing), diners are taken through an exciting six-course meal that highlights seasonal ingredients alongside Chef Fox's signature dishes. The cocktail list is also worth exploring, as it has everything from timeless classics to more innovative libations.

A.R. Valentien at The Lodge Torrey Pines

A.R. Valentien serves fine-dining regional California cuisine in an elegant dining room that overlooks the Torrey Pines Golf Course and the Pacific Ocean in San Diego. Executive Chef Kelli Crosson's style of cooking is refined and simple, utilizing seasonal ingredients and locally sourced produce to shine without much fluff.

The charcuterie board is just as eye-catching as it is satisfying, featuring chicken liver pâté, short rib terrine, duck and pistachio pâté, grain mustard, pickled vegetables, and toasted bread. This starter pairs beautifully with both white and red wines that can be found on the lengthy wine list, and it is the ideal shareable appetizer for a group of diners. The caramelized sea scallops are another notable dish. These savory scallops are made with escarole, persimmon, pancetta, whole-grain mustard Spaetzle, and mustard greens.

Blackbird at Hotel Californian

Hotel Californian is a spacious hotel that sits nestled right near the famed Santa Barbara harbor. Though the hotel has a few different eateries on-site, Blackbird is a more upscale option that is ideal for a romantic evening or a dim-lit dinner. The coastal cuisine gives guests a true taste of Santa Barbara, featuring light starters like the local white sea bass crudo, seasonal root veggies salad, and of course, fresh west coast oysters.

The larger plates highlight fresh seafood such as the local halibut with warm lobster potato salad and the succulent seared dayboat scallops. However, meat also makes a big appearance on the menu with everything from the prime filet to the Wagyu hanger steak. When it comes to sides, the wedge French fries are topped with crispy prosciutto and paired with a savory duck fat aioli that you'll want to put on everything.

Kin Khao at Parc 55

Inside the stylish Parc 55 Hotel in the heart of Downtown San Francisco, Kin Khao serves authentic and flavor-forward Thai food. With a mission to "liberate her beloved Thai cuisine from the tyranny of peanut sauce," chef and proprietor Pim Techamuanvivit has curated a menu that is both dynamic and distinctly unique from other Americanized Thai restaurants in the area. That said, it is still accessible to a wide array of palates and tastes, including those that are not very familiar with traditional Thai flavors. Kin Khao is widely acclaimed in the culinary world and remains the only Thai restaurant in the United States to be awarded a Michelin star.

The menu at Kin Khao shifts with the seasons, featuring the best local produce and protein the Golden State has to offer. The Massaman Nuea is a unique yet tasty dish that features braised beef cheek cooked in massaman curry with coconut milk, burnt and crispy shallots, and potatoes.

Aubergine at L'Auberge Carmel

Carmel-by-the-Sea is one of the most idyllic towns along the California coastline, and the Michelin-rated Aubergine at L'Auberge Carmel has created a stunning menu that mirrors the surrounding natural beauty. Chef Justin Cogley and Pastry Chef Yulanda Santos' carefully curated, James Beard Award-nominated tasting menu features innovative, stunning, and delicately balanced creations that are a feast for both your eyes and stomach.

The eight-course tasting menu costs $245 and is worth every penny. That said, the optional wine pairing takes things to the next level. Although the menu changes daily to ensure diners enjoy fresh and seasonally-driven dishes, the flavors remain consistently impressive. The menu progresses from the lightest and most delicate bites to bold main courses before finishing off with refined and elegant desserts.

Farmhouse Restaurant at Farmhouse Inn

Born from the collaboration of fifth-generation Sonoma farmers, a team of knowledgeable sommeliers and a chef with a passion for local produce and farming, Farmhouse Restaurant at Farmhouse Inn has made quite the name for itself in California's wine country. The menu at Farmhouse Restaurant is seasonal and ever-changing depending upon the chef's findings from local farmers and ranches daily.

It is presented as a pre-fixe six-course menu with an optional (and highly suggested) wine pairing. If you are vegetarian, you can also opt for the Garden Menu which features dishes like the beetroot scarpinocc which is served with roasted parsnip, chestnut beurre blanc, celery, and black garlic puree. Carnivores will prefer the Land and Sea menu where they will try highlights like the celebrated glazed quail with persimmon gastrique, fermented persimmon, and chicories.

FARM at Carneros Resort

As the name suggests, FARM at Carneros Resort shares a property with a beautiful 1,300-square-foot organic raised-bed garden in Napa Valley. However, this acclaimed farm-to-table spot is far from rustic. The dining space is reminiscent of an old Napa farmhouse but is filled with luxe furnishings, cathedral-style ceilings, and even a cozy outdoor patio complete with fire pits.

The menu at FARM was designed by Chef John Carney and focuses on ingredients that are native to Napa Valley, including ones that are harvested from the on-site gardens. The Farm Harvest dish is a vegetarian entree consisting of winter squash, braised garden vegetables, carrot purée, and Brussels sprouts. It is so full of flavor that even the most devout of meat eaters will be asking for a bite. The Liberty Farms Duck is another local favorite that is served with seared breast, leg rillette, pear, and calvados jus.

Splashes at Surf & Sand Resort

With sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean just steps away from your table, Splashes at Surf & Sand Resort in Laguna Beach is serving fresh seafood and other contemporary California cuisine in a stunning waterfront space. The chef-driven menu revolves around presenting fresh, local, and organic ingredients in unique ways, allowing each element on the plate to have its moment.

The Sea Bass Ceviche starter is a perfect order for the table to share and acts as a light and refreshing starter. The fresh sea bass is mixed with fennel, gooseberries, Fresno, radish, tomato vodka consommé, and a lemon verbena oil for a citrus-forward burst of flavor. Pair any of the starters with a selection from the craft cocktail list for the perfect happy hour spot, or indulge in an entree to enjoy the full Splashes experience.

Cabra at The Hoxton

Located on the rooftop of the beautiful Downtown Los Angeles Hoxton hotel, Cabra offers a range of Peruvian-inspired fare in a spacious and stylish outdoor dining space. With a 360-degree view of the DTLA skyline, there is not a bad seat in the house, day or night. The menu at Cabra is designed to be shared tapas style, allowing guests to get a bite of everything.

For starters, there are plenty of casual snacks to choose from, including the hot chorizo and queso dip that is served with an herbaceous chimichurri and various chips and flatbreads. For the main course, the Crispy Pork Shank with Fuyu persimmon salad, squash-apple slaw, aji mayo, serrano-cilantro, spicy yuzu-tomato, and flatbread is a stand-out dish that was carried over from Chef Izard's original restaurant, Girl & the Goat. The cocktail list is just as dynamic as the food menu. Check out the Peruvian classic Pisco Sour for a bitter yet refreshing mixture of egg white, pisco, lime, and chuncho bitters

Sierra Mar at Post Ranch Inn

Sierra Mar is perhaps one of the most unique and breathtaking restaurants in Northern California. Located at soaring heights atop the cliffs of Big Sur, Sierra Mar has modern architecture and once-in-a-lifetime Pacific Ocean views. The ocean-facing wall of the incredible dining space is almost entirely glass, allowing guests to dine with a heavenly scene as their backdrop.

The food is just as impressive as the location of this Big Sur spot. The menu features sustainable dishes highlighting local produce, seafood, and meat working together to create a harmonious menu with an emphasis on balance and intentional flavor combinations. Dinner at Sierra Mar consists of a four-course tasting menu with an optional wine tasting that changes daily and showcases ingredients that are farmed directly from the on-site Chef's Garden.

Addison at Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Addison is much more than your average hotel restaurant. Located in the Fairmont Grand Del Mar, Addison is San Diego's first and only three-star Michelin restaurant. Chef William Bradley's menu is carefully curated and focused on showcasing California gastronomy at its finest, highlighting the beauty of regional California produce and other locally farmed goods.

Instead of offering a menu of different dishes and selections, guests are taken through a nine-course seasonal tasting menu that goes for $325 per guest. With an optional wine pairing featuring both California vintages as well as favorites from around the world, guests are able to embark on a truly special culinary experience. Everything from the plating to the pairings is up to par with what patrons would expect from a three-star Michelin restaurant.

San Laurel at Conrad Los Angeles

San Laurel at the Conrad Los Angeles is one of the flagship restaurants of the acclaimed Chef José Andrés. Considering his recognition and talents, it is no surprise that San Laurel has quickly become recognized for its delicious Spanish-inspired cuisine within the stylish DTLA hotel. The interior dining space has warm neutral tones and lots of exposed wood, mirroring the menu which combines California fresh produce with traditional Spanish flavors.

Whether you are seeking small bites to share or an impressive entree, San Laurel has plenty of variety. Don't miss the vegetarian favorite beefsteak tomato tartare that is made with aged balsamic, Savora mustard, olive oil, cucumber, black olive, and romaine leaves. For something a little richer, enjoy a plate of the carefully prepared sea urchin with scallops, caviar, and a gazpacho consommé.

Napa Rose at Disney's Grand Californian Resort & Spa

Napa Rose at Disney's Grand Californian Resort & Spa is single-handedly disproving the notion that theme park and family-friendly dining is inherently unfavorable. Located conveniently within the grounds of Disneyland Resort, Napa Rose offers upscale California cuisine and an extensive wine list for guests to enjoy high-quality creations with perfectly paired wines.

From the first bright bite of the heirloom tomato salad with green garbanzo falafel and lemon dill yogurt to the final bite of the sweet and warm honey crisp apple crumble cake with green apple sorbet and brown sugar sour cream sauce, a meal at Napa Rose remains consistent from start to finish. The sustainable fish dish is a great option for seafood lovers that is made of white shrimp, citrus-almond relish, and lemongrass for a healthy and environmentally-savvy treat.

Nella Kitchen & Bar at Fess Parker Wine Country Inn

Located within the beautiful Fess Parker Wine Country Inn in the stunning central coast town of Los Olivos, Nella Kitchen & Bar is best described as serving California coastal meets Italian cuisine. The spacious and carefully decorated interior has a wraparound bar top with communal seating, as well as individual tables in the charming dining space.

The menu showcases an array of must-try starters like the aromatic steamed clams. This delicate yet decadent preparation is made with littleneck clams that are cooked in white wine, saffron, tarragon butter, and shallots. The appetizer is also served with toasted bread which is perfect for soaking up every last drop of the buttery sauce. The thin crust-style pinsas are very popular when it comes to the main course. The Scarpetta is a local favorite that is topped with Fior di Latte cheese, a house-made five-hour bolognese, and Parmigiano.