Boutique Hotel: Sunny California has all the elements – sea and surf, coastline and mountains. There’s also a new foursome of snazzy, newly refurbished, indie-owned boutique hotels with high emphasis on playful design, midcentury accents, retro-stylish texture, and breezy pattern. Let’s take a fresh view on the vintage Cali-cool.
Holiday House, Palm Springs
The newly renovated 28-room hotel from the owners of the hip Sparrows Lodge and designer Mark D. Sikes showcases enough Italian seaside blue and white to keep the desert dweller in cool company. Originally built in 1951, the hotel features clean midcentury flare, terrazzo floors, Quadrille wallpaper, rattan textures, brass finishes, and upholstered headboards, plus contemporary pieces by David Hockney and Alex Katz. Check-in bonus points: a complimentary glass of rosé and a string of love beads. 200 W. Arenas Road, Palm Springs.
Originally built in 1947 as the Malibu Riviera Motel, and where Bob Dylan and Marilyn Monroe once bunked (separately), the 13 newly refurbished rooms were individually curated by LA-based design firm Folklor and boast exposed white wooden beams, handmade furniture, hand-dyed Turkish rugs, and local artwork. Bathrooms are kitted out with unfinished brass fixtures and custom robes made with African fabric and the hotel’s own line of all-natural bath products. Dutch doors lead to a private patio for ample chill time on artisan-made hammocks, and just beyond, easy access to the famed Zuma Beach and Point Dume. 28920 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
The Sandman, Santa Rosa
For an affordable option in the heart of California wine country, the Sandman’s 135 rooms, designed by Brooklyn-based Studio Tack, mix earthy tones with peach and navy accents. Custom quilts hang above each bed topped with hand-woven herringbone throws, soft sconces lighting from Oregon-based Cedar and Moss, side tables by local furniture-maker Christopher Naefke, and chic Thonet chairs. A bi-level lobby contains one-of-a-kind pieces, vintage chrome, leather Deco-style jazz club chairs, locally sourced ash wood, and a rose-tinted mirror with hand-painted silk fibers. Outside, sun and shade seekers circle the retro-flared Pool House and Bar with après-sun cocktails (think jalapeño margarita slushes) and an on-trend neon pink sign of the hotel’s signature waving hands that’s just begging to be Instagrammed. 3421 Cleveland Avenue, Santa Rosa
Nestled off the beaten coastal path between Santa Barbara and Monterey, the 27-room roadside hotel (also from the folks at Sparrows Lodge) features sun-bleached wood floors, artwork from local surf and motorcycle shop Iron and Resin, and white-lined bathrooms with turquoise-painted cement floors. For communal gatherings, the lobby’s U-shaped sofa and Fermob chairs grant stellar ocean views (really, there’s not a bad seat in the house, thanks to mirrored walls). In the morning, breakfast affords stunning views of Moonstone Beach and nights are for Dylan songs and a game of chess. 6180 Moonstone Beach Drive