At this "isolated, private paradise" near the Santa Cruz Mountains, bungalows, service, and design earned perfect scores. The California-Craftsman resort has rooms with "beautiful, woodsy decor," including fireplaces, leather chairs, Frette linens, and whirlpool tubs. Bungalows and villas on a hillside have private gardens or vineyard views. Play a round on the "tremendous golf course" before enjoying some new Italian cuisine at Il Vigneto. One Iron Bar has panoramas of the golf course, two fireplaces (one indoor, one outdoor), and a list of martinis. "I felt like I was at a country club, but with nicer people." Perfect-scoring staff make your stay "a real treat."
No. of Units: 332 Best Room: Bungalows on the western edge of the peninsula (on Via Capri and on Via Dome) look across the golf course to the ocean.
This Orange County resort with its "stunning scenery" and Palladian architecture is "near perfection for golfers, spa-goers, and foodies." "The over-the-top villas have all the amenities you can imagine," Italian-limestone fireplaces, travertine flooring, wood-beam ceilings, and "truly striking vistas." Play the South Course, one of two golf courses designed by Tom Fazio, and take in oceanview holes. "The most attentive and pleasantly discreet staff you can imagine, without the stuffy arrogance." The Tuscan Andrea restaurant has a pasta room where the humidity is stringently controlled—it’s "like the best Italian restaurant in Italy—only located in the U.S." Explore Newport Beach and its environs with complimentary transportation by the resort’s Cadillac Escalades. A full-service barber shop was added to the spa in 2011.