Looking for the best and unique hotels in California? You’re in the right place!
There’s an endless list of unique hotels in California – but with so many options to choose from, which one would be the best for you?
I have been working in the Hotel industry for ages and I have become a hotel freak, as I love searching for the most unique places and even if I don’t stay there, I love to visit them.
So I have done an accurate search of the most unique hotels in California that I will want to visit and eventually stay in a few. I hope this list is helpful to you as well when it comes to picking the next place to stay in California.
Most Unique Hotels in California
Starting with one of the most unique hotels in southern California, The Castle House Estate is located close to Landers in Joshua Tree and offers a variety of lodging options.
With a rich cultural history, surreal geological features, and mesmerizingly dark night skies, the surroundings of the property are equally as unique and serene, so be prepared for an unforgettable stay.
The estate offers everything from tents and three-bedroom bungalows with comfy and modern facilities.
You can also stay in the unique Guard Tower or Container Home located on this property for an even more memorable experience.
All these lodgings feature large double beds and can accommodate couples, families, and groups of up to 8 people depending on the unit you choose.
Other amenities of The Castle House Estate include WiFi connectivity, an outdoor pool, and free private parking.
Along with being one of the most unique, your stay here will also be luxurious because the hosts are praised very highly for their friendliness.
Room service is provided to the guests and they will also arrange things to do like movie nights for you if you want.
AutoCamp Yosemite is another one of the most unique hotels in California, combining the joy of camping with high-end luxuries and making for an exceptional getaway to spend time away from the buzz of daily life.
Located on tranquil forested grounds at the foothills of Sierra Nevada in Midpines, right off Central Yosemite Hwy, this incredible hotel has everything you will need plus a lot more in the way of amenities and extraordinary service.
The accommodations at this hotel are provided in upscale aluminum Airstream trailers, with interiors featuring mid-century modern designs and amenities including flat-screen TVs, kitchenettes, dining areas, decks, and spa-style bathrooms.
The hotel also features a bar. Breakfast, WiFi, and private parking are provided complimentary to the guests here.
You have access to a clubhouse, a heated outdoor pool, and a freshwater pond that is on the property.
Mountain bikes are available as well if you want to borrow one and nearby outdoor activities offered here include hiking, cycling, and even skiing.
Yosemite National Park is also just 25 miles from the hotel.
Located on a hillside near the stunning Pacific Coastline of Big Sur, Alila Ventana is a gorgeous adults-only resort providing a luxury stay with breathtaking scenery all around it.
The property spans 160 acres and features secluded accommodation options ranging from cottages and king rooms to suites and villas.
All the units feature modern comforts like flat-screen TVs, minibars, and balconies with views.
Suites have additional amenities like hot tubs or fireplaces, while villas come with extra bedrooms and living areas.
The interiors of the hotel are impeccably neat and chic, and it features two outdoor pools, an onsite restaurant serving delicious American cuisine throughout the day, and a terrace bar overlooking the ocean.
A spa and gym are also part of Alila Ventana. Wireless internet is accessible throughout.
Activities like free yoga classes, guided walks to explore the picturesque surroundings, wine tastings, and access to the onsite gallery are all part of your stay as well.
Next up on my list of the most unique hotels in California is the Korakia Pensione, a vintage villa dating back to 1924.
It’s now restored into one of the most romantic and unique places to stay in southern California.
The hotel is located in downtown Palm Springs.
The rustic chic rooms and suites of Korakia Pensione feature Moroccan and Mediterranean decors along with antique furnishings and modern facilities.
The outdoor pool of the hotel has a lounging area beside it where you can also get relaxing massages and treatments. Meditation and yoga classes are offered on weekends.
Daily coffee delivery service, complimentary breakfast in the hotel’s courtyard, movie nights, and afternoon tea service make your stay even more special.
Private parking is provided free of charge and free bicycles are available for the guests to explore nearby attractions, restaurants, and shops.
With its excellent staff that goes above and beyond in making your stay unforgettable, Korakia Pensione is definitely one of the top-themed hotels in California and perfect for a memorable stay if you’re a fan of old-timey vibes.
Geneseo Inn is a 5-star property in Cass Winery, in a secluded part of Paso Robles that is popular for hiking and cycling.
This is also one of the unique hotels in California, with many vineyards and the downtown close to it.
There are a total of 8 upscale rooms in this hotel, each one very elegant and spacious, and named after a song (which will be playing in it when you arrive).
Along with luxury interiors and furnishings, these rooms feature comforts like air-conditioning, minibars, balconies, and private baths.
A garden is part of the property and secure parking for the guests is available here as well.
Daily breakfast is also offered at Geneseo Inn, with continental, American, and vegetarian options.
Free Wi-Fi internet access is available for all the guests, and the hotel also has a bike rental service.
The staff here is friendly and welcoming as well, and they go the extra mile in accommodating all your requests and making sure you feel at home.
Just a short walk from downtown San Luis, Madonna Inn is a unique and one-of-a-kind place.
It features a pink exterior and a design very similar to fantasy houses, making it one of the most unusual hotels in California.
The rooms and suites of Madonna Inn are just as unique in their design, each one featuring fantastic decor and custom furnishings.
Comforts like flat-screen TVs, coffee makers, and WiFi internet are available in all of them.
Guests at the Madonna Inn have access to a gym, tennis, and basketball courts, and a spa with various beauty and wellness treatments for a fee.
A heated infinity pool and two hot tubs are also part of the property along with a waterfall.
The onsite steakhouse is open for dinner, and you can enjoy drinks at the hilltop terrace bar and the hotel’s cocktail lounge.
Plus, the bakery and pastry shop on site is a cherry on top of the fantasy theme of this hotel.
Activities like hiking and biking are offered by the hotel, and the staff is really nice and friendly as well.
With its unique rooms, deluxe amenities, and top-notch service, a stay at Madonna Inn will feel like living a fairytale.
Abracadabra Dome is located just a short distance from the Castle House Estate that I mentioned earlier in this post.
With an exterior design similar to sci-fi structures, it’s one of the coolest hotels in southern California.
As you’d expect from such a hotel, the interiors of the Dome are just as elegant and tasteful as the exterior.
It’s pretty spacious and features a bedroom and a living room along with a kitchen and dining area.
WiFi works throughout Abracadabra Dome, and an outdoor seating area, sundeck, and a private pool are also part of your stay at the Abracadabra Dome.
Loungers are available at the property as well if you feel like just kicking back and marveling at the starry desert sky.
The place is also within driving distance of attractions like The Integration and Hi-Desert Nature Museum.
So, if you’re looking for a uniquely unforgettable stay in the quiet desert surroundings of Landers, you can rent this entire place to yourself for it – it’s definitely worth it.
Located in the scenic coastal city of San Diego, Humphreys Half Moon Inn is a unique lodging option overlooking its marina.
It’s nestled close to the San Diego International Airport and close to some of the city’s top attractions.
This exquisite waterfront hotel offers rooms and suites ideal for solo explorers, couples, families, and groups alike.
All the accommodation options are spacious and feature comfy beds, modern facilities, and incredible views.
The onsite restaurant at Humphreys Half Moon Inn serves delicious food complemented with stunning views of the San Diego Bay throughout the day.
An outdoor pool and poolside bar are also on the property.
A 24-hour reception and tour desk are always there to help you with anything you might need, private parking is provided, and the hotel also lends bikes if you want to go explore the nearby places or just take a ride around Shelter Island.
Just a few hours north along the same Pacific Coast is the Venice Beach House located in Los Angeles.
This green and gorgeous hotel is perfect for an oceanfront stay with the glamorous beaches of LA right outside your doorstep.
It’s a pocket-friendly B&B with a variety of room options, all of them complete with flat-screen TVs, WiFi, balconies or terraces, and some also have private bathrooms.
The rooms are spacious and clean. Continental breakfast is served daily. Business facilities are also available.
Plus, The Venice Beach House also has a lovely garden and overall the hotel is very charming.
You have access to free private parking on-site, daily maid service is provided in every room, and the staff is always ready to help you with anything you need.
Situated in the heart of the charming Yosemite Valley, The Ahwahnee is a landmark hotel with its origins going back to 1927.
This historic place is not only unique in its design, but also in its breathtaking location overlooking Half Dome, Glacier Point, and Yosemite Falls.
The rooms are all designed in warm colors and furnished tastefully, making them very cozy and luxurious.
TVs and free WiFi are available in every one of them, while some have balconies with views of the valley. Suites are also available here, and room service is provided.
The reason it’s one of the most interesting hotels in California is its elegant spaces and exclusive vibes.
The hotel has a beamed-ceiling dining room, stone fireplaces, stained glass windows, and grandiose sitting rooms.
An outdoor pool as well as a solarium are also on the property. Activities like hiking and fishing in the picturesque surrounding area are provided by the hotel, and so is a daily afternoon tea service.
But this unique hotel in California is even grander in its design and offers tons of deluxe amenities.
The sleek interiors of the hotel rooms combine elegant decor with Mexican elements.
Each one is really spacious and features huge TVs, in-room refrigerators, sitting areas, and en suite bathrooms.
Many of the rooms also have balconies or patios, and suites include separate living rooms.
Complimentary WiFi works throughout the hotel, and The Saguaro Palm Springs has its own outdoor pool, hot tubs, and sundeck.
One of the hotel restaurants serves mouthwatering local dishes, while the other specializes in traditional Mexican cuisine.
A spa and gym are also part of the hotel, and bike rentals are also available for the guests here.
This is a great option in Palm Springs for any kind of traveler with a fancy for cool hotels in southern California.
Hotel Joaquin is a renovated motel lodge that now ranks top on the list of unique Southern California hotels because of its elegance and character.
The place is located just by the coast in charming Laguna Beach and offers well-appointed rooms complete with modern facilities like coffee machines, WiFi, seating areas, and private baths. Some also have ocean-view balconies.
The hotel is adults-only so privacy and comfort are guaranteed. Additionally, it offers conveniences like free private parking, concierge service, and a 24-hour front desk.
The onsite restaurant has American cuisine on the menu and a full breakfast is offered complimentary to all the guests.
An outdoor pool and garden are also on the property. Plus, attractions like Heisler Park, Laguna Art Museum, and Main Beach Park are nearby as well.
Another unique and gorgeous LA hotel situated in the heart of the city, Silver Lake Pool & Inn is a 4-star hotel where you can enjoy a serene and luxurious stay in LA with all its artsy attractions nearby.
The rooms are newly renovated, elegant, and very spacious. Complimentary Wi-Fi, coffee machines, and flat-screen TVs are available in each one.
Room service is provided as well, and the hotel has a round-the-clock front desk.
The Italian restaurant of Silver Lake Pool & Inn has a terrace and offers vegan and gluten-free options as well. A bar, pool, and garden are also on the premises.
You can use the private parking for a small fee, and free bikes to explore around are available.
The location is excellent as well. Lively bars and cafes are all around the hotel, and you can conveniently explore all the major attractions nearby from here including the LA Downtown, Griffith Observatory, and Echo Park Lake.
Four Seasons Hotel is a gem in the middle of downtown San Francisco, with the marina and South Beach just a few steps from it.
Located in the top 11 floors of a 48-story skyscraper, the place guarantees stunning views along with unparalleled amenities.
With superior rooms combining tasteful designs and modern facilities, you will have all the amenities of a comfy stay available, including ACs, WiFi, flat-screen TVs, and iPod docks.
Views of the dazzling San Francisco city are great from every room of the hotel. Additional indulgences like in-room massage service and dining are provided here as well.
The concierge service of the hotel is pretty popular for organizing incredible experiences, so you can take full advantage of it and explore the charm of San Francisco to the max during your stay here.
With its elegant design, breathtaking views, unbeatable location, and friendly staff, Four Seasons is definitely a top name among unique hotels in northern California.
One more unique Airstream stay on my list of unique hotels in California, this AutoCamp is located in the thriving nature of Guerneville, right beside the Guernewood Park and Russian River.
Just like the AutoCamp in Yosemite, all the same AutoCamp amenities such as TVs, refrigerators, microwave ovens, dining areas, and patios are available in each trailer here as well.
The luxury tents also have similar facilities, but they come with shared showers and bathrooms in the clubhouse. Free WiFi also works throughout, and private parking is offered here free of cost.
All the units also have private BBQ facilities. A snack bar, lounge, firepit, and game room are part of the shared clubhouse on the property as well.
Along with the river and other natural attractions of the region, the downtown of Guerneville is less than a mile from the property, so you get the best of both worlds from its stunning location.
Timber Cove Resort is one of the coolest hotels in northern California located on a cliff right off the Pacific Coast and offers a unique stay featuring luxury amenities and breathtaking views of the ocean.
Each of the rooms and suites features a unique design and has free WiFi, coffee machines, and iPod docks. Some of them also have fireplaces or balconies.
There’s an onsite restaurant serving seasonal dishes. Seafood is a specialty along with local wines and an oceanfront dining area.
The gym here also offers similar ocean views, and you can enjoy them from the private decks of your lodgings.
Parking is free and the place also has business and event spaces available.
The location is really nice too, and your experience becomes even more memorable with the Fort Ross State Historic Park just minutes from the place.
Hi-Desert Fade is a unique holiday home near Pioneertown in southern California that you can rent all to yourself and enjoy a one-of-a-kind stay surrounded by the boulders of the San Bernardino High Desert.
This two-bedroom apartment is extremely elegant in its design and features extra-large double beds, air-conditioning, a fully-equipped kitchen, and all the other facilities for a cozy stay.
A patio with grilling facilities is also onsite along with a private outdoor pool and cold tub. Free private parking is provided here for the guests as well.
Overall, it’s a really good choice for a secluded stay in the charming High Desert with all the comforts you can want and a unique location that you won’t find anywhere else.
A stay in one of the most glamorous places in the world is already pretty unique, but The Beverly Hills Hotel makes it doubly so with its excellent location on Sunset Boulevard, luxury amenities, and a design that stands out.
The place was built back in the 1920s and it still has the same vintage charm.
But rest assured, you will find every modern facility in this hotel as well, including high-speed internet, flat-screen TVs, and minibars.
An onsite restaurant, outdoor cafe, and a ‘50s-style coffee room are also part of the hotel.
The place also has a gorgeous outdoor pool and a full-service spa to enhance the luxury of your stay.
The pool has underwater music playing, there’s a lounging area beside it with cabanas and waiting service.
The gym here has a similar service, offering free fruits and drinks to complement your workouts.
A huge, 12-acre garden adds to the charm of the hotel. A shuttle service to the city and its charming cafes, restaurants, and shops is provided complimentary.
If you’re looking for a laidback vibe combined with unique accommodations and luxury amenities, Rancho Bernardo Inn is a great choice for it.
Located just a short drive from San Diego, this Spanish-style hotel is surrounded by spectacular landscaping and has a championship golf course nearby.
The rooms and suites here all have cozy, bright interiors, tasteful furnishings, and original artwork.
Air-conditioning, WiFi, TVs, and soaking tubs in the en suite bathrooms are part of every unit. Some also have balconies or patios.
The two onsite restaurants have American and Mediterranean cuisines on their menu, with vegan and gluten-free options available.
You will also love the outdoor pool with cabanas as well as the terrace bar.
The Queen Mary is a name that stands out on the list of unusual California hotels. Why? Because it’s on a ship moored along Long Beach.
What’s more, the entire hotel has a vintage transatlantic theme, so you will experience what an ocean voyage was like back in the day.
It has a variety of rooms and suites on offer, each one unique and elegant.
Facilities like air-conditioning and flat-screen TVs are available in them. A seafood restaurant and bar are also on the ship.
You can take guided walking tours as well, offered by the hotel for a deeper glimpse into its history. So The Queen Mary isn’t just a hotel, it’s a place to explore a bygone era.
In short, if you’re looking for a unique hotel in California, this former ocean liner is just perfect for it with its excellent amenities and wonderful staff. It’s a one-of-a-kind place for a stay.
Located close to The Castle House Estate and the Abracadabra Dome, but in a secluded spot is the Trails End Modern holiday home.
The place has a similar setting to Hi-Desert Fade among the unique boulders of the High Desert.
The holiday home is fully furnished, comfy facilities are available throughout the spaces, WiFi is also provided free of cost here, and parking is complimentary as well.
The spaces include 2 bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, and a furnished patio.
The facilities here are very modern and go hand in hand with its elegant design. You will have everything from air-conditioning and TV to a private pool and sundeck.
Located in the tranquil and rustic chic city of Ojai, The Capri Hotel is great for a relaxed stay in a boutique-like hotel. Amenities are aplenty here, and the location and atmosphere are just perfect as well.
The accommodations at Capri Hotel are all air-conditioned and fitted with conveniences like coffee makers and work desks.
The outdoor pool is surrounded by pretty cabanas where you can swim and relax.
The interiors have a warm, cozy vibe that makes you feel at home. The staff is really nice here as well. WiFi throughout the hotel and private parking are free for the guests.
Although The Capri Hotel offers a serene and peaceful stay, many shops, restaurants, and cafes are also within walking distance from it.
Located in the stunning San Francisco Bay city of Berkeley, with the region’s lush parks and preserves as its backdrop, The Claremont Club & Spa is one of the best options if you’re looking for unique places to stay in northern California.
Just like the hotel itself, all the rooms of The Claremont are unique and individually designed.
You will find a different decor in each, but five-star amenities like air-conditioning, minibars, and spa-grade toiletries are common in all of them.
Onsite dining options include the hotel’s signature Limewood restaurant and bar serving mouthwatering dishes along with an extensive selection of wines, as well as another onsite restaurant offering French and American cuisine.
Parking and WiFi are provided free of cost. Additionally, a world-class spa, fitness center, two heated pools, multiple tennis courts, and a kids’ pool are all part of the amenities here.
You can choose from a variety of room options here that are air-conditioned and complete with all the amenities of a luxury stay.
A cable TV, a refrigerator, a coffee machine, and a desk are provided in each one, and private balconies are part of some.
The place also has two restaurants for American and Mediterranean dining, an infinity pool with views of the ocean, and a full-service spa with a steam room and salon.
Every guest highly praises both the facilities and friendly staff of Hotel Californian, many of the city’s top beaches and restaurants are nearby, and a complimentary shuttle service is provided to the guests here.
The Bardessono is a great place to stay in the heart of Napa Valley.
The place is located very close to the Napa Valley Museum and a beautiful winery in Yountville and offers a variety of amenities to make your experience here even better.
Along with luxury amenities like a rooftop pool, full-service spa, and onsite restaurant and bar, Bardessono Hotel and Spa has guest rooms and suites featuring flat-screen TVs, free WiFi, and spa-style private bathrooms.
You can also participate in wine tastings on Fridays and take morning yoga classes offered by the hotel every Saturday. Free bikes are available as well if you want to go out and explore.
Extremely unique in both its design and atmosphere, the Gingerbread Mansion is another one-of-a-kind place to stay in California that gives you a taste of the past. It’s located in Ferndale, less than a couple miles from the coast.
The mansion offers Victorian-inspired guest rooms with seating areas, en suite baths, and modern facilities. Room service is also provided, so you can expect a cozy yet luxurious stay here.
Gingerbread Mansion’s complimentary breakfast consists of delicacies like waffles, sausage quiche, and stuffed French toast. The free afternoon tea also comes with pastries and hors d’oeuvres.
WiFi, free parking, and concierge service are also available here. So, if you’re looking to stay in unique hotels in northern California, you can’t go wrong with the Gingerbread Mansion.
For those of you seeking a unique yet budget stay, Featherbed Railroad is an adults-only bed & breakfast offering railway-themed lodgings along with amenities like AC, free wireless internet, and a seasonal pool.
All of the rooms are inside railcars, and one is an apartment themed as the main station.
The decor in them ranges from Wild West and Wine Country to Casablanca and Midnight in Paris in themes.
Each features a queen bed, flat-screen TV, and private bath.
Breakfast is included with your stay, and so is secure parking onsite. What’s more, Featherbed Railroad B&B Resort is nestled just beside Clear Lake, which means mesmerizing views during your entire stay.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Average Cost of a Hotel Room in California?
There are tons of hotels in California, ranging from budget B&Bs to high-end hotels and luxury resorts, so the prices vary a lot – and there’s even more variation depending on things like the neighborhood, amenities, and time of year.
For an average estimate for a per-night stay in a 3-star California hotel with good amenities and value for money, you can expect to spend somewhere between $180-220.
But it goes without saying that there are hotels that offer rooms for much cheaper, and also places with prices way higher.
What Month are the Hotels Cheapest in California?
Usually, the lowest hotel rates in California are during the off-peak months of mid-September through October and April to May.
These are transition months between the dry and wet seasons, so you can expect cheaper rates on accommodations during them.
Also, as I said earlier, the prices also vary depending on the time of your booking.
In most cases, if you book at least a couple of weeks in advance, you will get a better price compared to when you book just a few days earlier, so that’s something worth keeping in mind.
What is the Nicest Part of California?
That really depends on your preferences. For the majority of people who visit here, Los Angeles is the go-to California city.
It’s one of the liveliest destinations in the United States, brimming with culture, art, theaters, and beaches and offering upscale hotels, luxury shopping, and a vibrant nightlife.
But, for those who don’t like crowds and noise or urban destinations, there are plenty of laidback places in California as well, each one unique and charming.
Is California Cheap or Expensive?
California can be both cheap and expensive based on the place you choose to stay, the activities and attractions on your to-do list, and the time of year.
If you plan in your itinerary everything pocket-friendly, you can do a budget trip, or you can choose to go all out on the luxuries if your budget allows.
However, California is generally a bit more expensive when it comes to vacation destinations around the world.
And since it’s a gorgeous and diverse region offering a variety of experiences, the costs are definitely worth it.
Why are Hotels in California so Expensive?
California is one of the most popular destinations in not only the US but around the globe as well.
Millions of tourists visit here every year; and with so much tourism, it’s no wonder prices for hotels, restaurants, and tourist activities are higher here.
What Part of Los Angeles is Best to Vacation?
Los Angeles is a sprawling and diverse city with many different areas to explore – each offering a unique experience.
Downtown, with its theaters and museums as well as artistic and cultural attractions, is definitely on top of the list. It’s the beating heart of Los Angeles where you will find some of the best hotels, restaurants, and shopping.
Then there’s the Hollywood neighborhood, with its world-famous Hollywood sign.
It’s definitely a must-visit area and it also serves as a great base to explore the rest of the city.
Beverly Hills is popular for its high-end hotels and luxury shopping, especially in its Rodeo Drive boutiques.
This area is perfect for you if you want to experience the high life of LA and do lots of upscale shopping.
For the beach lovers out there, Santa Monica is just perfect with its beaches and ocean.
Though it’s technically a separate city from LA, it’s still considered a part of it by locals.
Venice Beach and the Santa Monica Pier are two of the top attractions here.
Long Beach offers a coastal experience as well, but more laidback.
Similarly, there are tons of other exciting parts of Los Angeles like Malibu, Pasadena, and West Hollywood.
So, in the end, the best choice for you boils down to what you like and your budget.
Final Thoughts: Unique Hotels in California
Alright, so that’s all for the most unique hotels in California. I have covered 27 of them in this post, but each place is charming in its own way and simply unlike any other.
As for the amenities and service, you will have a comfy stay no matter which one you choose.
So, hopefully, you found the perfect hotel for your next one-of-a-kind stay in California. Just make sure to book a little bit in advance and get ready for an unforgettable experience. Have a wonderful vacation!
Before You Go…
Here are some useful posts that you might be interested in:
- The Top 16 California Glamping Spots
- 5 Unmissable Things to Do in Monterey California This Year
- 37 Fun Things to Do in Orange County California
- The 17 Best Places to Visit in California in December for Solo Female Travelers 
- 30 Awesome Warm Places to Visit in December in the USA for an Incredible Winter Escape in 2023
About the Author, Founder & Editor
Hello there! This is Isabella, the author of this blog, and a cat lover and restless traveler. I am an Italian expatriate in Mexico, but I am now traveling full-time in and out of Mexico. After 7 years of living in Cancun, I have decided to leave my fancy job and explore the world, at a slow pace, one country at a time. Among my favorite countries so far, besides Mexico of course, are Ecuador, Peru, Guatemala, Ireland, Portugal, Norway, and the list goes on…