4 Resorts that Make a Perfect Mini-Moon From Mexico to Santa Barbara

Written by
Carrie Bell


Winter 2018

More couples are choosing to postpone their honeymoon for up to a year after their nuptials. But post-wedding letdown is a real thing, says Los Angeles wedding planner Kristin Banta, “I always advise couples who are waiting a significant time before the honeymoon to take a weekend getaway after their wedding.” Fortunately, California is brimming with quick and indulgent options.

Lay back, exhale and be waited on hand and kicked-up foot at Mexico's The Towers at Pacifica (above), a new hotel-within-a-hotel concept at Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf and Spa Resort in Los Cabos, where all rooms include 24/7, British-trained butler service. Craving breakfast in bed? Done. Want non-stop margaritas delivered to a daybed on the sand? Handled. If having your own personal Jeeves isn’t enough, add in the luxury of suites with either private plunge pools or panoramic views of sky and surf. Plus, you’ll have access to the culinary offerings and specialty cocktails in the oceanfront VIP lounge as well as aromatherapy turndown service and preferred seating at all eight restaurants, including the sushi bar and modern Baja-inspired Peninsula. Oh yeah, and you’re also at the beach in Mexico…with your bae in board shorts.

Photograph courtesy of Rancho Valencia. Tranquil moments await at the Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa in Rancho Santa Fe

Luxury lovers and Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa are a perfect match. Located 30 minutes north of San Diego in the exclusive Rancho Santa Fe neighborhood, this 45-acre Relais and Châteaux property is a secret hideaway nestled among rolling hills, with winding trails, tennis courts and a top-notch spa that will erase any sign of stress. Hacienda-style casitas, dotted throughout the property, are so well-appointed that guests never want to check out. Picture sunken living rooms with rustic furniture, immense “smart” bathrooms and private garden patios—some with fireplaces and hot tubs. “Nama-stay” in vacation mode with a class at the yoga pavilion, or borrow one of the complimentary Porsches to spend the day exploring nearby La Jolla. Better yet, soak up the sun at the adults-only pool, where the newly opened foodie oasis Rein offers coastal bites, such as a lobster cobb salad, and delicious cocktails.

Photograph courtesy of Ritz-Carlton. Majestic mountain views at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe

Find fun no matter the season at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, a deluxe mountain chalet situated midway up the mountain at Northstar California ski resort. Perks include a direct gondola to the superb ski park’s village, ski-in and ski-out privileges, on-site equipment rentals and slope-side storage. End the evening at one of the many fireplace pits where the resident “marshmologist” whips up unique marshmallow flavors, such as maple bacon and red wine. Fall brings changing colors and miles of hiking and biking trails as well as the Autumn Food and Wine Festival. The newly opened Lake Club on Tahoe’s north shore offers bar and dining options and a lawn for lounging. The staff facilitates boat trips, fishing excursions and the use of wave runners, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and more.

Santa Barbara, a lush coastal town known as "America's Riveria," is a perfect getaway whether you love food, wine, shopping, beaches or all of the above. Check into the luxurious Belmond El Encanto situated high in the Santa Barbara hills offering commanding views of the city and vast ocean. Boasting seven acres of garden-like setting, the architecture embraces the best of California's with a charming fusion of Spanish Colonial bungalows and craftsman buildings with modern splashes. Grab a drink or a bite to eat in the main building's lounge or terrace restaurant with its forever views or lounge poolside at the serene pool overlooking the valley below. Upgrade your stay by checking into the immense Magnolia bungalow, a homey suite featuring a sitting area with fireplace, dining room, kitchen, marble bathrooms with deep soaking tubs, and a private patio. Complimentary shuttles will provide a lift into town whether you crave a shopping spree or dinner out. Favorite destinations include the Funk Zone which boasts wineries, breweries, and local artisan shops  and the pier.