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Shore Things: Where You'll Want to Get Married in California
By Nadine Jolie Courtney | Photo: Fairmont photo by Julie Miko | Casa del Mar photo by André Maier Photography | December 9, 2016
Sweeping ocean views, crashing waves, natural lighting—when you’ve got a set designer like Mother Nature, all the extra details are icing on the cake. Deep-dive into eight five-star venues around the state with showstopping water views designed to delight.
Fairmont San Francisco
950 Mason St., San Francisco, 415.772.5000
about The venue boasts panoramic views of both San Francisco and the Bay, not to mention a noteworthy history. It survived the 1906 earthquake and opened the following year as the original Fairmont hotel, making this grand dame a landmark in the truest sense of the word.
stats & standouts With several spaces available for wedding rentals (including the breathtaking Crown Room), the most jaw-dropping is the 6,000-square-foot Penthouse Suite, which takes up the entire top floor of the hotel, has a terrace featuring stunning views of the city and bay, and can accommodate up to 60 for a seated dinner or a reception for 150 guests.
packages The Penthouse Suite costs $18,000 per night.
nearby attractions Located in Nob Hill, the Fairmont is a short walk to the Embarcadero and close to the Painted Ladies and Lombard Street.
Half Moon Bay 1 Miramontes Point Road, Half Moon Bay, 650.712.7000
about Only 20 miles from San Francisco on a jagged cliff overlooking the bay, The Ritz-Carlton, Half-Moon Bay features a 16,000-square-foot spa and a 36-hole championship golf course.
stats & standouts The 5,000-square-foot Ocean Lawn holds up to 350 for a ceremony, with up to 400 for a reception at The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom. The North Bluff accommodates 60 for a reception.
packages The Ocean Lawn starts at $6,000 with a $55,000 food and beverage minimum in the Ballroom; North Bluff has a $4,000 ceremony fee, with a $15,000 food and beverage minimum.
nearby attractions Beautiful Half Moon Bay is a charming seaside town, while laid-back Santa Cruz is an hour away. Napa and Sonoma Valley are a scenic two-and-half-hour trip north.
8301 Hollister Ave., Goleta, 855.968.0100
about A Mediterranean style resort on 78 acres just outside of Santa Barbara, Bacara’s ample charms include a 42,000-square-foot spa—one of the best
stats & standouts Both the Bluff (up to 300 guests) and the Ocean Lawn (up to 550 guests) boast dramatic vistas and lush landscaping, while The Residence Lawn is ideal for smaller parties of up to 120.
packages Starting at $5,000, packages include chairs, a sound system with two wireless microphones, a dedicated bellman and iced tea and lemonade for your guests.
nearby attractions The resort’s Goleta location makes it an ideal jumping-off point to explore the charming wineries and restaurants of the Santa Ynez Valley.
Belmond El Encanto
800 Alvarado Place, Santa Barbara, 805.845.5800
about Nestled into the foothills of Santa Barbara and surrounded by lush gardens, the 1920s Spanish Revival-style hotel is the area’s only Forbes five-star property.
stats & standouts Host a reception for 44 on the covered Channel Islands Terrace, followed by a banquet for 30 in the Channel Islands Room, which comes with gorgeous ocean and city views.
packages The Channel Islands Room and Terrace rental fee is $500, with a $3,000 food and beverage minimum.
nearby attractions The charming shops, restaurants and wineries of downtown Santa Barbara are mere blocks away, while tony Montecito is also a stone’s throw.
Casa del Mar
1910 Ocean Way, Santa Monica, 310.581.5533
about This Santa Monica beach hotel personifies The Great Gatsby, with a curved double staircase, showstopper chandelier and dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows.
stats & standouts The Colonnade Ballroom, which holds 400 for a ceremony or 300 for a reception, has a beachfront terrace overlooking the Pacific and the beaches of Santa Monica.
packages The grandiose 4,207-square-foot Colonnade Ballroom has a food and beverage minimum of $40,000, with per person costs starting at $260.
nearby attractions The hotel is located steps from the famous Santa Monica Pier’s festive games, restaurants and Ferris wheel, as well as some of L.A.’s best seaside restaurants.
100 Terranea Way, Rancho Palos Verdes, 866.547.3066
about Surrounded by water on three sides, Terranea’s amenities include a 50,000-square-foot spa, a nine-hole golf course, pools with ocean views, surf lessons, and eight restaurants and bars.
stats & standouts Catalina Point offers unobstructed bluffside vistas for up to 220 guests, while Ocean Lawn can accommodate 25 to 80 or 250 to 400. For larger parties, Palos Verdes Meadows hosts up to 900.
packages Wedding packages begin at $200 per person for evenings, and increase if weddings last beyond six hours. Daytime weddings start from $150 per person. Menus are completely customizable.
nearby attractions Catalina Island is just across the channel, while remote Rancho Palos Verdes itself offers hiking, horseback riding and golfing.
Monarch Beach Resort
1 Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, 949.234.3900
about Located in Dana Point, the former The St. Regis Monarch Beach resort features a golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., a private beach, and a Miraval Life in Balance Spa.
stats & standouts The 12,600-square-foot Grand Lawn holds up to 300 guests for a ceremony, while the 400-square-foot Botanical Garden—with a Roman marble gazebo as the focal point—holds 120.
packages Ceremonies on the Grand Lawn start at $9,000 and pair with a reception at the Monarch Ballroom ($65,000 food and beverage minimum on Saturday nights).
nearby attractions Use the resort’s central location in the heart of Orange County as a springboard for boating, dolphin and whale watching, or visiting the Ocean Institute.
Hotel del Coronado
1500 Orange Ave., Coronado, 800.468.3533
about Holding court across the bay from San Diego on the Coronado Island peninsula, the iconic “Del”—with its distinctive red roofs—was the West Coast’s first seaside resort and dates back to 1888.
stats & standouts The oceanfront Windsor Lawn holds up to 400, or get married directly on Del Beach with up to 200 guests. North Beach can accommodate 700.
packages All three venue options start at $210 per guest, but Del Beach and North Beach prohibit confetti, birdseed, rice and floating lanterns.
nearby attractions Take a ferry across the bay to explore San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, or tour the USS Midway maritime museum, America’s longest serving 20th century aircraft carrier.