What are the best hotels in Monterey, Carmel & Big Sur?

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Whether you're a golfer, honeymooner or oenophile, you'll find your niche in Monterey, Carmel & Big Sur — and where there's a golf course, romantic vista or vineyard, there's a stunning hotel to accompany it. California's Central Coast boast some world-class resorts along its beautiful stretch of rugged cliffs and inland to its very own wine region. If you're one for golf, head to Pebble Beach Resorts where you'll find three Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotels. The Lodge at Pebble Beach offers a relaxed yet elegant setting perched above the ocean, while The Inn at Spanish Bay combines the best of both worlds: ocean and forest. And for an intimate stay, book a room at Casa Palmero, Pebble Beach's Mediterranean-style estate. All of the luxury hotels offer easy access to the world-famous golf courses, great restaurants and a Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star spa. On the other side of the Monterey Peninsula sits Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa. The beautiful Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel is right on Cannery Row, overlooking Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Be sure to take advantage of Vista Blue Spa, which is perched on the top floor of the hotel with stunning views of the bay.

Nearby Carmel offers a few great hotels, as well. Check in to Cypress Inn for a home-away-from-home experience. The historic hotel exudes romance with its Mediterranean style. Just down the street from Cypress Inn, you'll find another charmer. L'Auberge Carmel is a 20-room boutique hotel that sports elegant furnishings and luxurious amenities. Also in the seaside town is Tradewinds Carmel, which dons an exotic design scheme that's unique among Carmel hotels.

If wine is what you're after, look no further than Bernardus Lodge in the idyllic Carmel Valley. The Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel is surrounded by vineyards and features a fantastic restaurant, Marinus, as well as a blissful spa. But we have to admit that the best coastal views can be found at Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur. The cliff-top Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel is designed to blend in with the Santa Lucia Mountains — picture luxurious tree houses. Don't miss a meal at the Four-Star Sierra Mar Restaurant or a treatment in the exclusive Post Ranch Spa.

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