For those looking for a luxury beach getaway, the coastal city of Carlsbad, right outside of San Diego, can provide exactly what you need. From upscale restaurants to opulent boutique hotels to world-class spas, this city has much to offer the traveler who wants to experience the finer things in life as well as local culture. To help you plan your trip, here is your luxury itinerary for Carlsbad, California.
A luxury boutique hotel, West Inn & Suites provides “Casa Blanca meets Cape Cod”-style rooms and suites as well as opulent amenities like AVEDA bath products, Egyptian cotton linens, a nightly wine social hour, free shuttle service within five miles of the hotel, an expansive DVD library, fitness center, heated pool and jacuzzi. Staff cater to the needs to guests, providing personalized, attentive service that goes above the norm of average accommodations. Moreover, it’s central location makes it accessible to Carlsbad’s major attractions and offerings.
Bonus: For those who can’t bear to leave their furry friends at home, the property is extremely pet-friendly. Some ways they cater to those traveling with animals include having each pet’s name on the chalk board at check-in to welcome them, an onsite dog park and a pet-friendly dining patio at Bistro West. Additionally, each pet receives a bed, special treat and bowls in their room for their stay.
Owned by West Inn and Suites, West Steak and Seafood is an upscale restaurant and bar with a farm-to-table focus. Much of the restaurant’s ingredients are sourced from their three-acre organic farm, while everything from their sauces to their pastas are made by hand. Additionally, they’re known for their top quality and hard-to-find steak selection. Sample dishes like “Uni Tagliolini Caviar,” an appetizer featuring housemade pasta drenched in sea urchin butter, topped with caviar and served in an actual sea urchin; braised pork belly, scallops and shrimp served with fontina cheese polenta, rapini, pea shoots and smoked tomato sauce; and grass-fed free-range cut bison filet mignon.
Guests can also enjoy unique stem-to-stem cocktails made using garden herbs. The most innovative instance of this is their two new flavor-changing cocktails, the “Mango Chameleon” and “Raspberry Chameleon.” While the mango cocktail features citrus vodka, triple sec, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, mint from the West Organic Garden and a frozen mango purée and Malibu rum flavor changer, the “Raspberry Chameleon” brings together citrus vodka, triple sec, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, orange juice, basil from the West Organic Garden and a frozen raspberry purée and Chambord flavor changer. As the flavor changer — an ice cube frozen with fresh fruit and spirits — melts with the stirring of the drink, the flavor and color of the cocktail become more intense.
Located in the Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort and Spa, Chandler’s features coastal cuisine, handcrafted cocktails and local craft beer and wine that can be enjoyed while staring out at the Pacific Ocean. The restaurant has a social vibe, with a communal table and outdoor patio seating around cozy firepits as well as more intimate booths and tables, with pristine wood furnishings, dim lighting and floor-to-ceiling windows for water views.
Some menu highlights include an appetizer of herb-crusted baked artichoke with brie, tomato, whole grain mustard beurre blanc; a “Napa Stone-Baked Pizza” with goat cheese, grapes, shaved apples, pearl tomatoes and prosciutto; and a pretzel-fried skinless chicken breast served with buttermilk mashed potato and a flavorful mushroom sauce. And because Chandler’s philosophy is to tailor each experience to guest’s desires, you can enjoy everything from structured wine tastings in their wine vault to cognac and cigar pairings. Note: Oenophiles will particularly love Tuesday nights at Chandler’s when wines are half price.
While Carlsbad is known for its many relaxing and rejuvenating spas, Ocean Crest Spa is one of Carlsbad’s most luxurious. As soon as you walk through the spa’s doors you are instantly transported to a tranquil ocean, with hues of light blue and sand brown, wavy textures, sea creature-inspired decorative accents and ocean art. Majority of their treatments focus on locally-sourced fruits and plants, like avocados, California Wild Rose and orange blossoms. That being said, their Ocean Journeys will not only transport you to a relaxing beach getaway, but also incorporate pure all-natural Patagonian seaweed into the treatments. For example, their “Motion in the Ocean – A Renergizing Journey” is done to a background soundtrack of waves, as the skin is nourished with an undaria algae. Additionally, the long strokes and cradling of a Lomi Lomi massage will make you feel like you’re gently rocking in the waves.
Do: To enhance your stay, Carlsbad is full of worthwhile activities no matter what you’re interested in doing. For those looking to enjoy the outdoors, head to the beach and swim, surf or just relax and look for dolphins, whales and sea lions. There’s also Batiquitos Lagoon, one of the few remaining tidal wetlands on the Southern California coast. Here you can enjoy various hiking trails, trying to spot 185 bird species and taking in unique wetlands flora. And at The Flower Fields, visitors can explore 50 acres of roses, orchids, sweet peas, poinsettias and myriad other vibrant flowers and unique plants through gardens, mazes, antique tractor rides and events.
In Carlsbad Village, there are many opportunities for boutique shopping, art gallery hopping, visiting the city’s many breweries and sampling local cuisine. If you have a sweet tooth, don’t miss The Chocolate Bar, which sells artisanal chocolates (1/3 of which are made on the premises), budget-friendly wines and decadent desserts.
And for some history, Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park was once a working ranchero owned by actor Leo Carrillo. Visitors can come here to explore beautiful historic adobe buildings and antique windmills as well as enjoy the lush flora, peacocks and Birds of Paradise on the grounds.