California: SoCal hotels earn Forbes five-star status...

The pool of Montage Laguna Beach, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger

If you made a bucket list of the most luxurious hotels and spas to visit in Southern California, the five-star winners of the 2013 Forbes Travel Awards (formerly Mobil) would be a good place to start.

The awards for outstanding service and excellence announced Monday this year gave Montage Laguna Beach, its restaurant Studio and its Spa Montage five-star status in an across-the-board sweep. The Craftsman-style hotel with 248 rooms sits on 30 acres atop a bluff overlooking the ocean. Grand Del Mar in San Diego also was honored with a trio of five-star ratings for its hotel, the Addison restaurant and the Spa at Grand del Mar.

Newcomers to the five-star category also include Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles and its Spa by La Prairie, and the Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Coast, whose spa earlier had earned the top rating. In the restaurant category, Chef Josiah Citrin’s Melisse in Santa Monica joined the five-star club.


Returning as five-star stars: L’Ermitage in Beverly Hills; Montage Beverly Hills; St. Regis Monarch Beach; the Beverly Hills Hotel; and the Peninsula Beverly Hills.

California gained four four-star hotels, including Mr. C Beverly Hills in Los Angeles and Casa del Mar in Santa Monica; and six four-star restaurants, including Providence and Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air, both in Los Angeles.

The Forbes Travel Guide rates hotels, restaurants and spas worldwide for excellence every year. In the five-star category, it added 76 hotels, 28 restaurants and 35 spas this year.

Miami emerged as a big winner, picking up its first five-star hotels since 1996, Forbes said in a statement. And Steve Wynn emerges as the man with the most top-ranked hotels: eight five-stars and six four-stars.

Review all the Forbes Guide 2013 Star Award Winners.
Follow us on Twitter @latimestravel, like us on Facebook @Los Angeles Times Travel.