Late summer is the last time to take a mini-break before productions head into full swing and the kudos season kicks into high gear. Industryites with tight schedules often get away to one of California’s first-rate resorts that cater to privacy-seeking guests who also want terrific dining, plentiful outdoor activities and, importantly, spas that prep one for red-carpet moments.
Here are some industry faves where the principal business getting done is chilling out:
Ultra-private stay: Just more than an hour south of L.A., Pelican Hill’s 128 super spacious residential-style villas within the resort appeal to those traveling with families and/or entourage.
Added bonuses: 24/7 butler service, private entrances and secluded Villa pool.
Revive and relax: 36 holes of Tom Fazio-designed golf, delicious Italian specialties at Andrea, 23,000-square-foot neo-classically styled spa.
The Biltmore, Santa Barbara
Ultra-private stay: With its own driveway, separate entrance and ocean view, the Four Seasons Biltmore’s Anacapa suite attracts bold names. Lushly landscaped grounds surround the cottages, also with their own entrances. The Art Deco Coral Casino, with restaurant, lounge and pool, has a dazzling oceanfront location.
Revive and relax: Spa’s rose-hip and olive body wrap promises slimming. Escorted wine country day trips can be arranged.
Ultra-private stay: Numerous kiddie activities — super-slide, pool and videogame room — means high-profile talent often vacations here en famille. Family suites come with connecting bedrooms; the presidential suite is especially quiet.
Revive and relax: Some of SoCal’s best tennis courts, plus Deepak Chopra Center on site offers yoga, meditation and well-being classes. Top-notch massage therapists have various specialties: Thai and Lomi-Lomi massage stand out.
Ultra-private stay: Set back in a north County San Diego canyon, this up-market resort has a gated entrance that bars paparazzi. The 4,500-square-foot luxe Mediterranean-styled villas are perfect for hideaways.
Revive and relax: Golf course is manicured to perfection. Addison, the hotel’s remarkable restaurant, earns kudos for its elegant seasonal cuisine. Spa services are superlative.
Ultra-private stay: Club rooms with direct ocean views are the most requested. One of the OC’s primo surf spots is just outside; explore via the hotel’s eco-consciousness-raising program organized by Jean-Michel Cousteau.
Revive and relax: The end result of the spa’s collagen facial and California citrus body treatment: rehydrated, younger-looking skin.
& Spa, Ojai
Ultra-private stay: Bucolic valley views and ancient oaks surround the red roofs and white stucco of the Ojai Valley Inn, a Hollywood escape since the late 1940s. Casa Elar, a gated, five-bedroom house with pool, is the inn’s most discreet accommodation.
Revive and relax: Larger rooms and suites have fireplaces and sunken tubs. Walk or bike ride to charming downtown Ojai.
Ultra-private stay: Flights to Carmel and Monterey make the Post Ranch Inn within reach for short stays. An unequaled, remote location in Big Sur with ample amenities — spa, stunning restaurant and infinity pools — is all part of the very expensive package.
Revive and relax: Nine rooms added in 2009 (for a total of 39) have heated floors and fireplaces. Only hotel guests are allowed at the spa and at dinner.