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Girlfriends go luxe near San Francisco

Hilltop Hatha Yoga at Carmel Valley Ranch
Hilltop Hatha Yoga at Carmel Valley Ranch
Carmel Valley Ranch

One of the most attractive elements of living in San Francisco is the incredible selection of the finer things in life. Our city boasts some of the best museums in the nation, not to mention the endless list of award-winning restaurants that line our hilly streets. Along with world-class attractions, we have an impressive list of local destinations that are just as luxurious as any you can find on the French Rivera or Lake Como. The best part is that you don’t have to board a plane to get to them. Here is a list of a few hotels, resorts, and private villas that top the charts and are less than 3 hours away by car that you and your girlfriends will love.

Heaven Hill in Glen Ellen: 48 Miles from San Francisco

This hidden treasure is tucked away in the Valley of the Moon and waiting your arrival. From the moment you set foot in the 7,170-square-foot home, beauty surrounds you. Velvet green meadows filled with wild flowers hug the property. The back yard is home to a beautifully appointed swimming pool and gazebo. The kitchen is perfect for a private chef to create a fantastic meal created from locally sourced ingredients. And, in the morning, burn off extra calories in the small gym and workout room, complete with mirrored walls, an overhead fan, and windows with blinds. Also available (at an additional cost) are private spa and fitness services -- which could include an escorted hikes or a yoga class. Follow that with a poolside facial or a private couples massage on your terrace. The villa has 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and sleeps 8 guests.

Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford: 65 miles from San Francisco

Inspired by the sun-drenched South of France, the new eight-room Maison Saint-Tropez at Auberge du Soleil is the newest member of the local luxury retreats. Just opened, the Maison features dramatic custom-designed, hand-carved wooden headboards that extend to ceiling creating a decadent combination of French opulence and California dreaming. You’ll have to decide what you like better, the floating fireplace or the outdoor soaking tubs and showers. Privacy is key, so you can indulge in room service all from the comfort of your terrace which has lounge chairs, ottomans and a dining table that gives you sweeping hillside views of the valley. If you do want to step out of you Maison, you can enjoy the Michelin-starred Auberge du Soleil Restaurant and Bistro & Bar.

Castello Ninni in St. Helena: 67 Miles from San Francisco

“Darling, meet us at the Castle, al fresco dinner at 7 pm.” Is exactly what you can say when you rent Castello Ninni in St Helena. When it comes to luxury, this slice of heaven takes the cake. It brings together all that you could possibly desire in a wine country experience: a castle, a secluded setting within a vineyard, a private pool, and incredible options that include dinner with a wine maker or private cooking classes. It is a marvelous property that has 8 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms, which can easily accommodate you and 15 of your best girlfriends. The only drawback is it is a one-month minimum stay due to Napa County restrictions.

La Playa Carmel in Carmel: 110 miles from San Francisco

Back to its turn-of-the-century grandeur, the famed La Playa Carmel hotel is once again receiving privileged guests. The 75-room historic luxury boutique hotel has been newly restored to preserve its old world opulence and no detail has been overlooked. The grounds encompass meticulously tended gardens, intimate patios, secluded courtyards and a tranquil terrace swimming pool. For ultimate luxury ask for the Premier Ocean View Room, and at more than 900 square feet, you’ll have plenty of room to lounge while overlooking the Pacific Ocean or day dreaming of the celebrities who once enjoyed staying here when it was a private residence.

Carmel Valley Ranch: 120 miles from San Francisco

Nestled on a dramatic hillside of the Santa Lucia Mountains and tucked away among ancient oak trees is Carmel Valley Ranch. Ranch is not the word you’d use to describe this enchanting place. Nirvana or paradise would be more apropos. It is a remarkable property filled with blooming lavender fields and secret hideaways. The most luxurious hideaway is the 2-bedroom Carmel Suite. Two master bedrooms feature there own fireplace and very spacious spa-like bathroom with separate glass shower and decadent jetted soaking tub. Past the tub is a 42-inch TV, a relaxing club chair, and a wall of windows that lead to your large private deck where you can watch the clouds float by or take a nap. The wonderful bath amenities are Carmel Valley Ranch’s own line and include fresh-pressed lavender harvested on property.

Post Ranch Inn Big Sur: 140 miles from San Francisco

Famously know for its ultra-luxurious accommodations, breath-taking views and super-secluded location, Post Ranch Inn has been a world leader in 5-star service for years. It is a magical place with only 40 guests rooms hidden on 100 acres of lush hillsides shrouded in oak trees and giant redwoods. While there, you can gaze at the endless Pacific Ocean, soak in your room’s private tubs, enjoy the cliff side infinity pools, hike the many trails, or dine in their award winning restaurant Sierra Mar. Although most of the accommodations offer incredible views, for the most over-the-top luxurious experience book one of the Pacific Suites. The circular two-story building features two suites. Each offers 960 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, with private entrance, custom-built furniture, wood-burning fireplace and radiant-heated floors. The curved interior opens up to glorious ocean views all enjoyed from your living room, bedroom, shower and large soaking tub. Each suite has a stainless steel outdoor hot tub on a private deck. Please note the minimum age for guests is 18 years old and pets are not allowed.

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