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Plan your personalized
itinerary with our concierge
To give you inspiration, Relais & Châteaux presents the Routes du Bonheur: suggestions for travel itineraries that you can fully personalise according to your wishes and the experiences you would like to discover. Our consultants are available to help customise your route and assist you in making reservations at our properties. It is up to you to reserve any recommended activities on-site or nearby that might interest you.
*Total price provided for information only, based on accommodation for two people in a double room for the number of nights per property as indicated on this page, exclusive of recommended activities, properties that cannot be reserved online and restaurants.
Hotel and restaurant in the mountains. The Château du Sureau is the ideal place from which to explore the waterfalls and granite domes of Yosemite National Park, one of America’s most spectacular natural sites. This majestic hotel is reminiscent of the finest European châteaux. Its elegant interior, with guest rooms named after herbs and flowers, is resplendent with antiques, tapestries and artworks. The restaurant showcases the freshest Californian produce in sophisticated dishes packed with flavor and accompanied by the region’s best wines. If you are lucky enough to visit on July, you will be treated to the Elderberry Harvest Dinner, a fabulous five-course feast in honor of the château’s namesake. ... Learn moreless
Classified as a national park in 1890, and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is California’s third largest park. Its over three thousand km2 of protected nature make it a real paradise for hiking fans. The paths encircle the granite domes and waterfalls, delving deep into the forest and leading up to 3,500 m in height. You might run into deer, beavers, opossums…And you might even see coyotes, shrews, or black bears.
Imagine 1,000-year-old coniferous trees piercing the sky. In the shade of their foliage, you feel absolutely tiny, doll-like. Within Yosemite, you’ll find three forests of giant sequoias. Some of these giant trees can reach a circumference of almost 30 m and almost 80 m in height! It’s in the Mariposa Grove that you’ll discover the Grizzly Giant. Almost 2,000 years old, the largest sequoia in Yosemite rises to over 60 m above ground! This is also where the famous Wanona Tree used to stand; a tunnel was built into it in 1881 so visitors could travel through it by horse-drawn carriage. The tree fell in 1969…
Located at the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains in the heart of the oldest American Viticultural Area (AVA) in California, Manresa is the showcase for the inventive cuisine of David Kinch. Influenced by European traditions and refinement, American ingenuity, and the vast bounty California has to offer, Manresa celebrates the mountains, fields, and sea. Kinch’s passion for creating menus that display the terroir, or “sense of place,” of the California Coast led him to partner with the nearby Love Apple Farms to grow fruits and vegetables exclusively for the restaurant. This provides Manresa the ability to serve guests food that fully imparts a taste of the place and time at which it is served thanks to its exquisite ingredients.
Located between the Château du Sureau and Carmel, the 15th among California’s 21 missions was established in 1797. You might recognize the bell tower that Hitchcock filmed in 1957 in his stunning Vertigo. The vaults inside, covered in frescoes, evoke a part of the country’s history. San Juan Bautista presents a different image of America. A small, airy town, ideal for a Mexican lunch or just to go rummaging in one of its antique-laden stores.
Restaurant and hotel in town. Henry Miller said that he learned to pray in front of the stunning scenery of Big Sur. Carmel-by-the-Sea is the ideal base for marveling at these immense cliffs plunging down into the ocean. Halfway between San Francisco and the Santa Barbara coast, inhabited by seals and whales, Carmel – where Clint Eastwood was once mayor – will charm you with its art galleries and pebble beaches. This romantic hotel, decorated with lovely European fabrics and antiques, is ideally located in the heart of the village, a pleasant short walk away from the famous Carmel Beach. The delicious cuisine, a well-stocked wine cellar and superb massages will give it a special place in your heart. ... Learn moreless
Just a few metres away from L’Auberge, you’ll find the tie store designed by my great friend Robert Talbott. Founded in 1958, the small family business has now become one of the symbols of American chic, a brand recognized continent-wide offering unique designs. I am very proud that all my hand sewn shirts and ties have been made by this great couturier.
Just fifteen minutes from Carmel, this spot brings together true coffee lovers, who do not hesitate to line up for their ristretto, caffè latte, or frothy espresso. Roasted on-site, the coffee is divine. Acme isn’t a café, it’s a meeting hub. You’ll run into businessmen, stay-at-home moms, trendy kids, or truck drivers. It’s often here that I begin my day…
It’s one of the most beautiful roads in the world. It’s like you’re driving along a movie set. With its cliffs, forests, and coves lapped by emerald water, Big Sur offers a stunning array of scenery. Re-read Jack Kerouac, who drew an amazing novel from it. In winter, whales come to spawn along the coast. A break is a must at Nepenthe. Set on a promontory, this unpretentious restaurant has been in the same family for over fifty years. Like a ritual, I order a glass of Pinot noir and a real hamburger in front of the ocean…
The United States is a land of contrasts, and everyone (or almost everyone!) likes hot dogs. Just take a look at the line in front of Pink’s to be convinced. Bruce Willis, Jay Leno, Bill Cosby, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger have their picture mounted on the Wall of Fame. Because more than just being a sausage seller, Pink’s is an institution…open non-stop since 1939, between Melrose and La Brea.
Opened just a couple of years ago on a hill overlooking the city, the J. Paul Getty Museum has already established itself as one of L.A.’s most beautiful museums. On my first visit, I was very impressed by its richness and diversity – Titian’s blues, Rembrandt’s light, Monet’s Sunrise (1873), and Van Gogh’s Irises. The history of art and the greatest painters right next to Hollywood!
Hotel and restaurant in town. Blending luxury with the authentic spirit of relaxed Southern Californian living, Rancho Valencia welcomes its guests with grace and gusto. Near the chic beaches of La Jolla and Del Mar, this is an exclusive and tranquil hideaway set among 18 hectares of rolling hills, orange groves and gardens full of hibiscus and cacti. Reminiscent of Spanish-colonial haciendas, the bungalow suites boast stunning craftsmanship, including hand-painted tiles and custom furnishings. With its world-renowned tennis program, innovative cuisine and rejuvenating spa, not to mention the year-round sunny climate, Rancho Valencia is the perfect place to discover this beautiful region. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant on a golf course. Over the years, Addison has established itself as one of the finest culinary experiences in California. Chef William Bradley’s artisanal approach to cooking, based on an admiration for French cuisine, draws inspiration from the seasons. Ever attentive to the purity of the flavors, he enhances his ingredients by drawing on their inherent properties. The wine collection, with some 36,000 bottles under the enlightened management of sommelier Elizabeth Huettinger, includes twenty special cuvées crafted with winemakers from across the globe. The wine and food pairings are in perfect harmony with the refined, elegant service. ... Learn moreless
San Diego is a favourite destination for surfing and body surfing fans. A Californian experience that takes me back to my youth. In my younger years, I went regularly to Solana Beach. Today, amateurs and pros alike enjoy Cardiff by the Sea, Pipes Beach, and Encinitas for their pristine beaches and beautiful surf breaks. The more adventurous can push on to Oceanside, where several devotees built the California Surf Museum in 1986.
In the heart of an exclusive and wealthy community is Chino Farms in Rancho Santa Fe. The iconic California Chef’s have been frivolously buying vegetables for decades with a modern goods stand that features daily picking of vegetables and produce that have rarely been seen by the outsiders of this community. Nearby Addison Chef, William Bradley picks his heirloom produce up daily.