These days, everyone seeks out a unique getaway — an escape that is memorable, life changing and easy to share on social media. High-end hotels have taken notice and adapted their offerings to provide exclusive experiences that can’t be found anywhere else.
Always a spot for innovation, the Bay Area’s picturesque properties have upped the ante on bespoke vacations. Follow our road map to explore some of the most interesting hotel activities in Northern California.
Calistoga Ranch, An Auberge Resort
At this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Napa Valley resort, discover the art of beekeeping. The ranch is inherently committed to nature, offering opportunities like the Bee Well program, which helps rebuild the local honeybee population while educating you on the importance of the pollinating insects to the native environment.
Calistoga Ranch is home to five hives, sheltering as many as 150,000 of the busy bees. Join the master beekeeper for an in-depth class where you’ll learn about the special variety of honey the local bees make that’s derived from flowers (orange blossoms, lavender, rosemary and rose) on the property, and get educated on how bees help the vegetation in the valley thrive.
The program concludes with a honey-infused body treatment at the resort’s excellent spa. Indulge in a milk bath followed by an application of honeycomb and a hydrating face mask.
The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
At this Four-Star San Francisco golf resort, you’ll get the chance to participate in a new immersive experience called Drone Academy. Not only will you learn to operate these techie toys, you’ll also be taught how to capture aerial photography and shoot videos of the stunning landscape that surrounds the property.
Drone Academy takes place at the Ritz’s Ocean Terrace overlooking the Pacific — you’ll fly the drones high over the sea, to the sunset bagpiper’s post adjacent to the golf course and along the coast.
Now is the time to start preparing for BottleRock Napa Valley, the popular May festival that mixes top-notch music, wine and food — tickets go on sale January 9. The best way to do BottleRock is through this Four-Star haven.
As part of the hotel’s Ultimate Platinum Package, you’ll receive a pair of three-day platinum fest passes, which provide VIP perks like access to artist meet and greets, on-stage and front-row viewing areas, a suite with amplified speakers and much more. On top of that, you’ll be spoiled with four nights in Meadowood’s Treeline Suite, daily breakfast, your own private concierge and two treatments in its beautiful new Five-Star spa.
The Inn Above Tide
This Sausalito boutique hotel offers beautiful views of the bay and includes plenty of surprises inside as well. Opt for a special in-room sake tasting curated by Yoshi Tome, the chef and owner of the popular nearby Sushi Ran, regarded as one of the best sushi restaurants in the Bay Area.
Tome put together a collection of seven sakes, housed in a sleek NutriChef refrigerator inside each room. Try organic Junmai Nama (a full-bodied, dry fruity sake) or Daiginjo (a super-premium creamy sip with subtle fruit flavors). The minibar also comes with senbai, traditional Japanese palate-cleansing rice crackers.
At this Golden Gate-facing resort, also in Sausalito, reset your system with the property’s ultimate wellness weekend. The three-day agenda is customizable, with mindful offerings such as healthy meals prepared by the hotel’s executive chef, sunrise yoga, guided hikes, an outdoor watercolor painting class and wine receptions.
Complete your experience with additional add-ons like spa treatments, a boot camp fitness class, a guided meditation lesson or a body composition analysis.