Ritz-Carlton, Pasadena, CA
For a four-star honeymoon retreat in a picturesque mountain setting, check into the 392-room Ritz-Carlton, Huntington Hotel & Spa in Pasadena, California. Nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, the hotel was the wedding reception venue of choice for actress Marcia Cross and husband Tom Mahoney.
It's easy to see why: This Spanish mission-style treasure, built in 1907, recently underwent a $19 million renovation, adding amenities like marble baths, Egyptian-cotton linens and feather beds to its guest rooms and seven cottages, while preserving its antique furniture and collection of 17th- to 19th-century paintings. In the Lobby Lounge, you can enjoy afternoon tea to the sweet strains of a piano or harp.
When you're ready for some activity, play a game of tennis on one of the three courts, or rent a pair of bicycles ($10 per hour) and explore the 23-acre property. A covered bridge connects the main building to the tennis courts and cottages—be sure to admire the California landscape paintings on the walls. At the spa, indulge in the Bride and Groom Package, which features a couple's massage, facials and aromatherapy treatments ($965 per couple). Nearby, you can also check out Pasadena's Rose Bowl Stadium, head to Beverly Hills and window shop on Rodeo Drive, or visit the lively Santa Monica pier.
Then head back to the hotel for a romantic dinner at The Dining Room. Menu options include ahi tuna and foie gras ($21 per person), and hazelnut and poached-pear crunch cake ($12 per person). Later in the evening, stroll through the beautiful Japanese Gardens—just the spot for moonlit kisses. For more information call 800-241-3333 or visit ritzcarlton.com.