While many of California’s urban hubs are pulsating with infrastructure growth and new business activity, the Golden State has no shortage of places to get away from it all. Here are a few new or renovated choices conducive for retreats, board meetings and other gatherings where bonding and creative contemplation are of topmost concern.  

HorseTail Ranch, Paso Robles

Located in the heart of the Paso Robles wine country, HorseTail Ranch is newly available for corporate retreats as well as special events. Accommodations consist of the Main Villa—a 3,500-square-foot luxury house with a spacious patio, five bedrooms, four-and-a-half baths and an open great room and kitchen—and The Cabin, a secluded one-bedroom structure with a loft.

The surrounding 150 acres of rolling hills offers a private lake and trails for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. The property also has numerous outdoor event spaces and a barn for indoor events. Catered events for up to 120 people are frequently arranged, according to owner Kena Efraim who developed the property with her husband, Ben.


“You can have a great hoe-down type party in the barn—we even serve food in the stalls, which are very clean, as the horses are out grazing in the pastures,” she said. “We can host small corporate retreats where everyone stays on the property or larger meetings where some of the attendees stay at nearby hotels.”

Along with offering catered meals on-site, HorseTail Ranch can arrange for shuttle transportation to local restaurants as well as wine-tasting tours.

Hotel Corque, Solvang

With its vineyard views of the Santa Ynez Valley, Hotel Corque in Solvang seems a world away from the hubbub of Los Angeles yet is little more than two hours away by car. The stylish boutique property, which is owned by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, features 122 guest rooms and 7,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space.

With retreats and small meetings among its target markets, the hotel is offering free meeting space to groups that book mid-week meetings that include certain room and food and beverage minimum requirements. The offer is valid through February 2018.

The Inn at Newport Ranch, Fort Bragg

Set amid 2,000 pristine acres just north of Mendocino, The Inn at Newport Ranch sits in splendid isolation on a bluff above the Pacific where whales spout offshore at any time of year. Just inland are hillside forests where guests can hike or ride horseback on 20 miles of trails, some following creek beds lined with redwoods and wild ferns. Also available are thrilling ATV tours along the bluffs and ridgetops.

Custom built by over 40 master craftsmen, the Inn is an architectural marvel with such features as a 20-foot-wide, walk-in stone fireplace, floor boards and paneling from salvaged old-growth redwoods, headboards of burnished burls, wrap-around porches and a hot tub set on top of a water tower.

Accommodating up to 30 guests, there is a main lodge and several outbuildings with luxury suites, saunas and other amenities.
Meeting spaces include a conference room, dining/boardroom for up to 30 and outdoor venues such as Council Bluffs, a gathering place above the Pacific with a fire pit and natural stones for seating. The Inn also provides on-site catering for groups, with an emphasis on wines from local vintners and vegetables grown on the property.