Boutique California Honeymoon
An Elite Travel Concierge honeymoon tour of California is unlike any other, taking you to a mix of iconic and secret locations in style and privacy, all the way through. You’ll begin in the hypnotic city of San Francisco, getting a flavour for its distinct districts, bay views and cultural scene, with a day trip to Napa Valley for fine food and wine. Then, in a luxury convertible, you’ll hit the famous Highway 1 and drive along the Californian coast to Big Sur, stopping for an ocean safari and peek at elegant Carmel-by-the-Sea en route. After hiking through spellbinding scenery in Big Sur, Santa Barbara comes next, with some horseback riding and wine tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley, then finish up in Los Angeles for a helicopter ride, behind-the-scenes Hollywood tour, and time spent relishing the glamour of Bel Air and Beverly Hills.
Touchdown in San Francisco
On arrival in San Francisco you’ll be greeted at the airport and transferred directly to your hotel for check-in, and spend the rest of the day at leisure. You might like to enjoy the facilities of your five-star hotel, or perhaps sample some of the city’s exceptional cuisine – we can make an exclusive restaurant reservation for you this evening.
An Insider Tour of San Francisco
Your first full day in the ever-exciting city of San Francisco is filled with as many of its top highlights as possible, as you embark on a private guided tour of the ‘City by the Bay’. Of course, that bay will be a prominent feature as you explore the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, Fishermans Wharf and Pier 39, though you’ll also be able to visit the Cannery Shopping Centre, Ghirardelli Square, a Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum, the Musée Mécanique, Madame Tussauds San Francisco, Aquarium of the Bay, and the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. Best of all, wandering through San Francisco reveals the city’s contrasting districts, from the Italian-influenced North Beach to bustling Union Square, hip Mission to buzzy Chinatown, each totally different from the next.
After this insightful city tour, you’ll then experience San Fran from the water as you embark on a VIP sailing excursion aboard a state-of-the-art yacht, that was recently used by the winners of the America’s Cup. Set sail and enjoy being part of the team as you raise the huge sail and jib with your crew, then relish the view while gliding over the water beneath San Francisco’s famous Golden Gate Bridge, past Alcatraz Island and the skyline of the city as you sip champagne aboard this exclusive vessel.
Exquisite Wines and Flavours of Napa Valley
This morning, a chauffeur will collect you from your hotel in San Francisco for the drive to Napa Valley, the USA’s most beloved wine region – and for good reason. Along the way, your driver/guide will explain what makes Napa Valley so special, and as you’re whisked between three different wineries you’ll get some insider information on this top gourmet destination too. Most visitors go to the more famous cellar doors in Napa, but Elite Travel Concierge will arrange exclusive wine tastings at boutique wineries for a more intimate, personal experience. In addition, throughout the day, a private photographer will accompany you in the background, capturing moments spent wine tasting and enjoying a delicious picnic lunch al fresco.
The finale to this epicurean experience is fitting indeed; a three Michelin-starred dinner at one of the best restaurants in America, before you are driven back to your hotel in San Francisco.
Ocean Safari and the Road to Big Sur
Today, leave San Fran behind as you put the pedal to the floor in your luxury convertible car, which will be waiting for you at your hotel in the morning, ahead of the drive south. Your first stop is Moss Landing, where you’ll be able to enjoy an ocean safari – getting up close to amazing marine life on an eco-raft boat. The captain will meet you at the dock and lead you to a private vessel, then you’ll set off through the bay on lookout for humpback, blue and orca whales, dolphins, seals, otters and sea lions, as you traverse along the coastline of Monterey Bay, Point Lobos and/or the Elkhorn Slough Wetlands.
Afterwards, enjoy a spot of lunch in Carmel-by-the-Sea, then continue to your boutique Big Sur hotel: Post Ranch Inn. This ultra-luxe hideaway is tucked between the trees atop a towering Big Sur bluff, with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, al fresco hot tubs and sensational cuisine. Relish an afternoon at leisure in this sumptuous coastal retreat.
Hiking Through Beautiful Scenery in Big Sur
Day 5 of your Boutique California Honeymoon is dedicated to the verdant landscapes of Big Sur, and there’s no better way to explore it all than on a hiking adventure. A private guide will collect you from Post Ranch Inn in the morning and take you to the starting point of your first hike. You’ll walk through a scenic canyon, past waterfalls, into startlingly green forests, finally reaching the oceanfront where you can look out for whales on the horizon. All the while, your guide will discuss the delicate flora that thrive in this special ecosystem, and you’ll no doubt sense the magical energy of this beautiful, natural place throughout.
Having fuelled up on a picnic lunch-with a view, your next hike begins at Los Padres National Forest, a half-hour drive away. This protected reserve shelters around 500 different wildlife species, as well as more intriguing plantlife and the Pico Blanco (‘White Peak’). You’ll climb to the summit and enjoy unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean, Ventana Double Cone, Kandlbinder Peak, and even more mountaintops in the background, for a sweeping vista of Big Sur.
Drive the Highway 1 to Santa Barbara
On day 6, your time in Big Sur comes to an end, so hop in your convertible and cruise down Highway 1 towards Santa Barbara, which is around four hours away. You can break up the journey with stops at unspoilt beaches, witnessing seals frolicking on the sand, or taking a look inside Hearst Castle which is festooned with beautiful art and décor.
In the afternoon, check in to your luxury Santa Barbara hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure, admiring ocean vistas from your sumptuous abode.
Horseback Riding and Wine Tasting in Santa Ynez Valley
Prepare for an easy-going but delightful day in the Santa Ynez Valley outside Santa Barbara, where soaking up the scenery on horseback and wine tastings await you. Whether a beginner or experienced rider, the horseback excursion makes for a wonderful journey through the lush pastures of Santa Ynez, lasting around 1 hour 30 minutes as you are guided through this bountiful landscape, dotted with ranches and vineyards.
The activity today culminates at a charming winery, where you can sample some wine and toast your romantic day in this picturesque corner of California.
Revel in the Glamour of Bel Air and Beverly Hills
Swap Santa Barbara for Los Angeles today as you head south for about two hours to reach your five-star hotel in Bel Air, or Beverly Hills, LA’s most glamorous districts which are home to chic boutiques, upmarket restaurants and boulevards lined with palm trees.
Sit down for a delectable lunch in one of the neighbourhood’s best eateries – such as the esteemed restaurant, Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel Air – then spend the afternoon exploring Beverly Hills, indulging in some retail therapy, and visiting a mansion owned by a famous Hollywood A-lister.
Your car will be picked up from the hotel today, and for the rest of your holiday you’ll be driven by a chauffeur – or pilot – instead.
Helicopter Tour over LA, Santa Monica and Malibu
There’s so much to see in LA, so why not soak it all up in one go and in style, aboard a helicopter? You’ll be whisked off on a private helicopter tour this morning and get the best possible views of the Hollywood Sign, Beverly Hills, Bel Air and Universal Studios, a truly unforgettable experience of this great American city. The helicopter will then take you westwards to fly over Santa Monica, with its gorgeous beaches and famous pier; Pacific Palisades, home to some of the most decadent mansions in the city; and Malibu, for breathtaking coastal views.
In Malibu, you’ll touch down on a remote stretch of land, where staff will prepare your picnic lunch of champagne, strawberries and cheesecake, paired with spellbinding sea views. Your romantic afternoon will then come to a conclusion as the pilot flies you back to your luxury hotel.
Behind the Scenes in Hollywood
For anyone who loves movies, today provides an exclusive look behind the scenes of some of Hollywood’s most prominent studios, seeing first-hand how popular shows and films are created. Start at the Studio Plaza, where Two and a Half Men and Entourage were filmed, then sit down for a three-course lunch in the Commissary Fine Dining Room, the meeting point for producers, writers, actors and studio execs.
Then, the rest of the afternoon is spent learning how the Foley experts create sound effects at Post-Production; witnessing the work of scenic artists, construction, metalworkers and special effects teams at The Mill; and surveying the huge collection of items in the Prop Department. This section is overflowing with all kinds of furnishings, décor, lighting and other articles from the golden age of Hollywood, while The Archive houses countless costumes and props, including memorable ones from various Warner Bros’ movies.
The last part of this behind-the-scenes tour takes place at Stage 48: Script to Screen. Here, you can see how productions are made from the beginning to the very end, starting with screenwriting, through to audio mixing and finishing up with award ceremonies, all exhibited via an interactive soundstage. To round off the day, you’ll make like a Hollywood couple yourselves and walk the red carpet at a movie premier, naturally joining an after-party following the screening, of course.
When the time comes, a private car will be ready and waiting to take you to the airport, in preparation for your flight home.