91%
Members Recommend
4.5
Very Good 993 Reviews
Jetsetter Verified
This Hotel meets our standards
Our editors have been here and it has met our standards

What We Love

  • Daily champagne continental breakfast is included in the Jetsetter rate
  • Opt for ocean view rooms for mesmerizing seashore vistas
  • Foggy mornings burn off to reveal the dramatic windswept coast rife with craggy bent cypress and pine trees
  • READ MORE: 72 hours on Highway 1

What To Know

  • The property, which dates back to 1905, reopened in August 2012 after a complete renovation
  • La Playa serves gourmet breakfast and light fare; the friendly concierge can assist with dinner reservations
  • You can walk or bike everywhere, including the beach

Amenities

  •  Bar
  •  Free WiFi
  •  Golf
  •  Handicap-accessible
  •  Parking On Site
  •  Pool
  •  Room Service
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
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Overview

An historic estate on a bluff overlooking the Pacific reborn as a luxe Central Coast escape

The Look

An anchor of idyllic Carmel-by-the-Sea since 1916, La Playa Carmel is a converted estate originally designed in 1905 by artist Christian Jorgensen as a gift for his wife. Built atop a bluff and surrounded by the hamlet’s best homes, this boutique remains a romantic escape, with 75 rooms, gorgeous gardens and ocean views. When it reopened after a tip-to-toe renovation in August 2012, devotees applauded the multimillion dollar re-do for preserving its California Mission-inspired charm of pale pink stucco and tile rooflines while infusing indoor spaces with an airy, contemporary vibe. The hotel feels rejuvenated, not merely remodeled, and newly upholstered sofas, sand-colored wicker chairs and striped pillows in the lobby add instant zing. Other unique features recall the building’s storied past, such as the original star-shaped stained-glass window near the main entrance, antique full-length mirrors, well-worn doorknobs and graceful shell ceiling light fixtures.

Bed & Bath

The 75 guestrooms evolved into California chic with serene beachy colors and soft renewable materials. Windows feature thick plantation shutters; yummy pillow-top beds have woven wicker headboards and plush bathrooms are spa-inspired. Village Rooms are a comfortable 250 square feet with views of the gardens; Ocean View Rooms up the space to 300 square feet and deliver on their promise with views of the Pacific below.

Beyond

Outside, the cascading grounds include three distinct terraces, a relaxing pool area and bountiful gardens brimming with geraniums, dahlias, begonias and jasmine. While the morning fog burns off, tuck into in a cozy corner of The Library for the breakfast buffet, and then switch to outdoor mode on the Pacific Terrace. Carmel’s beach invites barefoot walks, and the town is a shopper’s paradise of unique, upscale boutiques and galleries that are best visited in the morning before the crowds arrive.

In the Area

This luxe sleep is steps from Carmel‘s acclaimed galleries and pristine beaches. Be sure to check the local arts calendar for theatre, opera and music at the restored Sunset Theatre, the Golden Bough Playhouse and Forest Theatre. Or focus on the water and rent a kayak or hop on a tour boat to get close to the honking sea otters and sea lions. Then continue the wildlife experience at the famed Monterey Bay Aquarium. The drive up the Pacific coast from Pebble Beach to Pacific Grove is simply spectacular, or try out another drive to some of the world’s best golf courses, which are found on the Central Coast.

How to Get There

La Playa Carmel
Camino Real at Eighth Ave.
Carmel, CA 93921 United States

Reviews

4.5 Very Good 993 Reviews
Lovely place to stay
Reviewed 2 days ago

What a beautiful hotel! Great rooms. Great breakfast. Really so special. Would highly recommend if you are looking for a romantic get away. Shuttle service into downtown so you don't have to walk. A wine tasting in the evenings.

Serendipity
Reviewed 3 days ago

Used Google Maps searching for a nice place to vacation in Carmel-by-the-Sea. La Playa jumped off the map. Found the perfect Hotel for an unforgettable family VACA!. Expensive like all good resorts. Value found in service, atmosphere and harmony within old Carmel. Ocean view rooms for sunsets & moonsets. A place to privately enjoy the oceans roar in an otherwise quiet peaceful neighborhood. Our family all raved about food, the patio and gardens. Hotel smartly offers complementary night rides to help guests to/fro restaurants, bars, etc. Rooms quiet, clean & cheerful. Staff very attentive.
We shall return.

traditional hotel with great view and attractive garden
Reviewed 4 days ago

A classic in Carmel. Rooms are smaller than you would have in a low priced motel, bathrooms very small. No walk-in shower, and washbasin measured 10" X 13", a tour de force to shave in it! No elevators, and despite the very high room price you park yourself on the street, or in a lot belonging to the hotel, first come first serve. Breakfast OK, but the various parts of the hotel seem to run themselves, we felt top level oversight was lacking

Beyond Bad
Reviewed 1 week ago

We had high expectations and wanted to experience quintessential Monterey architecture and hospitality. Everything has been disappointing: No valet, No air conditioning, no pool bar, no restaurant, bar closes at 10, bags delivered to wrong room, unfriendly front desk, water pressure in shower and faucet very low, decor reminiscent of Marriot, no still water in the room, no shower rug in the bathroom.

All this for $699.

Stay Away.

Loud wedding onsite, overpriced, disappointing
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Sad to say that after debating Carmel hotels for our family get together with relatives who travelled from Australia we arrived at our $1000 night stay to be let down. On the night we arrived we couldn’t really use the pool because a wedding had taken over the property. It was fine to watch the wedding on our room’s doorstep. However it turned into a raging NIGHTCLUB above our room when the dancing started, a very loud DJ and bass banging through the ceiling above our room. I thought I had accidentally checked into the Motel 6. The very loud wedding above us prevented my young children from sleeping, so we sat in the lobby with blankets until 11pm. This is after the fire alarm went off blaring in our ears at 9pm. The fire alarm was set off by the smoke/fog machine at the wedding on the dance floor above us. This “luxury” hotel allowed a fog machine at a wedding! We were just shocked. I’d expected a quiet, serene luxurious stay per the reviews and of course the price. This set the tone for the stay, caused stress and we spent the next day looking for somewhere else to go to salvage our remaining time. They moved one of our parties to a nicer room to make up for the wedding. Don’t expect modern rooms. Everything is clean but dated. Yes, they have a nice little buffet every day but it gets boring. No bacon or sausage but do have omelette bar. Besides, there are beautiful restaurants in Carmel so better to explore. ASK AHEAD will there be a WEDDING? If we had known, we could’ve been prepared or chosen Carmel Valley Ranch instead which turns out is gorgeous and beautiful pools. The staff here at LaPlaya were nice and sympathetic but couldn’t help really. Oh sorry about the wedding. We were literally directly underneath it. And no excuse for a smoke/fog machine. I would say if there is no wedding and you need one night only, this is walking distance to beach and town restaurants but nothing remarkable about it. The pool is tiny but a nice feature. Don’t stay in the garden patio room. It is below the function room/dance floor and next to a staff door constantly swinging and banging open /closed.