La Playa Carmel
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
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
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.
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
The words breakfast buffet do not come close to describing the decadence and food options. Fresh smoked salmon, omelette and waffles to order, fresh local fruit, freshly squeezed orange juice and champagne. But both the swiftness of service and lack of visibility of the staff throughout the stay made it almost feel as if we were alone in the hotel. The views were great and the gardens were stunning. Although the price seems initially high, it’s an incredible value when you take into account the breakfast, wine tasting, and ability to walk to the center of town and the beach. A car is not necessary. Further, staff is knowledgeable about outside dining and activities as well as transportation. Overall— incredible.
Overall the experience was amazing! The hotel did not dampen our fabulous vacation. Will mention to readers to pay close attention to the location of a King Bed room. Be sure the ask the location in relationship to the laundry room. The staff is terrific and the location is second to none. The grounds are beautifully maintained.
This property is absolutely breathtaking and right next to the whit sand beach. Shopping boutiques and authentic great restaurants all around you. The staff on the property and Managers felt as though you were friends with their hospitality!