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
- 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 Hotel is definitely geared toward the vintage, cozy atmosphere. Great for romantic "get-aways". My fiance and I came here for two nights and loved it. We loved that it was so close to Big Sur, Point Lobos, and Monterrey. We created awesome memories returning from our excursions to sit by the fireplace to lying on the beach (one block away) until the stars were shining overhead. The staff provided complimentary, fresh baked chocolate chip cookies and chocolate every night. The breakfast was the best breakfast I have ever had. They had sparkling wine and made to order omelets. And you could sit on the terrace, enjoy your meal, and watch the waves roll in! Cannot believe that it was inclusive! Housekeeping did an awesome job tiding up too! It was an awesome experience and would be willing to return soon!
This is a hidden gem. A beautiful hotel with a timeless character. Great staff, an awesome bar and a gorgeous garden. The rooms are not huge but really well appointed. If your going to Carmel this is a terrific choice. Highly recommend.
The location can’t be beat. It’s a short 5-7 minute walk to the beach and a 10 minute walk to downtown Carmel shopping and restaurants. The grounds are beautiful and well kept. The champagne breakfast is a nice way to start the day. There is a beautiful terrace with heaters and a fire pit that overlooks the gardens with views of the ocean. A nice amenity is an on call shuttle service in the evening that provides service to local Carmel restaurants. After returning from dinner there were fresh baked cookies in the lobby. There’s also a complimentary wine reception in the evening. It’s an historical building and the rooms reflect the simplicity of the times. We found that some of the rooms run on the warmer side. I’d recommend contacting the hotel to find out which ones do, if that’s an issue for you. It was a problem for us. I believe it has to do with the steam heat. It’s pet friendly and we had our small dog with us. No issues there. You are limited to particular rooms with a pet. The entire staff from general manager to service employees are very welcoming and helpful. The hotel has a small parking lot on the back side that we utilized but there is also on street parking. It is on the more expensive side but you’re paying for the location, the large grounds and the added amenities. We never saw an elevator but I’m guessing they had one. We only used the stairs to access the rooms and garden/pool area. Overall it’s a wonderful place for a quiet get away and I would highly recommend it.
Our first stay at LaPlaya was a total joy. The staff was warm and friendly, the garden area beautiful, and the views of the ocean were plentiful. The champagne breakfast was delicious and the bar cozy.
We are a family of 4 - 2 adults and 2 children aged 13 and 10. We stayed in an Ocean View Room with 2 Queen beds. The room is advertised as suitable for a family of 4. It is not. It is small, cramped and is, objectively, unsuitable for more than 2 people. Even for 2 persons it would be viewed as small. The bathroom is certainly not of a standard or size that could reasonably accommodate 2 adults and 2 children