The Auberge Carmel is absolutely fantastic. I travel extensively in the US and abroad staying at all top hotels and inns - Four Seasons, Ritz, etc etc and this is one of my new favorite places to stay in the entire world.
Location is perfect - just off the main drag in town - but on a quiet side street so it feels removed from the bustle - a couple of long blocks up the hill from the beach - with the front room having distant ocean views. Our room #12 - was on the front corner and was large with a distant view of the water.
It is not a luxury hotel (no spa no gym) - but rather what i would call a luxury European style inn. The place itself is quaint and charming beyond belief - while the rooms are large and very nicely appointed. Bathrooms are large- have radiant floor heat and large soaking tubs and all the nice touches you would expect at a high end property.
Service is amazing - Christian one of the concierges could not have been more helpful - friendly and knowledgeable.
Courtyard is very attractive and an amazing spot for the complementary breakfast they offer.
Its all the little things that make this place so great - welcoming drinks - free water and snacks and coffee in the lobby through out the day - a fantastic if simple breakfast that you can take in your room - in the courtyard or in the dining room all included in your room rate. Great quality sheets - nice flat screen - great towels and robes in the bathroom - cookies left by your bedside every night.
The restaurant deserves its own entire review - its very high quality cuisine - in a small and cozy dining room - food is amazing as is the staff - but you do pay a high price for it. If your are not a "foodie" I might save the money and dine at any of the other fine restaurants in town.
The only negative in the whole experience was the room could be a bit noisy - not terribly so - and not surprisingly given the age of the building - but given all the other upgrades I would have assumed it would be a bit more noise proof. If you are very sensitive to noise something to consider or ask about when booking maybe our room is a nosier one.
But that is me being very nitpicky - overall the place is wonderful - cant wait for a return visit - I would without a second of doubt recommend it to anyone - by far the best place to stay in Carmel and well worth the price.