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“Good but not great” 4 of 5 stars
Review of La Playa Carmel

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La Playa Carmel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Camino Real at 8th Ave, Carmel, CA 93921 (Formerly La Playa Hotel)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 22 Hotels in Carmel
Santa Barbara, California
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Good but not great”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

We are spoiled by Seven Gables in Pacific Grove nearby, but stayed here with a 3 for 2 nights deal. Hard not to compare. Breakfast was not nearly as good as Seven Gables, but access to Carmel is a definite plus. We loved walking over to take in the lovely shops. Service was good, but the heat lamp in our bathroom was broken and un-fixable. Views are nice but construction on a house literally next door marred the ambiance a bit. Sorry La Playa, but next time it's back to Seven Gables.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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300 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (132)
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Texas
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

Stayed for one night only but wish we had booked for a longer period. The hotel is vintage beautiful. The staff is friendly and accessible. Apparently it has has been recently updated, (including some wall insulation), and rooms look new. The room was very "Cape Cod" - bed was comfy, bathroom small, beautiful view with rather large windows that opened to an ocean view & garden view (3rd floor). The breakfast was exceptional. We visit Carmel at least once every year and this is our new hotel choice. Loved it. P. Torres

Room Tip: Ask for an ocean view room above the ground floor.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, ON
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

Set in a residential neighbourhood, La Playa Carmel is just two blocks from the beach - a really beautiful beach. The included breakfast is excellent breakfast - everything was so fresh. The hotel grounds are lovely, and the hotel itself has character (in a good way). Our room was rather compact, and I missed not having a desk in the room, or a safe, but we weren't in Carmel to spend the days in our room. The staff were excellent - so friendly and so helpful!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

La Playa Carmel is great place in Carmel. A very friendly staff, quality over quantity breakfast buffet (not over the top with too many choices like many places), nice rooms with spectacular views and friendly bartenders.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auburn, California
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

My son and I stayed here for one night only, but will always stay here when back in Carmel. We just loved it!

We booked a sea view room on the second floor. I made the reservation directly with the hotel. The reservation clerk was very nice.

Our room was smallish, but absolutely perfect! The view was the best part, but it was also pretty and spotless. The bed was super-comfortable.

We had drinks in the bar area in the evening and watched the sun set. The next morning, we had a buffet breakfast in the same area. Breakfast was nice!

We didn't pack a swimsuit, not realizing there's a pool here (heated and pretty). We walked to Tommy Bahama and bought one. My son swam while I read a magazine poolside. The pool chairs were comfortable and the time at the pool was relaxing.

From the hotel, we walked to the beach both days.

We love Carmel and have stayed in many hotels there. La Playa is our favorite now. It's perfect for our needs.

The staff members we met were all very professional and hospitable. Thank you!

Room Tip: Sea view room is worth it! Top level would be best for the best view.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palo Alto, California
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

We had stayed there before the hotel was restored.The service was very friendly.
It has been restored and the service is still friendly!
It is best to check on the prices since the rooms can get very expensive depending on the time of year. Some of the rooms are small. They are nicely done but small.
Breakfast,a very nice Continental style buffet, usually comes with the price but be sure to check.
If there are any situations that you need information on they are so glad to help and that is really refreshing.
There is a free shuttle service that will take you to dinner locally. It is a good idea to tip the driver since that may help to keep this great idea going.
This hotel is within walking distance of shopping, the ocean, the Carmel Mission and many other places. If you like to stay in a place that has beautiful surroundings and happy,friendly people, this is for you!

Room Tip: There are different types of rooms so describe your preferences and they will help you. There are oc...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz, California
Top Contributor
131 reviews 131 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

The La Playa is a beautiful small hotel with a vintage charm. It is located 2 blocks away from Carmel Beach and within walking distance to Ocean Ave with many galleries, boutiques, and restaurants.

The historic hotel with its marquees and lovely grounds gives you the feeling of being at Lake Como or at Cote d’Azur. Coming here I recommend staying in a room facing the inner courtyard. First floor rooms offer small patios facing the garden. From the upper floor rooms you can expect nice views over the grounds, the heated pool, and the ocean. The rooms come with free Internet, colorful wall paints, hand-carved furniture, and tropical flower fabrics. Along the hallways and in the lobby historic maps, photos and paintings tell stories about Carmel’s history and the former tenants of the property.

The hotel is perfect for a romantic and relaxing getaway but also has some flaws that could have some impact of your booking, in particular if you are weighing its price-performance ratio against other accommodations in Carmel.

As already mentioned in other reviews the walls are very thin and you are definitely hearing other hotel guests. If someone is walking above your room it is really loud, same applies to people talking outside. So I highly recommended earplugs. Although the hotel positions itself as a luxurious get-away the bathrooms are outdated. I didn’t have a problem with the size but the interior. Unfortunately it has a charm like a Motel 6 I wouldn’t expect for a $170 - 300 (depending on the season) per night. One last thing I would deliberate whether staying here or not is the missing breakfast in the basic rate. Nowadays this is a standard and included at other higher priced accommodations in Carmel.

Nevertheless if you get a super value deal you should go for it.

+ Vintage charm,
+ beautiful grounds, furniture
+ perfect for a romantic getaway,
- thin walls,
- small bathrooms with cheap interior,
- no breakfast
- without a special deal the hotel is pricey

Room Tip: Reserve a ocean view room, bring earplugs!
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mary c, General Manager at La Playa Carmel, responded to this review, December 3, 2012
Thank you for your feedback. We will use the information that you provided in our ongoing imorovement efforts. I was dissapointed to learn that you missed our complimentary Champagne Brunch during your visit, which is provided daily in our library and terrace. I hope that we will have an opportunity to welcome you back in the future. Please contact me directly should your future plans include a visit to Carmel, so that I may personally assist with your reservation.
Best regards,
Mary Crowe.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Playa Carmel

Address: Camino Real at 8th Ave, Carmel, CA 93921 (Formerly La Playa Hotel)
Location: United States > California > Monterey Peninsula > Carmel
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Carmel
#3 Romantic Hotel in Carmel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — La Playa Carmel 3*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
La Playa Carmel is a 75-room historic luxury boutique hotel, newly restored to preserve its turn-of-the-century charm while updating it to modern-day standards. Located two blocks from the beach and village shops, art galleries and restaurants, the hotel is situated in the heart of Carmel and anchors its most prestigious residential neighborhood. The grounds encompass meticulously tended gardens, intimate patios, secluded courtyards and a tranquil terrace swimming pool. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel La Playa
La Playa Carmel Ca

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