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“Wonderful ocean view, a bit pricey” 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 #4 of 22 Hotels in Carmel
La Habra, California
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Wonderful ocean view, a bit pricey”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

The hotel staff are friendly and very helpful. They truely make you feel at home!

The hotel is located just a few blocks from the restaurants and shopping. This town has numerous shops and art galleries that add to the quaint atmosphere.

Our room had an incredible panoramic ocean view. That being said... Even though the rooms have been recently renovated...I felt that our room was a bit on the small side. Also, wood plantation shutters were used as a window treatment. These were somewhat cumbersome and partially blocked the wonderful view. The room itself was clean and functional. However... It fell short on the character side that you expect with a $300/ nite room.

Complimentary breakfast is quite good! Fresh juices and champagne with a nice selection of fruits and breads and cheese.

Visit this hotel for it's wonderful ocean view and friendly staff!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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288 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    180
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    7
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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 (129)
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English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

I used to stay here as a child with my family in the 70's and 80's - this was my first time back to the newly renovated La Playa, and it was lovely. The rooms are clean and modern, but still have some old spanish charm about them - we had four rooms for a wedding party, so got to see a variety. Definitely better to get an ocean view or patio room. We had the Poolside King - a big room with fireplace and large bathroom, sofa and coffee tables. We got married in this room with a minister and 8 guests, and it was PERFECT, intimate and beautiful. The hotel sent down some complimentary champagne and extra chocolate.

The complimentary breakfast was also excellent - waffle and omelette chef, great croissants, fruit, bread pudding, etc. Helps offset the slightly pricey rooms.

This hotel is two short blocks down the hill to Carmel Beach, making it the perfect location if that is why you are in Carmel.

Room Tip: Ocean view or garden/patio rooms have the best scenery - "village view" rooms look out ont...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

The renovated hotel is comfortable and elegant without being pretentious. I was very impressed with both the room and public spaces. The breakfast is surprisingly high quality. BUT....all this is countered by the absurd prices at the hotel bar. I was charged $19.50 for a scotch. In a span of 15 minutes I heard 3 other guests complain....One gentleman frustrated enough to say he will never return again after years of loyal patronage. If the hotel ownership and management do not choose to address this, then they are essentially saying: "we are going to stick you for the cost of our renovations...." Not a good business model.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
mary c, General Manager at La Playa Carmel, responded to this review, January 4, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to complete our survey after your recent stay at La Playa. Your feedback provides information important to our ongoing improvement efforts. We endeavor to provide all of our guests with an exceptional experience, and we clearly failed to do so during your recent stay with us.

Upon investigation, we discovered that our pricing on single liqour drinks was incorrect. I would welcome the opportunity to reverse the bar charge and arrange a refund of the charge. I am embarrassed by the poor impression that we left with you. Given another opportunity, I am confident that we can provide the service and memorable experience that you should expect at La Playa.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly should your future plans include a visit to Carmel. I would be most happy to personally arrange your reservation. I hope that we have an opportunity to to welcome you back.

Thank you again for bringing these matters to my attention.

Sincerely,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

We stayed for three nights just before Christmas. The staff were all warm and gracious without being intrusive. Their book of local restaurant menu's is great - and our bar waitress even made our dinner reservations for us (a pleasant surprise service). Taking their shuttle downtown to dinner each night was a great service!
The rooms are a bit small, but that is not unusual for a hotel of this age - what is great is the new, clean amenities. Breakfast is still a work in progress, but I know they will get this done right soon. And the garden - it is absolutely gorgous... even in the pouring rain.
Given the great location, the nice rooms and public areas and the fantastic service, I would recommend this to anyone.

Room Tip: We had a garden room that included a covered patio overlooking the garden - a great place to sit and...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Top Contributor
128 reviews 128 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

This hotel is in a wonderful location about four blocks from the centre of Carmel and about three from the beach. The hotel itself is quite charming with a warm inviting lobby and beautiful gardens in which there is a small pool. There is no gym which was a surprise for a hotel of this size.

Our room, which was small but nicely furnished, faced the street with the window at ground level about one metre from the sidewalk which made privacy an issue.

Check in was quick and efficient but it seemed as though the reception staff had patter they had been taught to say whether the customer wanted to hear it or not.

Our room seemed clean but when we checked the glasses left in the bathroom they were dirty which indicated they had not been changed. The bathroom itself was okay although the hot water was only just warm.

Breakfast was served in a delightful sunny room on the second floor. Unfortunately the room is not set up as a restaurant nor as a lounge but something in between that servies neither purpose well. About half the room is taken up by a sofa and chairs and a large table on which some of the breakfast offerings are placed.

The sunny room was full when we arrived and so we had to choose between going outside or into the adjoining bar area which is dark and uninviting. It was a cold morning so we sat at a table in the bar area. No sooner had we sat down than the staff decided to place three large used coffee urns on the table by our side. Not a big deal but an indication of the lack of thought and/or training which typified the breakfast service.

Because we went into the bar area we failed to notice that there was an omelette station located out of sight in the outside area. Perhaps there is some reason why the omelette station has to be located outside away from the main food table, but why out of sight? It would make much more sense to have all the food options located in the same general area. The selection of food was adequate but not more than that.

On the second day we found the omelette station but the experience was not good. The "chef" seemed to have no real idea of how to cook omelettes quickly. We ordered two omelettes and were told "to come back in ten minutes". I returned in about ten minutes to find one omelette ready but the other one not started so another "come back in ten minutes". This was another indication of lack of training and/or management. The omelette itself was not well made.

The other very strange thing about the set up for breakfast is that there is a set of double doors between the sunroom and the veranda. The doors have strong return springs on them so it takes a strong push to open them and that's not easy when you're carrying plates of food or glases. When you open the door you are confronted by a small set of steps and a guide rail set up in the centre of the steps between the two double doors. The guide rail prevents you walking down the centre of the steps which is the natural thing to do when you go through double doors. It was quite funny to watch people with their hands full with plates. etc making the effort to push open the door and then navigate around the guide rail. It's a small thing but, to me, it indicated a lack of thought in the whole breakfast set up.

In summary, I do not think this hotel justifies the relatively steep price and I will not return.

Room Tip: Try to avoid ground floor rooms facing the street as the windows at street level are very close to t...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012 via mobile

We have stayed here for several years...
We have just returned to see what the new owners have done.
What a disappointment !
The room was not ready after calling them to let them know we would be there early (which we we not) 4:00? Our room is not ready? One person cleaning rooms!
The fabo restaurant is no longer!
The happy hour in the bar usually filled with locals is totally empty.....
It seems like they are working with a short staff, they have taken a fabulous hotel & ruined it!
What a shame!
We asked for our money back & left.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 ( Wi-Fi ) Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Carmel
#3 Romantic Hotel in Carmel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — La Playa Carmel 3*
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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