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“Favorite” 5 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)   |  
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Ranked #5 of 23 Hotels in Carmel
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Favorite”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

A most beautiful hotel, near the ocean, with friendly helpful staff. We've gone there for many years and always enjoyed it. Under new management, there are some changes. The staff is friendlier, but the former staff were on the sidewalk outside protesting the loss of their jobs. That concerned us, even though we appreciated the readiness of current staff to respond to our requests. The restaurant is closed although they still serve some food in the bar. We missed being able to eat there, and hope the restaurant will reopen. We love the buildings, the architecture, the abundance of flowers, the welcoming fire in the fireplace and the ambiance, so we will return.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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452 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 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 (182)
Date | Rating
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English first
Santa Rosa, California
Level Contributor
52 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013

Every room is different and that is the charm. Beautifully landscaped grounds with flowers everywhere. Immaculate and just renovated. The room's flat screen was rather small though and the bathroom has virtually no counter space and was small. But then I had a small room. I could see the ocean from my room (3rd Floor). No elevators - the lobby is on the second floor so it was only one flight up. Only a 16 space parking lot, so you are parking on the street, but this hotel is set in the middle of a residential neighborhood. The neighborhood is safe - avg home price around $2 million. Food was good and tends to the gourmet side. Hotel was very quiet and you could hear the ocean from your room. Within walking distance to the quaint village of Carmel and all it's shopping and dining.

Room Tip: Ask for ocean side.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
British Columbia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

Newly renovated and just regaining its sea legs. No restaurant but plenty of 5 stars near by on Ocean Avenue and surrounds - easy walking distance - just remember to bring a flashlight as there are no streetlights - part of the charm don't you know! You might want to leave bread crumbs behind you as you leave your hotel in the evening - the narrow streets can be confusing in the dark and after a bottle or two of a fine California red. Lounge/bar serves a great breakfast (compliments of the house) and afternoon nibbles, though it is still finding its bearings.

Our room - 114 - must have been the best on in the house - one of three connected "townhouses" effectively - opening directly onto the pool. The fragrance of tropical flowers greeting us in the morning - the gardens and spacious green areas - the historic architecture - the beautiful furnishings and amenities - the lovely staff - Perfection.

And then - the protest. A good sized group of peaceful and professional-appearing folks chanting their concerns walked on the sidewalk around the perimeter of the hotel. The protest was being held on behalf of the original staff who had been "let go" before the remodeling began a year or so earlier and had not been re-hired when the hotel opened anew.

Instead, management had made the decision to hire new staff. Non-union staff.

The protesters handed us their flyer showing 24 original employees with names, photos and years of service. Also the flyer suggested the names of union hotels in the area - hotels which respect the legal rights of workers.

So while I rate this hotel highly, I have to ask: Is Perfection everything? Or, is Perfection even possible when employees are not compensated appropriately?

I want to be served by people who make a living wage - not someone who is so desperately poor that they must consider theft to survive. I want to be served by persons who have healthcare - not someone who is unable to receive medical care for a contagious infection. I want to leave a $5 tip after my breakfast service and not be chased down by the recipient with virtual tears of gratitude. Yes, this happened.

My husband and I love this hotel where we fell in love twenty years ago - and came to celebrate our anniversary in February. And we aim to return again - but with hopes that the dignity of fair treatment for staff has been returned.

Room Tip: 114, 115 and 116 are the only poolside rooms - spacious with gas fireplaces - very nice.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 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.
Charleston, South Carolina
Level Contributor
27 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

La Playa Carmel is dedicated to service and your comfort in Carmel.
Only two blocks from Scenic Dr . And the Rocky Coast is the constant lull of crashing
Waves from this Hotel. The view of the formal gardens, fountains and year round blooms
Of flowers are breath taking and due to the hill that it is situated, the Pacific Ocean is a clear
View.
The Library / breakfast room presents a lovely brunch included in your stay. This glass room
Is perched high to the west end of the building for many commanding views. Outdoor
Patio with fire pit and heat lamps are an option ..... Depending on the season.
Two blocks to Ocean Blvd. ( Main Street) puts you close to galleries, restaurants, interesting
Shops or coffee Bar. It is intimate and cozy. Staff is extremely kind....and service is tops.
This is our first stay here, but have stayed at other Small Inn's.....delightful. However,
La Playa Carmel is my first choice. Try Cypress Inn for lunch. Pets welcome.

Room Tip: Your choice is garden or ocean view. Our garden view clearly had ocean view too. Cottage rooms ar...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pleasant Hill, California
Level Contributor
189 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

My wife and I have been coming to this hotel for a conference every other year for more than 20 years. We look forward to its serenity, the lovely Carmel setting, the meeting rooms with ocean views, the familiar staff, the restaurant where we'd dine with old friends. Oops! No more!

La Playa is under new ownership and there have been many changes. While I presume these changes were done because they were "good for business," they weren't good for our business.

1) We reserved a "Garden view" room and were given "a cave," with neither garden nor view. There was a single window at eye level (the others were slits near the ceiling); Unfortunately, this window looked out on the hotel entryway and, even while closed, we were forced to listen to other guests at all hours, rolling their luggage carts and conversing.
2) The meeting room we loved was sold off and we were limited to a single space for our conference sessions.
3) While the service was good, it was sad to discover that all but a few of the previous employees had been replaced, including some who had been there for many years. (We learned that the new ownership preferred not to have unionized employees.)
4) The restaurant is gone, replaced by "bar food." (Food for events was provided by contracted catering services.)

While we received a "conference rate" that was affordable, La Playa's new "regular" rates are way too high for what is offered.

What a disappointment, what a pity!

Room Tip: If you reserve a "Garden View Room," check before you go that you are getting what you res...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mead, Washington
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

The hotel and its staff are excellent. The location is excellent ,close to everything yet secluded for a quiet atmosphere. It was our first stay and it will not be our last. The manager Gennero Filice took care of all details that we needed help with. He made our stay very enjoyable. The grounds are well kept and beautiful. They offer a free shuttle to and from restaurants a great feature.
The free brunch every morning was outstanding. It was the most relaxing hotel I have ever stayed at.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

Less than two blocks from the beach and a few more blocks to Downtown Carmel, La Playa is an oasis of cozy charm. Service is impeccable, and while the rooms are small, the views are amazing of the ocean and the surrounding property -- terraced gardens and seating areas, giant chess pieces await eager players and pathways that weave throughout.

Room Tip: Ask for the room you would like -- the staff does what they can to accommodate.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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 1
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)
Phone Number:
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:
#2 Business Hotel in Carmel
#4 Family Hotel in Carmel
#6 Romantic Hotel in Carmel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — La Playa Carmel 3*
Number of rooms: 75
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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