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“Perfect hotel to unwind + Carmel great base for exploring” 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)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 22 Hotels in Carmel
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Perfect hotel to unwind + Carmel great base for exploring”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

We got to La Play in Carmel after a long drive, got up to our room with big window views out over the cypress trees and the Pacific and immediately began to feel all 'cotton wooly'. We spent 4 glorious nights here in this very comfortable, great value hotel with impeccable service. Even though it was April we had a couple of nice dips in the pool and early evening poolside snoozes in with the setting sun. The dinner/room service menu is small but we got into the chicken cobb salad. There's a great little bar downstairs with Anchor Steam on tap, so you can't really go wrong. Breakfast was great too, big old selection including waffles made in front of you on the terrace, where there are tables with inset braziers to keep off the chill. We were 2 mins from Carmel beach and 2 or 3 minutes from the overly shi shi (but quite funny as a result) array of Carmel boutiques. The walk/jog along the beach front to the south is beautiful, especially when you get to the point and carry on to look at some of the obscurely antiquated house designs up there, including one 3 bed with small terrace that I kid you not was on sale for $6m! We didn't mind the marginally tasteless nature of the overpriced Carmel shops/restaurants (feels a bit like monaco but a lot cuter) as La Playa was such a haven and Carmel with its wonderful beach the perfect place to start from to explore each day. Carmel has some good little nooks too - you'll find a great little Deli to grab a packed lunch and we had memorable pints and a spectacular fireside steak at Hog's Breath. The best day out we had was by hiring bicycles from the hotel (the 5 minute health and safety/insurance led chat at the outset was hysterical) and peddling along the coast then highway 1 for 2km to the amazing Point Lobos reserve - absolutely stunning in whale cove, China Cove and everywhere else. At any place of interest in Carmel (and for that matter Northern California) there seemed to be a sprightly 70 year old very friendly lady volunteering in local guide clothes and dispensing very interesting knowledge about a particular place, bit of nature etc - how cool is that? We saw baby seals with their mothers on several beaches and were stunned by the raw beauty and nature there. We were also blown away by the Monterey Aquarium - far and away the best we've ever been to. Also the Henry Miller library down spectacular Big Sur was a curious and memorable highlight. We'll be back!

  • Stayed April 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
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284 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 (127)
Date | Rating
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English first
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

We're staying here as I write this. All I can hear is the stomping around and talking of the people in the room above us. Very annoying. Rooms are clean but small - bathroom is very small - our room is almost claustrophobic. We have an "ocean view" room. I can see the ocean if I go to the very corner of our room & look out the window. Right! TV remote only changes channels; we have to manually change volume & turn it on and off. The physical property itself is quite nice & convenient to town. I was really looking forward to staying at La Playa because of good things I've read and heard about this hotel, but we won't be coming back. Glad we've got lots of things to do this weekend so we don't have to spend much time in our room. Not worth the $$$

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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, May 22, 2013
Thank you for your feedback. Although we have installed extensive soundproofing during our recent rennovation, we are continuing to make improvements in this area. I was pleased to know that you were happy with thesecond room that we located for you and that you went on to enjoy the rest of your stay. Please don't hesitate to contact me directly when your plans bring you back to Carmel

Best regards,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2013

I had a wonderful stay at the hotel La Playa Carmel. It's seriously SO CLOSE to the beach which is a huge plus and really close to all the shops to walk around at in downtown carmel. My best friend and I had a girls trip for a little get away as we both live in San Francisco and it's sometimes nice to get out of the city.

The hotel grounds were immaculate, we spent a whole day lounging by the pool which is heated and so its really nice in the sometimes chilly northern california air. We grabbed a pre-dinner drink at the hotel bar where the bartender made us his signature drink which was a cucumber martini.. MUST HAVE IT... it was so yummy!

Then the hotel also offers a complimentary shuttle service with a nice mini van and the driver will take u to your restaurant for dinner.

Our room was extremely clean (I am a neat freak too so it was definitely clean!!!) They do a turndown service so when we got back from dinner they had nice music on in the room and all the windows had been closed too. The bed was comfortable and the linens were comfy too!

I will definitely be back at this hotel for another weekend get away! Carmel is such a great town!

Room Tip: We wanted to save some $$ so we didnt specify a room. If you want a good one they do have amazing o...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013 via mobile

The staff pampered us, were very friendly and knowledgeable of the area, which was helpful. The locational was perfectly located near the beach and ocean view room was amazing. The breakfast served was of good quality and also tasteful and plentiful, and the bartender was very friendly and knowledgeable.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
pasadena
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

Just returned from a "ladies weekend" at La Playa. While not luxurious, it is a lovely property in the "old California" beach hotel tradition. The rooms are simply (Pottery Barn style) but nicely decorated. The grounds, location and views are beautiful. The wait staff and bellmen were gracious. The front desk is another story. Sadly, what would have been an almost perfect getaway ended in confusion, rudeness and discomfort.

Since we were a group of 8, a contract had been signed months ago to reserve a block of rooms and a meeting place. At the time, the contract required a 25% deposit but did NOT specify how the deposit would be applied (rooms, food, etc.). The contract also stipulated that the meeting room was provided at NO COST. The morning of check out, I, as the "co-chair" of the group went to the front desk to inquire about how the rooms would be charged, individually or to a master account? The somewhat obsequious young woman said she did not know. I suggested that since I had paid a deposit for the weekend, could the entire obligation for all rooms be charged to my account? She disappeared momentarily and upon returning said "yes". As I was walking away she called and said she made a mistake and that each occupant needed to settle their account individually. That would have been ok, however I wanted to know how my deposit of $750 was applied. She could not answer the question and called her manager, a less than enthusiastic and subsequently rude young man. He insisted that "per the contract" the deposit was to cover the cost of food and the rental of the conference room and nothing else. I said that did not seem correct since we only charged 2 salads, 4 glasses plus 2 bottles of wine, 2 beers, a cheese platter and most importantly the conference room was provided at no cost. The total would be substantially less than $750. He insisted that we were to be charged for the conference room. At no time did he reference the actual contract. I needed to go out to my car to get it and prove to him that I was correct. Once given proof of my recollection, he curtly stated my deposit would be adjusted appropriately. He was generally rude and did not offer an apology for his mistake. He said that they would need to review the bill and send it to me. It is now a day later and the statement has not been forwarded to me.

Sadly for the hotel, a number of our group were near and witnessed the discussion. One woman stated she was "thinking of planning a getaway to La Playa with her husband, but would now go elsewhere". I certainly will not return. A beautiful view does not compensate for a rude and uninformed management staff.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Mary C, General Manager at La Playa Carmel, responded to this review, May 20, 2013
Thank you for your feedback. I apologize for the unfortunate check out experience you encountered and regret any inconvienience this caused. I am so happy that you have accepted our invitation to return as our guest and I am pleased that we were able to resolve the billing issues to your satisfaction. We look forward to your return.

Best regards,
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Los Altos, California, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

We had a small business retreat last week at La Playa in Carmel. The renovated property is beautiful and the staff very pleasant and accommodating. Our group had a Mexican dinner reception on the outdoor balcony level patio. The food was far better than I had expected and the setting could not have been nicer. Would definitely come back.

  • Stayed May 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

It is hard to go wrong in Carmel. Businesses that exist either bring it or don't exist (in Carmel) at all. La Playa Carmel has brought it with elegance and ease.

The grounds are lush with plants and flowers. The building itself is expansive and encourages wandering; it is soothing on the eyes. The staff are accessible, friendly, professional, and out of the way, until you need them!

The covered patio dining was lovely and refreshing; great service. The linens, towels et al were what one would expect at a five star place. I liked the plantation-style shutters which could expose the ocean view or block the setting sun.

Access to shopping and dining was a casual five minute walk, allowing one to enjoy the beautiful Carmel neighborhood. One felt like being at home in an ideal neighborhood.

I highly recommend La Playa Carmel to anyone who wants to experience gracious, respectful, professional service and accommodations. It is worth the drive or flight.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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)
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:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Carmel
#4 Family 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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