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“What a wonderful hotel!”
Review of L'Auberge Carmel

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L'Auberge Carmel
Ranked #20 of 25 Hotels in Carmel
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco, CA
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“What a wonderful hotel!”
Reviewed August 14, 2005

This place is as beautiful as the pictures on the website. Our room was very quiet, except for a little traffic noise during the afternoons; the thick plaster walls muffled out all but the loudest sounds from other guests. The bed is very comfortable, the soaking tub was pleasant, and the water pressure in the shower perfect. The radiant heat in the bathroom floor added to the feeling of luxury. The staff was attentive and helpful. Yes, street parking is tough in Carmel; but each time we got a spot within a block from the hotel (we elected to park our own car instead of use the complimentary valet services.) The breakfasts were perfect; each of the three nights were stayed there, the following arrived in our room within ten minutes after calling: press coffee, warm croissants & a plate w/ jam, butter, and soft chocolate to spread onto the croissant, coddled eggs that were piping hot & soft-boiled, fresh squeezed orange juice, and yogurt topped w/ preserves. We had dinner in the bistro portion of the hotel, and that was fabulous as well.

I plan to return here again and again. It is expensive, but everything costs a lot in Carmel! As far as I'm concerned, I don't need to try any other hotel in this area. I've stayed in places half as expensive (Cobblestone Inn) as well as places twice as expensive (Highlands Inn and Post Ranch Inn) and except for the Post Ranch Inn, no place comes close.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4 Thank MLKSanFrancisco_CA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Belmont, CA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2005

We decided to try L'Auberge Carmel based on a recommendation from the local Carmel hotel booking service. The room was nicely decorated with European decor. The flat screen TV was more of a nuisance than a bonus. It is mounted next to the entrance to the bathroom so each time you need to enter the bathroom while watching TV, it needs to be relocated. Not a big deal, just something that they should have considered when designing the room. The bed was very comfortable with luxurious bedding. The complimentary breakfast was excellent and definitely fresh. If you are in a rush, don’t expect quick service since they make everything fresh after you order. Our biggest complaint was the noise level in the room. There was some sort of a generator right outside of our bedroom window. When we mentioned the noise level we were told that when they purchased the unit they were told that it wouldn’t make any noise. Give me a break, it was very loud and I am sure we were not the first people to complain. If the hotel was $100 per night, I would expect the noise, but not at the price we paid. Overall, it is a nice looking hotel with great atmosphere. Just don’t book a room on the East side of the hotel, unless you bring earplugs. We returned from our weekend sleep deprived.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9 Thank LindaGorg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gainesville Ga.
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed May 27, 2005

Ok.....my review is a little dated, considering that I stayed at the Sundial Lodge on an extended California vacation with my parents....I'm estimating 5 years ago or so. And now I find out that it has a fancy, new French name (the L'auberge Carmel) <G>. So basically, I'm writing a review of the place in it's former incarnation! I felt led to do so by the paucity of reviews -and- because of the few less-than-stellar comments I've just read.
I had a truly wonderful trip all over northern California with my parents that began with 3 nights at this amazing inn in Carmel-by-the-Sea. The location couldn't be more superb....about a half block from the main shopping street running thru the center of the village down to the beach. I had to be convinced by a travel agent friend of mine that staying on the ocean was NOT the main draw in the small Disney-esque hamlet of Carmel-by-the-Sea. I'm happy that I listened to her since I would have been seriously grieved if I'd not stayed smack dab in the center of this amazing place. From the Lodge we were able to literally walk everywhere we wanted to go in Carmel! The Lodge itself was absolutely charming. We stayed in a quaint room just to the left of the courtyard that had a bed for my parents and a small separate room/nook behind with another bed for myself. I also was able to see the spacious "honeymoon" suite that backs the entire courtyard. The main building on the street has rooms on, I believe, the 2nd and 3rd floors. There are only 20 rooms total in the lodge. The emphasis on the rooms here was not actually what I would call "luxury" standards (even though I cannot vouch for this since the lodge has transformed itself into the L'Auberge Carmel)....the Lodge was basically a very elegant B&B/small inn with 20 rooms. The rooms, therefore, were quaint...not overly fancy, but perfectly adequate with standard amenities. You will find this to be the case in practically all the small inns in Carmel (in fact, you'll be hard pressed to find a "name" brand hotel/motel here since Carmel is pretty much known for it's inns. Even if you could find your standard Best Westerns/Holiday Inns, etc. in Carmel-by-the-Sea, you would have missed out on what makes Carmel...well.....CARMEL!) Needless to say, my parents and I were extremely comfortable and happy with our accommodations. I'm truly hoping the new L'Auberge still has the same ownership as the former Sundial Lodge as we found the owner to be one of the nicest individuals we've ever had the privilege of meeting while traveling. On our departure day, my Dad lost his car keys somewhere in the village and the owner went FAR, FAR out of his way to make calls to various places in town until he found my Dad's keys. A woman had turned them in at one of the city information offices that our hotel owner happened to call. He had been extremely courteous and warm to us during our stay, but this was just the icing on the cake.
Now...back to the property......I would be very remiss if I didn't mention the famous courtyard. At the time we were there, this particular private courtyard was so well known in Carmel that small tour groups made appointments to view it....it had also won various awards from different organizations. If you can secure a room with a view of this courtyard you will have done something special indeed. It is small, but has so many intricate little layers/raised areas/flower beds, etc. that you can't take it all in. I've never seen such a kaleidoscopic profusion of flowers and colors in such a small space outside of the some of the amazing cottage gardens scattered throughout the English countryside. To top it all off, they even had a tropical bird on a stand that resided in the garden during the day. Our room opened directly onto this amazing space. One of the days my Mother was feeling under the weather and remained in her room all day. When my Dad and I told her how sorry we were that she didn't get to roam the village with us, she replied....."I didn't miss anything at all. Sitting here in this courtyard was like a piece of heaven". Wisely...the hotel at the time allowed guests to take their breakfast out into the courtyard if they wished. You'll wish you had booked an extra day just to sit here and unwind! At the time we were there, the restaurant was shut down. So it's nice to see that this formerly elegant dining room (we were told) is open again.
After reading a couple of negative comments, I felt that I just had to share what I can honestly say are truly golden memories of my 3 nights at the Sundial Lodge/L'Auberge Carmel. The prices weren't economical even 5 years or so ago, but then NOTHING in Carmel is! You've heard of "boutique" hotels....well, Carmel is what you might call a "boutique" destination. There's nothing quite like it, and to experience this little jewelbox of a community, you may have to sell one of your mama's jewels, so to speak....lol. So if you're planning to sleep in Carmel (or even nearby Monterey), a dose of reality about budgeting would definitely be in order.....you just can't stay here cheap folks!
Anyway...I'm standing on the assumption that if they've "upgraded" the Sundial Lodge and come up with a fancy new name for the place, that it must be truly wondrous indeed. I still wouldn't realistically expect Ritz Carlton-styled rooms, but be prepared to indulge in one of the most darling, fantasy-like b&b-type experiences you can imagine!
I can't WAIT to go back someday.............

  • Stayed July 2000
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4 Thank randyanglin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2005

The Sundial has transformed itself to a "European-style" hotel named L'Auberge Carmel." And from the hype in the tour guides and on its web site, you would think this to be a five-star Inn with hot and cold-running foot servants and luxo ooze running under the door jams. When checking in, one finds a $20 per day "service" charge tacked on because they "do not permit tipping." Oh my, hype, hype, hype. It's just the Sundial with a paint job and new, but leaky, shower doors. The twenty bucks is for what service? The hotel has a convenient central location, but there is still no dedicated parking and the "valet" parking consists of the desk clerk driving your car around town looking for a spot on the street. Carmel is pricey at the low end, so the $300+ per night room charge isn't actually that far out of line. But, don't buy the hype. It's just another small, kinda noisy little Carmel joint.

  • Stayed March 2005, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11 Thank DaProf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about L'Auberge Carmel

Property: L'Auberge Carmel
Address: Monte Verde Street at Seventh Avenue, Carmel, CA 93920
Location: United States > California > Monterey County > Carmel
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Carmel
#5 Luxury Hotel in Carmel
#5 Romantic Hotel in Carmel
#12 Family Hotel in Carmel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — L'Auberge Carmel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Built in 1929, the European-style luxury hotel is located just four blocks from famous Carmel Beach and an easy stroll to the village's numerous art galleries, shops and restaurants. Major renovations have transformed the hotel's 20 guest rooms, entrance and landscaped courtyard into a romantic Carmel setting. Luxuriously romantic, the Carmel hotel was created for adults to relax, rejuvenate and nurture relationships—the perfect Carmel escape getaway. The interior decor of guest rooms is rich and pleasing, warm jewel tones accent the quaint charm of the architecture. Individually designed guest rooms feature the finest fabrics and linens, enlarged bath areas with radiant floor heating, some with soaking tubs. It is one of Carmel’s few full service luxury hotels offering valet parking, room service and highly personalized guest services. The highlight of L'Auberge Carmel is its intimate 12-table restaurant, Aubergine, featuring a 4500-bottle wine cellar. It is the passion of Executive Chef Justin Cogley. All accommodations include a sumptuous continental breakfast. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
l`Auberge Carmel Hotel Carmel

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