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“Good Start, Bad Ending”
Review of La Playa Carmel

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La Playa Carmel
Ranked #6 of 25 Hotels in Carmel
Certificate of Excellence
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
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4  Thank jessica k
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 reviewResponded 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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740 - 746 of 893 reviews

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
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1  Thank Larry F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank Max M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2013

Historic and charming. Excellent staff. Perfect location, quiet and close to Carmel town and the ocean. Rate was fair, and included an excellent breakfast which I looked forward to, on a beautiful patio. Ocean breeze kept the room cool. Very comfortable bed. Recently redone. Gardens and a pool. Nice bar with reasonable drinks. Close to amazing natural beauty, and Carmel is alive as an artist community. Great food in town, and shopping. Perfect long weekend.

Room Tip: Ask for larger room with a desk and windows that open, and high floor, or room with a patio.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank mgalbut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2013

Here is the list of pros and cons

Pros:
a quaint little place with nice bed and view
nice breakfast
nice grounds
nice shuttle service to downtown although it's a walking distance
extra-miles service from the shuttle driver
walking distance to a nice stretch of beach

Cons:
Nice view but couldn't really leave the windows open since they face the neighbor's patio due to its location being right in the middle of residential street.
small bathroom

Depends on what you pay, I think this is a charming hotel over all but it is a bit more like a B&B.

Room Tip: No elevator but the staff will carry your luggage for you.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank luvnsol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2013

As the President of a hospitality consulting company, I have the wonderful opportunity to spend many nights in many beautiful hotels both nationally and internationally.
I had chosen La Playa Carmel as I had heard it was an historic hotel close to the ocean and away from the downtown center of Carmel. I was not disappointed on any level.
The openness and willingness to help of all the staff there, from the engineers to the front desk agents, from the General Manager to the servers, they provided a sense of welcome and warmth that I rarely experience.
The outside grounds with its different sections of gardens and pool are absolutely charming.
The breakfast served is creative with many options to chose from.
The outside terrace overlooking the sea transports you to another time and place.
All of these factors confirm that you have made the right choice.
BRAVO TEAM LA PLAYA CARMEL!
Eric Weiss
President, Service Arts, Inc.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank Eric W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2013

On each of our visits, our rooms were really lovely, with terrific ocean views. We loved the location, being a short walk to town, but out of the hustle and bustle, and for those who'd rather get their exercise on the beach, that's just a stone's throw away. They also offer a complimentary shuttle to and from town, which is great if you're wearing high heels to dinner.
The deck and fire pit is a wonderful place to enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail or the complimentary breakfast buffet. Service is relaxed, friendly and very helpful.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank YountvilleShelia
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 County > Carmel
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Carmel
#2 Business Hotel in Carmel
#2 Family Hotel in Carmel
#3 Luxury Hotel in Carmel
#6 Romantic Hotel in Carmel
Price Range: $355 - $913 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — La Playa Carmel 4*
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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