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.
- 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