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!
- 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