What began as a residential apartment building back in 1929 has morphed into L’Auberge Carmel, a Relais & Chateaux boutique hotel that exudes luxury in Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Constructed around an interior courtyard with a babbling fountain in the middle, the 20 room property oozes old world charm with its Mullion and Muntins windows in the front lobby and the cozy fireplace blazing in the salon.
My room, #21 is a standard king courtyard, but there is nothing standard about this hotel. From the personalized greeting upon arrival, to the turn down service with homemade cookies and milk, no detail is left uncovered. Little touches, like caramels in a glass dish on my desk, made in-house by Pastry Chef Ron Mendoza, and radiant heated bathroom tiles, are noticed and appreciated after a day of walking the streets of Carmel.
The actual rooms include foam and feather pillows, a flashlight (Carmel’s streets are not lite at night) hairdryer, laundry bags and H2O Spa bath amenities, as well as a Nespresso machine, television and two bottles of water in the refrigerator.
Similar to an upscale bed and breakfast, Aubergine Signature Breakfast is included with your stay. Breakfast is served from 7:30 – 10:30 a.m. and is available in restaurant, in-room, or served on the courtyard after 9:00 a.m. Breakfast includes two eggs, Julian’s fruit place, breakfast pastry (banana bread on my visit) whole grain toast, fresh squeezed orange juice and Tazzina coffee or Rare Tea Cellar loose leaf tea. Hot chocolate is an additional charge, as is espresso or cappuccino.
The hotel boasts a Forbes 5 star restaurant, Aubergine, overseen by Chef Justin Cogley. The wine cellar includes over 900 selections to pair with chefs unique cuisine and are terroir driven. Additionally, the property has a 4,000 bottle underground cellar, maintaining a constant 62 degree temperature.
Ideally situated one block from Ocean Avenue on Seventh and Monte Verde Street (one of the charms of Carmel is the lack of street numbers) and four blocks from the beach, the hotel is seven miles from the many things to see and do in Monterey, including the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Rates range from $435 – $730, depending on the season, as well as special events happening in the area. My standard courtyard king rented for $540 plus tax, in addition to the $30 service fee. Always check the hotel website for current pricing.
Cooking classes are offered ($100 per person) and include recipes and instruction. Special packages include equestrian, romance or sailing excursions. For additional insider tips follow @nancydbrown on Twitter and @laubergecarmel.
Need to know:
Check in: 3:30 p.m.
Check out: 12:00 p.m.
$30 service fee covers daily valet, as well as gratuity for breakfast servers and 2x daily housekeeping. The property is pet-friendly ($100 for entire stay) for dogs 10 lbs and under in certain rooms.
If You Go:
L’Auberge Carmel (831) 624-8578
Monte Verde at Seventh
Carmel-by-the-Sea, California 93921
Article, photography and video by travel writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of L’Auberge Carmel and Carmel-by-the-Sea, however all opinions are my own.