Downtown Carmel location near lots of shops and restaurants
Elegant rooms with Bose docks and Nespresso coffeemakers, some with separate tubs
Excellent fine-dining restaurant, Aubergine, with daily tasting menu
Wine cellar with 2500-strong bottle collection
Free breakfast with eggs, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and fruit
In-room massages and spa treatments are available
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Three pet-friendly rooms available
Rooms showing some minor wear (improvements planned for late 2017)
No pool or fitness center
Daily service fee (though covers valet parking and gratuities)
L'auberge Carmel is a 20-room upscale boutique hotel in downtown Carmel, California, a 10-minute walk from the beach. This intimate property stands out for its charming European feel, lovely courtyard, and thoughtful touches such as an excellent free breakfast and an evening turndown service that includes milk and cookies. Rooms are elegant, if sometimes showing a bit of wear, and are equipped with Bose audio docks and Nespresso coffeemakers. There's no fitness center or pool, but the hotel can arrange for in-room massages. The fine-dining restaurant, Aubergine, offers eight-course tasting menus and optional wine pairings from L'Auberge's 2,500-bottle collection. While this is an excellent, sophisticated choice for a small hotel, travelers may also want to consider the less expensive Cypress Inn, another historic boutique that dates to 1929.
Boutique hotel with 1929 roots and 2012 renovations
L’Auberge Carmel is a Relais & Chateaux boutique hotel housed in a structure dating back to 1929. Though it still has a classic appeal, 2004 restorations and a 2012 renovation brought a fresh feel to the rooms and common spaces. The dark furniture and neutral shades of brown and tan used throughout the property looks sophisticated and elegant. Most guests here are couples looking for an upscale coastal getaway, and the property gets plenty of Bay Area weekend guests along with international travelers on coastal road trips. Note that a daily service fee is tacked onto room rates in lieu of tips (it also covers valet parking).
Downtown Carmel location, within walking distance of shops and restaurants
L'Auberge Carmel is located on a beautiful tree-lined street in downtown Carmel, in a quaint area with plenty of restaurants, bars, and boutiques. It's about a four-minute walk to Forest Theater and a 10-minute walk to Carmel Beach. Tor House, home of famous poet Robinson Jeffers, is a five-minute drive from the hotel and Carmel Mission takes six minutes to reach by car. Pebble Beach Golf Course is eight minutes by car, Gravity Garden takes 10 minutes, and its a 13-minute drive to Point Lobos. The San Jose International Airport takes about an hour and 25 minutes to reach.
Upscale rooms with high-end amenities and courtyard or ocean views
L'Auberge Carmel offers a variety of room categories, ranging from 250-square-foot (76-square-meter) Standard Courtyard Queens with, unsurprisingly, courtyard views clear up to Superior Peek Ocean View Kings, which measure from 400 to 450 square feet (122 to 137 square meters) and have views of the ocean. Decor is similar across categories and feels upscale and classic, with beige plush carpeting, cream-colored walls, dark furniture, and brown paisley print bedspreads and accent cushions. There is minor wear here and there, such as scuff marks on the wall, carpet that could use refreshing, and nicks on the furniture, but the hotel has some improvements planned for late 2017.
All rooms come with flat-screen TVs, Bose docks, robes, safes, Nespresso coffeemakers, and minibars. Bathrooms are reasonably spacious, with stone-tiled floors and matching walk-in showers (featuring rainfall showerheads in more expensive rooms), and makeup mirrors, hairdryers, and H20+ brand toiletries are provided. Higher-category rooms add deep separate soaking tubs. Three pet-friendly rooms are available. Note that there is no elevator, and the stairs are a bit narrow.
Excellent restaurant, an extensive wine list, free Wi-Fi, and limited wellness amenities
L'Auberge doesn't offer much in terms of amenities, particularly for an upscale hotel. However, it is home to one of the area's more popular fine-dining restaurants, Aubergine, which offers eight-course daily tasting menus that change daily. There's also a private dining area in the cellar, which holds around 2,500 bottles. A breakfast of fresh-squeezed orange juice, coffee, fruit, and eggs is included in room rates. Room service is also available. There's no spa, wellness center, or pool, but the hotel does offer in-room spa treatments and massages. The hotel can also arrange small weddings and events, and while there aren't any dedicated meeting rooms, the courtyard, cellar, restaurant, and a small salon next to the restaurant can be rented out for private events. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel and valet parking is available and covered by the service fee--a significant plus, since parking in Carmel can be a hassle. Note that the hotel does not have its own lot, but parks your car for you on nearby streets.