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“Charming”
Review of La Playa Carmel

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La Playa Carmel
Ranked #5 of 25 Hotels in Carmel
Certificate of Excellence
Paradise Valley, Arizona, USA
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Charming”
Reviewed 10 August 2012 via mobile

This is an old converted estate with charm. Restaurant on site. Pool, no spa or exercise room or air conditioning (which you won't need anyway because of Carmel's lovely mild temps). A short walk to the beach. If you are into charm and history, this is your place. However, there is NO elevator, so book the first floor if you find stairs a challenge or if your luggage will be tough to carry up stairs. The hotel supplies a shuttle to the restaurants/shopping which are close by.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kimberly G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (272)
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Los Angeles, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 August 2012

My husband and I stayed here 13 years ago and we revisited this past week with our two small children. We paid $449 for a garden patio room with 2 queen beds. It is a beautiful location with gorgeous gardens but feels cheapened now... the extra touches all gone and replaced with cheap versions. The best part about the hotel is it's 2 blocks from the beach, but we remember it to be a 5 star service for a 3 star price - now its the other way around. There are so many places in Carmel - next time we will go elsewhere. I have NEVER written a review - but feel compelled to after our visit.

Check-in was 4pm and we arrived after a 4 hour drive with 2 little ones 30mins early to be told our room wasn't ready and we should "go to the beach" or something. The front desk staff were slow and some had a snooty attitude. Another customer was complaining at the same time his room hadn't been serviced for 2 days. We returned at 4.15pm and our room still "wasn't ready", but eventually got in by 5pm.

There is now no room service at all, the restaurant barely operates. We "discovered" the champagne brunch after our stay - no-one told us about it & for dinner was a selection of about 6 small plates. We were "told off" for our children being in the restaurant/bar area and trying to sit on the bar stools while we looked at the menu to see if we could eat there even thought there was no-one else there!

We tried one day to go in the pool - IT IS NOT HEATED - and absolutely FREEZING. My kids ran around the patio area at the back barefoot and one narrowly missed a large piece of broken glass next to one of the bench seats.

The room was boiling hot at night - but there was no air conditioning, we were told to just leave our windows open ...

We were woken at 6am by drilling on the property next to our room.

Dividing our rooms with next door were plants in black plastic pots that were starting to die - a small thing but just wasn't expected here...

We made the most of it but for the $$ spent it was a definite disappointment.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank sml977
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newport Beach, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2012

Great location. 5 minute walk to 'downtown' and beach. Recently renovated. Continental breakfast is second to none...mimosas...omelet bar...awesome. Staff was helpful getting us familiar with the area and even giving us a ride to dinner one night. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Winnbg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
san francisco
Level Contributor
50 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2012

This has always been one of my favorite places to stay in Carmel. It is now 'the' favorite by far.
The hotel is more like a country inn in Provence..small, warm and elegant. So many lovely places to sit and have a glass of wine and chat with friends or just read the newspaper or a good book.
The staff is so accommodating and, in fact, I recently checked-in and checked out the same day because my granddaughter took ill and we needed to get her home immediately. The manager made me feel like he was an old friend of the family and immediately put me at ease by telling me my family's welfare was first and not to worry...just come back. And go back, I will with that kind of old fashioned attitude and service. Indeed, the guest comes first.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank luv2travel42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Phoenix, Arizona, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2012

As soon as we entered Laplaya it was SOO relaxing just total decompression Everyone was so friendly and helpful. The renovation is great, elegant but not overdone, a very warm comfortable at home feeling.
With a perfect location one block from the beach and only a few blocks from town, nothing seemed too far for whatever you wanted to do. Having not been to Carmel before the Concierge was great in assisting us with planning our stay and meals. The kids enjoyed the pool as well as the oversize chess set in the garden setting. Just tremendous time and would not think twice about staying anywhere but La Playa upon our next visit to the area.

Room Tip: We had two rooms and there were both excellent you will not go wrong no matter where you are placed...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Larry B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Henderson, Nevada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2012 via mobile

From the front desk staff to the back of house staff (housekeeping, engineering), everyone was friendly, helpful and professional!

The hotel is beautiful, with a just the right amount of elegance in a place that feels like a home away from home.

You can hear the waves crashing on the beach from your room and the fresh ocean air is addicting. I left my windows open all day and night. The down quilt was perfect for the cooler nighttime tempurature.

Will return as often as possible.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jkrisle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2012

I had stayed at the La Playa hotel in the early 1980s on a trip down the coast with my parents. Everything about it then was first class. The staff, rooms, furnishings, food, service were all first rate.
I stayed two other times in the 1990s and found the hotel very pleasant although the room we had off the garden was charming once and dark and damp another time.
We received a promotional rate invitation a month ago in which we were enticed to come to the newly renovated La Playa. Perhaps I should have known something was amiss, when no one could describe the room other than to say they had been renovated. As you'll see, it's not just the cheap renovation that's the problem!
I'll start by saying we received a wonderful welcome from Pandu as we pulled up. From the exterior, the La Playa
Is as beautiful as ever. Lovely flowers flanking a beautiful Mediterranean building. The gardens behind the hotel are still beautiful, the pool still sits majestically in the middle of the gardens and giant sized chess pieces entice for playing an afternoon game.
The check in was seamless- a big bowl of granny smith apples sat on the front counter. We were taken to the only room I was assured on the phone was available- a suite on the top floor. In reality it was one large room with a bed and night stands, a table for four, a sleeper sofa and some comfy chairs. The room has a wicker theme and cushions in calm beiges and celery tones. The carpet is a striped seagrass that makes for a serene room . Similarly, the bathroom had been done over with beige travertine and was done relatively well.
The pros of our room - the view. The view of palm trees and the rooftops and the magnificent Pacific Ocean.
And the room was clean! No question it has just been done over.
But now the cons. This was without a doubt a cheap renovation. The new furniture reeks of cheap. The towels
are cheap and thin. The bath products, while nice, are no more enticing than at a hotel ONE QUARTER the price.
A hotel with a mini bar and NO DRINKS?there was a welcome noted from the manager - nice touch- and three TINY pieces of fruit/ cheap!
The BIGGEST PROBLEM however was the CHAMPAGNE BRUNCH.
We arrived in the breakfast area at 9 am. After being told the hotel was FULL, we noted that there was ONE server who kept going back into the kitchen and bringing out half a dozen baked goodies at a time. The fruit platter was sparse, the cheese and meat breakfast platter had ONE piece of cheese and a few slices of ham. True there were yogurts, warm cereal and juices and coffee and ONE kind of bread to toast. And there was a bottle of champagne as well. There was, to be fair, another person making eggs or omelettes in an adjacent room, but he was clearly overwhelmed and had no idea of who had ordered what and sometimes had three orders going and other times only one order in the frying pan.
Still, it was quite a while that the ONE server brought out supplies- napkins and cutlery on one trip, more fruit on another trip. Finally, two managerial people turned up and started pitching in.
We gave up and left.
So here's what my complaint is. I paid $489. BEFORE tax for the room
and CHAMPAGNE BRUNCH! I was told the room would regularly be in the $650. range. This was WITHOUT a doubt the BIGGEST RIPOFF I have ever experienced. I want my money back. The staff is pleasant but totally unprepared , they lack the professional demeanor of many other places in town and
vicinty. DO NOT STAY at this MAJOR RIPOFF that should be ASHAMED to be charging LONDON or NEW
YORK rates for little better than a two star hotel. I've had better service, rooms and food at hotels a quarter the price all over this country.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Bigbu
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

Property: La Playa Carmel
Address: Camino Real at 8th Ave, Carmel, CA 93921 (Formerly La Playa Hotel)
Region: United States > California > Monterey County > Carmel
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Carmel
#2 Family Hotel in Carmel
#2 Business Hotel in Carmel
#3 Luxury Hotel in Carmel
#6 Romantic Hotel in Carmel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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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