Luxury Resorts in Carmel

by Joanne Thomas
The coast of Carmel, California

The coast of Carmel, California

l'océan pacifique vue de carmel, california image by sébastien marassoglou from

Carmel, also known as Carmel-by-the-Sea, is a picturesque community on the central coast of California. Lodging options in Carmel tend to be small and intimate, but provide exceptional facilities like gourmet restaurants and lavishly appointed guest rooms and suites. They cater to visitors seeking a romantic escape, a world-class golf trip or outdoor recreation along the unspoiled coastline.

L'Auberge Carmel

L'Auberge Carmel consists of an intimate, 12-table gourmet restaurant and a three-story inn in a whitewashed stucco building dating back to 1929. L'Auberge was awarded a place on both Conde Nast Traveler's Gold List and Travel and Leisure magazine's Top 500 World's Best Hotels list in 2010. Its 20 guest rooms surround a brick courtyard adorned with Mediterranean plants and fountains. Old-world European touches are featured throughout the property, such as French windows, antique doorknobs, and overstuffed armchairs and ottomans in the guest rooms, which are decorated with rich jewel tones. Contemporary amenities include LCD-screen televisions and high-end bed linens.

Tradewinds Carmel

Tradewinds Carmel is a 28-room hotel with an interior design inspired by Bali and the Asian tropics that has been lauded in Architectural Digest. The theme is exemplified in room features like lacquered furniture, bamboo accents and Kimono robes. Luxurious touches include goose-down feather beds, organic Aveda bath products and wet bars. Most guest rooms offer fireplaces and views of the Pacific Ocean; some include jetted bathtubs and balconies. Tradewinds Carmel's concierge services include arranging spa treatments and recommending exceptional local restaurants. A tranquil central courtyard offers shaded seating, a meditation garden and a life-size stone Buddha statue. The hotel offers several packages combining accommodations with spa treatments, fine dining, yoga workshops and other activities around the Monterey Peninsula.

Bernardus Lodge

Bernardus Lodge is scenically situated amid oak groves and vineyards in the Carmel Valley countryside. In addition to its 57 guest suites housed within nine adobe-style buildings, the property includes Marinus Restaurant, The Spa at Bernardus Lodge, and its own vineyard and winery. The lodge, spa and restaurant were all awarded four stars by the Forbes Travel Guide in 2010. Bernardus Lodge was also named the "Sixth Best Hotel in the U.S." by readers of Conde Nast Traveler in 2007. Guests are pampered with a glass of wine upon arrival, followed by a tour of the property with a concierge. The suites range from 525 to 1,875 square feet, and feature vaulted ceilings, built-in wine grottos with complimentary wine, fresh flowers and private decks with mountain views.

Hyatt Carmel Highlands

Hyatt Carmel Highlands is an oceanfront hotel and resort with 48 guest rooms and suites, which are available in a dozen configurations. The premier room option is a two-bedroom, ocean-view suite with a balcony, wood-burning fireplace, fully equipped kitchen and marble spa tub. On-site facilities include a heated outdoor swimming pool, three garden spas and a fitness room. Guests may borrow mountain bikes from the resort free of charge. Dining options consist of two on-site restaurants and two cocktail lounges. The Pacific's Edge Restaurant boasts the AAA Four Diamond award and a mention among Zagat's Top 100 Restaurants in the United States, in part due to the spectacular ocean views enjoyed by diners.

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