This Relais & Chateaux hotel was built in 1929 as a retreat for creative minds and offers a slice of old Europe by the beaches of the New World.
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Beach | Food & wine | Relaxation
This gorgeous white-washed building sits right in the centre of Carmel-by-the-Sea, a smart coastal retreat 120 miles south of San Francisco and 15 minutes from the Carmel Valley wine region. The town’s white-sand beach, restaurants, artists’ galleries and upscale boutiques are all on the hotel’s doorstep. Monterey, immortalised by Steinbeck in Cannery Row and other novels, is just a short drive away, as is 17 Mile Drive and the famous Pebble Beach golf links.
The 20 rooms have maintained an air of the 1920s, with French shutters on the windows, antique doorknobs and original black-and-white photography on the walls, taken by the hotelier and amateur photographer, Helmut Horn. Crisp Italian sheets grace the large wooden beds, set off by the finest fabrics and down bedding. Bathrooms have recessed lighting and under-floor heating – some have deep-soaking tubs as well as walk-in showers – while modern touches include flatscreen TVs and iPod music systems. The rooms come off a central courtyard with a fountain in the middle and generous outdoor seating.
Executive Chef Justin Cogley has a well-earned reputation for innovation and execution, creating menus that celebrate the seasons using the finest local produce. His 12-table restaurant, Aubergine, offers a fabulous eight-course tasting menu. For an additional supplement, each dish can be paired with a wine from the restaurant’s 2,500-bottle wine cellar. Curated by the hotel’s own wine director, the cellar tends to focus on French classics and star performers from nearby Monterey County.
We recommend indulging in some of the hotel’s additional services to make your stay that bit more special. A range of spa treatments, for example, can be enjoyed in the privacy of your own room. Or you could prepare a lunch with Executive Chef Justin Cogley himself, to be savoured thereafter in the beautiful hotel courtyard. Or perhaps surprise your partner with a romantic turndown service, complete with orchid petal bath, truffles and champagne.
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