Most Luxurious Hotel
La Playa Hotel and Cottages-by-the-Sea
Web site: www.laplayahotel.com
Nestled between the beach and the village of Carmel, La Playa Hotel and Cottages-by-the-Sea is a graceful hotel with lots of personal touches. Its luxurious rooms look out on either the village or the hotel’s elegant gardens. Five airy and spacious cottages are tucked away below the hotel’s main garden and provide the prefect accommodations for discerning family vacationers. These cottages include a full kitchen and a garden patio, and some even have wood-burning fireplaces. Add in the full menu of spa services and the Terrace Grill, which offers al fresco dining on the heated patio, and it’s clear why La Playa is called the “Grande Dame of Carmel.”
Most Romantic Hotel
Highlands Inn, Park Hyatt Carmel
Web site: www.highlandsinn.hyatt.com
Perched atop craggy cliffs overlooking the pounding surf, the scene is properly set for romance at the Highlands Inn. This Hyatt resort exudes an upscale rustic retreat vibe, making it the perfect choice for honeymooners or travelers looking for an escape. The rooms are spacious and well-equipped with all the best amenities. The splurge for the ocean view is worth the additional cost, as the view of the Big Sur coastline from the balcony or patio is breathtaking. If a room with a view is out of your budget, make reservations for dinner at the Pacific’s Edge Restaurant and check out the ocean vistas with some dinner and a glass of wine.
Carriage House Inn
Web site: www.innsbythesea.com
The Carriage House Inn is so warm and inviting that it’s like visiting the home of your favorite aunt or old friend. Rooms are outfitted with classic Victorian decor, whirlpools or deep-soaking tubs, fireplaces and plush beds with cozy down comforters. It’s a good thing that breakfast and the paper are delivered right to your room each morning, because it’s hard to tear yourself away from all this comfort. The inn is just steps away from the best of Carmel, from the downtown shops and galleries to the beach.
Best Budget Lodging
Carmel Sands Lodge
Web site: www.carmelsandslodge.com/
Finding budget accommodations in Carmel, or anywhere along California’s popular stretch of coast, can be quite a challenge. This makes the Carmel Sands Lodge all the more desirable to budget travelers looking for basic rooms at a reasonable price. The lodge is made up of 38 no-frills rooms with options for a balcony or fireplace for those looking to splurge. This small hotel may be short on luxurious style, but it makes up for that with a friendly staff and a great location just a short walk to town and the beach.