Answers from Our Experts (2)
Tradewinds Carmel has had an exotic design style since it opened in 1959. The Forbes Travel Guide Recommended hotel evokes a Polynesian escape, with its bamboo detailing, palms and rustic stone exterior. In 2004, the luxury hotel was redone by Charles Gruwell, who created the interiors at Mandalay Bay and Four Seasons in Las Vegas. All the guest rooms and grounds were updated with a high style that was inspired by luxurious Aman resorts. Rooms have warm, chic hues — cream, tan and brown, with subtle accents in other shades. A trickling fountain filled with river stones and a bamboo holder with a fresh orchid adorn the foyer. The bath area, which is just off the foyer in some king bedrooms, is swathed in taupe travertine, with a deep jetted tub, separate glassed-in shower and a tansu-style vanity chest adorned with Asian pulls and a speckled black-and-tan marble top. The entry floor is done in tumbled slate tile; as you enter the bedroom, it gives way to tan wool woven carpeting with a subtle grid pattern that calls to mind a tatami mat. Furnishings like an armoire reminiscent of bamboo, silver-cloud-patterned lamps atop deep-red Chinese bedside chests and a pair of woven armchairs flanking a glass café table with a base of bamboo bands create an upscale Asian atmosphere. The Eastern vibe continues in touches like patterned pillows and a strip of obi cloth laid across the white Frette duvet, a bunch of bamboo stalks placed in a large urn and a long scroll-style art piece with calligraphy and a bamboo. The Carmel hotel’s distinct look manages to bring a piece of the Far East to California’s Central Coast.
The design style of Tradewinds Carmel is not what you might expect in this pretty tree-lined village with upscale shops, art galleries and cozy cafes flanked by English cottage gardens, Mediterranean-style villas and a ruggedly stunning coastline. The Forbes Travel Guide Recommended hotel’s Asian influence pushes the architectural envelope of this California Central Coast artistic colony.
The Tradewinds’ curb appeal has an understated Frank Lloyd Wright quality to it. Once inside the courtyard, which has a stream, expect the tranquil retreat to begin its subtle transport. The giant ferns, tumbling waters, bamboo, arbors and antique lanterns feel more like Bali than California. The subtropical caress carries over into the guest rooms, which have Asian art, custom furniture and unique touches like kimono robes.