L'Auberge Carmel

European-inspired cottages near the coast
The striking white stucco of L’Auberge Carmel has a pedigree dating back to 1929. Famed San Francisco architect Albert Farr — who designed Jack London’s first home in Sonoma County — was hired to design a European-style complex of 16 apartments wrapped around an inner courtyard.

The Sundial Apartments soon became a haven for artists and authors launching the forested coastal colony into the Bohemian era. Carmel-by-the-Sea remains a center of creative expression and the historic building has enjoyed a renaissance as L’Auberge Carmel, a 20-room boutique hotel on the Relais & Châteaux roster since 2007. The inn offers the highest standards in luxury conveniences and amenities as well as personalized guest services from room service and evening turn down to valet parking and chauffeured house car transportation.
Our Inspector's Highlights
  • When you arrive at L’Auberge Carmel, you’ll realize you’re ideally situated in the middle of the town of Carmel. Cafes and galleries are just a short walk away, and so is the beach, yet you’ll also feel like you’ve found your own little hideaway.
  • There’s a secluded and intimate feeling to L’Auberge Carmel, as all the rooms are arranged around a central terrace filled with benches, blooming plants and a fountain.
  • You won’t want to linger in bed too long, as a full gourmet breakfast awaits in the Aubergine restaurant space from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. You’ll be presented with grilled toast and a housemade pastry with a crumbled topping, a choice of fruit, two eggs prepared to your liking, plus tea or coffee.
  • The hotel itself has a vintage feeling similar to a European chalet or cottage with the stucco exterior, brick courtyard and blooming plants in terracotta pots. Inside you’ll find sleek and modern furnishings and a soothing neutral color scheme.
Things to Know
  • Throughout your stay, you’ll be greeted by special amenities like the Asian snack mix in your room, the little bowl of housemade salted butter caramels, and the cookies and milk left during the turndown service.
  • Justin Cogley, the young chef who runs Aubergine is earning acclaim from national publications like Food & Wine Magazine for his inventive cuisine that’s inspired by the sea. Sit down to a tasting menu paired with a well-curated list of international wines.
  • When you check in, you’ll learn about the $30 per night service fee, which covers all gratuities for the staff who help park your car, carry your luggage and tidy up your room. This way you don’t have to look for cash every time you interact with someone on the staff.
The Rooms
  • The 20 guest rooms feature an earthy and neutral color scheme that ranged from the pale buttery walls, to ombre-shaded drapes that range from caramel to chocolate and floral patterned bedspreads.
  • The door of the room opens onto a closet, creating a separation from the rest of the room. Off to one side is a desk that doubles as counter for the Nespresso machine, cups and glassware, and underneath the dark-stained desk is a mini refrigerator.
  • The queen-size bed is flanked by a pair of oval side tables, each topped with a tall lamp with a fluted shade and a curving base.
  • A window seat topped with smoky topaz cushions runs along the windows that fill the wall of one side of the room. Black and white photos of the ocean and a lonely road shot by Helmut Horn grace the walls.
  • In the expansive bathroom, you’ll find travertine flooring with radiant heating, a glassed-in shower, a sleek vanity with a Carrara marble top and a graceful stand-alone soaking tub.
The Restaurant
  • The main dining venue at L’Auberge Carmel is the 12-table Aubergine Restaurant, which exudes the romance and intimacy of dining in a French country manor.
  • Each evening, Aubergine, the Restaurant at L'Auberge Carmel offers a four-course or tasting menu prix-fixe dinner by chef Justin Cogley that changes almost nightly.
  • Pairings with wines selected from the 4,500-bottle cellar underneath the property can be added for an additional charge.
  • Aubergine doesn’t serve lunch or brunch, but a diverse small-plates menu is served in the Salon from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., incluidng oysters on the half shell, a croque madame sandwich, a cheese plate and a strip loin steak.
Getting There
Monte Verde at Seventh, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, 93921
L'Auberge Carmel
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