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L'Auberge Carmel

Monterey Bay - Annual 2012


A Chateaux by the Sea

L'Auberge Carmel
Philip M. Geiger

Its reputation is so fancy, some people believe they have to be invited in. The street-side façade is actually quite simple in its elegance, which seems only to add to the sophistication of the place. But whether you’re passing by or thinking of staying, it is worth dropping by L’Auberge  Carmel, Relais & Chateaux. If only to say you did. But better yet, step out of quaint Carmel-by-the-Sea and into somewhere in the south of France.

Relais & Chateaux refers to an exclusive collection of exceptional hotels around the world. The association, established in France in 1954, is known for properties of unique character and personalized service.

The Murphy-built architecture, which houses 20 guest rooms, a restaurant, sitting room and reception room, frames a courtyard patio that further removes guests from the hamlet by the sea and ensconces you in a villa. The patio isn’t fancy; it’s festive, with market umbrellas over teak tables perfect for breakfast al fresco, plus a weathered fountain, benches, colorful plantings, and heaters, which suggests it also may be ideal for dinner or a glass of wine in the evening.

The guest rooms appear lovely without being lavish in their appointments, yet indulgent with heated floors in the bathroom, plush embroidered robes, and the ultimate in refined linens. Soft gray walls and neutral tones throughout the furnishings contribute to the air of elegance.

While outdoor dining can be casual, the atmosphere in Aubergine, the hotel’s award-winning restaurant encourages guests to dress for the occasion. Executive Chef Justin Cogley and Executive Pastry Chef Ron Mendoza are known for spontaneity and surprise, pairing local products with ingredients from around the world to create an unexpected and unusual prix fix or Chef’s Tasting menu. The price may seem steep for niblets, but remember; you are paying for artistry and atmosphere as well.

L’Auberge Carmel
Monte Verde at Seventh, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921
831-624-8578

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