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L'Auberge Carmel, Carmel-by-the-Sea

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
California, United States, North America: L'Auberge Carmel
Monte Verde at Seventh Avenue
Carmel-by-the-Sea , California
Tel: 831 624 8578's insider take:

Built around a flower-filled brick courtyard with a fountain, this classic Carmel inn has hidden staircases, gabled windows, and a tiny dining room that's one of the best restaurants between San Francisco and Los Angeles. In the tradition of great French country auberges, the point is to come for dinner and stay the night—and the 20 rooms here have an elegant hominess to them. The cherrywood beds have 600-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets, and bathrooms have heated marble floors and elaborate chrome fixtures buffed to a mirror shine (ask for one of the four rooms with a two-person Japanese soaking tub). A few details might not be perfect—like the wall-mounted electric heaters with noisy fans—but after a sumptuous eight-course meal paired with wines, you probably won't even notice.

From the readers of Condé Nast Traveler:
Overall Score: 88.2
  • Design: 82.0
  • Food: 88.5
  • Location: 92.1
  • Rooms: 89.9
  • Service: 88.2
One block from Ocean Avenue and four blocks from the beach, this 1929 stucco inn is built around a brick courtyard. "European details in rooms overlooking the quaint streets of Carmel" include French windows and antique doorknobs. Create your own menu based on fresh produce at Aubergine, where the "meal was an unforgettable experience, from the food to the service." The wine cellar houses 4,500 bottles.

(20 rooms)
—2011 Gold List
Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.