The L’Auberge Carmel, a Relais & Chateaux hotel, began life at it’s present location on Monte Verde and Seventh in 1929 as Carmel’s first apartment building, Sundial Court Apartments.
In 2003 the Sundial Lodge was sold
to the Auberge Carmel partnership.
Where the focal point continued to be the brick courtyard.
The Auberge manager at the time, David Fink (now CEO), told the Pine Cone that, “the Sundial has the potential to become a luxury boutique hotel.” And that is exactly what happened.
In 2004, the hotel was completely restored,
reconfiguring all of the 20 guest rooms,
the entrance and landscaping.
At the same time keeping the old-world charm,
combining modern amenities with the quaintness
of the original coved plaster walls,
French windows and antique doorknobs.
In 2007 and 2011 L’Aurberge Carmel received the Travel + Leisure’s
World’s Best Hotel Award. Responding to their 2011 award, managing partner David Fink said, “We are very honored to be chosen…We aspire to deliver a near perfect guest experience and it’s so gratifying that
our guests have responded so positively.”
Last year L’Auberge underwent another refurbishment. This time a $1 million dollar upgrade. The hotel remained open throughout the renovation by working on one section at a time. January 2013 is the big reveal.
Every Friday of January from 4 to 5PM,
L’Auberge was open to the general public.
In the lobby next to the roaring fireplace
Champaign flowed freely.
Locals and hotel guests mingled with George Nagata
the hotel manager, his staff and Aubergine Restaurant chef.
Delicious light bites were prepared
in an immaculate kitchen,
and served while we strolled through the lush courtyard,
to view five of the 20 newly remodeled rooms.
Rooms 9, 12 and 29, are
Premium Peek Ocean View Kings
ranging in size from 300 to 425 square feet.
9 and 29 are located on the courtyard level.
All the guest rooms have a walk-in shower,
vanity, flat-screen TV,
ipod music system, recessed lighting
and radiant floor heating in the bathrooms.
Room 29 has a freestanding tub,
while room 9 and inset tub.
Room 12 located on the third floor,
has an ample sized shower and inset tub.
Each of the “Peek Ocean View” rooms has a
peek of the ocean through their sitting area window.
Room 19 is the Deluxe Courtyard King,
with approximately 350 square feet,
and a full view of the courtyard from the sitting area.
The bathroom features a copper sink
and free-standing soaking tub with copper fixtures.
Room 11, the Standard Courtyard King room,
is approximately 325 square feet,
with king bed,
large bathroom with shower,
a luxurious inset bath tub and
the front door opens onto the flower-filled courtyard.
Next on our tour are the kitchen,
pantry and prep areas for the hotel restaurant Aubergine.
They are immaculate, everything has its place
and nothing is out of place.
The Aubergine showcases Chef de Cuisine Justin Cogley and Executive Pastry Chef Ron Medoza. Their cuisine was awarded as Aubergine was voted Fifth best in San Francisco and the Bay Area by Zagat in 2012.
Executive Chef Cogley is very excited about the new custom-built cheese cave to preserve his fromagerie collection and the live fish tank in the kitchen for the freshest ingredients from the sea. Sorry guys.
Chef Cogley and Chef Medoza teach Sweet and Savory culinary classes each month. You too can learn to cook like a Zagat winner.
The intimate 12 table resturant serves dinner daily from 6:00 to 9:30pm. Private parties can be reserved in the wine cellar which houses the restaurants 4,500 bottle collection or al fresco in the courtyard.
For more information, rates or reservations call
All photos by L.A. Momboisse