Stay Here: A Century-Old Carmel Hotel Reimagined

The mansion turned hotel in Carmel, California, is a haven for writers and artists.

Article by Tariro Mzezewa

19-TMAG-Carmel HotelLa Playa, a hotel in Carmel, Calif., that’s over 100 years old, has been renovated by the design firm Post Company. Photograph by Chris Mottalini.

Though it’s been 101 years since La Playa, the mansion turned hotel in Carmel, Calif., became a full-service hotel — and even longer since the landscape painter Chris Jorgensen gifted it to his wife, the chocolate heiress Angela Ghirardelli — the property has maintained its eccentric charm and reputation as a haven for writers and artists. A recent renovation by the design firm Post Company drew from that history, as well as that of Carmel, the famed coastal town north of Big Sur. The property has 75 rooms, almost half of which have ocean views, while bathrooms are lined with colourful tile and stocked with Le Labo products. In the main lobby, cabinet pulls with tassels, a fireplace and boldly patterned sofas are meant to evoke the glamour of the hotel’s past eras. Its moody bar, Bud’s (named after Bud Allen, the hotel’s owner from the late ’60s through the early ’80s), has been redone with a wooden bar and booths upholstered in a dark maroon leather. A terrace connected to the bar offers views of Carmel Point and Carmel Bay. From approximately $792 a night,