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April 14, 2011 / Linda Hartong


Bill and I arrived in Carmel to move in our belongings. It was very late when we checked into the Sundial Inn.

Even though the kitchen was closed for the night, the French couple who owned the Inn, ushered us into a modest dining room and warmed some dinner for us. The hospitality was superb but the rooms were very dated. The next morning a parrot greeted us in the sunny courtyard and sent us on our way for the day.

Years later, what a huge change.

The beautiful courtyard has become even more beautiful and the Inn has been renovated. The parrot is gone, I assume with our darling French couple.

The hotel was built in 1929 and was first an apartment house with a number of famous tenants, including artist Henrietta Shore, a contemporary of Georgia O’Keeffe. The tile, metalwork and statuary were imported from Spain and the building was modeled after a home in Prague.  The Inn re-opened in 2004 after undergoing tremendous renovation. As we walk by in the evening we can see arriving guests being greeted in a what feels like a little living room for check in and drinks. On my last visit, I slipped in with my camera and ask if I could take some shots for my blog. No Problem!  Hooray! The 12 table dining room is to the right.

Later I read rave reviews about the prix fixe menu of world cuisines made from fresh, local ingredients.

To the right is the inviting little lobby with its fireplace, game table and small bar.

But I am drawn up the stairs to the well-remembered courtyard. It is much the same only more inviting. Each little apartment seems to have its own outdoor seating.

Umbrellas, outdoor heaters and potted plants.

Even the fountain splashing away.

I am charmed all over again.

On their website, I read that the rooms are now plush with mahogany beds, fine linens, soaking bathtubs and heated bathroom floors.  Breakfast is served to the room and cookies left in he room at turn down.

But I do miss the parrot. He liked to demonstrate how he could slide down the banisters of the stairs.

L’Auberge Carmel is located.

If you are lucky the valet in the tuxedo will be out front to park your car for you.

You can visit their website at




Leave a Comment
  1. miranda / Apr 14 2011 5:38 pm

    Hi, I do so love your blog. It always reminds me that I need to get down to Carmel again. It used to be my home away from home. Life got too busy, I guess.
    Over the years I have stayed a couple of times at L’Auberge. Last spring had a wonderful dinner there with a freind. Very nice. I forgot to ask to see a room. Love the courtyard, but the outdoor furniture doesn’t seem like the right choice for the setting. Too contempary for the setting.
    You must have dinner there if you haven’t yet. Their chef is exceptional.

  2. jeanette sclar / Apr 19 2011 2:41 pm

    Thank you for taking me out of this dismal gray day to a super-charming space!

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