This Seaside California Town Is Having a Moment — With a New Hotel Opening Steps From the Beach

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, is having quite the renaissance — take a first look inside the coastal enclave's newest hot spot, Carmel Beach Hotel.

Exterior of guest house on a cloud day

Josh Rose Photography

Carmel-by-the-Sea is suddenly the place to be in California. Nestled along an idyllic stretch of beach just off California’s famed Highway 1, the upscale enclave has seen an influx of young, creative chefs over the past several years and the addition of new boutique hotels like Villa Mara, which just made Travel + Leisure's 2023 It List. And come June, Carmel Beach Hotel will become the next hideaway to open in this dreamy destination.

Acting akin to a members’ club, Carmel Beach Hotel will be entirely exclusive to its guests. This includes a small spa, fitness studio, and, most notably, Secoya restaurant. Secoya is overseen by Justin Cogley, who helms Aubergine — the only Michelin-starred establishment in town — at sibling property L’Auberge Carmel. His approach? “A more casual, market-driven menu inspired by the ocean,” says Cogley — and it will be complemented by a wine program highlighting Californian, domestic, and European vinos.

Champagne and Strawberries

Josh Rose Photography

Guests can expect curated breakfast baskets delivered to their room every morning and a lunch menu featuring dishes such as fresh salads, slow-poached salmon, local oysters, and seasonal specials that will include one of California’s most prized delicacies, Dungeness crab. While meals can be served inside at the bar or in the comfort of your own digs, Secoya capitalizes on Carmel’s Mediterranean-like weather with its alfresco dining space and outdoor cooking line, the latter of which was inspired by Cogley’s love for grilling on his days off.

Dinner service will arrive later in the summer, where guests will enjoy a pre-fixe menu that changes nightly. Until then, Cogley has fashioned a list of some of his personal favorites that’ll be available throughout the entire day, such as charred avocado with furikake and toasted buckwheat crackers; simple seafood offerings in the form of Morro Bay oysters accompanied with chili crunch and Meyer lemon from the property’s own tree; as well as heartier options like a croque madame made with aged comté.

Interior guest room at Carmel Beach Hotel

Josh Rose Photography

Spread across seven buildings, the property’s 26 accommodations will serve as private sanctuaries. Interiors will draw from Carmel’s surroundings, with deep green accents mimicking cypress trees and blue-gray carpets with an abstract wave pattern alluding to the nearby waters. Most rooms will also be outfitted with standalone Victoria + Albert soaking tubs, crackling fireplaces, and furnished decks with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. To top it all off, the hotel will become the town's closest lodging to the beach. Order a picnic basket from Secoya and make your way down to the white-sand coast — there’s perhaps no better recipe for a perfect afternoon in Carmel.

Accommodations start from $450 per night. For more information or to book your stay, visit Carmel Beach Hotel’s website.

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