Pebble Beach Lodge (3)

The Lodge At Pebble Beach- Best Hotel in Carmel

The Pebble Beach Lodge is one of those grand dames in the hotel world that upon walking through its infamous front doors flanked by pillars and jolly doormen sporting golf caps, you feel that you have truly “arrived.” This is by no means a large hotel in the traditional sense; its aura of elegant coziness and sophisticated exclusivity is already apparent in its small but beautiful lobby area. Soothing tones of off white and wood accents act as backdrop to large fireplaces and magnificent views of world renowned Pebble Beach Golf Links and the crashing waves of Carmel Bay.

The same tones can be found in guest suites, most with patios or balconies overlooking blooming gardens, fairways or Carmel Bay. Plush beds adorned with thick, fluffy pillows and luxurious comforters gave me some of the best nights of sleep I’ve ever had while romantic fireplaces (real wood logs and a fire starter kit comes with every fireplace) and sunken tubs together create a decadent evening in. Order room service and indulge in the brand of luxury that Pebble Beach has long been famous for.

Should you want to dine out of the comfort of your huge guest suites, Pebble Beach Resorts has fourteen dining options to choose from, several right at the Lodge, each equally unique in ambiance, each as memorable as the other. If you’re looking to enjoy a romantic meal or breakfast with white linens overlooking the Lodge’s putting greens and the Carmel Bay waves just steps away, Stillwater’s Californian cuisine will satisfy any palate looking to indulge in dishes like perfectly Crispy Calamari or fresh Yellowfin Tuna Tartare. For a hearty, world-class steak and a glass of robust red wine or frothy cold beer, head over to The Tap Room, where a dark wood and golfing greens ambiance sets the backdrop to a classic American meal.

Pebble Beach offers guests a spectacular pool and jaccuzzi overlooking those beautiful Bay waves, in addition to tennis and needless to say, the world’s most famous Golf courses. Golf packages are available year round. The Spa, at 22,000 square feet has also been ranked as among the best in America year after year. Unique and well worth every dollar, treatments such as the Red Flower Ritual (an out of this world body scrub with ginger, bamboo, cherry blossom, rice and plum with wild lime silk oil) and the Silk Peel (a treatment that combines microdermabrasion with physician-grade serums infused immediately) make the Lodge’s Spa a destination in and of itself.

While all these facets of the Lodge should be enough to entice any luxury globetrotting aficionado, what you won’t experience from these words alone is the unique brand of service the Lodge staff happily provide here. Those aforementioned doormen greeting us at the front doors sporting golf caps and big smiles are far more than their titles. While they whisk us in golf carts from one end of the property to another (you can request these complimentary transfers by calling concierge from your suite), they share valuable tidbits like names of their favorite restaurants off the beaten tourist path; they tell us stories passed down from generations of Lodge employees and guests, and with those stories, they pass an invisible baton of fun legends and traditions that only regulars are fortunate enough to be privy to.

If I sound a little wistful, it’s because I am. Some of my life’s best memories involve Pebble Beach Lodge. My parents used to take our entire family and even some close friends for weekends and week-long holidays to the Lodge throughout my childhood and teenage years. There are our Christmas ghosts and New Year’s glitter hiding in the crevices of the Lodge’s grounds. There are fireplaces that hold the laughter of our family’s babies, and mini bars that remember my grandfather’s clandestine pour of bourbon. There are plush sofas and massive rugs in the gorgeous lounge that cradled conversations of big dreams and bigger fears.

Pebble Beach Lodge is so much more than the sum of its admittedly gargantuan luxury guest rooms, award winning golf courses and world-class cuisine. It was a perfect home away from home where nothing but beautiful things happened, where everybody there, employees and guests alike, were happy and kind, all of us part of this magical place for one moment in time.

And now that some of the guests the Lodge once had, like my grandfather, are no longer here, I keep going back to relive those memories in a place that has adeptly remained so much the same yet has kept up with changing times. There didn’t used to be multiple charging stations built in to the wooden desk and there didn’t used to be large flat screen televisions built in to wooden frames above the fireplace but there they are now. The Lodge has done what it needed to do technologically for our comfort but more importantly, it has successfully kept its charm and familiarity.

Let it be said that I am far from the unique Lodge guest, as countless of today’s guests are the last generation’s children, now grown up, with kids of their own who will grow up to be the Lodge’s next generation of loyal patrons. The Lodge truly is that special.

If all the fabulous choices for dining and activities don’t convince you that this is a place to create family memories and traditions, do what I do with my father nearly every time I’m there. Sit just two people out on the patio of your suite, early in the morning or late afternoon with a glimpse of the sun shining through the trees, sip a cup of coffee or a glass of champagne, and just listen quietly. To the sound of the water lapping on the shore, to the birds chirping sweetly in the background, the occasional golfer’s distant voice yelling “fore,” or perhaps, just listen to the voice of the person you love sitting next to you, sharing this perfect moment at the Pebble Beach Lodge.

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***Note: All photos appear courtesy of Pebble Beach Company, photographer Scott Campbell and photographer Patrick Tregenza.