CHOCOLATE, GUESTS, AND 1905: Travelers like their hotels to have a bit of a story or some lore. Perhaps there's a time capsule in the foundation, or the roses out front are named after the children of the family who built the property, or a beautiful building was built as a love letter to an adored spouse. Such is the case of La Playa Carmel, which rose in the snug picturebook burg back in 1905 thanks to artist Christian Jorgensen. Mr. Jorgensen constructed the hotel in honor of his wife Angela, who was a member of the Ghiradelli family. It's a sweet twist on the typical hotel-meets-candy story, which typically only involves the chocolates left upon your pillow at turndown. La Playa Carmel went one better, boasting a chocolate-y tie that only adds a sprinkle to its love-story-esque beginnings. Add a mixture of time to the tale -- a century and a decade, to be specific -- and you bring the hotel, one of the grand dames of California's hotel landscape, up to today. To celebrate its 110th anniversary, the landmark is offering a trio of packages, two built around the number of years it has been open and one built around past duos that have made the getaway their love retreat (as well as $110, as a theme).
THE WHOLE HOTEL: You can book the entire property for yourself, and your nearest, dearest, and, we imagine, most grateful, by plunking down a cool $110,000. You'll be able to "make it your own private estate for one week" so, yes, all 75 guest rooms are yours to fill or not. La Playa shall keep its full staff, and if you're crossing your fingers that there'll be a full Champagne brunch daily, uncross them at once and practice holding a glass flute. (Translation: Yep, there's a bubbly bash each morning.)
$110 SECOND NIGHT: There are some crossed-out dates on this one, and availability has an asterisk, but here's the very solid deal: Book two nights, pay the regular rack rate for night number one, and then owe $110 for night two. There you have it.
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RETURNING COUPLES: Did you throw your wedding at the not-too-far-from-the-ocean getaway? Or honeymoon there? Or anniversary there? Tuck the snapshots of the event in your bag -- or email them, perhaps, if you only have them electronically (but, seriously, back those up) -- and show them at the hotel to receive a "special anniversary rate of $110 per night, up to two nights."
Would you like to return to the days of yore at La Playa Carmel? We can't send you back to 1905, when the awning-clad, flower-fancy structure made its grand debut, but we can send you to the official site for the anniversary, which has some lively look-back photos.