The whitewashed interiors of this 1929 luxury hotel channel a Greek Island hideaway, despite the hotel’s location in California’s Carmel-by-the-Sea, a posh, oceanfront town along the Pacific, just 120 miles south of San Francisco. All 20 rooms are furnished with French windows, antique doorknobs, and original black-and-white photographs from hotelier (and amateur photographer) Helmut Horn, while the property itself is arranged around a courtyard and stone fountain. Located just 15 minutes from the Carmel Valley wine region, the 12-table on-site restaurant, Aubergine, has a 4,500-bottle wine cellar, curated by the hotel’s own wine director. The perfect dish? Braised lamb shoulder with charred scallion, garlic, and spinach, paired with a glass of Pierce Ranch Grenache from Leojami Wines in nearby Monterey County.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.