An enchanting history that carries on today.La Playa Carmel in Carmel-by-the-Sea has a rich, colorful and romantic history. What is now the main entrance of La Playa Carmel is the building that once stood as a luxurious mansion, designed in 1905 by artist Christian Jorgensen as a gift for his wife, a member of the Ghirardelli family.
Jorgensen, best known for his painting of California landscapes, envisioned a mansion of stone and heavy sand-hued beams, reminiscent of the Carmel Mission. But the real lure of the home was its location. Nestled atop a tree-lined bluff, the site looks out across the Pacific Ocean and its rugged coastline with Cypress trees and Pines.
The Grand DameRomantic and breathtaking, this view has captivated artists, as well as owners of the property throughout its long history. In 1916, it became a hotel under Agnes "Alice" Signor, an early San Francisco hotelier with an East Coast bearing, known for her hospitality.
Over the years as the property has exchanged hands and ownership, it has undergone several expansions. The original section of the building that still stands today, features a star-shaped stained glass window facing the street, and steps leading up to a decorative bell tower - design details reminiscent of the early missions. The agricultural fields said to have flourished on adjacent property are long gone, but the commanding view remains the same today. It was this view and the Jorgensen's hospitality that brought guests, including numerous artists and writers, again and again to Carmel. It continues that tradition today.