Planning a trip to Carmel-by-the-Sea? Here’s where to eat, stay and shop while in town.
Eat: Chez Noir
European bistro meets California cool at Chez Noir, the first restaurant from chef Jonny Black and his wife, Monique. “Carmel sits in that elusive, sweet intersection where the local ingredients are a chef’s dream and the quality of life is high,” Monique says. Located in a Craftsman-style house, Chez Noir’s interiors were conceived by hospitality design studio Roy. “The beautiful balance of bleached white oak adds a coastal casualness to the otherwise very chic and elevated dining room and bar,” says Roy founder Hannah Collins. Think deep indigo leather banquettes, turmeric-hued velvet drapery, marble checkerboard flooring and a ceiling composed of abalone shells.
Shop: Shop Shoshin
Not long after moving from Piedmont to Carmel, interior designer Alexis Smith found an ideal spot for her retail venture: a 2,400-square-foot space in a charming stone-clad building. The founder of Studio Shoshin debuted Shop Shoshin in March 2022, purveying goods from nearly 100 different vendors along with unique finds. There are resin-and-shell caviar dishes from a small workshop in the Philippines; portable Murano-glass lamps; Ortigia Sicilia home fragrances; vintage Italian toleware candelabras; furnishings and accessories by The Lacquer Company; and antique Wedgwood plates. “We’ve got an uncommon mix of products that makes a visit feel more like a treasure hunt than shopping,” Smith says.
Stay: Villa Mara
Alongside private homes on a quiet street in the Carmel Point neighborhood—with convenient access to Carmel Beach and downtown—Villa Mara’s 16 rooms offer a residential-inspired experience. The grounds of the luxury boutique hotel, featuring an abundance of flora and seating areas with fire pits, instantly enchant. Meanwhile, interior spaces by Lisa Koch Design combine patterns, leather, wicker and natural wood for a contemporary and coastal aesthetic. Design industry favorite Lost Art Salon was tapped to curate the in-house art collection. Architecture enthusiasts, take note: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Mrs. Clinton Walker House and Frank Wynkoop’s Butterfly House are located on nearby Scenic Drive.