The Lodge at Pebble Beach finally has rooms on a par with the golf course. Casa Palmero, a hotel-within-a-hotel, occupies a 1930s Spanish-style hacienda, a former private residence just off the first hole. The decor in the 24 rooms is California-Spanish country, using a palette of soft colors with an occasional bright accent. "We tried to get away from marble," explains The Lodge's general manager, David Oliver. Thus, the bathroom floors are slate (and warmed from below, a luxurious touch), the counters limestone. The bathrooms themselves have a large square window beside the tub (also spacious) that looks into the bedroom, making the room seem larger. (There are shutters for privacy.)
The rooms are all roughly the same size—on average 638 square feet. We liked the two ground-floor Courtyard Suites ($825) best. They have truss beams across the ceiling, a fireplace with a good-size seating area in front of it, and a patio with a small plunge pool. The other rooms ran a close second. Spa Rooms, also on the first floor, are only slightly smaller than Courtyard Suites, but lack the trusswork. Estate Suites are on the second floor and have a brighter decor.
Casa Palmero is meant to feel like a residence—and it does. The hacienda's long, beamed living room has been retained, and numerous other comfortable nooks and crannies created to minimize the hotel feeling. There is a 12-foot-long billiards table and a 30-foot-long swimming pool in the courtyard. The building is also adjacent to The Lodge's new spa, which wasn't open when we stayed at Casa Palmero but which looked topnotch. Given the proximity to the spa and the high level of creature comforts, you could stay here even if you're not a golfer. $550-$1,750. 1700 Seventeen Mile Drive; 408-624-3811; fax 408-625-8598.