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When you experience Relais & Châteaux, you experience a whole array of sensations. Each of our properties offers the opportunity to enjoy an unparalleled range of sensory experiences, where the beauty of a particular place, the warmth of the hospitality and the quality of the cuisine are in perfect harmony. Scents and tastes, landscapes and colours make every stay a rare and intense experience.
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USA : West (California)

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Central reservation office (United States)

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : FINK

Calling from another country ? Click here

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David Fink
View all the Routes du Bonheur

Owner of L’Auberge Carmel
My Route du Bonheur in Southern California, U.S.A.

I come from a family that settled long ago in Virginia, in 1621. But my first childhood and seaside memories are actually tied to Southern California, where my parents had bought a holiday home. I lived in sixteen different cities throughout the U.S. before finally settling in Carmel, in 1984. In this corner of California, there’s the Mediterranean feeling that I love so much. The climate is gentle all year round. Just two hours south of San Francisco and a day’s drive to Los Angeles, Carmel is at once a remote location and the epicentre of a certain California. You can mingle with artists, celebrated chefs, and wine growers at the edge of the Pacific. A unique place on land and on water… Isn’t it in Monterey where you find one of the largest marine sanctuaries in America?

Relais & Châteaux proposes its Routes du Bonheur for your inspiration: they are suggestions of itineraries that you can adapt to your preferences and desired experiences. Our advisors are at your disposal to individualise your routes and help you make reservations at our properties.
Example for a height-night stay from USD 3078*
* Minimum indicative rate per person, subject to availability, on the basis of a double room with double occupancy, including accommodation, breakfast and dinner (menu, without beverages) in the properties suggested for the itinerary.
Activities on site and nearby must be reserved by you.

My Route du Bonheur
Stage 1: 2 days, 2 nights

Château du Sureau

A majestic château in California
Château du Sureau
Owner of the Château du Sureau, Erna Kubin-Clanin is a real example to follow. Her attention both to people and details is absolutely remarkable. We’ve known each other for over twenty years. Her daughter even worked as a sommelier in our restaurant. Opened in 1991, the Château du Sureau is still the ideal place to begin exploring the Yosemite National Park. Away from the crowds, it is a remarkable sanctuary with Erna’s family spirit. An oasis in the shadows of the granite mountains…

Close to the property...

Walking in Yosemite National Park

Classified as a national park in 1890, and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is California’s third largest park. Its over three thousand km2 of protected nature make it a real paradise for hiking fans. The paths encircle the granite domes and waterfalls, delving deep into the forest and leading up to 3,500 m in height. You might run into deer, beavers, opossums…And you might even see coyotes, shrews, or black bears.

Giant Sequoia Forest

Imagine 1,000-year-old coniferous trees piercing the sky. In the shade of their foliage, you feel absolutely tiny, doll-like. Within Yosemite, you’ll find three forests of giant sequoias. Some of these giant trees can reach a circumference of almost 30 m and almost 80 m in height! It’s in the Mariposa Grove that you’ll discover the Grizzly Giant. Almost 2,000 years old, the largest sequoia in Yosemite rises to over 60 m above ground! This is also where the famous Wanona Tree used to stand; a tunnel was built into it in 1881 so visitors could travel through it by horse-drawn carriage. The tree fell in 1969…

On the route...

Mission San Juan Bautista

Located between the Château du Sureau and Carmel, the 15th among California’s 21 missions was established in 1797. You might recognize the bell tower that Hitchcock filmed in 1957 in his stunning Vertigo. The vaults inside, covered in frescoes, evoke a part of the country’s history. San Juan Bautista presents a different image of America. A small, airy town, ideal for a Mexican lunch or just to go rummaging in one of its antique-laden stores.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : FINK

Calling from another country ? Click here

Revenir en haut de page
Stage 2: 2 days, 2 nights

L’Auberge Carmel

Romance in Carmel-by-the-Sea
L’Auberge Carmel
A building in Prague, Czech Republic directly inspired the inn’s architecture. The man who outlined its contours in 1929 was none other than Albert Farr, the architect of Jack London’s first house in Sonoma. Here, you’re in the heart of Carmel and its artist colonies (Clint Eastwood was one of the city’s first mayors), and close to the very famous Carmel beach. The Pacific embraces you in a dramatic setting…

Close to the property...

Robert Talbott’s Ties, Carmel

Just a few metres away from L’Auberge, you’ll find the tie store designed by my great friend Robert Talbott. Founded in 1958, the small family business has now become one of the symbols of American chic, a brand recognized continent-wide offering unique designs. I am very proud that all my hand sewn shirts and ties have been made by this great couturier.

Robert Talbott’s Ties

Acme Coffee, Seaside

Just fifteen minutes from Carmel, this spot brings together true coffee lovers, who do not hesitate to line up for their ristretto, caffè latte, or frothy espresso. Roasted on-site, the coffee is divine. Acme isn’t a café, it’s a meeting hub. You’ll run into businessmen, stay-at-home moms, trendy kids, or truck drivers. It’s often here that I begin my day…

Acme Coffee

On the route...

Big Sur

It’s one of the most beautiful roads in the world. It’s like you’re driving along a movie set. With its cliffs, forests, and coves lapped by emerald water, Big Sur offers a stunning array of scenery. Re-read Jack Kerouac, who drew an amazing novel from it. In winter, whales come to spawn along the coast. A break is a must at Nepenthe. Set on a promontory, this unpretentious restaurant has been in the same family for over fifty years. Like a ritual, I order a glass of Pinot noir and a real hamburger in front of the ocean…

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : FINK

Calling from another country ? Click here

Revenir en haut de page
Stage 3 : 2 days, 2 nights

Patina

A contemporary address for discerning gourmets in Los Angeles
Patina
First, there’s the superb backdrop, the Walt Disney Concert Hall concocted by the architect Frank Gehry. Then, there’s the restaurant hidden inside – Patina. Certainly, one of California’s most beautiful restaurants. In a contemporary-style interior, my friend Joachim Splichal cooks with the region’s best products and the best European techniques. Over the last 20 years, Joachim has redefined California gourmet cuisine. Today, Patina is a gourmet’s restaurant where one can savour a glass of Dom Pérignon…

Close to the property...

Pink’s Hot Dogs, Los Angeles

The United States is a land of contrasts, and everyone (or almost everyone!) likes hot dogs. Just take a look at the line in front of Pink’s to be convinced. Bruce Willis, Jay Leno, Bill Cosby, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger have their picture mounted on the Wall of Fame. Because more than just being a sausage seller, Pink’s is an institution…open non-stop since 1939, between Melrose and La Brea.

Pink’s Hot Dogs

Getty Center, Los Angeles

Opened just a couple of years ago on a hill overlooking the city, the J. Paul Getty Museum has already established itself as one of L.A.’s most beautiful museums. On my first visit, I was very impressed by its richness and diversity – Titian’s blues, Rembrandt’s light, Monet’s Sunrise (1873), and Van Gogh’s Irises. The history of art and the greatest painters right next to Hollywood!

Getty Center

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : FINK

Calling from another country ? Click here

Revenir en haut de page
Stage 4: 2 days, 2 nights

Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa

Serene, intimate and refined
Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa
Known for its superb spa and tennis facilities, Rancho Valencia is one of those high-class hotels that combine space with luxury. Few establishments have such spacious rooms. Around 17 hectares’ worth of gardens, the suites are arranged like many haciendas. Olive trees remind one of the Mediterranean, and fountains and patios lend an enchanting air.
Or

Addison, San Diego

To dine at Addison is to find yourself at the center of your own private orchestra
Addison, San Diego
William Bradley is a star in the world of haute cuisine. A chef who charms with the simplest of ingredients. The man collects cookbooks the way others collect stamps. He likes tradition, lightness, and French cuisine. Recognized by the best critics, the San Diego native pairs his cuisine with the wines from his cellar, which contain some 36,000 bottles, including several extraordinary vintages imported from France and elsewhere…

Close to the property...

Chino Farms, Rancho Santa Fe

In the heart of an exclusive and wealthy community is Chino Farms in Rancho Santa Fe. The iconic California Chef’s have been frivolously buying vegetables for decades with a modern goods stand that features daily picking of vegetables and produce that have rarely been seen by the outsiders of this community. Nearby Addison Chef, William Bradley picks his heirloom produce up daily.

San Diego’s Beaches

San Diego is a favourite destination for surfing and body surfing fans. A Californian experience that takes me back to my youth. In my younger years, I went regularly to Solana Beach. Today, amateurs and pros alike enjoy Cardiff by the Sea, Pipes Beach, and Encinitas for their pristine beaches and beautiful surf breaks. The more adventurous can push on to Oceanside, where several devotees built the California Surf Museum in 1986.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : FINK

Calling from another country ? Click here

Texts : © Guides Gallimard