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« Eagleton on Dawkins | Main | Religion, Anthropology, Belief, Etc. »

October 25, 2006

Donald Does Pebble: Field Notes

Donald Pittenger writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Please don't become green with envy while reading this post. It might not be necessary.

It's about our most recent visit to the Lodge at Pebble Beach golf links near Carmel-by-the-Sea on the central California coast.

Glorious weather. None of that summer fog. Sunshine and 71 degrees Fahrenheit, just like it was exactly 45 years ago while I experienced that delightful nearby spa and health club called Fort Ord.

Here are some photos I took.

Pebble Beach Lodge 1.JPG
View on entering the main lounge.
The outside light overwhelmed the exposure meter, so it's hard to make out details of the room. For instance, in the center foreground is a railing for a small overlook just inside the entry.

Pebble Beach Lodge 3.JPG
Looking across the lounge towards the bar.
This shows the room better. Two more painting are on the wall opposite the one shown.

Pebble Beach Lodge 4.JPG
Closer view of the terrace.

Nancy and I went there because ... well, partly Just Because.

That and the fact that I'd lost my beloved orange Pebble Beach baseball cap and was looking for a replacement at the golf shop across the lawn from the Lodge.

The weather and setting were so perfect we dallied in the lounge over a mocha and hot chocolate.

Total cost for this reverse-slumming? Less than 20 bucks.

It set us back $8.75 to get onto 17-Mile Drive and the drinks and tip came to less than $10.

Okay, the new cap's list price was $29.50, Nancy spent about double that for a Christmas present for an in-law, and I bought Nancy earrings at the jewelry store near the golf shop. But all that was needed to cover entry and our seats was $20 minus change.

Conclusion: Ritz can be cheap. Try it.



posted by Donald at October 25, 2006


Judging by your photos, Donald, the place totally not worth my $20.
Are they trying to do "traditional", as it's conceptualized by some mid-level facility manager from Disney?
Horrid ceiling "trim", with downlights and air grilles fully visible, no connection to the fireplace; there were not even thorogh enough with their pseudo scheme to continue the treatment around the passage opening on the opposite wall; the proportion of columns versus transom glazing is crooked - and not even repeated anywhere else in the room; the painting's frame is inappropriate; the pointer above the door is cheaply stencilled directly on the wall instead of an inconspicious plaque; and the awful pendant!

No-no. If I wanted to feel positively ritzy I'd rather go for my $5 spesso to the new Rockwell's Carlton. Y'all a re welcome to join.

Posted by: Tat on October 25, 2006 12:51 PM

Tat -- Maybe I should have been more clear in the write-up. It's the gestalt, the whole of the place. The building itself was built, oh, perhaps 1920 in what was a fairly isolated, rural setting. I'm not sure if there was ever a demolition and re-build, but the lodge has been expanded somewhat over the years. But we're not talking George Washington Smith or Wallace Neff architecture here.

The setting is picturesque. Nearby houses can sell fo upwards of $20+ million. Important golf tournaments have been played there. Every August on the grassy area shown in the photos is held the Courcours d'Elegance automobile show, considered by many to be tops of its kind in the USA -- equivalent to Villa d'Este and Bagatelle in Europe.

Architecturally, it might not be ritzy, but the whole package is old-money ritz -- not the flash and bling that passes as ritzy these days.

Posted by: Donald Pittenger on October 25, 2006 1:31 PM

Ah, so it's "location, location" kinda place.

I wouldn't mind, possibly, to visit at the time of the auto show, when attention is shifted from the "decor" (forgive the scare quotes, but it's relevant in this case) to something Designed by the Experts.

Lodge expansion: I know just a thing to show you how it is supposed to be done. I saw it on the Open House New York Sunday; may be I'll post the photos, next to the Carlton interior.

Posted by: Tat on October 25, 2006 1:48 PM

$8.75 for a toll road? I sure hope some discounts are available for people who actually have to commute on it.
Speaking of costs, I've heard that actually playing a round of cartball, er, golf, at Pebble Beach is exceedingly expensive.

Posted by: Peter on October 25, 2006 2:07 PM

Yes, there are free passes for workers and people who live along 17-mile drive, although if you are in the latter group, $8.75 a day wouldn't make much of a blip on your bank statement.

The scenery along there is almost unmatched in my experience. It's painfully gorgeous. When the sun is out, the light is pretty unique there. Well worth the toll.

My dad played Pebble Beach 20-odd years ago and it was 175 bucks for the round. I think it's around 300 now. If you are a golfer, it's worth doing once, I think. The history as well as the scenery, particulary the back 9 that goes right along the coast. It's ridiculously beautiful.

Posted by: the patriarch on October 25, 2006 2:52 PM

A round at Pebble Beach will set you back about $450.00. However there is a catch. In order to get a tee time you must stay at one of the Pebble Beach properties which will run you a minimum of $400-500 a night. So a round at Pebble Beach will cost about $1000 when all is said and done.

Still, as Robert Louis Stevenson said, "The Monterey Peninsula is the most beautiful association of land and sea in the world."

Posted by: grandcosmo on October 25, 2006 3:07 PM

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