Best scandal, surf spot, place to eavesdrop and more.
Best clubs, bartenders, local artist, band and more.
Best restaurants by city, cheap eats and best restaurant of the county!
Best coffee shop, best bakery and more.
Best places to shop, best plumber and more.
Our picks for the sometimes less obvious winners.
Best New Business of 2011 (2012)
Carmel Valley Athletic Club
27300 Rancho San Carlos Road, Carmel
This two-acre sucker came in so hot—opening 11/11/11—it’s still steaming. You will be too, after time logged in the gorgeous sauna, or the eucalyptus steam room with its LED glow oozing through soothing greens, yellows and blues. Then it’s time to take the plunge into one of two pools—cooled to either Pacific Ocean or Arctic stream temps—before emerging to embrace the ecstatic electricity as the body attempts to normalize circulation between the skin and vital organs. Down-soft robes and zero-gravity relaxation chairs help you ride out the rush, then into big hot pools between sculpted waterfalls. And repeat.