Given that everything is so charming in Carmel, it was not possible that inns & b&bs should not be. There are quite a number of those, but I am starting by sharing three of the most delightful ones, and my favorites.
Let’s begin with L’Auberge Carmel, which is a beautiful Relais Chateaux located on Monte Verde, between Ocean and 7th. L’Auberge is also on the historic building tour, it started as the first apartment house in Carmel and used to be called Sun Dial Lodge. As you can see in these images, the main feature of this beautifully appointed inn is the inner courtyard. The other one is not so much to be enjoyed with the eyes, but with the palate: Aubergine, the award-winning restaurant captained by Chef Justin Cogley.
Images above and below: the bar lounge at L’Auberge Carmel.
Above: Aubergine Restaurant at L’Auberge Carmel
Next is the famous Cypress Inn, which is located just one block up from L’Auberge, on Lincoln Street between Ocean and 7th. Cypress Inn, once hailed as “one of the showpieces of the Monterey Peninsula” first opened in 1929 as Hotel La Ribera, and is also featured on the historic buildings tour.
Cypress Inn is famous for several reasons, but the main ones are how dog friendly it is, and Doris Day, two points that are tied together. Iconic singer and actress Doris Day is part owner of the inn and is also a devoted animal activist. Thus Cypress Inn is the “pet friendliest” inn in pet friendly Carmel, which is possibly the “pet friendliest” town in America.
Terry’s Restaurant & Lounge is the restaurant at Cypress Inn, and features a locally sourced menu with Mediterranean imprint. On Saturdays you can also enjoy afternoon tea, but you might want to make sure to have a reservation for that, as it fills up quickly, especially during the Holidays.
Below you get a glimpse of Terry’s Lounge’s courtyard. I walked past on a quiet weekday morning when it was not set up, so I sneaked in to get a pic of the fun mural art featuring Charlie Chaplin.
Next on today’s list is Pine Inn, located on Ocean Avenue between Lincoln and Monte Verde. Also on the historic building tour, Pine Inn was built in 1889 and bears the title of Carmel’s first-ever hotel.
The day I took these photos was the day I was doing the historic building tour. I arrived at Pine Inn from Lincoln Street, following my nose after detouring from the tour map on my iPhone, and had not yet realized I was at Pine Inn. I saw a pretty alleyway leading to Il Fornaio restaurant, and then noticed a side entrance into what turned out to be another world. From the outside Pine Inn doesn’t look like much: just a big squarish white block. It is inside that the magic happens. Stepping inside is like warping into another era, where the charm is definitely turned on, in a very Victorian-meets-French-boudoir style.
Inside I discovered that Il Fornaio restaurant is also accessible from the inn as it functions as Pine Inn’s official restaurant, offering breakfast/brunch, lunch and dinner, but also a panetteria (bakery) where you can find seriously good bread.
Above: the side entrance into Pine Inn with the original letter box.
So there you have it: three beautiful boutique hotels in three very unique and different styles, each with their own particular charm. Which would you pick?
Monte Verde at 7th, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Ca 93921 | ph. (831) 624-8578 | website
Lincoln at 7th, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Ca 93921 | ph. (831) 624-3871 | website
Ocean Ave. btw. Lincoln and Monte Verde Sts., Carmel-by-the-Sea, Ca 93921 | ph. (831) 624-3851 | website
And if you are exploring in Carmel, here are a few more posts you might enjoy:
And just beyond Carmel: