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Although it’s a popular cosmopolitan beach community, Carmel-by-the-Sea still has a small-town vibe. Located on the Monterey Peninsula on the California Coast, Carmel-by-the-Sea has quaint, walkable streets that look like they were drawn in a fairy tale. The historic city is known for its cultural attractions such as Tor House, the Forest Theater Guild and the Pacific Repertory Theater, and nearly 100 art galleries.
When planning your trip to Carmel-by-the-Sea, these incredible hotels will help make it the beachside vacation of your dreams.
With a design reminiscent of a French chateau, the L’Auberge inn first opened in 1929. It has 20 luxurious guest rooms, each with either a four-poster canopy or tufted bed, and all bathrooms have radiant floor heating. L’Auberge Carmel offers both a wine-tasting package and a dining package for guests who want to add exclusive experiences to their stay. A hot breakfast is served daily for all guests, and the hotel’s restaurant offers a wine cellar and cooking classes. Carmel Beach is only a short walk from the inn.
La Playa Carmel
Considered the Grande Dame of Carmel, La Playa Carmel is a 75-room hotel with a chic beach cottage vibe—and it’s a brief walk to the sand. It’s a converted 1905 mansion located on a quiet residential street. All accommodations have garden, ocean or estate views. Guests can enjoy a dip in the pool or relaxing on the terrace. The conscientious staff are happy to help guests make reservations for tours to local sites like Galante Vineyards or get tickets for events at venues like the Golden Bough Playhouse. A decadent champagne breakfast buffet is served each morning.
Quail Lodge & Golf Club
With an 18-hole, championship-level golf course, the Quail Lodge & Golf Club is a duffer’s dream. But you don’t have to love golf to enjoy your stay at this exclusive luxury resort. Tennis and pickleball courts, bocce ball pits and a heated swimming pool are also part of the amenities. There’s also a state-of-the-art fitness center, business center and banquet hall facilities. The hotel has 93 spacious, ranch-inspired rooms and suites. The Monterey Symphony and the Monterey Museum of Art are both located nearby.
The Highlands Inn, a Hyatt Residence Club, sits perched on a hillside in the Carmel Highlands overlooking the Pacific. Its classic California mission-style architecture blends well with the lush, well-manicured Monterey landscape. Even though it has been welcoming guests for over a century, the 48-room inn has modern amenities like a fitness center with Hyatt StayFit features, complimentary internet access, a swimming pool, three outdoor hot tubs and meeting facilities. Complimentary bicycles are also available. The Highlands Inn is just over 3 miles from Carmel River State Beach and short drive to downtown Carmel.
The Vagabond’s House
The Vagabond’s House is a small, Tudor-style bed and breakfast nestled in the heart of the village of Carmel-By-The-Sea. Built-in the 1920s, it has 13 luxury rooms off a central stone courtyard that’s filled with plants, ferns, flowers, waterfalls and a big oak tree. The hotel’s décor is rustic, and all the rooms have fireplaces, refrigerators and private bathrooms. Some even have kitchens. Pets are welcome, but there is a nightly pet fee, and they can’t be left in rooms unattended. There is also an onsite spa that offers massages, facial treatments, scrubs and other full-body treatments. The inn is three blocks from the Ocean Avenue stores and a ten-minute walk to Sunset Beach.
Tally Ho Inn
Located just five minutes from the water, the Tally Ho Inn offers spacious rooms and suites with Jacuzzis, pillow-top mattresses and large flat-screen televisions. On weekdays, a complimentary breakfast is provided to guests at the restaurant, Il Fornaio, across the street; breakfast is served at the inn on weekends. The inn is just a block from the high-end shops on Ocean Avenue and close to historical sites like the Carmel Mission Basilica and Museum.
Carmel Valley Ranch
Love the idea of staying at the intersection of luxury and nature? Carmel Valley Ranch is an all-suite resort located just east of downtown. All 139 of the one-bedroom suites showcase a rustic-chic look with cathedral ceilings, travertine fireplaces and large decks, as well as mini-fridges, bathtubs and aromatherapy bath amenities. Activity options at this luxury ranch are so varied that the resort provides a program director to guide you through them. Swing from a tree, hike in the woods, meditate on a hilltop yoga platform or play a round of golf on the 18-hole golf course. You can even treat yourself to the full-service Spa Aiyana.