Carmel Inns of Distinction 2013 – Part 1 – Vendange Carmel, Carmel Garden Inn, & Tradewinds Carmel
“It’s ours to protect.” Carmel Heritage Society
On, December 8th, an absolutely gorgeous Sunday afternoon, the Carmel Heritage Society held their annual Carmel Inns of Distinction Tour with seven unique inns in downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea opening their doors, and a few of their rooms, to the public for viewing. The $30 ticket included a Carmel Heritage Society commemorative wine glass which my husband and I used frequently throughout the afternoon, as local wineries and restaurants provided scrumptious food and drink at each venue.
Before commencing our tour one should note that one of the most charming things about Carmel-by-the-Sea is nothing is “cookie cutter” everything is unique. You will never see two homes exactly alike, nor will you experience two inns exactly alike. This is what draws people to visit, and ultimately stay.
24815 Carpenter Street
Carmel, CA 93923 Attributes: Breakfast, On Site Parking
The Vendange Carmel is located on Carpenter Street, about a 15 minute walk to the heart of town. Co-owner Jonathan Lee purchased the 86 year old motel in August 2012 and renovated the entire property. The Vendange offers 18 unique guestrooms, each named after a local winery.
Our tour began in the cozy lobby, where overnight guests are served a complimentary signature breakfast.
Maegan Wareham, Sales Manager for Dawn’s Dream Winery poured a 2011Chardonnay, Arroyo Seco to the guests of the Inns of Distinction.
Carmel Garden Inn 4th Avenue and Torres Street Carmel-by-the-Sea Attributes: Pet Friendly Rooms, Breakfast, On Sight Parking
Our next stop, Carmel Garden Inn, is just three blocks north of Ocean Avenue, across the street from the Carmel Police Department (be good) and just one block to town and dining such as Katy’s Place for breakfast or The Forge for dinner.
The Carmel Garden Inn was originally constructed in 1948 as eleven apartments, it is now a ten room bed and breakfast shaded by oak trees.
In March of 2013 this inn came under familiar ownership. Julian owned the property during the 1990’s, sold it, and moved to Japan for 10 years. Upon his return to Carmel Julian found his old inn up for sale and purchased her again.
Each morning guests are treated to a scrumptious homemade breakfast of scones, frittata or french toast.
The Carmel Garden Inn had three rooms open for viewing.
The Rosita is the largest, a second level suite
with wood burning fireplace, and a peek of the ocean.
With the queen bed in the bedroom
and the queen sofa sleeper, this
suite sleeps four comfortably.
This unit also features a kitchenette
with small sink, refrigerator, and microwave.
A wonderful element of the Carmel Garden Inn are the 11 by 13 foot private patios that attach to the five suites lining the garden. For larger groups, request adjoining patios and you can double your outdoor space.
Julian welcomes us to Fuchsia, a mini-suite
with private patio.
Fuchsia features a king bed, wood burning fireplace,
reading area and
Carmel kishy kitchenette and sitting area with a microwave and refrigerator.
Rosemary sits at the end of the walkway,
it also features a private patio
and a secret which Julian plans on capitalizing on early next year. If the top three boards are removed from the wall below a lovely ocean view will be visible from the patio.
Tradewinds Carmel Mission Street between 4th and 3rd Avenue
Carmel-by-the-Sea Attributes: Breakfast, Ocean Views, Pet Friendly Rooms, On Site Parking
Two block south of The Carmel Garden Inn we arrive at Tradewinds Carmel, Carmel-by-the-Sea’s only Asian inspired hotel, designed and built by Richard and Patricia Catlin in 1959, and a favorite hideaway of Bing and his family during the early years of the Crosby Clambake. No that is not Bing below, but it is a photo circa 1960’s of a room at the Tradewinds.
In 1998, Richard and Patricia’s daughter Susan Stilwell took over Tradewinds and gave it a major renovation with help from designer Charles Gruwell (best known for his work on the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas).
Since the renovation Tradewinds has been featured in the November 2004 issue of Architectural Digest as one of their most glamorous hotels, and Forbes Travel Guide‘s as one of the best small hotels.
The original courtyard was overpowered by a rarely used swimming pool which can be seen in this old photograph displayed in the Tradewinds, Catlin (breakfast) Room.
Gruwell removed the old pool
and replaced it with a multilevel space
of Carmel stone walls
lined with tropical plants,
multiple tranquil sitting areas with torch lights,
a firepit for two or twenty,
cascading fountain, and
meditation garden with life-size stone Buddha.
Exact replicas of the 1959
bamboo railings were custom made to surround the exterior walkways and
many of which have Point Lobos and ocean views.
We tour room 24
with one king and one queen bed
in the large bathroom
with soothing water feature,
and room 19
a king room with ample sitting area
gas fireplace and
a Chinese cabinet hiding the TV.
The following video highlights the
beautiful gardens that replaced
the dated swimming pool
and the magnificent ocean
and Point Lobos views.
Tradewinds also offers a continental breakfast served in the Catlin room or it can be delivered to your suite. During our tour we enjoyed delicious small bites impeccably made from Portabella Restaurant
Credits Photos and video by L. A. Momboisse except for b & w of First Murphy House, courtesy of Harrison Memorial History Library and two old photos of Tradewinds Carmel room and pool – they were taken from photos at the hotel.