Carmel Heritage Society, Carmel Inns of Distinction Tour, Cypress Inn, Hotel,, Inn, La Playa, Lodging, Restaurant

Carmel Inns of Distinction 2013 – Part III – Cypress Inn, L’Auberge, and La Playa

We have three more unique inns to view.  From the Coachman’s Inn , we head south on 7th Avenue to the Cypress Inn.

Cypress Inn 
Lincoln and 7th Avenue
Attributes: Complimentary Breakfast,
Ocean View Room 220, Pet Friendly Rooms
Terry’s Lounge and Restaurant on Site
The site of the Cypress Inn enjoys a rich history.  Home to the first art gallery of Carmel in 1906, rumored to have been used as a nursing home or sanatorium in the 1920’s, finally transformed into the Hotel La Ribera in 1929, and then quickly forced to close due to the Great Depression.  In the 1960’s the property opened as the Cypress West Hotel.  In the 1980’s it was purchased by its current co-owners, businessman Dennis LeVett and actress Doris Day and became Carmel’s first pet friendly inn. 
We entered through the side patio
where pet’s are welcome
for lunch and dinner
In the lobby annex Terry’s Restaurant serves cookies
and lite bites of roast beef.
The “Day Room”  is decked
out with Christmas cheer
and Heller Estate is pouring
their 2012 Merlot,  Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc.
The rooms we tour are in the courtyard
off Terry’s Lounge.
Through the glass doors lies a beautiful
courtyard filled with white lights,

and nine beautifully appointed courtyard rooms. 
The following video tours five of them. 
To  view all the rooms with rates and amenities
 view the Cypress Inn room site, it is very comprehensive. 
And don’t forget to come back
after dark to take in
an original by Mr. Brainwash
For more information
or rates on
Cypress Inn call
L’Auberge Carmel 
Monte Verde at 7th Avenue
Attributes: Valet Parking,
Breakfast, Pet Friendly Rooms,
Peeks of the Ocean from some rooms,
On-Site Restaurant

Just about every building in Carmel-by-the-Sea has a fairly well documented history, and the L’Auberge is no different. 
<span style="font-family: "In 1901, J. F. Devendorf (Carmel’s founding father) ordered 100 San Francisco cottages to be shipped in sections to Carmel.  Only one cottage arrived. It was purchased by former mayor of Carmel, Allen Knight’s father, and reassembled on the Knight property on Monte Verde and Seventh. 
<span style="font-family: "
<span style="font-family: "
<span style="font-family: "During the 1920 while Allen Knight was bicycling through Prague he fell in love with the European architecture and somehow convinced the owner of a Czech hotel to share their blueprints with him.  He brought this drawing back to his aunts, who had inherited the property after his father died.
<span style="font-family: "
<span style="font-family: "The aunts decided to use the plans of the Czech hotel to built an apartment building.  But first they had to move their little cottage to Guadalupe and 6th (which is a whole other story).  Anyway the aunts hired Albert Farr a San Francisco architect to design the project and in 1929 their building opened as the Sundial Apartments, the first apartment building in Carmel. 
<span style="font-family: "
<span style="font-family: "The Sundial Apartments became the Sundial Lodge and finally in 2003 was sold for an undisclosed price to the Auberge Carmel partnership who reopened the L<span style="font-family: "Calibri","sans-serif"; font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-ascii-font-family: "<iframe width=\0022420\0022 height=\0022315"; mso-bidi-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family: "’<span style="font-family: "Auberge Carmel in January 2013 after a $1 million upgrade.  You may see my post on the grand opening here.     

A member of the Relais & Chateaux an association of luxury hotels and restaurants, the L’Auberge is listed on the Travel & Leisure’s Top 500 World’s Best Hotels and Executive Chef Justin Cogley of their award winning restaurant Aubergine was voted Food & Wine’s Best New Chef in 2013. 

During our tour, Nathaniel Munoz, Aubergine’s Restaurant Director, treated us to a delicious taste of 100 year old cheese and a hot toddy with a pleasant holiday kick…

…from one of the bottles that shares
space in the custom built cheese cave
with the fromagerie.

With warm drink in hand
we passed the lobby fireplace
to the charming courtyard 
where Karen Hudson, Director of Sales, 

met us for our tour.  

For information or rates of
the L’Auberge Carmel 
call 831/624-8578

A short walk to Camino Real and 8th 
and our last inn of the day, 

The La Playa Carmel 
Camino Real & 8th Avenue 
Attributes:  Breakfast,
 Ocean View Rooms, Pool

The La Playa was originally built as a home in 1905 by Christian Jogenson as a gift for his wife.  Mr. Jorgenson was fascinated by the Carmel Mission and even placed a window in his front patio that imitated the star window in the Mission. 
In 1916 the mansion was converted into a hotel, was frequented by my mother and her cousins in the 1920’s and 30’s, and the sight of my college Junior Prom dinner in 1978. 
The hotel recently underwent a
 $3.5 million restoration 

and reopened in August 2012. 
Our tour takes us past the Fireside Room, 

and the historic
 antique wood bar
with iconic Greek columns,

to the dining room 

where the La Playa kitchen
served dessert petit fours

 and sparkling Brut Rose.

Next to the dining room is
the Pacific Terrace

where hotel guests
are served breakfast,and an ocean view. 

Or later in the day guests may enjoy the
Pacific Terrace by the firepit with
a cocktail – and ocean view. 

Of the 75 guest rooms
the La Playa Carmel
has to offer, we toured
Ocean View Rm 201,

with four large picture windows 
overlooking the ocean

and the hotel garden.
For information or rates
on the La Playa Carmel
call 800 / 582 -8900

For a  map of the tour click here.

Our tour is over.  Many thanks to all the hotels, restaurants, and wineries who participated in this years Carmel Inns of Distinction.  The $30 price tag to get in more than pays for itself with the wineries giving away coupons for free tastings and the restaurants giving away coupons for discounts on meals.  Not to mention the numerous pourings and bites one has the opportunity to taste while enjoying a behind the scenes tour of some of our beautiful hotels and inns.  

And finally many thanks to the Carmel Heritage Society, for it is because of their existence and their mission to protect, preserve and promote the cultural heritage of Carmel-by-the-Sea, that this event is even possible.
Carmel Inn’s of Distinction 2013 – Part I (Vendange Carmel, Carmel Garden Inn, Tradewinds Carmel)
Carmel Inn’s of Distinction 2013 – Part II (Carriage House, Coachman’s Inn) 

All pictures and videos by L. A. Momboisse except two black and white photos under L’Auberge.  The first is courtesy of the Harrison Memorial History Library Nixon Files.  The second from Carmel A History In Architecture by Kent Seavey, Page 93, 

Carmel Heritage Society, Carmel Inns of Distinction Tour, Carriage House, Coachman's Inn, Hotel, Inn, Lodging

Carmel Inns of Distinction 2013 – Part II – Carriage House and Coachman’s Inn

A short five block walk east on Mission Street from Tradewinds Carmel brings us to the back entrance of Carriage House just one block from Carmel Plaza‘s shopping, numerous restaurants and a plethora of coffee houses.  Carmel-by-the-Sea is one square mile, so actually, nothing is very far away – and that includes the beach.

Carriage House Inn 
Junipero between 7th and 8th Avenue
Attributes: Breakfast Delivered to Room,
Evening Wine Served in Library,
 Off Street Parking 

In the lobby we enjoyed
light bites from
The Grill on Ocean Avenue.
A AAA 4-Diamond inn for over 30 years, Carriage House has 13 spacious rooms and suites.  We toured room 7 a deluxe king room on the first level. The dressing area can be separated from the rest of the room by closing the blue French country toile fabric doors over the sink. 
There is plenty of room in this room with
 window seat, 
feather bed, bed bench,

and sitting area, 
all facing the gas fireplace and flat screen TV. 

  The bathroom features a 1 person
 jetted tub and shower combination.   

Every evening, 
coffee, wine and hors d’ oeuvres
 are served in the library.
During the tour our wine was poured by
Paraiso Vineyards of the Santa Lucia Highlands

For more information
on the Carriage House Inn
or reservations call 
We bring our Carmel Heritage
wine glass and cross the street to
a Carmel staple since 1954.
Coachman’s Inn 
San Carlos at 7th
Attributes: Breakfast Delivered to Room,
Pet Friendly Rooms,
Dry Sauna, Hot Tub, Off Street Parking
Current owners The Steuck’s purchased the Coachman’s Inn in the 1990’s.  Since then it has undergone three major renovations, including the most recent finished just three years ago.  The outside keeps its original lines, a U shape with stucco siding decorated with “Comstock” style half-timbering.

Ample off-street parking for guests
 (this means you don’t have to worry about
 moving your car every two hours – a real plus). 

On site dry sauna and hot tub.

Up on the patio balcony Mark Manzoni of

poured a 2011 Pinot and 2012 Chardonnay.
Visit them in town
in the Paseo Courtyard west side
of San Carlos between Ocean and 7th

The Tree House Cafe provided our small bites.  By the time we arrived, the Hummus had been devoured,

and the server was heading back across the street to the restaurant for more provisions.

Rooms were open
on the second level
for viewing. 

Room 209 with two queen beds, 

large sitting area,
gas fireplace, and
flat screen TV –

and Room 211 with
one queen bed 

sitting area,
(all rooms have Kuerig
Single Press Coffee Makers)

  flat screen TV
(yes we are still watching the 49ers)
and gas fireplace. 
Also enjoy fresh baked cookies
and apple cider
every afternoon in the lobby. 
(Yes, I know those are dog biscuits
not cookies – Karen the innkeeper was
still baking the cookies when we dropped in.)

For more information on
The Coachman’s Inn 
or reservations call

For a  map of the tour click here.

Next up our last three inns, Part III – Cypress Inn, L’Auberge and LaPlaya 
Photos – L. A. Momboisse
Carmel Garden Inn, Carmel Heritage Society, Carmel Inns of Distinction Tour, Hotel,, Inn, Lodging, Vendange Carmel

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.  

Vendange Carmel 
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.   
The rooms we tour
surround the garden


and firepit,
where guests may sit and sample wine and cheese
 from 5 to 7PM Fridays and Saturdays. 
The Ventana King Suite room, 
decorated by Ventana Vineyards
boasts a siting area with gas fireplace which on tour day was occupied by Flaherty’s Seafood Grill serving their Award Winning Lobster Bisque and Signature Crab Cakes.  

I appear to have caught Coach Harbaugh mid
 expletive on the 55 inch high
 definition flat screen TV
in the Ventana Room.
   Dawn’s Dream Winery of Carmel Valley decorated a Standard Queen room on the second floor and 
McIntyre Vineyards, located at the foot of the Santa Lucia mountain range, is responsible for the 100 year old grapevine hung over the headboard in the McIntyre Standard Queen room.  
For reservations or questions
regarding the Vendange Carmel
call 831/624-6400

Carmel Garden Inn
4th Avenue and Torres Street
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.

In the afternoon guests may enjoy
 wine and cheese or other treats. 
During our tour Bruno’s Market and Deli served
 a delicious Pulled Pork Slider and 
Cima Collina  served their 
2012 Tondre Grapefield Chardonnay 
and one of their fine Pinots.
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.
Rosemary has two queen beds, 

and wood burning fireplace. 
For questions or reservations on the
call 831/624-6926

Tradewinds Carmel 
Mission Street between 4th and 3rd Avenue
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

 private balconies, 
many of which have Point Lobos and ocean views.
We tour room 24
with one king and one queen bed 
tansu-style vanity 
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
(and I am only showing a small
portion of the yummy options).

Our wine pour is by J Lohr Vineyards.
For reservations or more 
information on Tradewinds Carmel
 please call
831/ 624-2776 
For a  map of the tour click here.
We are only one third of the way through the Carmel Heritage Society’s Inns of Distinction 2013.  Next up Part II – Carriage House and Coachman’s Inn 

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.

Hotel,, Inn, Lodge, Restaurant, Sundial Lodge

L’Auberge Carmel – Monte Verde & Seventh

The L’Auberge Carmel, a Relais & Chateaux hotel, began life at it’s present location on Monte Verde and Seventh in 1929 as Carmel’s first apartment building, Sundial Court Apartments.

In 2003 the Sundial Lodge was sold
to the Auberge Carmel partnership. 
Where the focal point continued to be the brick courtyard. 
The Auberge manager at the time, David Fink (now CEO), told the Pine Cone that, “the Sundial has the potential to become a luxury boutique hotel.” And that is exactly what happened.

In 2004, the hotel was completely restored,
reconfiguring all of the 20 guest rooms,
the entrance and landscaping. 

 At the same time keeping the old-world charm,
combining modern amenities with the quaintness
of the original coved plaster walls,
French windows and antique doorknobs.
In 2007 and 2011 L’Aurberge Carmel received the Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Hotel Award.  Responding to their 2011 award, managing partner David Fink said, “We are very honored to be chosen…We aspire to deliver a near perfect guest experience and it’s so gratifying that
our guests have responded so positively.”
Last year L’Auberge underwent another refurbishment.  This time a $1 million dollar upgrade. The hotel remained open throughout the renovation by working on one section at a time. January 2013 is the big reveal.  
 Every Friday of January from 4 to 5PM,
L’Auberge was open to the general public.
In the lobby next to the roaring fireplace
Champaign flowed freely.
Locals and hotel guests mingled with George Nagata
the hotel manager, his staff and Aubergine Restaurant chef.
Delicious light bites were prepared
in an immaculate kitchen,
 and served while we strolled through the lush courtyard,
to view five of the 20 newly remodeled rooms. 

Rooms 9, 12 and 29, are
Premium Peek Ocean View Kings
ranging in size from 300 to 425 square feet.
9 and 29 are located on the courtyard level. 
All the guest rooms have a walk-in shower,
vanity, flat-screen TV,
ipod music system, recessed lighting
and radiant floor heating in the bathrooms.

Room 29 has a freestanding tub,
while room 9 and inset tub.
Room 12 located on the third floor,
has an ample sized shower and inset tub.
Each of the “Peek Ocean View” rooms has a
peek of the ocean through their sitting area window.
Room 19 is the Deluxe Courtyard King,
with approximately 350 square feet,
and a full view of the courtyard from the sitting area.
The bathroom features a copper sink
and free-standing soaking tub with copper fixtures.

Room 11, the Standard Courtyard King room,
is approximately 325 square feet,
  with king bed,
 large bathroom with shower,
a luxurious inset bath tub and
the front door opens onto the flower-filled courtyard.
Next on our tour are the kitchen,

pantry and prep areas for the hotel restaurant Aubergine.

 They are immaculate, everything has its place
and nothing is out of place.

The Aubergine showcases Chef de Cuisine Justin Cogley and Executive Pastry Chef Ron Medoza.  Their cuisine was awarded as Aubergine was voted Fifth best in San Francisco and the Bay Area by Zagat in 2012.

Executive Chef Cogley is very excited about the new custom-built cheese cave to preserve his fromagerie collection and the live fish tank in the kitchen for the freshest ingredients from the sea. Sorry guys.

Chef Cogley and Chef Medoza  teach Sweet and Savory culinary classes each month. You too can learn to cook like a Zagat winner.

The intimate 12 table resturant serves dinner daily from 6:00 to 9:30pm.  Private parties can be reserved in the wine cellar which houses the restaurants 4,500 bottle collection or al fresco in the courtyard. 
For more information, rates or reservations call


All photos by L.A. Momboisse

Carmel Heritage Society, Carmel Inns of Distinction Tour, Happy Landing Inn, Hofsas House, Hotel, Inn, Lodge

Carmel Inns of Distinction Tour – Part IV – Hofsas House & Happy Landing Inn

Casual elegance, personal service,
and traditional family hospitality.


Hofsas House

Between 3rd and 4th Avenue
on San Carlos Street
As the afternoon turns into early evening I arrive at the Hofsas House.  In 1957 Donna Hofsas and her husband founded this quaint inn with jovial pink Bavarian façade. For the past 60 years it has been family run.  The current owner and general manager, Carrie Theis, is Donna’s granddaughter.  
A Bavarian themed mural painted by
Donna’s friend Maxine Albro,
welcomes guests in the entry driveway.
Old World charm,
diamond window mutins,
the warmth of a roaring hearth,
 light bites from Flaherty’s Seafood Grill and Oyster Bar
 and wine from Chateau Julien greet us in the lobby. 
The hostess from Flaherty’s offers me a 10%
off coupon for a future dinner.
 I happily add this to my
growing collection of coupons!
The Hofsas House is pet friendly,
provides off street parking,
and Continental breakfast.
Next to the heated pool and dry sauna is a large meeting room with fireplace and full kitchen.  Accommodating seating for 30 people, this can be reserved for family reunions, small wedding receptions or other events.
There are 38 spacious, uniquely decorated rooms.

  Many which open to the back have
private balconies and ocean views.

Fireplaces and kitchens are available in some rooms
as are microwaves and refrigerators.
For rates and information
please call
From the back balcony at Hofsas House
 I notice through the clouds
 the sun beginning to dip low
  on the horizon.
  Just enough time for one more inn.
Happy Landing Inn
Monte Verde & 6th
My last stop for the day is Happy Landing Inn originally commissioned as a private home for two sisters from San Jose.  This quaint complex was built in 1926. 
The main building served as the family living
room, dining room, kitchen and bath, 
while the detached buildings that surround
the garden served as bedrooms for family members.
The complex was sold in the 1930’s to Velma Craig who rented the separate rooms to boarders.  Mrs. Craig sold this to the Thorngate family who turned the property into Happy Landing Inn. 
In 2006 it was sold to its current owners Dawn Dull and Diane Lewis.  Dawn Dull is the President of the Carmel Heritage Society for whom we have to thank for this lovely and beautifully planned afternoon. 
Inside the Great Room, PortaBella served tasty bites
to accompany wines from The Wolftrap and Amisfield.
Yes, I spy coupons for 15% off my next dinner
at PortaBella in the basket.
Happy Landings has seven darling antique-furnished guest rooms, all with private bath, three with a fireplace, and two with large sitting rooms.  Each morning a warm breakfast is served in your room and some rooms are pet friendly.  The Great Room may be rented for family reunions, weddings or other events. 
Here is a video of the rooms open for our tour.

  For information and rates
call 831-624-7917

Many thanks to all the inns, restaurants, wineries and the Carmel Heritage Society for such an enjoyable, interesting and delicious afternoon.  I look forward to next year.    


Carmel Inns Of Distinction Tour Part I Carmel Cottage Inn
Carmel Inns Of Distinction Tour Part II La Playa, Candle Light, Tally Ho
Carmel Inns Of Distinction Tour Part III Cypress Inn, Lamp Lighter
Carmel Heritage Society, Carmel Inns of Distinction Tour, Cypress Inn, Hotel, Inn, Lamp Lighter Inn, Lodge, Restaurant

Carmel Inns of Distinction Tour – Part III – Cypress Inn

Cypress Inn
Lincoln & 7th
Our Carmel Inns of Distinction Tour
continues with the Carmel landmark, Cypress Inn
The site of the Cypress Inn enjoys a rich history.  Home to the first art gallery of Carmel in 1906, rumored to have been used as a nursing home or sanatorium in 1928, transformed into the Hotel La Ribera in 1929, called the “white stucco elephant” and forced to close its doors after the Great Depression, to be resurrected and reopened in the 1960’s as the Cypress West Hotel, and finally to be fully restored in the 1980’s by present owners businessman Dennis LeVett and actress Doris Day, becoming The Cypress Inn, Carmel’s original pet-friendly hotel.
Enter via Lincoln Street 
into the lobby lounge,

to a platter of festive small bites topped with Caviar, prepared by the staff of Terry’s Restaurant & Lounge at the Cypress Inn.     Obviously a big hit.

Wine from Heller Estate of Carmel Valley
 (100% organically grown)
is poured for our enjoyment.
I pocket another complimentary wine tasting ticket!
Across from the lobby is the large yet cozy “living room”
  lounge  with a fireplace and grand piano. 
A great treat is to have afternoon tea here during Christmas. 
Your furry friend can go too!!
We walk through Terry’s on our way
to the rooms open for touring in the new wing.
Terry’s has a great “lite bites” bar menu that is also
served on the patio. 
All dogs welcome of course.
Rooms in the new wing open to a two story courtyard
filled with twinkling lights, a soothing fountain
and outdoor lounge area.
Here is a short video of the rooms on tour all in the new wing.  First the King Deluxe Courtyard, next the King Suite on ground floor with private entrance on Lincoln and finally the King Suite with veranda on the second floor and huge jetted tub.   
Don’t forget to come back at night to eat on the patio
and take in the Mr. Brainwash original.
 For information and rates call
800-443-7443 or 831-621-3871 
From the Cypress Inn I walk a few blocks
to the Lamp Lighter,
another inn owned by Denny LeVett. 
Lamp Lighter
SE Corner Ocean & Camino Real
With an English country feel and numerous lamp lights,
 this inn is surrounded by lush gardens,
wandering oak trees,
and colorful birdhouses.
The L-shaped FireCrystals fire pit

invites visitors to sit and relax awhile.

Mundaka of Carmel provided their
signature Spanish style tapas for us to enjoy,
 while J. Lohr Vineyards offered their wines for tasting.
The accommodations at the Lamp Lighter Inn
include cottages and guest rooms.
I toured the Carmel Cozy, Sea Star, a King room
 with quaint fireplace and full bath.
And the Carmel Comfy, Early Bird room
which features two double beds.
A decanter of Cream sherry waits in each room for a warm night cap. The Lamp Lighter is pet friendly, offers a Continental breakfast, and an afternoon wine and cheese reception to its overnight guests.  For information and rates please call 831-624-7372.
Carmel Inns of Distinction Tour Part IV
Happy Landing Inn, Monte Verde & 6th
Hofsas House, San Carlos & 3rd

Bruno's Market and Deli, Carmel Cottage Inn, Carmel Heritage Society, Carmel Inns of Distinction Tour, Hotel, Inn, Lodge

Carmel Inns of Distinction Tour – Part I – Carmel Cottage Inn

On a rainy Sunday afternoon in December the Carmel Heritage Society held their annual Carmel Inns of Distinction Tour with eight quaint Inns 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 was very useful as local wineries and restaurants provided the food and drink at each venue.

One half hour before the event began the rain subsided and I decided to venture out.  So glad that I did. 

Carmel Cottage Inn
San Antonio & 8th Avenue
Tucked away off the street in a lush garden setting is the Carmel Cottage Inn, with 5 separate and unique Carmel quaint units open for our tour.  The Inn was purchased a year ago by Cheryl Assemi who along with her family meticulously and loving restored and redecorated each of the units.
A tiled pathway meanders through the lush gardens surrounding the Carmel Cottage Inn leading to rustic Dutch doors.  Inside each cottage a complimentary gift bag with sparkling cider and pistachios from the Assemi family farm await each guest.
Comfy overstuffed sofas, colorful quilts, telephones circa the 1940’s, and hand stenciled hardwood floors lead to homey kitchens with retro appliances and cupboards filled with FiestaWare. Each unit also has at least one flat screen TV and internet access is available. Close attention was paid to every detail in these cottages. 
The goal, and I believe well achieved, is to provide guests with the “cottage experience.”  I would add to that description the word “Carmel.” Touring these units transported me back to the 1960’s when I would spend my summers at our family home on Dolores. 
Log Haven
Sleeps up to 10
Log Haven, the oldest of the five, built in 1907, features a large stone patio, 2 bedrooms 1 1/2 baths, livingroom, dining room and kitchen on the first floor.  Up the narrow log steps to the second floor and you will find another bedroom and full bath with a good sized living room. 
Bruno’s Market and Deli (6th & Junipero Street, Carmel) provided the food and drink in the large dining room of Log Haven.
Sleeps up to 8
The other four cottages were added to the property in 1940 and used as vacation rentals. Tradewinds the second largest property features two places to sit outside, a patio and balcony.  The main floor has a bedroom with full bath, kitchen, and living room with fireplace.  The upstairs level has one bedroom, a loft with two twin beds and a full bath.
Moon Gate
Sleeps up to 4
Moon Gate, which sits behind a moon shaped arch, is the most secluded of the five cottages.  This property features one bedroom, one bathroom, full kitchen, living room with fireplace and large brick patio surrounded by lush gardens.
Home Port
Sleeps up to 4
Home Port. a one story unit, features an ample sized living room with gas fireplace, one bedroom, bath and kitchen with breakfast area.  Outside the back door is a lovely rose garden and sitting area.
Sky Way
Sleeps 2
Sky Way, the smallest of the units, is an upstairs studio with a living room with kitchenette, one bedroom and full bath.  This unit also has a lovely ocean view from the front porch sitting area and living room. 
This map above shows the layout of the
five cottages of the Carmel Cottage Inn at
San Antonia & 8th Avenue, Carmel.
For rates and information
call 855-894-2424
 Below is a video of pictures taken from
inside all of the units and as I walked the grounds. 
Carmel Inns of Distinction Tour Part II
The La Playa – Camino Real & 8th
Tally Ho Inn – Monte Verde & 6th
Candle Light Inn – San Carlos & 5th