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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
800/443-7443
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) 

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Credits
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, 

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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 
831/625-2585
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
831/624-6421

For a  map of the tour click here.

Next up our last three inns, Part III – Cypress Inn, L’Auberge and LaPlaya 
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Credits
Photos – L. A. Momboisse http://www.carmelbytheseaca.blogspot.com
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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

 pergola 

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
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.

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, 

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

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

 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 
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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.

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