Carmel California Hotels: Top Accommodations Options in Carmel-By-The-Sea

Carmel, California hotels range from high-end resorts to quaint bed and breakfasts. You can also rent out an apartment or a house from a local resident.

You will find prices are the most expensive during the busy summer travel months and over holiday weekends. Low season in Carmel is on non-holiday weekends from November to March. The great part about this beautiful waterfront town is that the weather is beautiful almost all year around.

One thing to note about Carmel is that no one has formal street addresses. You will notice all of the hotels and other accommodations give you a street name and cross street. This might seem strange, but many years ago they decided to give the houses names instead of an address. This means all businesses refer to their location by cross streets too. During your stay, you will get familiar with finding restaurants and shops with only the cross streets.

Downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea's shops and wine tasting.What you'll find along Carmel-by-the-Sea's downtown streets. Shopping, wine tasting, and more!

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Top Five Hotels

1. L'Auberge Carmel

Address: Monte Verde Street at Seventh Avenue

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Estimated Room Rates: $390 - $630

The L'Auberge Carmel offers the ultimate in luxury. Located in the heart of Carmel's popular commercial district, this 20-room hotel offers you the chance to walk to dozens of restaurants, shops, art galleries, and wine tasting rooms. On site, you'll find the renowned 12-table restaurant Aubergine.

  • Pros: This recently renovated hotel features European style luxury. Enjoy a delicious complimentary breakfast before heading out to do some world-class shopping or wine tasting within walking distance. It's also just four blocks from Carmel Beach.
  • Cons: If you require an elevator to reach your room, stick to the rooms on the first floor. Sometimes the street gets noisy, so request a room in the back if you are a light sleeper.

2. Cypress Inn

Address: Lincoln Avenue & 7th Avenue

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Estimated Room Rates: $310 - $335

This cute inn is also right near Ocean Avenue and the center of the action in Carmel. It's has 44 rooms and offers old-fashioned hospitality and several amenities. There is a popular restaurant on site called Terry's Lounge where you can enjoy American and California cuisine.

  • Pros: This is a lovely place to stay for anyone looking for a nice, low-key weekend. It's perfect for couples and anyone else wanting to enjoy all that Carmel has to offer.
  • Cons: Some of the rooms are small and best for just couples instead of families. Many of the bathrooms are also on the smaller side. There is no air conditioning in most of the rooms, but Carmel rarely gets too warm during the day or at night.

3. Tradewinds Carmel

Address: Mission Street at Third Avenue

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Estimated Room Rates: $275 - $400

Tradewinds Carmel is on the northern end of the town's commercial district, located on a quiet residential street. It is a small hotel with just 28 rooms. For your stay, you can choose a king room, queen room, or one of two suites. Most rooms feature a fireplace and ocean views!

  • Pros: There is so much to like about this hotel. The upper floors offer a view of the ocean, even though the hotel is several blocks away from it. It's within walking distance to the center of the commercial district, so you can easily get to restaurants, bars, and other entertainment options. It's set on a quiet street and has a cute courtyard with a fire pit and chairs, so everyone can enjoy the outdoors during their stay.
  • Cons: It's close to all the action, but the last block up to the hotel is a little steep. You will want to be aware of if you choose to set out on foot.

4. Carmel Mission Inn

Address: 3665 Rio Road

Rating: 3 Stars

Estimated Room Rates: $145 - $300

The Carmel Mission Inn is a three-star hotel with many amenities. This 165-room hotel with a colorful, retro vibe features an on-site restaurant, fitness center, heated swimming pool, and several suites. They also offer free parking and high-speed internet access.

  • Pros: This place is a great value for your money. It offers several amenities for a three-star hotel, so you don't have to go far to find what you need. The rooms are clean, comfortable, and spacious for the price.
  • Cons: It's a bit off the beaten path, but it is priced accordingly. There are some other restaurants and shops nearby. However, it's about a mile or more from the main commercial district in Carmel.

5. La Playa Carmel

Address: Camino Real at 8th Avenue

Rating: 4 Stars

Estimated Room Rates: $191 - $538

This historic hotel features 75 rooms and is centrally located in the commercial district. It's the perfect mix of both turn-of-the-century charm as well as modern amenities. Make sure you spend some time in their gorgeous gardens.

  • Pros: This hotel is very charming and comfortable. It's in a great location, just two blocks from the beach and also close to dozens of shops and restaurants. They have a terrace swimming pool, beautiful courtyards and gardens, and a bar/restaurant on site. If you can, spend a little more for the ocean view rooms.
  • Cons: Since it's an older hotel, some of the rooms are a bit tight (especially those with two beds). There are no elevators, so request a room on the first floor if walking up and down stairs is a problem (the staff will help you with your bags). Ask for a room away from the street to avoid any noise at night.

Top Five Bed & Breakfast Accommodations

An alternative to the standard Carmel, California hotels is a quaint bed and breakfast. Due to the size of many of the buildings here, B&Bs are more abundant than the typical hotel. Here are just a few of my favorites.

1. Lamp Lighter Inn & Sunset House Suites

Address: S.E. Corner of Ocean Avenue & Camino Real

# of Rooms: 6

Estimated Room Rates: $235 - $425

This cute bed and breakfast is tucked away in an ancient grove of trees. It's also centrally located, which allows you to walk to several popular Carmel shops and restaurants. One of my favorite features here is the courtyard area with tables and fire pits. This lovely area is also where you can enjoy your breakfast or the evening wine and cheese reception.

  • Pros: This B&B is very cozy and comfortable. It's perfect for couples looking for a romantic getaway in Carmel. The staff is very friendly and helpful, and it's also just a few blocks from the beach.
  • Cons: Some of the rooms could use a little updating. The bathrooms are clean, but many are small and could use some remodeling to brighten them up a little.

2. Vagabond's House Inn

Address: Dolores Street & 4th Avenue

# of Rooms: 11

Estimated Room Rates: $280 - $490

Vagabond's House Inn is one of my absolute favorites. This charming English Tudor-style boutique bed and breakfast features just 11 rooms in a quiet, yet centrally located neighborhood in Carmel. This place is unique, and their guests' needs are the most important thing to them.

  • Pros: They serve breakfast in bed! Where else could you get this kind of service? Each day, you tell them when you want your breakfast and they will bring it to you. Each room comes with complimentary sherry, too. Make sure you take advantage of their free wine and cheese reception each night.
  • Cons: The breakfast is a little lighter than most bed and breakfasts. They serve up an 'extended continental breakfast', which includes a hardboiled egg, coffee, and some toast. Also, some of the bathrooms are quite small.

3. Carmel Country Inn

Address: Dolores Street

# of Rooms: 12

Estimated Room Rates: $275 - $385

The Carmel Country Inn is another great spot for couples looking for a weekend away from the chaos. Situated near the commercial district in Carmel, this inn offers both suites and studios. The rooms are clean, the staff is friendly, and most rooms feature a fireplace and a two-person jacuzzi tub to warm up things up at night.

  • Pros: You will find this hotel set in a quiet and serene area. However, it's also walking distance to many fine shops and restaurants. The staff is friendly, and the owners can tell you anything you want to know about Carmel. This B&B is also pet friendly!
  • Cons: The treetop rooms require that you walk up a set of stairs. Make sure you consider this before booking.

4. Tally Ho Inn

Address: Monte Verde Street at Sixth Street

# of Rooms: 14

Estimated Room Rates: $260 - $410

The Tally Ho Inn offers a quiet, countryside type experience in the heart of Carmel, while being just a half a block from the major restaurants and shops. Head in the other direction three blocks and you will be at the gorgeous Carmel Beach. Most rooms offer partial ocean views and feature jacuzzi tubs. You will also enjoy the morning continental breakfast and evening reception.

  • Pros: My favorite thing about this cute inn is the outdoor seating areas. They allow you to spend some time getting to know other guests or just enjoying the views. The staff is always so friendly and helpful here, too.
  • Cons: Room #109 can get loud during the weekdays with the trucks delivering to the restaurant next door. Avoid this room if you are a light sleeper. A couple of the rooms are a little dated, but still clean and comfy.

5. Carmel Garden Inn

Address: NW Corner 4th Street and Torres

# of Rooms: 10

Estimated Room Rates: $165 - $275

You will also find this gem in the heart of Carmel's central business district. This place is great because the rooms are good sized for the price. Some of the rooms even offer a small kitchenette, so you can make basic meals to eat in. They also serve a wonderful breakfast each morning and have a wine and appetizer reception each night.

  • Pros: The breakfast here is amazing. It's one of my favorites in Carmel. The owners and staff go above and beyond to make sure your stay is up to your standards.
  • Cons: They are in the process of updating a few of the rooms, so some of them still need a little touch-up. This inn has a lot of charm and history, which means many of the bathrooms do, too. They are on the smaller side.

Renting an Apartment or a House

Instead of staying at one of the Carmel, California hotels, check out some of the great apartments and vacation rentals on TripAdvisor. They currently feature more than 60 of these within Carmel and more than 400 in the surrounding areas.

Choices range from small, detached studio apartments to large six-bedroom, six-bathroom homes.

You will work directly with the landlord on availability and other details. They will also meet you when you arrive, so you will immediately have a local to help you out.

Try this lodging option if you're interested in a more private, independent stay, and want to see what it's like to live as a local in Carmel. This is my favorite way to travel!

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