Search the best hotels in Carmel
Carmel-by-the-Sea, or more often simply Carmel, is an especially beautiful seaside town just five miles south down Highway 1 from Monterey City. Small but beautifully formed, this trendy town is brilliant for seaside strolls and laid-back beach days, as well as top-notch food and boutique shopping. It is also a pet-friendly haven for dog-lovers, with many properties inviting four-legged guests to stay, too. The vast array of accommodation available includes everything from simple B&Bs to sumptuous luxury hotels. Many of the best places to stay in Carmel boast dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean, but some of our favourite hideaways are tucked in the centre of town, perfect for exploring.
Once the preserve of artists and writers, inspired by the famous fog which rolls across the beach during the summer months, Carmel's origins lie in the 1880s, when it was a popular seaside resort. Experience Old Carmel through a visit to Tor House, the quirky stone cottage of 20th-century poet Robinson Jeffers. Now, well-manicured Carmel has an upmarket, grown-up feel. Expect to spot well-heeled patrons popping into elegant eateries and to spy cool convertibles cruising along Ocean Ave, the town's main street. Its pretty, compact centre is home to almost 100 galleries, as well as chic cafés, designer boutiques and smart restaurants. Choose an outdoor table for the best chance of catching a glorious Pacific sunset!
The Carmel Mission, founded in 1771 is a striking building -- reputedly the most beautiful Spanish Mission in California -- and well worth visiting. Don't miss exploring gorgeous Carmel City Beach Park, where dogs race delightedly across the dazzling white sand, or heading to Carmel River State Beach, where there are migratory birds to admire. For hiking and dramatic views, visit Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. Marvel at sea lions basking in the sunshine and try snorkelling or diving in the impressive kelp forest. There are some superb wineries dotted around town, too, great for tours and tastings. Beyond Carmel lie the Carmel River and the lush Carmel Valley, both of which can be glimpsed from some of the town's lovely inns and hotels. The intriguing nearby city of Monterey is easily accessible for lively bars, funky shops and the informative Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
Ideal for a seaside weekend or a stop on a dreamy Californian road trip, coastal Carmel is an attractive little town with plenty of cultural and foodie delights to discover. Most of the best places to stay in Carmel are small, intimate properties -- and they fill up fast! Do book your stay well in advance to avoid missing out.
For Boutique Chic
- Cypress Inn has been a Carmel landmark since 1929. Once owned by Doris Day and frequented by Hollywood greats, this is a top choice for anyone in search of old-world charm. Expect graceful interiors with Mediterranean tiled accents, marble bathrooms and antique features. Enjoy live music, cocktails and fantastic fare at pet-friendly Terry's Lounge, too. Very glamorous.
- Tradewinds Carmel is an elegant, award-winning Carmel classic, with big beds and glorious sea views. Hide away as a couple, or bring the whole family and base yourself in spacious bedrooms with crackling fires. Antiques from Bali and China, as well as Balinese kimono robes make this hotel stand out. The quiet residential location is ideal for relaxing. Pet-friendly, great for families or as a wonderful boutique escape for couples.
- Vagabond's House Inn is a wonderfully romantic choice for a Carmel stay. The property's thirteen bedrooms use natural materials -- leather, wood and glittering metals -- to create a chic, minimalist vibe. Unwind in huge free-standing bathtubs or gather under the fairy lights in the courtyard to exchange tales with fellow guests. Cosy, creative and indulgent.
- Mission Ranch boasts 22 acres of verdant grounds, offering views over the Pacific, as well as Point Lobos and Carmel River Beach. A historic property once saved by Carmel's famous mayor, Clint Eastwood, the picturesque farmhouse features classic bedrooms with fireplaces and private balconies. Kids will love exploring the grounds on two-wheels, playing tennis, meeting the resident sheep, and wandering to the nearby beach. The Piano Bar is a popular spot! A relaxed family pick.
- The Hideaway is a brilliant family-friendly inn with smart, contemporary interiors. The 24 rooms include large family suites, there are breakfast baskets for cosy mornings in bed, and the dog-friendly ethos means four-legged friends can expect plenty of pampering! The big terrace is a great place to kick back, and the complimentary bikes will prove a hit with the whole family. Laid-back.
- Carmel Country Inn prides itself on being the town's most pet-friendly B&B. Charming and owner-run, the inn features slick, modern design in 12 rooms and suites -- including 2-bedroom options for families. Pick this place for the pretty, flower-filled balconies, the friendly feel and the central location.
- Monte Verde Inn is a comfortable base with 17 attractive rooms just a few streets from Carmel Beach. Expect bright green touches enhancing the otherwise white-and-cream decor, and spacious family options with extra queen beds. Also dog-friendly, this is a fun inn for a family beach holiday.
- Forest Lodge, sister property to Lamp Lighter Inn, offers lots of privacy in six suites and cottages, some of which sleep up to six people. Great for families who want their own space, the Lodge is also just moments from lively Carmel Plaza, where there are bakeries and cafés to sample. Ideal for little-legged travellers who won't want to walk too far for pastries!
For a Cosy Inn
- Sea View Inn is an appealingly intimate 8-bedroom B&B with sea views from lovely bay windows. A charming choice with canopied beds, a tranquil no-TV policy and heaps of cosy, quirky decor -- perfect for quiet couples. A real home-away-from-home.
- The Coachman's Inn embraces the town's long history as a stopping point on the Californian coastal route. This characterful B&B boasts 30 rooms with blue-patterned quilts, classic wooden-beamed terraces, and generous buffet breakfasts. The central location is great for strolling around town, and spacious rooms with extra beds will suit families or groups. A traditional choice.
- Lamp Lighter Inn is a pint-sized inn with a vibrant nautical theme. Think blue-and-white decor in five bedrooms, four suites and two cottages, each of which has been uniquely designed. Children and pets are welcome, and Carmel Beach is just 3 minutes away. Admire birds flitting around the home-made birdboxes, and gather around the firepit for cosy evening chats.
- Lincoln Green Inn features four gorgeous cottages nestled amidst English gardens. Pick this place for a romantic, Cotswolds-style retreat complete with roaring fires, floral patterned bedding and fully-equipped kitchens. Pretty and private.
- La Playa Hotel is the grand dame of Carmel's hotel scene. Think sophisticated cream-and-white bedrooms with dazzling sea views. Set in carefully manicured gardens, this classic beach hotel features Mediterranean architecture, delicious food and an air of elegant opulence. The champagne breakfasts are a real treat! Beachfront bliss.
- L'Auberge is a charming, European-style property with 20 bedrooms. Complete with four-poster beds and antique furnishings, rooms are characterful, tranquil and romantic. The show-stopper is the award-winning restaurant, The Aubergine, which serves delectable dishes -- and can put together a superb beach picnic. A foodie favourite!
- Carmel Valley Ranch enjoys a secluded setting amidst 500 acres, beyond the town of Carmel. Expect chic, contemporary rooms with lovely private balconies and sumptuous marble bathrooms. There are stacks of family-friendly activities, too, including tennis, riding, fishing, cycling and a soothing spa. A luxurious escape for travellers of all ages.
For An Apartment Or Villa
- If you'd prefer a self-catering option, we suggest that you visit our online partner Booking.com.
- There are regular international and domestic flights to Monterey Regional Airport (MRY). Most hotels will be happy to arrange an airport pickup, or you can hop into a bus or taxi for the 30-minute ride to Carmel.
- Visitors can also fly into San Jose International Airport and catch the regular shuttle service to Monterey (1.5 hours) and the bus to Carmel from there.
- Alternatively, contact our online partner Rentalcars if you would like to hire a car. California is brilliant for a road trip!
- Carmel is at its busiest during the summer months, although the beach can be foggy in the heat of July and August. Time your trip for the spring (March to May) for fewer crowds and beautiful weather!
Still not sure?
- Explore our pick of all the best places to stay in Monterey.
- Widen your search to include the best places to stay in California.
- Or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice.
Monthly Weather in Carmel
Best Hotels in Carmel
Mission Ranch Carmel (California) 31 rooms from $125Birdwatching - Carmel River State Beach is home to scuba diving but more famous for the scenic bird sancutury.Sights nearby - 18th Century Mission San Carlos Borroméo del río Carmelo.Whirlpool Bathtub - Many of the rooms come with whirlpool tubsTennis - Tennis courts avaliable for all guests.
This working 22-acre ranch overlooks Point Lobos and the Pacific Ocean. The large, classic rooms have fireplaces, private balconies and bathrooms. American cuisine is on the menu and the Piano Bar is popular with guests and locals alike. Tennis courts and sheep on site. Beaches a stone's throw away See More
Monte Verde Inn Carmel 17 rooms from $149QuietFishing - An ideal deep-sea fishing spot- there are several fishing tours in the Monterey area that provide charters.Sailing - Sailing excursions leave daily for many points along the central coast.Views - Great views from hotel
Sea View Inn Carmel 8 rooms from $195Great walks - Carmel Beach is perfect for a meditative walk and immersion in the natural beauty of the California coastline.Sights nearby - Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo and Robinson Jeffers’ Tor House.Romantic - Good for couples.Views - Great views from hotel
The Hideaway Carmel (California) 24 rooms from $236Local exploring - A wonderful area with so much to do, including wine tasting, excellent restaurants, kayaking, golf, local galleries and museumsSights nearby - Venture out to Monterey with its aquarium, whale-watching, Del Monte beach and golf clubGreat walks - Walk along the coast's sandy trails with amazing sea viewsRomantic - Good for couples.
Contemporary, stylish and cosy inn located on the coast in Carmel. 24 rooms have a tasteful monochrome colour scheme, with blonde wood touches. Enjoy shared indoor and outdoor living areas with roaring fireplaces. There is no restaurant but plenty of options nearby and the beach is walking distance. See More
Coachman's Inn Carmel 30 rooms from $245Great walks - To get the real Carmel-on-th-Sea experience explore the town on foot.Spa - On site spa and sauna facilities.Lively - Hip and happening.Outstanding location
Carmel Country Inn Carmel (California) 12 rooms from $245Local exploring - A well-located base to explore Carmel and its beach on foot or drive out to nearby vineyards and world-famous coastal roadsSights nearby - Take a day trip to Monterey to experience its famous whale-watching cruises, coastal drives, aquarium and excellent restaurantsSeaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.Local markets - Good for local colour.
Charming owner-run B&B located in the heart of Carmel. One of the only properties in the area to offer 2-bedroom suites, all 12 have cosy fireplaces and a unique design. Enjoy a gourmet breakfast on your balcony bursting with blooming flowers, explore the area or book a spoiling massage. See More
Lamp Lighter Inn Carmel 4 rooms from $245Local exploring - With Monterey and Big Sur nearby, the inn provides the perfect base for discovering the sights and wonders of the areaNo restaurant - Breakfast is providedSurfing - Catch a wave on a surfboard at Carmel Beach, just a 5 minute walk with lessons avaliableSights nearby - Spend a day driving the iconic route 1 and exploring Big Sur
A charming coastal inn, set in the heart of downtown Carmel just minutes from the beach. Rooms are cosy and nautical with blue hues, wood-burning fireplaces and spacious marble bathrooms with spa tubs. Relax by the firepit or in a secluded gazebo. Perfect spot for exploring Monterey and Big Sur. See More
Cypress Inn Carmel 44 rooms from $249Pet friendly - Very pet friendly, in fact, guests are almost actively encouraged to bring theirs along!Restaurant - Terry's lounge serves Monterey inspired dishes with a Mediterranean twistFull of characterRomantic - Good for couples.
A charming boutique hotel, once owned by Doris Day, offering some old-school glamour in pretty Carmel-by-the-Sea. Bright rooms have a Mediterranean feel with cast iron beds and terracotta tiled floors. The restaurant has a real soul (expect live music) and the beach is just a few blocks away. See More
Vagabond's House Inn Carmel (California) 13 rooms from $252Great walks - Watch whales in January from spectacular vistas while the sea crashes against the cliffs below.Local markets - Friday Farmers Market at the Monterey Peninsula College parking lot.Spa - Offers a variety of massages & facials.Barefoot Luxury - For total relaxation.
Boutique B&B welcomes guests with a stone courtyard, spa and fireplaces. Modern, unique rooms with luxury bathrooms and breakfast in-room. Walking distance from the Carmel restaurants and bars. Relax at the spa, take a leisurely stroll along the coast or go out sailing and look out for whales. See More
Tradewinds Carmel Carmel (California) 28 rooms from $255Local exploring - There are endless things to do in the area; visit Big Sur, go winetasting, hike, golf or spend a day at the beachGreat walks - There are endless themed self-guided tours in the area; try the Monterey Movie tour or Carmel Food TourViews - Great views from hotelSeaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.Recommended by - Fodors
Charming inn located in the heart of Carmel, yet walking distance to the beach. Fireplaces make the 28 rooms feel cosy, many have balconies and sea views. Asian-inspired decor, zen garden, firepit and in-room massages give an exotic feel. For lunch and dinner explore Carmel's many dining options. See More
Forest Lodge Carmel 6 rooms from $255Active Holiday - With options of surfing, hiking, kayaking and spotting wildlife, there is something for everyoneLocal exploring - The boutiques, bakeries and cafes on Carmel Plaza are a minute's walk away from the innSights nearby - A must is the 17 Mile Drive, a dramatic cliff drive with incredible viewing spots, just a 12 minute drive awayLocal markets - Visit the Local Farmer’s Market at the Monterey Peninsula College
A charming inn set in the heart of Carmel right next to the Plaza. The cottages are spacious and stylish with ivory hues and splashes of yellow, cosy fireplaces, large tiled bathrooms and stunning views of the garden. Relax on the sit-out terrace. The perfect location for exploring further afield. See More
Hotel Carmel Carmel 30 rooms from $298Local exploring - Delight in everything the area has to offer; wine-tasting, whale-watching, shopping, great restaurants and scenic drivesGreat walks - Carmel beach is a short walk away, through the charming village and its many shops, restaurants and galleriesSights nearby - Drive the famous 17 Mile Drive or head down to Big Sur to experience the Pacific coast in all its gloryLively - Hip and happening.
Channel old-school 'California living' at this lively boutique hotel in the heart of Carmel. A large cottage houses 30 snug and cosy rooms and suites, many with views, fireplaces and balconies. With a games rooms, courtyard fire-pit, fun retro bar and restaurant, this will suit sociable travellers. See More
La Playa Hotel Carmel (CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA) 75 rooms from $399Luxury - Known as the "Grand Dame of Carmel" - this beautiful mansion set in perfectly manicured gardens is the height of luxuryBeach Life - Boasting the position of the closest hotel to the beach in townRestaurant - Bud's offers contemporary comfort food classicsSwimming Pool - Heated outdoor pool
A grand mansion with ocean views set in perfectly manicured gardens. Elegant rooms boast luxury bathrooms and private terraces to enjoy a glass of local wine on. The grounds hold a lovely outdoor pool and a lifesize chess board. Champagne breakfasts are included - a luxury beach escape. See More
Lincoln Green Inn Carmel (Carmel-By-The-Sea) 4 rooms from $425Great walks - Walk on the sidewalk or beach itself. Pets are welcome on the main beach without leads, but must be under command.Sights nearby - Within 15 minutes, visit Monterey with the famed Monterey Bay Aquarium, Fisherman’s Wharf, Cannery Row.Hideaway - Each cottage has its own private entrance and garden- total seclusion!!Barefoot Luxury - For total relaxation.
L'Auberge, Carmel Carmel (California) 20 rooms from $485Fishing - Take a Gourmet Picnic Basket with you from the kitchen.Great walks - Get walking to Point Lobos for spectacular views.Cooking classes - Prepare your lunch with the executive chef.Sights nearby - Variety of art galleries and museums.
L'Auberge is a charming luxury hotel in close proximity to Carmel Beach, multiple dining options and walking opportunities. Rooms are luxurious with all mod-cons. The Aubergine restaurant is award-winning and the in-room spa treatments are a must-try. Great spot to relax, or see the local area. See More