Best Romantic Hotels in Carmel

Best Romantic Hotels in Carmel

Thanks to their spectacular natural surroundings, nearly any hotel in the vicinity of Carmel can suffice for a romantic getaway. Still, some seem particularly suited for those looking for quality time with their cutie. Without further ado, here are our picks for the best Carmel hotels for romance, selected by our editors. We’re pretty sure that they, along with your sweetheart, merit a splurge.

Featured photo courtesy of the Getaway (now Le Petit Pali). 

Interior of Cypress Inn hotel in Carmel, California
Photo: Courtesy of seemonterey.com / Michael Troutman

Cypress Inn

Long co-owned by actress and animal activist Doris Day, Cypress Inn has been popular for even longer as a stylish boutique hotel in central Carmel. But during her tenure, it has blossomed with Old Hollywood-meets-Morocco flair and has become the pet-friendliest of all Carmel’s famous pet-friendly hotels. Layouts of its 44 rooms and suites (some with courtyard entrances) vary greatly, but many have fireplaces and all include delicious buffet breakfast in Terry’s Lounge, a compellingly casbah-inspired enclave all of its own.

HIGHLIGHT: In a pleasantly bustling part of Carmel, this isn’t where you go to lie in bed all day, but it makes a super retreat at night, after you’re done exploring, including complimentary cream sherry, fruit and nuts in your room and cocktails and dinner at Terry’s Lounge. The plush robes and bed linens beckon after that, with a special blanket and bowl for your pooch, if you couldn’t bear to part from your pet for the night. Book the two-story Tower Suite and enjoy ocean views from its romantic turret.

Four poster bed in the L'Auberge hotel in Carmel, California.
Photo: Courtesy of L'Auberge Carmel

L'Auberge Carmel

Right in the center of quaint Carmel, boutique L’Auberge Carmel was built in 1929 as an elegant chateau blended with a cozy cottage. Today modern amenities like heated bathroom floors and walk-in showers complement antique furnishings (some 18th century), wrought-iron canopy beds and deep standing bathtubs. With only 20 rooms, guests receive plenty of individual attention, including the perks of valet parking, made-to-order hot breakfast and room service (from Michelin-starred Aubergine), twice-daily housekeeping and in-town Volvo car service — hence it also makes our list of top luxury hotels in the area.

HIGHLIGHT: Culinary packages include overnight stays  and classes with Justin Cogley, Aubergine’s award-winning executive chef, or talented pastry chef Yulanda Santos. Many rooms offer a peek of an ocean view, with Carmel Beach just a few blocks downhill.

Tally Ho Inn in Carmel, California, great for romantic getaways
Photo: Courtesy of Tally Ho Inn

Tally Ho Inn

Built as a cottage for another Carmel hotel, then remodeled in 1945 into a fairy-tale mansion with an English garden, the Tally Ho Inn became an inn again in 1952, to the delight of couples ever since. Updated in more recent years, the 12 rooms — a number with dazzling ocean views and private decks — have maintained their charm while adding modern must-haves like pillow-top mattresses, large flat-screen TVs and marble bathrooms with whirlpool tubs. And since it’s a bed-and-breakfast, you can enjoy a leisurely start to your day.

HIGHLIGHT: Il Fornaio, across the street at the Pine Inn (Tally Ho’s sister hotel), supplies breakfast during the week, with an expanded continental breakfast in Tally Ho’s lobby on weekends. Lots of wine tasting rooms are within walking distance, but save time to sip a complimentary brandy in the courtyard garden by the fireplace. The bright white interior and exterior walls add a touch of Greece, especially with the blue ocean in view.

The Hideaway hotel in Carmel, California.
Photo: Courtesy of The Hideaway

Le Petit Pali (formerly the Getaway + Hideaway)

The first foray of San Francisco’s tony PlumpJack Group into Carmel produced the Hideaway, a casual-chic transformation of one of many modest motels in the village (its second project produced the Getaway, one of our best vetted value hotels and another great option for romance). Handsome leather club chairs and wood-paneled headboards and fireplaces add warmth to the 24 light-filled rooms and suites, many with fireplaces and sitting areas. Modern tiled bathrooms may feature walk-in showers or tubs with showers, but all come with comfy robes. Enjoy your complimentary continental breakfast in bed or in the inviting brick-and-stone courtyard (formerly a parking lot).

HIGHLIGHT: Like breakfast, a nightly wine reception and the use of beach cruiser bikes are complimentary. Down bedding on Denver Mattress Company mattresses ensure a good night’s sleep. The hotel’s quiet location is nevertheless just two blocks from Ocean Avenue, with easy access to shops and restaurants.

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