Best Value Hotels in Carmel

Best Value Hotels in Carmel

Should a traveler to the Monterey Peninsula of California be so inspired, they could spend upwards of $5,000 on lodging for a given trip, easy. That wouldn’t be to finance a house for a week, but a single room, for one night. This list is the antidote to that sort of spending — without sacrificing the luxury. A helpful reminder therein: The best value hotels in Carmel doesn’t necessarily mean cheap, it demonstrates the most quality for the fairest price.

One way each of the following spots delivers on that axiom is by maximizing access, visually and geographically, to the wonders of the Pacific Coast, buttressed by a range of creature comforts and superior service. So without further ado or breathless adjectives, here appear our value hotel winners in Carmel, selected by our editors.

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

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

Le Petit Pali [Formerly The Getaway]

Carmel’s original crop of simple motels have been morphing into higher-priced boutique hotels for years now, with their main draw being their convenient in-village location and off-street parking. This property was originally transfomed by San Francisco’s Plump Jack group and is now part of the Petit Pali family, offering a chic but cozy spot with super-comfy beds, stylishly retiled bathrooms and showers hidden behind sliding barn doors, and thoughtful perks like the delicious breakfast basket delivered to your door and loaner beach cruisers with helmets and bike locks.

HIGHLIGHT:The 34 rooms spread across two two-story wings offer king beds with down comforters and plush mattresses; gas fireplaces and warm robes also encourage curling up on a foggy day. Its location across from Devendorf Park and kitty-corner from Carmel Plaza invites strolling or cycling through Carmel, but be sure to return by 5pm to enjoy the complimentary wine hour with well-curated drinks and savory nibbles. 

Chairs sitting on a turf patio at the Carmel Mission Inn in Carmel, California.
Photo: Courtesy of Big Sur Campgrounds

Carmel Mission Inn

Across from the Carmel Crossroads center off Highway, Carmel Mission Inn is centrally located for either exploring Carmel, wine tasting in Carmel Valley or breezing down the road to Big Sur. Its recently renovated rooms and public spaces also feature a breezy, contemporized midcentury modern style. Handsome wood-paneled walls are brightened by light flowing through large windows that open (more breezes!) King rooms, some with private balconies or decks, offer roomy seating areas and workspaces. The new casual-chic Shearwater Tavern serves daily breakfast and, Tuesday through Saturday, regionally inspired dishes and libations for happy hour and dinner.

HIGHLIGHTS: The large, heated pool and landscaped courtyard has the same inviting vibe as the rest of the unpretentious but attractive compound, which also has special pet-friendly ground-floor rooms with lawn access and hard flooring. Free parking and electric-vehicle charging as well as the fast access to Highway One make this a great road trip option; cyclists and others will want to include it with these options for best group getaway hotels.

Outdoor view of balcony on a room at Carmel Valley Lodge in Carmel, California.
Photo: Courtesy of Carmel Valley Lodge

Carmel Valley Lodge

While classic Carmel Valley Lodge charges a fraction of what other hotels around the valley do, it proves more conveniently located. That means walkability to rolling community parks, homespun restaurants and — wait for it — an absurd amount of locally sown wine tasting rooms, with roughly 30 ready to have you swirl and sip their small-batch Pinots and Chardonnays within 1,000 steps. The grounds deploy old-growth oaks, water features, a welcoming pool, modest spa and integrated fire pits, all set against the backdrop of the beautiful Carmel Valley hills. Each lodge unit benefits from a wood deck, balcony or flagstone patio, exposed wood-beamed ceilings, refrigerators, flat-screen TVs and convenient free parking.

HIGHLIGHTS: To paraphrase the famous refrain, a main highlight here is location, location, location, right on the apron of sunny and irresistible Carmel Valley Village. Within a short drive you can encounter expansive Garland Ranch Park, routinely voted the area’s best hiking spot. The 1950s lodge takes pride in its rustic texture, but new owners have begun updating the 3-acre sanctuary, without sacrificing heritage. Complimentary continental breakfast and dog-friendly rooms rank among additional perks, as does on-site yoga Friday-Sunday.

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