If a high-rise hotel on the beach is your ideal vacation, then bypass Carmel-by-the-Sea. But if a relaxing getaway in a quiet and quaint little village that feels like it belongs in Europe is more your style, then Carmel-by-the-Sea is a terrific choice. We learned some interesting tidbits about Carmel-by-the-Sea during our visit. Ladies, leave your high heels at home–a city ordinance prohibits them. Also prohibited is walking around town with ice cream cones. Yes, these are real ordinances on the books. You won’t see any neon signs, mailboxes, or street numbers either. All residents go to the Post Office to pick up their mail.
We stayed at the Hofsas House Hotel, a family owned hotel for six decades, and I would recommend it for families. Our stay at the hotel was complimentary so that I could write about not only the hotel, but also some of the many family friendly activities on the Monterey Peninsula. (There are more coming in future articles.)
The Hofsas House Hotel is currently managed by Carrie Theis, the granddaughter of the original owner, so you can expect gracious hospitality with a personal touch. The hotel looks like it belongs in a European village.
This Bavarian-themed mural, painted by Maxine Albro, greets you at the front of the hotel.
Rooms at the Hofsas House Hotel are reached by exterior corridors, but don’t let that concern you–it seems to be the norm for Carmel-by-the-Sea where most of the lodging consists of independently owned inns. The original owner decided that a family owned hotel should be family friendly and came up with the idea of family suites. The five family suites are gigantic with plenty of space. Ours had two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The master bedroom had a king-size bed, fireplace, and three chairs. The fireplace was gas-burning and turned on with the flip of a switch. This room had a TV, but it was an older non-flat-screen model.
This room also had a wet bar with a microwave.
The second bedroom had two double beds. This is where our kids slept. This room had a flat screen TV.
The furniture in our room was a bit dated and starting to show some wear, but the size of the rooms more than made up for that, in our opinion. The bathrooms were also quite large. We had free WiFi access in our room. The hotel is also pet friendly. Pets are permitted in about half the rooms and the other half do not permit pets for the benefit of people with allergies (like me!). Outside our room was a patio area that had a view of the ocean which is several blocks away.
Another outdoor feature is the heated pool. Big deal, you might be thinking. Actually, in Carmel, pools are not common. The owner told us that only four or five of the 45 inns in Carmel have pools. That’s another reason this hotel is a good choice for families.
A free continental breakfast is provided in the hotel office each morning. It includes coffee, tea, juice, yogurt, fruit, and pastries from the neighborhood bakery. I had a yummy chocolate croissant.
Parking is free. We didn’t have any difficulty finding an available parking space, but some of them were a little tricky to navigate into and out of.
The hotel is walking distance from shops and restaurants, but I would recommend driving to the beach if you are bringing any beach gear with you.
Another family friendly benefit of staying at the Hofsas House Hotel is that they have a partnership with the Monterey Bay Aquarium. If you buy your tickets through the hotel, you will receive a two-day pass for the price of a single day. The aquarium is about a 15-minute drive from the hotel.
Additional offerings are also available through the hotel. We loved the Beach Fire and S’mores Bundle so much that I wrote a separate post about it. A Monterey Wine & Cheese Pairing (which you can bring to the beach) is $30. They also offer in-room couples’ massages, but let’s get real, that just doesn’t work for parents traveling with kids. 😉
We really enjoyed our stay at the Hofsas House Hotel. I can’t say enough about how nice it was to have such a large suite. We would definitely recommend it.
Ready to visit?
Hofsas House Hotel
San Carlos Street, between 3rd & 4th Ave.
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921
Many thanks to the Hofsas House Hotel for hosting our stay and to the Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau for coordinating our stay.
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