Hotels in Carmel, California

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Carmel Hotels

One of the biggest attractions of Carmel is just how unspoiled it is. This is a place where appearances matter, and that's obvious from just how seriously the by-laws of the area take any attempt at uglifying the region, from too-bright signs to numbers on houses. A long-standing coastal resort with an artsy vibe, these days Carmel isn't just home to the edgy creative types, but to people with plenty of money to enjoy its high-end shopping and gallery scene, as well as its perfectly preserved beach.

Things to see

Two major reasons to visit the area are Carmel Beach and Carmel River State Beach where you'll discover that the golden sands and beautiful views of the sea are a perfect place to unwind and soak up the sunshine. Whether you're a reader content to chill out on the sand, or more active and join the hoards of kite-flyers, boogie-boarders, and surfers, you'll find plenty to enjoy and ideal conditions to enjoy it. Another popular place for visitors is the historic church of Carmel Mission, a stunning National Historic Landmark steeped in history and containing five museums which tell the story of this central spot on the Carmel landscape which is still an active parish as well as showing off Spanish Colonial and other artwork. A different kind of worship goes on at Carmel Plaza, where fashion is king and the high-end luxury stores see fashionistas come from far and wide.

Hotels in Carmel

As well as being a beautiful place with great shops and beaches, it's also a very well-heeled part of the world, so you won't struggle to find hotels in Carmel which cater to the most demanding and discerning guests if you're looking for a little luxury. The higher end hotels will offer outdoor pools, spas, fitness facilities, and health clubs on-site, while many will also have restaurants and business facilities. You don't have to break the bank for a good Carmel hotel though, with lots of mid-range options offering complimentary WiFi, flat-screen televisions, as well as bottled water, newspapers, and voicemail services.

Where to stay

You'll want to stay in Carmel itself because it's a masterclass in civic pride. The region's artistic past is still around, with over 100 galleries to stroll around, but the whole area is a work of art in itself, thanks to the hydrangeas which are a common feature of the brilliantly maintained residential areas. There are no house numbers – they'd surely spoil the picture box look of the homes – and the attention to detail even stretches to shingled bins. The shops and restaurants are all geared up for the wealthy, and the area's chic comes at a price but it's worth paying.

How to get to Carmel

The nearest route into Carmel by air is into Monterey Regional Airport, which offers a variety of flights from inside the United States, to and from a number of major cities. The airport is around 7 miles from Carmel, and there are plenty of rental cars available if you're looking to explore the area more widely. There are also rail links, with an Amtrak station in nearby Salinas and a shuttle operating between the station and Carmel.

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