Hotels in Carmel

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What you should know about Carmel

Carmel, California's renowned city by the sea, has the looks of a quaint medieval village and the heart of an artists' colony. This beautiful little town, perched besides the rugged cliffs of Carmel Bay, is filled with a tumble of art galleries, theaters, antique shops, and cottages, all proudly displaying an artistic bohemian style. Carmen is a place that delights in different, so you'll also find houses with no numbers, roads with no street lights, and restaurants with doggie menus.

Hotels in Carmel

Accommodation in Carmel is as distinctive and delightful as the timber-framed cottages and stone-built towers that make up its homes. La Playa Carmel is its most magnificent hotel, housed in a historic 110-year-old stone mansion that was central to Carmel's famous bohemian art colony. Beautiful views, magnificent gardens, and superb service are just part of what makes this 4-star hotel special. L'Auberge Carmel, with its charming French-inn stylings, is another luxury Carmel hotel of distinction, noted for its wonderful cuisine and attentive staff. Edgemere Cottages, an affordable Carmel B&B close to the beach, may be a step down in size, but offers a step up in cozy, personable service.

Things to see in Carmel

The whole of Carmel and its stunning natural backdrops are a sight worth indulging in—this is a town made for ambling and exploring, after all. Many of its most amazing buildings date back to when Carmel was the thriving hub of San Francisco's artistic and literary world. Two of the best-known are the Tor and Hawk Towers, stone legacies of the poet Robinson Jeffers. The Forest Theater is another Carmel classic, a century-old amphitheater in the pine woods, known for its atmospheric Shakespearean productions. Just out of town you'll find The Barnyard, home to Carmel's thriving market. The brick-lined courtyards of this shopping village showcase boutique jewelry, art, and clothing stores, as well as a number of local restaurants. Further out you'll discover the natural splendor that Carmel is famed for. A beautiful example is Point Lobos, a coastal state reserve known for its offshore kelp forests, plunging cliffs, and secret little coves.

Good for art lovers and couples

Today, as through most of its history, Carmel tends to draw in visitors with an artistic sensibility. This is a town whose very fabric is a visual feast, and which still simmers with artistic energy. So if you're looking for exciting contemporary arts, dramatic performances, or poetry readings, a stay in one of the many wonderful hotels in Carmen gives you the chance for a little cultural enrichment. It's also a town where couples can relax and unwind. There are opportunities for romantic walks along its unspoiled beaches and idyllic coves, while fabulous wining and dining can be had in Carmel's quaint inns and restaurants.

How to get to Carmel

Monterey Regional Airport is usefully close as a point of entry for those flying in—you can travel to Carmel in a hire car in just 15 minutes. It's also easily reached from cities in California. San Jose is 90 minutes away down the coastal CA-1, while San Francisco is 2 hours away by car. A drive up to Carmel from LA isn't overly onerous either, taking 5 hours along I-5 N and US-101 N. Once in Carmel, you'll find this small town eminently walkable, but a car is handy for touring its wonderful coastline and valleys.

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