Top 15 Cool and Unique Hotels in Carmel 2023

Carmel-by-the-sea for known for its community of artists, its chocolate box pretty buildings, jaw-dropping coastal scenery, cozy inns, boutique shops, and for being a city that once had Clint Eastwood as its mayor. Located on California’s Monterey Peninsula, its creative, and affluent bohemian vibe means it’s home to some seriously cute places to stay. From quirky chic inns to beautiful modern boutiques, here are some of my favorite cool and unique hotels in Carmel…

Top 3 Hotels in Carmel

Our Top 3 Best Cool and Unusual Hotels
Hyatt Carmel Highlands l Global Grasshopper – travel inspiration for the road less travelled
Best For Great Views
Hyatt Carmel Highlands
Carriage House Inn l Global Grasshopper – travel inspiration for the road less travelled
Best For Couples
Carriage House Inn
Carmel Mission Inn l Global Grasshopper – travel inspiration for the road less travelled
Best For Outdoor Swimming Pool
Carmel Mission Inn
Best For Great Views

Hyatt Carmel Highlands

Hyatt Carmel Highlands - CaliforniaHyatt Carmel Highlands - California1

Nestled atop the bluffs, this hotel stole my heart with its Al Fresco charm. Overlooking the breathtaking Big Sur shoreline,, it’s truly a slice of paradise.

The rooms here? Comfort, views, and amenities blend seamlessly. A gem within Point Lobos State Reserve since 1917, it’s a destination on its own. But let’s talk about the Pacific Edge Restaurant.

The outdoor terrace is something else—serving up local delicacies from land and sea alongside craft cocktails. Picture this: kicking back, savoring every bite, and soaking in the romance of a Big Sur sunset.

One of my favourite places was the outdoor terrace at Pacific Edge Restaurant—savouring local delicacies while soaking in a Big Sur sunset was pure bliss.


Picturesque ocean views

On-site Pacific Edge Restaurant

Outstanding outdoor terrace area and onsite spa

Stylish outdoor swimming pool

Best For Couples

Carriage House Inn

Carriage House Inn - CaliforniaCarriage House Inn - California1

Tucked away on a serene side street off the lively Ocean Avenue, I found the Carriage House Inn. With only 13 rooms, it’s an intimate haven featuring crackling open fires, indulgent jacuzzi tubs, complimentary wine, and a delightful continental breakfast. The staff’s attention to detail made it feel like a personal getaway.

Nestled in the heart of the village, the inn offered easy access to fantastic restaurants, charming shops, and all the conveniences one could desire. Plus, being close to stunning coastal hikes made it an ideal base for a retreat.

For those seeking a romantic escape, the Romantic Getaway package was a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. It seemed like just the right touch for a perfect romantic interlude.

My personal favourite? The Romantic Getaway package—it’s a treasure trove for the perfect romantic interlude in a serene village setting.


Mouth-watering continental breakfast options

Great downtown location near popular Ocean Avenue

Cozy open fireplace and in-room spa baths

Wine and snacks hour every evening


No onsite pool

Parking spaces are compact

No onsite spa

Best For Outdoor Swimming Pool

Carmel Mission Inn

Carmel Mission Inn - modern accommodation

Carmel Mission Inn - California1

Charming hotel Carmel Mission Inn

This adorable inn boasts a charming Mediterranean vibe with its small pool and central courtyard. My room was bright and lovely, with a balcony offering stunning views of the pool or the mountains. It’s not exactly budget-friendly, but it’s quite reasonably priced for Carmel.

Despite leaning towards affordability, the rooms were beautifully furnished, and the outdoor areas were perfect for relaxing with a good book.

The staff was incredibly friendly, and I was drawn to the on-site restaurant, Shearwater Tavern. Their simple yet delicious dishes made with fresh local ingredients created a cozy atmosphere, perfect for enjoying drinks and conversations with friends.

My favourite aspect was the adorable central courtyard—a bright room, cozy furnishings, and a charming Mediterranean vibe made for a relaxing stay.


Funky and modern design and vibe with retro touches

Balconies with spectacular mountain views

On-site cool restaurant and modern fitness room

Fabulous heated outdoor swimming pool and jacuzzi


Extra charges for pets

Some noise from outside

No onsite spa

Best For Luxury

L'Auberge Carmel, Relais & Châteaux

L'Auberge Carmel, Relais & Chateaux - California L'Auberge Carmel, Relais & Chateaux - California1

I was utterly taken by the pure European-inspired luxury of this stylish historic hotel. Everywhere I looked, tasteful opulence greeted me. The canopied beds, spacious tubs, and bathroom underfloor heating were divine. The gorgeous antique furnishings added such a timeless charm to the place.

The highlight for me was the fine dining experience at the on-site Forbes 5-star restaurant, Aubergine. The seasonal recipes made with local produce were mind-blowing, and the extensive wine cellar made for the perfect wine pairings, enhancing every dish.

What stood out was the option for cooking courses—perfect for a foodie like me. Carmel exudes class, and this hotel truly reflects that sophistication. Treating myself here was an absolute delight!

While visiting, the fine dining experience at Aubergine stole the show—mind-blowing seasonal dishes paired with an extensive wine cellar.


Unique French-inspired vintage-chic decor

In-room spa services and location near the beach

Outstanding on-site Forbes Restaurant and exclusive wine varieties

Luxurious soaking tubs and some rooms have four poster beds


No onsite pool or spa

Limited breakfast menu

Air Con is temperamental at times

Best For Boutique

Tradewinds Carmel

Tradewinds Carmel - California Tradewinds Carmel - California1


I’ve cherished this Asian/Californian fusion retreat as one of my favorite places for a serene escape. The breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean and Point Lobos Natural Reserve makes for an incredible backdrop to this award-winning hotel’s tranquil luxury.

Immersing in the serene ambiance, I adored the carefully designed furnishings in the peaceful spaces. The luxury spa treatments added an extra layer of relaxation to my stay, perfectly complementing Carmel’s bustling shopping and dining scene, just a stone’s throw away.

For an outdoor enthusiast like me, the proximity to fantastic hiking trails, biking routes, and golf courses was a dream come true during my visit. It’s truly an experience I won’t forget anytime soon.

One of my favourite aspects was the serene luxury and proximity to Point Lobos Reserve—a perfect escape for outdoor enthusiasts like me.


Views of the Pacific Coastline

Exquisite custom-designed furnishings

On-site Luxury spa therapy

Point Lobos Reserve nearby


Some rooms can be dark

No onsite pool

Small TVs

Best For Spa and Wellness

The Vagabond’s House Boutique Inn & Spa

The Vagabond's House Boutique Inn & Spa - Carmel - California1

The Vagabond's House Boutique Inn & Spa - Carmel - California

This enchanting boutique B&B, steeped in 1920’s charm, captivated me instantly. It’s a cozy hillside haven, much like the poem named after, exuding a blend of comfort and luxurious homeliness.

The rooms encircle a stunning courtyard with vibrant flora, serene water features, and enchanting Mediterranean tiles.

Each room brims with vintage charms, boasting expansive freestanding tubs and beds so inviting that leaving becomes a challenge! It’s an ideal spot for creatives—I recommend bringing a notepad, sketch pad, and pencil to let inspiration flow. This place truly shines, whether for a writer’s retreat or simply seeking peace and comfort.

Throughout my stay, the enchanting courtyard filled with vibrant flora was a haven of peace—perfect for writers or anyone seeking comfort.


Unique Tudor-inspired charm

Elegant Mediterranean tiling

Vintage-themed guest rooms

Pretty courtyard


Can get booked up at peak times

No In-room coffee makers

No pool

Best For Great Location

Villa Mara Carmel

Villa Mara Carmel - California Villa Mara Carmel - California1

I adore this newly renovated villa, nestled atop the serene bluffs overlooking Carmel Beach. My room boasted breathtaking Pacific views, and was adorned with exquisite custom-made and vintage furnishings, mirroring the village’s artistic essence.

Having just reopened post-extensive renovations, staying here allowed me to immerse myself in its serene elegance and unparalleled location. Being among the first to experience this beauty was truly special.

My personal favourite? The breathtaking Pacific views from my room—I felt immersed in artistic elegance overlooking Carmel Beach.


Insta-worthy setting

Chic and creative decor

Stunning in-room Pacific views

Eye-catching custom-made vintage furnishings


Parking is offsite

Limited Breakfast menu

Some rooms are compact

Best For Quirky-chic

The Getaway

The Getaway - Carmel - California The Getaway - Carmel - California1

I adore this charming Motel-style boutique Hotel; it perfectly blends breezy Californian vibes and luxurious comfort. The convenience of parking by my room in this centrally located yet tucked-away gem is one of my favorite aspects.

They’ve taken care of every detail, enhancing the experience with delightful touches. I loved waking up to breakfast baskets, indulging in the five o’clock Wine Hour, and relishing the curated room amenities—especially the snug robes and those heavenly Denver Mattresses.

What’s more, this modern gem warmly welcomes pets! My furry friend had a blast with their special beds and treats. And the best part? It was pure joy to take my precious poodle along for a ride on the vintage-style cruiser bikes included with the room!

One of my favourite aspects was the vintage-style cruiser bikes—the perfect way to explore the breezy Californian vibes of this boutique gem.


Beach within walking distance

Chic and unique decor

Complimentary vintage-themed cruiser bikes



Parking area is small

Shower pressure can be low at times

Best For Great Breakfast

La Playa Carmel

La Playa Carmel - California La Playa Carmel - California1

La Playa Carmel

For a romantic escape, this place is a gem! The enchanting mansion, crafted in 1905 by artist Christian Jorgensen for his beloved Angela, boasts the village’s inaugural swimming pool.

Through numerous refurbishments, its essence remains intact. Nestled near the shoreline, numerous rooms offer breathtaking ocean vistas. Guests relish swimming in the iconic pool, leisurely walks in landscaped gardens, and evenings by the beachside fire pit, catching the stunning sunset.

Food enthusiasts will adore the lavish champagne breakfast and contemporary comfort cuisine at the cherished Bud’s Lounge. This spot quickly became one of my favorite places for a dreamy retreat.

Throughout my stay, the lavish champagne breakfast and sunset views stole my heart—a gem for a dreamy romantic retreat.


Eye-catching Pacific sunset views

Trendy onsite lounge bar

Picturesque on-site landscaped gardens

Beautiful outdoor swimming pool area


Extra charges for pets

Breakfast menu can be limited

No onsite spa

Best For Trendy Design

Hotel Carmel

Hotel Carmel - California Hotel Carmel - California1

At Hotel Carmel, I found a charming blend of old-school vibes and modern twists—a true gem for those who savor the unconventional. The vintage décor and quirky touches, like the board games and tape collection in the communal lounge,, made it a delightful stay.

I loved mingling with the locals at Brophy’s Tavern, where the sports-themed atmosphere was so relaxed. And the morning after, their continental breakfast was a lifesaver—fresh fruits, creamy yoghurt, and house-made granola set the perfect tone for the day.

Being just steps away from the beach and the adorable shops in Carmel-by-the-Sea added to the allure of this unique getaway.

My favourite aspect was the quirky blend of vintage décor and modern twists—a unique gem steps away from the beach.


On-site hot tub

Sports-themed on-site bar

Daily continental breakfast

Great central location


Parking spaces are compact

No onsite pool

Small bathrooms

Best For Downtown Location

Candle Light Inn

Candle Light Inn - Carmel - California Candle Light Inn - Carmel - California1

During my stay at Candle Light Inn in the heart of Carmel, I fell in love with this luxurious getaway. The friendly service was unparalleled, and the location was just perfect. The rooms were not just big and spacious, but also beautifully furnished. What I adored the most were the jetted tubs and fireplaces in many rooms.

One of my favorite things about the stay was the little extras that made it memorable. The fresh-baked cookies were a delightful touch, and having complimentary bottled water, wireless internet, and tea and coffee-making facilities added such convenience.

Moreover, the staff was accommodating; they assisted me with restaurant reservations, golf arrangements, wine-tasting tours, and even spa and massage bookings. Their local expertise made my adventures in Carmel genuinely unforgettable.

While staying here, I adored the personalized service and the little extras like fresh-baked cookies—it felt like a luxurious yet homely experience.


Ultra-modern furnishings

Popular art galleries within walking distance

In-room fireplaces and some spa baths

Spa and massage therapy


No pool or spa

Limited breakfast menu

Parking spaces are compact

Best For Funky Vibe

The Hideaway

The Hideaway - Carmel - California - CA1 The Hideaway - Carmel - California1

Staying at this charming boutique hotel was a delight. With just 24 rooms, it exuded a cozy elegance, each space adorned with craftsman-style furnishings.

The continental breakfast, delivered straight to my room, was a delightful start to my mornings. I particularly loved the abundance of outdoor spaces, perfect for settling down with a book steps from Carmel’s Main Street.

The vintage cruiser bikes offered to guests were a fun addition to my stay. I cherished the 5 o’clock wine reception accompanied by snacks—an excellent way to mingle and make new friends. Moreover, the pet-friendly policy made my furry companion feel right at home.

Throughout my stay, the cozy elegance and craftsman-style decor made this boutique hotel a charming retreat.


Stunning boutique-style decor

Tasty continental breakfast options

Within walking distance of Carmel’s Main Street

Free rental vintage-style cruiser bikes


Some noise from outside

No parking

Elevators can be slow at peak times

Best For Historic Charm

Pine Inn – Carmel

Pine Inn - Carmel - California Pine Inn - Carmel - California - CA1

I stepped into Carmel’s oldest hotel, a favorite spot that retains its charm. Built-in 1889, the décor and furnishings paid homage to its rich history, which added a unique touch to my stay.

I couldn’t resist dining at Il Fornaio, the on-site restaurant that offered delectable authentic Italian dishes. And as a bonus, I indulged in some shopping at the boutique within the hotel premises.

The location was perfect, close to Carmel’s upscale boutiques and conveniently accessible to both the stunning Big Sur coastline and Monterey Airport. It was a comfortable and convenient stay, allowing me to explore luxury and natural beauty effortlessly.

Throughout my stay, the cozy elegance and craftsman-style decor made this boutique hotel a charming retreat.


On-site restaurant Il Fornaio

Big Sur coastline and beach nearby

Sophisticated custom-made fittings

Tasty authentic Italian cuisine


Some noise from street

No in-room coffee makers

Not pet-friendly

Best For Budget-friendly

Hofsas House Hotel

Hofsas House Hotel - Carmel - California Hofsas House Hotel - Carmel - California1

Staying at this cozy family-run boutique hotel was a treat. With 37 snug rooms, it catered perfectly to all kinds of travelers. I loved its proximity to Carmel Beach and its convenience to explore the charming sights.

The rooms were a delight, each equipped with Dutch doors allowing the refreshing sea breeze. And those sunsets from the balcony were breathtaking, especially after a refreshing swimming in the stunning pool.

The genuine family ambience of this warm and welcoming boutique-style hotel added so much to the experience. It truly felt like a home away from home.

One of my favourite aspects was the cosy family ambience and proximity to Carmel Beach—it felt like a warm home away from home.


European style decor

Close to the Carmel Beach

In-room balconies featuring stunning views

Free private car parking

Best For Onsite Hot Tub

Coachman’s Inn, A Four Sisters Inn

Coachman's Inn, A Four Sisters Inn - Carmel - California Coachman's Inn, A Four Sisters Inn - Carmel - California1

The boutique inn charms with its fresh, bright, modern rooms, offering a luxurious yet relaxed atmosphere. With parking on-site and a host of curated amenities, this place feels like one of my favorite spots for a serene getaway.

Being just a 5-minute walk from Carmel Beach and conveniently close to The Sunset Centre, as well as Carmel’s bustling array of shops and restaurants, made my stay extra memorable. It was the ideal location to immerse myself in everything this vibrant area offered.

The fresh, modern rooms and the relaxed yet luxurious atmosphere made it one of my favourite spots for a serene getaway.


White Sand Beach is located nearby

Outdoor hot tub and onsite sauna

Pet-friendly and onsite free parking

Freshly baked cookies served each evening


No air conditioners

No lifts

All Hotels in Carmel Compared

In the table below, we have compared the top 20 cool and unique hotels in Carmel. You can sort the table based on different factors like location, distance from attractions, price per night, and restaurants nearby:

Hotel NameLocationPrice Range (per night)Fitness FacilitiesDistance to Attraction(km)Nearby Restaurants
Hyatt Carmel Highlands120 Highlands Drive$388-$748Yes0.76
Carriage House InnJunipero between 7th and 8th$422-$485No0.711
Carmel Mission Inn3665 Rio Road$235-$391Yes0.79
L’Auberge Carmel, Relais & ChateauxMonte Verde & Seventh Avenue, P.O Box J,$660-$829No0.312
Tradewinds CarmelMission Street at Third Avenue (PO BOX 3403$389-$587Yes0.711
The Vagabond’s House Boutique Inn & SpaDolores Street @, 4th Ave, Carmel-By-The-Sea$314-$444Yes0.614
Villa Mara Carmel2408 Bay View Avenue$850-$1539Yes0.114
The GetawayJunipero Street & Ocean Avenue$323-$500Yes0.812
La Playa CarmelCamino Real at Eighth Avenue$499-$678Yes0.214
Hotel Carmel13th &, San Antonio Ave,$445-$837Yes0.15
Candle Light InnSan Carlos between 4th and 5th$348-$427No0.513
The HideawayJunipero Street & 8th Avenue, Carmel$358-$623Yes0.711
Pine InnOcean Avenue & Monte Verde Street$251-$524No0.313
Hofsas House Hotel4th Ave and San Carlos Street,$223-$758Yes0.612
Coachman’s Inn, A Four Sisters InnSan Carlos at 7th Street$309-$448Yes0.69

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