We just returned from a wonderful two night stay at the Tally Ho Inn. We stayed in the hotel's double queen suite (Room 112, highly recommended!) which offers its own living room area, 2 separate bathrooms (one with shower and one with a jacuzzi tub), bedroom with two luxurious queen beds, and 2 large 55 inch LED TVs. Out of all the B&B inns we've stayed at when traveling to Carmel from San Francisco, Tally Ho has been the nicest so far! With respect to space and comfort, it offers the most for your money. Average cost per night is around $339 for the double queen suite, but that's a pretty standard cost for places in Carmel. Some are more and don't offer nearly the same amount of space.
Tally Ho Inn (sister property to the Pine Inn) is conveniently located right near the corner of 6th and Monte Verde St right in the heart of downtown Carmel. It is next to the Lobos Lodge. It's incredibly close to everything (shops, restaurants, the ocean) but located far enough off the beaten track so as to afford plenty of quiet time as well. Noise is usually not an issue around the inn. There is an extremely convenient underground parking lot for all Tally Ho guests. This is a HUGE plus for Carmel considering the difficulty with parking in the area. The lot is relatively easy to get in and out of as well.
We did request an early check in and the hotel was pretty accomodating even though they still had to clean the room from the previous guests. When we first arrived, the office was closed for a quick lunch but we left a note saying that we'd leave our car in their lot and that we were here. They were nice enough to allow us to park in the lot before check-in. After lunch and a brief walk around town, we were able to check in. The older fellow running the office showed us to the room and around the property a bit which was very nice of him. We also took some packaged coffee back to our room and they left us with a coffee maker even though they usually don't put them in the rooms. If you request one, however, they'll accomodate you. The inn has a small continental type breakfast in their office in the mornings with the usual pastries, coffee, orange juice, oatmeal, and various teas, nothing fancy. They also give you vouchers for a full American breakfast buffet at Il Fornaio right across the street on weekdays. Sadly, we didn't partake in the Il Fornaio breakfast on the Monday we left as we're usually not the types of people who like to ride home for 2.5 hours right after a full meal. I'm sure it's great, though and we'll definitely take advantage of it the next time we come down.
The inn itself is a lovely little place! Very comfortable, warm when it's cold out and there's a wonderful view of the ocean even though our particular room did not have an ocean view. There is a deck between the buildings on the property where you can walk and see a better ocean view. There's also a charming little fireplace outside the office and our room on the property that runs all day.
The room decor is a little dated but still quite nice and clean. It's a bit 1950s like but still very inviting. The room has these great, dark green carpets which really seem to give the place much of its character. The room also always had a very fresh smell to it, so, many complements to the hard workers who keep the rooms clean! The bathrooms were both very nice. A couple minor complaints about the shower. The shower head was a little low. Always kind of one of my pet peeves only because we're taller people. Also, the glass door on the shower didn't actually stay fully closed so you have to be careful so as not to spray a lot of water near the door so it doesn't spray out onto the bathroom floor. Would be nice if the shower door had been better magnetized but not a big deal. The water was always hot though. Never had a problem with that!
The beds were both VERY comfortable and they keep you warm at night. It got quite cold on one of the nights, but we were consistently warm. Sheets were always clean, bedding was fresh and they offer a nice turndown service in the evenings along with some after dinner mints that are quite tasty. Again here, my only complaint were the pillows. The pillows were ok, but they just don't offer the same kind of support as your usual, run-of-the-mill pillow. I had to use an extra pillow to get close to the normal amount of head support I'm used to. But I slept pretty well regardless. My advice is that if you're used to more support from a pillow, bring one of your own just in case. The matress however was great!
There was a 55 inch LED TV in the living room and one in the bedroom. Compared to other B&Bs, this place did not disappoint. Again, you don't come to Carmel to watch TV, but you appreciate the ability to do so with some freedom and choice. This is the first place we've stayed that actually had TVs LARGER than our home televisions. Many Carmel inns provide you with TVs that look like something out of a 1985 police station with turn knobs still on the fixture (which IMHO is pretty lousy for what the cost of the rooms are) but Tally Ho certainly didn't disappoint here. There's also a pretty darn good DirecTV lineup. They give you a bunch of the HBO channels, local stations, etc so there's plenty to choose from and a lot of it in HD. The 55 inch Samsung TVs they had in the suite were beautiful! The fireplace in the living room was also a really nice touch and it keeps that living room WARM! Very warm in fact so you don't need to run it all the time.
Although both check in and checkout were relatively smooth, the ONLY minor complaint I have is that I specifically requested to pay the remaining balance of our bill by cash and so requested that my original card used to make the reservation a month or so back not be charged/pre-authorized upon checking in as I preferred to settle the bill by cash when checking in. I requested this before we even left San Francisco. I was told when we arrived that they don't charge anything until checkout and even specifically asked if they still pre-authorize the same card used to make the reservation for the rest of the bill. I was still told they do nothing until we leave. Well, the card was still authorized when we got there. It's not a huge deal really and it's something that is all worked out, but it would have been nice if I'd been told they were still going to pre-authorize my card. The problem with that is that they hold onto significantly more than what the actual charge is going to be when it posts vs. when it's still pending. I really should learn my lesson and simply use a major credit card when booking as opposed to a debit card. I don't particularly like amounts coming in, out, back in, and back out of my bank account like that. It's irritating. That said however, I still ended up paying most of the bill in cash and only a small part of it on my debit card. Took a day or two, but the amounts balanced out again. Rule of thumb here, either use a major credit card for booking or just assume that whatever card you do use is going to have a hefty pending amount on it for pre-authorization when you arrive despite what anyone in the front office tells you, so debit cards are not the best cards to give to hotels when booking.
All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Tally Ho Inn and we DEFINITELY plan to return again. Perhaps for the Bach Festival later this summer. Too bad they aren't pet friendly. The hotel staff was very nice, wonderful atmosphere, quiet, clean, comfortable, an all around great value for the money. Quite honestly, I don't know why Lamplighter Inn is above this place on TripAdvisor merely for the reason that it and the other places in the top 5 are more quaint and small with the exception of Carmel Country Inn. However, it being #5 speaks very highly for the inn and it may only be #5 because it doesn't have as many reviews as the others above it. I look forward to staying at this property again!
Room 112 offers more space with 2 beds.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.