Pulling into Carmel without hotel reservations on a mid-week afternoon in late December and hoping to stay for a couple of nights, we called around to a bunch of places and were quoted rates that were much higher than expected for that time of year, even by Carmel standards. The prices quoted by the Briarwood Inn was in the same ballpark as simlar-quality places quoted. When we called, we were told that there was "one room left," a suite, and the quoted price was discounted from the "regular" price that was about $100 higher. The room sounded nicer than the ones other places described to us, so stopped we took a look, and decided to take it. The rate was described as including "bed and breakfast," and there was in fact a dining area in the lobby where were were told breakfast would be served.
The room--a suite consisting of a sitting room/wetbar/foyer with a gas fireplace and sofabed, bathroom, and bedroom with king bed, was quite nice. It was comfortable, nicely appointed, and quiet, and we enjoyed spending out evenings there. Our daughter slept on the sofabed and my wife and I slept in the bedroom, so it was nice to be able to have separate rooms, but strangely enough the bedroom had an open passageway to the sitting room with no door, so there wasn't as much privacy as one would hope. That sort of defeats the purpose of having a separate bedroom, and the room would be nicer with this improvement. Otherwise, the room was very nice, cozy, and homey.
The wi-fi internet connection was free, and it worked properly, which is always appreciated.
Our room came with an assigned off-street parking space, which is a nice thing to have in Carmel, where on-street parking can be difficult. We were told that not all rooms come with a parking spot. It is fortunate that we drive a compact-size sedan, because even that small car baaaaaaaarely fit into the small carport-style assigned parking. This was not a problem for us, but those who drive large cars or SUVs beware--you would have one hell of time getting your vehicles into any of the small spaces that are assigned.
I had the uncomfortable feeling that I was sometimes the target of a sales pitch or being "upsold," though. I noticed that every person I overheard inquiring about a room--either by stopping in to check at the desk or calling on the phone--was told by the innkeeper the same things that we were told: That she had "one room left" (or "one room available" or "I do have one room" or something similar) at a quoted "discounted" rate that was significantly less than some exhorbitant quoted "regular" rate. Despite that "one room available" being then rented by the customer, the "no vacancy sign" would never go up and the next caller would again be told that there was "one room left." I suppose the innkeeper could defend this apparent deception by noting that she really did have a room left and never she had "ONLY one room left," but the statement is deceptive at best. It seemed like a cheap and unsavory sales tactic.
For that reason, I did become a bit suspicious when the innkeeper would repeatedly (and somewhat intrusively) ask as if we knew yet where we wanted to have dinner each night, and urged us to quickly decide and let her take care of making reservations for us because we would "never get in anywhere" without reservatlons. (In fact, it wasn't an especially crowded week in Carmel, and we did eat at a couple of very popular and highly-regarded restaurants without making advance reservations.) Perhaps my suspicions were unfounded, but it seemed like the innkeeper was curiously overly interested in pressuring us to make dining reservations, as if she might've had a hope some sort of financial reward or commission from restaurants (though I have no idea if that's really the case). Some may see all of this as "helpful" but to me it just felt intrusive.
We rented our room on what was described as "bed and breakfast" plan, and especially given the nice dining setup (with nice china and silverware) in the lobby, most guests would justifiably assume this means an actual full hot breakfast, as we assumed (and which, in our minds, helped justify the not-inexpensive rate). Not so. It is simply an ordinary self-serve continental breakfast, consisting of juice/coffee/tee and bagels, muffins, and toast, with a few apples and oranges. The baked goods were decent, but not memorable--probably purchased in bulk from the local Costco's bakery or something similar. Again, I felt we had been upsold and slightly deceived.
Again, the room was very nice, the property is attractive, and the location is great, so I would stay there again. I just wish the sales pitch would be toned down a bit and guests were dealt with in a more straigtforward manner.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.