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“Nifty” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Briarwood Inn

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Briarwood Inn
San Carlos Street, Between Fourth and Fifth avenues, P.O. Box 5245, Carmel, CA 93921   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #19 of 31 Carmel B&B and Inns
San Luis Obispo, California
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Nifty”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2011

Nicely upgraded older B&B downtown Carmel. Room was very nice, clean, and comfortable. Carol, the manager, was EXTREMELY knowledgable about the area restaurants. Her recommendations turned out to be top notch. Augastina was also very friendly and nice. Highly recommended!

(We've stayed in at least a dozen Monerey peninsula hotels/motels. Great value for the $$)

Room Tip: All are different. Website desribes very well.
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
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English first
Calabasas, California
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2011

We stayed here because the group we were with stayed here and across the street at the Candlelight Inn. Of the two, the Briarwood was by far the better choice...but don't take that as a compliment.

The staff was nice, and the room was clean but honestly it was an over priced motel 6 at best. The room hadn't been updated since the early 80's (still had a VCR) and I'm pretty sure the mattress dated from that time period as well. The hot water also ran out in the shower after a relatively short time, definitely not long enough for two people to take showers right after each other. However, it's location was a plus as it was in a good location to walk to the restaurants and shops downtown and a few minutes away from Monterrey and parking was on premise- but there were definitely better options. While my wife and I are not B&B fans to begin with, I've been to far better.

If you do stay, make sure you pick a room on the second floor. We were lucky enough to do that..our friends however were not. The downstairs rooms felt like caves and echoed any noise from the surrounding rooms immensely.

So in summary, if you like staying in small hotels with nice staffs that translate the word "cozy" to mean premium paid for outdatedness and lack of adherence to building codes, than this place is for you. If not, then keep looking.

Room Tip: Stay elsewhere or make sure you stay upstairs.
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2011

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.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
128 reviews 128 reviews
68 hotel reviews
Reviews in 73 cities Reviews in 73 cities
741 helpful votes 741 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2011

Dog Friendly - 5 stars
Location - 5 stars
Friendliness- 5 stars
Decor - 3 stars

My friend and I enjoyed a wonderful weekend stay at the Briarwood Inn. The location rocked and they were very pet friendly.

I like that their Web site clearly indicates which rooms are dog friendly. We selected #52 Greenwich and were not disappointed. The decor is outdated (which is obvious in the pics) so it wasn't a surprise. The staff (especially Carol) was very welcoming towards Josie poodle.

Pros: Assigned parking spot, awesome location, clean, amazing shower pressure in #52, free port and sherry at 5pm, free breakfast in the morning, rental videos, dog friendly, trays to take breakfast back to your room...did I mention dog friendly?

Cons: Outdated decor, TV in bedroom was so small that I had to wear glasses, room #52 was right next to front lobby so I stressed over making sure Josie didn't bark

Tip: Use the back gate in the rear of the property to exit onto Mission street. Pastries and Petals is across the street - awesome hidden cafe that is also dog friendly.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arnold, CA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2010

We stayed in a spacious room (#48) with a nice fireplace, large jacuzzi tub and king bed - very comfortable and cozy. From reservation to check-in, the staff member I dealt with was as friendly, personable and professional as I've ever encountered. Then I met the owner. After check-in, I had gone to the reception desk to check out a movie. In the area a man was having a conversation with the same nice desk clerk who helped me at check-in. I later learned that this was the owner of this and several other properties in Carmel, a Clyde Sturges (also a lawyer in town). As I was perusing the movies, Mr. Sturgis proceeded to berate the employee in an incredibly rude and unprofessional manner - in front of me! I'm not sure what the subject was, and it was none of my business, but he did not seem to be listening to any reason from this very cordial and professional employee, demeaning her for no apparent reason. I was terribly embarrassed for her and was speechless that he had done this in front of a guest! The next morning for breakfast he appeared again and I asked to have a word with him outside. In a very civil tone, I mentioned to him that I thought it was terribly rude for him to have that conversation in front of a guest, to which he told me I should have just left, that I had no business speaking to him about it, that I knew nothing about the hospitality business (which I have been in and around for 25 years) and continued to try and belittle me. Like the conversation with the employee, he was defensive and angry and did not listen. Mr. Sturges seems to be an angry old curmudgeon and I would caution anyone about staying in any of his Carmel properties if this is the way he treats his employees and guests.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntingdon, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2010

We arrived late in Carmel with nothing booked, tried a couple of other places who quoted silly prices, Briarwood gave a very reasonable price and we enjoyed our nights sleep. The lady on reception was very friendly and helpful, breakfast was better than most we had experienced on our road trip from LA to San Francisco via Santa Barbara,Carmel, Yosemite, Lake Tahoo & Sonoma in bed and breakfast inns.
Would recommend it.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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usa
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2010

The room was big but smelled like mildew. The staff was lovely except for the manager who was rude in her manner of asking us to back our car into a tiny difficult spot. Also rude when we requested a bathroom rug. I would only return if we could find no other B&B.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Briarwood Inn

Also Known As:
Briarwood Hotel Carmel
Briarwood Hotel
Address: San Carlos Street, Between Fourth and Fifth avenues, P.O. Box 5245, Carmel, CA 93921
Location: United States > California > Monterey Peninsula > Carmel
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 31 B&Bs / Inns in Carmel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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