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“Great location, OK room, unfriendly service” 3 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 #18 of 28 Carmel B&B and Inns
Martinez, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Great location, OK room, unfriendly service”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2009

Stayed at the Briarwood for two nights for our anniversary, on the recommendation of friends who are Carmel regulars. While we had an enjoyable weekend, we will not be returning to this inn.

The location is incredible. Just a couple blocks north of the Coach store, and within a two-block radius of some incredible restaurants. It is really nice not to have to get in your car for anything.

We stayed in the St. Anne room (#48), for which we were charged the highest high season rate, even though we stayed in April (supposedly low season according to the date ranges on the website). AAA discount? "No way," said the surly inn keeper, "we are far too busy on Easter weekend." In actualitly, this little inn did not even sell out. The St. Anne is one of their nicer rooms, with a new flat screen HDTV (though apparently without a high definition signal), an oversized jacuzzi tub, a gas fireplace, two uncomfortable chairs, and a king bed. The bedspread, pictures, and furnishings looked dated and worn, though the room was clean. If you stand in front of the windows you can glimpse the ocean and watch the sun set, which was nice.

Breakfast didn't look anything like the picture on the website. No bagels, no berries. Muffins and danishes were probably purchased at Costco. Very disappointing. Oh, and they only serve breakfast until 9:30, so don't sleep in or you will miss this feast!

What was most disappointing, though was the unfriendly attitude of the innkeeper, whom I will refrain from calling by name (she was the one most often present, especially in the afternoon). She was not at all welcoming or friendly with me, even from the time I booked the room, warning me repeatedly not to arrive before the 3:00 pm check-in time as it "just makes it difficult for the staff." In person, she turned on the charm for my wife, just not at all for me. For example, when I was perusing the videocassette library (yes, as in VHS, as in they don't have DVD players with their HDTVs) I complimented her on the organization of the tapes. She then explained something to me but I was only half-listening as I was clearly looking for a movie. When I asked a question a minute later she did not try to hide her annoyance. "As I just said..." she started her terse reply. I'm a pretty patient guy, but she was testing my restraint. I was absolutely shocked that someone so completely devoid of people skills could be an inn keeper. Another reviewer mentioned someone being verbally abusive to a maid, and I have no doubt we are talking about the same person.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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120 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 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 (23)
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English first
Toronto
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2008

My husband and I stayed here for two nights in early November and were impressed with the spacious, clean rooms. Our room included a King size bed, flat-screen TV, comfy sofa, gas-fireplace and plenty of over-sized bath towels (big plus). The service was friendly, although we did witness one of the inn keepers being quite verbally abusive toward a maid (this upset my husband more than me, but was unpleasant nonetheless.
The breakfasts were tasty and more than sufficient - bagels, cream cheese, danishes, muffins, and fresh cut fruit assortments. Overall, we were happy with the stay (and the location is ideal).

  • Liked — Clean, spacious rooms; location
  • Disliked — cramped breakfast area
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stratford-Upon-Avon
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2008

Our young family stayed in the Cambridge self catering cottage with a full kitchen, 2 bedrooms and a living room.

Nice decor and brand new flat screen TV. Nice and clean.

Excellent location a short walk from beach and main shopping area.

The breakfast area in the office was a little too small for all the guests which meant some had to take their food on trays back to their room.

The front office staff were a little officious (and verging on rude and patronising at times!) but we just limited our contact with them.

Breakfasts were very good and the rate fair for an expensive place like Carmel.

Would recommend our cottage for a family...perfect!

  • Liked — The lovely little cottage
  • Disliked — The front desk staff
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redondo Beach, CA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2008

I booked the Briarwood Inn just a few weeks earlier and it turned out to be a great place to stay. I had an upstairs room that had a little sitting area with a fireplace. It was clean, smelled nice, was bright and cool. There was a little balcony as well though I didn't venture out. Water pressure was good. The king bed was super comfortable. The stay included a continental breakfast from 8 to 9:30. However, the tiny tables set-up near the reception desk didn't offer a comfortable atmosphere. Besides, when you're in Carmel there are so many wonderful breakfast places to experience. And if you're a really early riser there is a coffee house located on Ocean Avenue that opens at 6:00a.m.

Loved the location. It is at the top of the village which made it quiet enough to sleep yet close enough to park your car and walk to everything including the beach.

A minor rant: There is a VCR in the room with a selection of tapes that are available at the desk. The tapes are outdated as you can imagine. Hopefully DVD's will be installed in the future.

  • Liked — Loved the room and the location
  • Disliked — Outdated videos to view.
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san jose
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2008

My husband and I have been visiting Carmel for many years. When we found the Briarwood Inn, we fell in love with it. We feel it's one of the most beautiful places to stay. It offers lots of charm and the outside gardens and flowers are so nice to look at. The front desk people have always been helpful from the moment we check in. Even as return guests, we are still taken to our room almost every time. The location is great. only a couple blocks walking distance from the main street. You could even walk to the beach if you can walk back up the hill. We've stayed in different rooms until we were advised of there Penthouse Suite. This has now become our favorite unit to stay in if it's available. A little more expensive than there other rooms but, completely worth it. I've never found any unit like this around the area. It is the size of a large apartment or condo and can easily fit a family of 4 or 5. Even though it's just the two of us, we enjoy all the space it has to offer. Two large king bedrooms (one with it's own master bathroom) a nice and comfortable living area, a descent sized kitchen, a dining area, and another bathroom down the hallway. Our recent visit to the Inn was surprising because apparently, some remodeling was done earlier this year and the rooms have new carpet, furniture, and flat screen televisions. Not all of the rooms have a reserved parking spot but, most of them do. The only downside to this unit is that you have to walk up some stairs. After all, it is the Penthouse suite. It is very quite and no rooms are attached or below it. This makes for a more relaxing stay. Overall, I would highly recommend the Briarwood Inn for a wonderful place to get away. The breakfast is an extended continental style. Lots of fruit, muffins, bagels, pastry items, coffee and o.j.. It is a nice breakfast served in the lobby area or you can take a tray back to your room. What adds more charm is that this Inn uses real plates and silverware during breakfast. I have found many other places I've stayed in use disposable items. It's not that big of a deal but, it's nice to not use paper plates.
We have been staying at the Briarwood for some time now and will continue to do so. Always a pleasant experience with a very happy and helpful staff. If you want to be in the center of the restaurants and shops, this is a great choice. We definitely recommend the Briarwood Inn for those planning a trip to Carmel. We're looking forward to our next visit this fall!
Karen from San Jose, CA

  • Liked — The really nice and clean rooms.
  • Disliked — The beach takes about 15 minutes to walk to.
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Central Point, Oregon
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2008

My wife and I, along with our adult daughter, spent four night at the Briarwood Inn in June. We rented the Cambridge unit, a two-bedroom, one-bath cottage on Mission Street. While the furnishings were not new, it was clean and comfortable. Located two blocks off of Ocean Avenue, the Briarwood is close to many restaurants, galleries and shops. The Inn provides a complimentary continental breakfast of fresh fruits and juices, bagels and muffins.
My wife and I have visited Carmel many times but this was our first stay at the Briarwood - it will not be our last.

  • Liked — Location
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windsor, CA
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
112 helpful votes 112 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2008

My mom and I stayed at the Briarwood Inn from April 19th to the 21st. I booked this Inn because it seemed convenient to the shops and looked really cute from the pictures on the website. We stayed in the Windsor room, which had two queen beds. The beds very comfortable and I thought the room was cozy, yet very roomy..if that makes sense. There was a nice gas fireplace that we used frequently and a brand new, flat screen tv that was very nice. The room was so clean, in fact it looked like it had been freshly painted. Also, the room was very quiet. The only time we heard anything was when some people came home upstairs from us, and it didn't bother us at all. The Briarwood Inn provides a very nice breakfast in the morning, which we both enjoyed very much. Lots of fresh fruit, pastries, muffins, and bagels. You have the option of eating in the cute little dining area, or bringing a tray back to your room. They provide coffee all day and port and sherry in the evening. We didn't have that though. The Briarwood was a great location and we walked everywhere. The first night we got there the woman at the front desk asked if we had dinner reservations and we said no. She had someone cancel some for the Flying Fish earlier and kept them in case someone else wanted them. We took them and had a great dinner there! The next night we ate at Little Napoli, which was also very nice!
So, I would definitely stay at the Briarwood again! The only thing that was a little off was the shower pressure and cold/hot knob was hard to adjust, but that is so minor. My mom and I both had a fun, relaxing weekend and are looking forward to going back soon!

  • Liked — Convenient, comfortable, cute!
  • Disliked — liked it all!
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Briarwood Inn

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 Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 28 B&Bs / Inns in Carmel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 13
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Briarwood Hotel Carmel

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