I consider several factors in choosing a hotel, then rating it afterwards. I also try and get hotels that have character or a feel for where we are, or the type of trip I am on. In other words, when Prague, I don't want the Hilton. When in Carmel, I don't want a motel 6.
Reviews by others are very important, and we do our homework.
Location, price, cleanliness, comfort, water pressure, communication with staff, breakfast offerings, parking...all count toward a good rating.
This was a 2 day business trip where I tagged along. The rest of the group stayed elsewhere but we had the dog so I researched places we could stay. On our first trip to Carmel 3 years ago I didn't bring the dog and regretted missing the opportunity. I must have been the only person in town without a dog. I would have stayed at that same place again, but dogs were not allowed. They recommended Hofsas house.
Location is near everything. THis hotel is in a more quiet section of Carmel (although Carmel is quiet), so I should say less busy with foot traffic. It was easy walking distance to the beach, shops, parks. Because I do geocaching as a hobby, I walked all over Carmel, thru the parks (except the one that had a "no dogs" sign which I found very odd!) up and down hills, the back way to the mission, around the coast, back up, several times. If you are in shape, there is no need to ever move your car once parked. The hotel is on a hill which was really nice because of the great view from the upper ocean side rooms! Although on a hill, and with no elevators, you can come and go from the upper side and not climb so many stairs. Just a note, bringing a flashlight is a good idea. The town can get quite dark and night. Plenty of parking, which is very rare.
Once in the room, cleanliness, good hot water pressure, lighting, mirrors, space to put personal bathroom items, comfort and sometimes view are considered. The third floor "dog" king room was larger than I expected. Plenty of room to move around. Bathroom was snug with the door open, but closed it was fine. A pocked door would have been better. The mini fridge in the bathroom didn't work but as soon as we mentioned it the next morning it was replaced. Handy to have a hair dryer, so no need to pack one. We even had a closet that the hubby used. Bathroom was simple and clean. Plenty of hot water with great pressure, adequate lighting. Counter space was less than I like, but fine. Beds were a tad on the harder side (we have a new latex one so most beds woud seem hard now), but we slept fine. We have NEVER taken a dog to a hotel before. I have actually avoided hotels that allow pets in the past, due to allergies, and not knowing how clean they are. Our room was opened up to the breeze and airing out. The linens were white so we were able to tell right off that they were clean (as compared to the old style bedspreads where you never know what has been on it). I was happy and relieved.
We had a nice wide walkway and a big balcony with tables and chairs we could sit at and enjoy the view while eating breakfast on the chilly beautiful November mornings.
Staff and owner were very nice and helpful. We were pleased with the rates we were given for a 5 night stay. We really appreciated the recommendations we were given of places to eat that allowed dogs, considering the temperature outside.The few times we ate without asking were quite disappointing. Don't count on a mcdonalds or taco bell. The only "fast" food is outside the old area- Subway. Food is costly.
We were grateful for the simple breakfast. I don't know what others were complaining about. We found the pastries and bread quite tasty and fresh. Then again, we are early risers and maybe didn't get "leftovers". We asked for a carafe of hot chocolate to take to our room in the morning and often got one when we came back at night to warm up. The staff always were accomodating.
We felt like we were the only ones in the hotel the first few nights. Others mentioned how noise travels. Well, it is an old hotel with wooden walkways and stairs. Yes. Footsteps carry. It took me forever to figure out the steady pattern of clunking I kept hearing was the office footsteps back and forth, but it didn't bother me. Neither did people walking on stairs or walkways. We almost tiptoed, but still made some sound.
I never heard another dog, or saw one for that matter.
Only one night did we have trouble. Some "younger" folk were outside someplace visiting and enjoying themselves until we couldn't stand it anymore. We had been tryng to sleep for almost 4 hours. The doggie "howl" warning alarm sounded a few times because he thought someone was going to come in- and it did sound like it. I kept jumping out of bed to quiet him to not disturb others. Eventually, hubby went out and told them it had gone on too long and we were trying to sleep....they nicely apologised and it got quiet immediately. If people read these reviews then they will be aware of how sounds carry when there is no sound but the ocean, and be more careful. Carmel isn't a 'party" place so I couldn't imagine anything that can't be remedied.
We enjoyed our stay and if we get the opportunity again, will definately go back. Carmel inthe winter is wonderful. The only negative is the cost of food over several days, but that is Carmel, not the hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Casual European elegance with the warmth of family hospitality, a boutique family-owned inn with 37 uniquely decorated, spacious rooms, many with ocean views in the village of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Other amenities include: continental breakfast, heated swimming pool, dry saunas, off-street parking, free wireless Internet access & some rooms dog friendly. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hofsas Hotel Carmel
- Hofsas House Hotel Carmel