I've gone back and forth A MILLION times on trying to decide on our lodging in Carmel. I, at first, was ready to book the Cypress Inn, as we prefer places that have restaurants/bar, but I really want our room to have a king bed w/ a fireplace as we will be there in Feb. Lamplighter and Normandy offer better prices for those types of rooms. The trade off is no restaurant/bar, but that's ok.
I realize these are older properties, so everything won't be new, so by "nicer" I mean overall condition of rooms/bathrooms/furnishings and relatively clean and updated property.
I can get a much better rate at Normandy Inn and I can even book their 600 sq ft cottage suite for $14 less a night, but I'm willing to pay more at the Lamplighter if it's "nicer".