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Carmel Garden Inn
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Reviews (256)
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All reviewsfrittataprivate patiowine and cheesehomemade breakfastorchid roomgranolawood burning fireplaceshort walk to downtowndog bedrestaurant recommendationswonderful staycozy placeking bedworking fireplacequiet streethard boiled eggsother guests
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Reviewed December 9, 2013

We love the quaint cottages and lovely flowers that make Carmel so charming. This hotel fills the bill perfectly. It is charming and ideally located. Our room had the feel of a cottage with fireplace and a private patio. The bed was wonderful with very nice linens. The owners are continually making improvements to rooms and gardens to make it even better. Home made treats in the evening and a lovely breakfast are included. The best part may just be the staff - friendly, efficient and passionate about making your stay special.

Room Tip: Room 4 is lovely
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank EdB177
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
julian b, Owner at Carmel Garden Inn, responded to this reviewResponded December 10, 2013

Thank you warmly for your comments. Your appreciation for what we are trying to achieve (preserve the "essence of Carmel") while making things work is greatly valued. We all try very hard to be attentive to our guests, attempting to listen and take guidance from the conversation rather than giving a spiel. It so helps us as well to have Tripadvisor be a forum for us to listen to you, our guests. We learn more about the things that need improving and we get to bask in the praise when we get it right. Thank you again for your review. On behalf of us all, Julian

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2013

A few weeks ago I decided to visit Carmel, something I do quite often since it is a nice break from the Bay Area and our dog loves the off leash beach. We stayed at the Carmel Garden Inn, with two dogs. We had been a few times before, but a few years ago when it was under different ownership. We enjoy this property because it has courtyards at each room so you can enjoy outdoor seating with more privacy. It was nice meeting the new owners who were very friendly and accommodating. Specifically, they worked with the city to stop construction over the weekend--which would have been annoying if it kept going through the weekend. The evening snacks ( wine, cheese, hummus, shortbread) were very good. One day we brought a bottle of champagne back to the hotel and my request for champagne glasses was met with not only the glasses, but also an ice bucket and later champagne was brought out in the office sitting area to enable us to stick to champagne. The stories from the owners added charm to the stay as you can imagine the life within Carmel more, rather than being just a visitor.

I believe that the new owners are working very hard to bring the image of this B&B up. So far they are doing well. I do hope they work to maintain the charm as they proceed. I hope to return in the near future..

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Jessica B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
julian b, Owner at Carmel Garden Inn, responded to this reviewResponded December 5, 2013

Your review is so very much appreciated.We do love our guests with dogs and the patios afford such a luxury for them, and the owners, Being able to share all our stories and knowledge of our village with guests is a distinct pleasure. Among Susan, myself, Dennis, Mary and Curtis we have over 120 years of collective experiences of living and being here. Our greatest joy is sharing this wonderful place on earth with all of you. As we prepare for being on the Carmel Heritage Tour this Sunday (one of only eight Inns) we are appreciating our heritage and the need to preserve the past while making the inn functional. One of our greatest challenges is to accomplish that fine balance between the old and making things work. Thank you for staying with us. Thank you for your comments. Sincerely on behalf of us all, Julian

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Reviewed November 18, 2013

The positives. Everyone working at the B&B including the owners are extremely friendly and helpful. The rooms are spacious and clean. The limited breakfast items are all made fresh and the rosemary cookies offered during the wine social in the evening being especially tasty and certainly unique.

The negatives may come across as nitpicky but they impacted our overall stay. The new owners are slowly improving the property and the rooms are showing some wear that needs addressed. The TV in our room was one of the old fashioned, non-flat screen, non-HD TV's despite the presence of cable. We are not there to watch TV but killing time before dinner reservations, it would have been nice to actually be able to watch what was on. There is a lack of hot breakfast items. Scones made the second morning were delicious. Despite informing the owners of my wife's allergy to bananas during booking, the first morning's breakfast, sure enough, featured banana bread as a core item. The woman working that morning offered scrambled eggs which my wife also ordered the second day and are supplemented with just one piece of toast, with no butter or jam on the side.

The room hosting the breakfast/evening wine social is remodeled and quite nice. With ten rooms and presuming 20 people max, staying at a given time, it would have been nice to have had a couch/coffee table and maybe one additional softer chair for ambiance during the evening wine, substituting out a couple of the diner-style tables and chairs. More conducive to conversation than the breakfast table/chair setting. I can understand not having a local newspaper for each room but having the morning's paper, whether local or from San Francisco, in the common area would have been a nice touch on a Saturday/Sunday morning to obtain some local news and flavor of events planned.

As I said earlier, this B&B is clearly being upgraded but the rooms themselves are quite stark. Our room was dark with wood interiors and limited natural lighting. Hotel "art" is way overstated but in our entire room there were two maybe 12X12 pictures throughout. Some larger, brighter pictures throughout could have provided more ambiance to the darkness within our room. A Canadian couple that we ended up spending some time with during breakfast/evening wine and walking into town complained about their fireplace backing-up smoke into their room. Apparently it happened a second night to the extent that the husband was amazed the smoke alarm did not go off and they had to sleep with the windows open to clear out the air.

In summary. This is a nice place with owners and workers who care. I am certain that over time they will upgrade rooms and offer more amenities you see in other B&B's. We would stay here again but might check out other properties in the area for better deals.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Kevin Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
julian b, Owner at Carmel Garden Inn, responded to this reviewResponded November 19, 2013

Thank you for your review. You are clear and correct in pointing out several of our deficiencies and this helps us fine tune our priorities. As a result of some of your comments, Orchid now has three beautiful prints of Orchids, a large new painting, the old TV (the last one to be replaced of all the rooms) will be retired after Thanksgiving, at least three of the walls will soon be painted white, and new lighting fixtures and two more lamps are to be installed. You did not mention the windows that date from 1949 when the Inn was built. The tired old aluminum windows in both Orchid and Rosita are scheduled to be replaced the first week in December. We try to be attentive to dietary needs but obviously have to be more vigilant. So...Thanks for your comments, thanks for possibly staying with us again, and thanks for your candor; much appreciated. We all will keep up our efforts. In appreciation, Julian and all of us.

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Reviewed November 15, 2013

It was the first time in Carmel and I happened to make a perfect choice!
I loved this nice B&B. It hade a real nice time relaxing in front of the fireplace that was not gas by the way, LOL. They had a comfy couch and it was a little chilly in the evening. Breakfast was great and Mary was overly attentive :) She prepared eggs, and I had the freshly baked scones yum.
I am going back in January for business and will always stay at this inn if they have a room available.

Room Tip: All the rooms are nice, some have patios if you have a dog, they're dog friendly.
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank Janice M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
julian b, Owner at Carmel Garden Inn, responded to this reviewResponded November 19, 2013

We received your review with a lot of enthusiasm. Here at the Inn probably the single greatest benefit of owning and or working here is your praise and recognition of our service. And to have you return makes us so very happy. Our decision NOT to go the easy way with gas fireplaces certainly has set us apart from the other Inns in Carmel. As you know, we continue to add to our dining menu and improving the rooms. We are especially looking forward to the several dog days next year. Thank you for mentioning we are dog friendly. Many thanks, Julian and all of us here. Mary was particularly pleased by your comment.

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Reviewed November 5, 2013

This small inn operated much like a B&B. It is old but refurbished. It's the kind of place you would like to stay in if you are in a town like Carmel or somewhere in New England. It has that homey feel and sound, like going to your grandparents house (a good thing). We were greeted with a wine and cheese buffet when we arrived and had a substantial breakfast prior to departure. The staff was accommodating and friendly. It was clean. Our room looked out to the patio and it had a fireplace, although we did not take advantage of it. We were very pleased and would go there again.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank UwchlanJohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
julian b, Owner at Carmel Garden Inn, responded to this reviewResponded November 7, 2013

Thank you for your review. We all appreciated your comparing coming to our Bed and Breakfast to "like going to your grandparents house (a good thing)". How very well put. We welcome your comments and look forward to seeing you again. Julian and us all.

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