We wanted to stay in Carmel but the prices were higher than we wanted. Luckily we found an online special through Priceline for the queen room.
It was hard to find the hotel as the buildings in downtown Carmel do not have address numbers--there are just tons of signs for each shop on buildings that have multiple occupants. The desk clerk was not very helpful when I called to say we were there but could not find the hotel. I called twice, and told her each time where I was, what was in front of, to the left, right, behind me...she had me walk into the fancy restaurant in front of me to ask someone to point me to the hotel lobby. Apparently the hotel and restaurant is connected in the same building--but rather than the girl simply telling me to walk past the restaurant, turn left, and the hotel entrance would be about the 3rd door up some steps, she had me traipse through a fancy restaurant with everyone looking at me and interrupt a waiter to help me. I thought it was put-offish for the girl to pretty much blow me off, and she didn't even apologize or anything when I checked in.
The lobby was fancy, very Victorian. The room was a little small but comfortable. The bed and pillows were EXCELLENT and the most COMFORTABLE ever! The bathroom was nice (marble counter), but being an older building the tub drained slowly when showering. I was surprised that such a nice hotel did not have conditioner, which isn't that big of a deal but in a location like Carmel and the style of hotel it was, I would think they would have had an ounce of conditioner. (The Pine Inn must somehow be affiliated with the Tally Ho in around the corner, as the soap and shampoo labels said "Tally Ho").
Parking was free in their small lot located a block behind the hotel, but we chose to stay in our spot on the street. I could not tell if the lot was full and did not want to give up our spot in the event it was. Wi-Fi was free and worked well.
The room was 31 on the 3rd floor--and there are no elevators. This made it difficult with luggage (we had someone take it up for us) and if anyone has trouble walking it would be hard to go up the older staircases. Being on the 3rd floor also made the room really hot! There was no A/C, so we opened the windows immediately and turned on the ceiling fan. It took quite awhile to cool off the room, and at night we were not certain about leaving the windows open for 2 reasons: 1) there was an outdoor stairwell just next to the one window which would have been easy to enter and climb into our window, and 2) the neighboring buildings would have been able to see right into our room. The sun in the morning was beating in the windows, so it is easy to see why the room was so hot (and a picture was very faded, so the sun must be constant). Our view was also the roof of another building, which was tarred so that could also have caused the heat in our room even though the air temperature was cool.
Breakfast was complimentary until 10:00 am. We arrived around 9:20. There was no oatmeal, no regular coffee, no yogurt, no spoons...(we witnessed an adult man use his bare hand to scoop out brown sugar since there was no spoon--however, that is NO EXCUSE to do something so crass and gross!) The sausage was cold, as were the eggs and the potatoes. There were some pastries, and fresh cubed fruit. I had to ask the hostess if we could get some more yogurt and oatmeal. She seemed like it was a problem or beneath her to take care of this, and she was in no hurry to replenish it--it took her at least 10 minutes to bring out the oatmeal, then eventually the yogurt. (They were not busy but we did not see any waiters/waitresses to ask, and the hostess was just standing at the podium so that is why we approached her.)
At 10:05 a couple came to eat breakfast, but everything had already been put away. When the hotel says 8-10:00, they mean it! Aside from the fact that the couple were obviously late for the stated breakfast, it would seem that the hotel would in fact maintain the temperature of the items and keep them replenished until 10:00. We should not have had to eat cold eggs, sausage, and potatoes, nor should we have had to ask for oatmeal, yogurt, spoons, or coffee.
The front desk girl (Caroline?) was working on the morning of July 19...she was super-perky and super-nice--she totally made up for the rudeness of the girl the night before who couldn't bother to help me find the lobby, and the aloofness of the hostess in the restaurant. Caroline gave us some suggestions of places to see and directions, and was really extremely pleasant and friendly. Too bad the others we experience don't follow suit.
All in all, the hotel was a great value (for the special we were able to obtain) for staying in the heart of Carmel, on the shopping strip about 3-4 blocks from the ocean.
Please note: If it had not been for the disappointing breakfast experience and the poor attitudes of the first front desk girl and hostess at breakfast, I would have rated this hotel as "Excellent" especially given the special price we were able to obtain. But I believe in a service industry--especially at a hotel that is typically much more expensive than what we paid--all aspects should be taken into account to bestow an "Excellent" rating on an establishment. If we had paid regular price I would have rated it "Average" based on the price.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Pine Inn is a boutique, full-service hotel, boasting the most elegant rooms in Carmel and all the amenities you expect. Our custom-furnished rooms feature Aireloom Pillow-Top mattresses for the best night’s sleep. We are located in the heart of Carmel, California surrounded by quaint shops, art galleries, and hidden courtyards—only four blocks from Carmel’s sandy white beach (breathtaking views of Pebble Beach and Point Lobos!). ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Pine Hotel Carmel