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“At last a real hotel”

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Clarion Collection Carmel By The Sea
Ranked #23 of 25 Carmel B&B and Inns
Reviewed March 11, 2014

Yes this is a lovely hotel it has style and character not just another plastic room that all look the same.

Fantastic location right in the middle of town and just a short walk down to the beach.

Hotel staff very friendly and helpful and the breakfast basket was delivered out side the door in the morning --what service.

The room was great no problems.

Cannot recommend this hotel enough and Carmel was one of the best places we stayed during our tour of California.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank GloucesterTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 23, 2014

I enjoyed my stay at the Clarion Collection Carmel by the Sea. It was difficult to find as we circled around the block 3 times before going to the lobby to find it. I also stayed in the unit next to the lobby which I appreciated as I was traveling solo.

The staff was most helpful and accommodating. After checking out I left a bag for a few hours. I tried to tip the young lady in the lobby who would not accept the tip for safe keeping my luggage. The young women working the lobby were lovely.

I did not have a car, but noticed that the parking spots were tight. Breakfast was great, with good choices. I look forward to a return visit!

Room Tip: The second floor may be quieter in the AM if you leave your window open.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Mary P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2014

We stayed at the Clarion Collection Carmel (CCC) By the Sea Dec 27-29,2013, the last weekend of the year, making our reservations at the comfortinn web site, some 30 days in advance. The signs in front of the building and at the parking lot entrance list the hotel name as Carmel Oaks.

The internet Choice Privileges Member room rate for our queen suite was $89 after a 10% discount with AAA. The rack rate for walk ins and internet rate on holiday weekends would be at least 50% higher. There are at least five different priced rooms: king bed under the stairs (room 306), king bed, queen suite, two double beds, and king suite with kitchen (room 318), with $10 incremental price increases for each successive level.

CCC is a two story hotel with 17 units in two buildings, two blocks from Ocean Ave and Junipero Ave, the eastern edge of downtown Carmel, some 0.5 miles from Carmel Beach on the Pacific Ocean.

Each of the two buildings has doors on the external corridors facing the interior L shaped parking lot, between the two buildings. There is no elevator, and 16 stairs to climb to the second floor.

The building with the check-in desk is located on Fifth St next to Mission St. The office is only open from 8am to 9pm, but there is an emergency number you can call off hours.

Rooms 301-304 on the first floor each have a single large window facing the sidewalk with pedestrians looking in on Mission St. Rooms 314-318 on the second floor have sliding glass back doors, with separate private balconies, overlooking Mission St, and a private parking lot, and facing northwest, but with no ocean view.

I believe room 318 is the only unit with a kitchen, and room 316 is one of only two units with two double beds. 301 is next to the lobby, and 304, 314, and 318 are end units but without corner windows. Suites 317 and 318 alone have windows facing the external corridor interior, besides windows facing Mission st.

The other building is located across the L shaped parking lot on the interior of the lot. Rooms 305-307 on the ground level each have a single large window facing the parking lot, with 307 being a corner suite room. Rooms 308-312 are on the second floor, with 308 being a corner suite, and 311 and 312 being suites with windows on both the external corridor and over the breezeway parking lot facing Junipero Ave. Room 306, a king nonsuite, faces beneath the stairs, and would be the cheapest of the 17 rooms.

A large tree in the court yard blocks afternoon sunlight from rooms 306,307,308 and 309. There is a laundry room running 11am to 4pm next to 305 and below 311. A second floor outdoor patio with chairs, tables and umbrellas runs between rooms 312 and 314, over the parking lot.

CCC has 17 parking spaces on the hotel premises reserved for hotel guests. However this includes 1 handicap parking spot, right next to the check-in desk. The entrance to the one way parking lot is on Fifth St., and runs uphill under the building breezeway to Junipero Ave.

6 of the parking spots are labeled compact, as the uphill diagonal parking on the L shaped lot is a tight fit, with a 7 foot clearance on the breezeway of the interior building overlooking and dividing the parking lot in two. We parked our Prius on the uphill slope right under the breezeway, and the open hatch hit the top of the breezeway. There is an 18th spot right on the diagonal going over the sidewalk on the edge of Junipero Ave at the top of the hill, which would fit only a subcompact car.

The building has a fresh coat of brownish-orange paint, with the trim on the corridors painted a dark brown. The external corridors have matching paint, with outdoor carpeting on the stairs and corridors to dampen footfalls of passing guests.

We signed up for a queen bed suite room, and got room 311, on the second floor of the interior building, above the breezeway. So we had only two neighbors, one in room 310, and another in room 312, with nobody below us, except the parking lot passageway.

The suite was very spacious, probably about 50% larger than a non suite. Everything was clean and tidy, with no stray hairs in the bathroom, and no dust on the furniture. The rug was a faded green with gold patterns, and had seen better days. The walls had a chalky off white color with green swirls, looking like plaster repair work. There was also a smell in the air -I'm not sure if this came from the old carpet, or from the washer-dryer running downstairs below us.

Our room was a queen bed suite, with one nightstand with lamp and a luminescent digital clock on the side of the bed next to the window. The closet on the other side of the bed had no door, as there was no room to open the door. Inside were the usual two piece hangers to deter thief, an iron and an ironing board.

In front of the bed was a large vacant area before the entertainment center with drawers on the bottom, a tiny 18" refrigerator, a 29" flat screen HD TV with HBO, and a coffee making machine with four porcelain cups. Controls for the HD TV with 70+ cable channels including HBO were complicated requiring the user to push the satellite setting.

The refrigerator had a tiny freezer compartment, barley large enough to fit a six pack of popsicles. There was no microwave in our room.

The suite area was a separate room, but with no partition, let alone walls. There was a granite coffee table to eat breakfast, while sitting on a sofa with cushions that had seen better days.

The bathroom was tiny with a shower, toilet and sink in one room. The sides of not only the shower, but the entire bathroom and floor were granite. Hair dryer in bathroom, and night light at night. Turning on the light turned on the noisy vent, and the flushing the toilet would wake up the neighbors.

Unusual electric heater with simulated fireplace for heat. Remote control device to turn on heater, and buttons for heat, visual image, and volume sound effects -the sound of wood crackling while burning. The heater was quiet and effective in heating up the area right next to the bed.

There was no A/C, but then it was not needed as the Ocean is only half a mile away. However, should you be here in the Fall, when Indian summer is around, temperatures can reach the high 70s. The large windows each had screens, although in some cases the screens were slightly off the windows, and in a few cases completely off the windows on the sides of the building.

Not much sound proofing between the walls. Our bed was up against a shared wall with the bed in room 310, a nonsuite, and we could hear the baby crying at times, through the wall. And flushing the toilet would wake up the neighbors.

The rooms have wooden blinds, instead of sheer or blackout curtains. The external corridor lights at night would filter through the gaps in the top and sides of closed wooden blinds. This was no problem for me, but bothered my wife, who next time will bring her eyeshades.

Wifi was free but relatively weak, with difficulty getting connected, with dropped signals when using the internet for a continuous period of time.

Breakfast was simple and spartan. On the first morning, between 8am and 830am, the staff put a breakfast basket with 2 oranges, two 8 ounce cartons of milk, two 4 ounce cartons of orange juice, two bear claw pastries, two breakfast bars, and two soup cups of sweetened cheerios, along with two napkins and two spoons and knives. On the second morning, the staff forgot to get cereal, so we got three bear claw pastries, instead of two. At least they gave us a plastic knife to help peel the oranges. Some guests left the breakfast baskets outside their door untouched, presumably to walk around the corner to Katy's restaurant (cash only) on Mission and Fifth for a real breakfast.

This hotel is centrally located within easy walking of the multitude of restaurants and retail outlets in downtown Carmel There are a string of restaurants on Junipero and Mission Streets walking toward Ocean ave, two blocks away. Brunos Market and Delicatessen on Sixth and Junipero, two blocks away, has fruits, sandwiches, and drinks to eat lunch on the hotel patio. You can also check my tripadvisor Carmel reviews for Patisserie Boisserie, Tommy Woks, Carmel Beach, and Point Lobos among others. There is also a review of mine of the other Comfort Inn in Carmel.

Room Tip: Rooms 301-304 have windows facing Mission Street, with pedestrians peering in. Rooms 314-318 have u...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank robert c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2013 via mobile

Just a couple of blocks from the main intersection of Carmel. It was a good value for its location, but we had an extremely small room. We were in room 301, which is next door to the check in desk and at the corner of an intersection that seemed to get real busy around 5 am with delivery trucks. The breakfast basket was basic stuff - Cheerios, milk, packaged bear claw, Eric. Another reviewer made an excellent point, the hotel is surrounded by some really good bakeries, but provides pre-packaged breakfast foods. In fact, we forewent (sp?) the breakfast basket and walked a couple of blocks and had breakfast at a local place.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank Erin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2013 via mobile

This is a great place for a short stay in Carmel. It's 2 blocks off Ocean Ave. and within walking distance of everything. Convenient, free parking. We had two rooms on the main floor, one king and one queen. Both were nicely furnished, attractively decorated, and in good condition. Beds were comfortable. Baths have been remodeled with granite counters and matching granite tile work. Rooms are a little small, and the yellow-white paint job is a little odd but OK. Rooms have flat screen TV, fridge and coffee maker. My only complaint is - no ventilation except the windows. No AC. Weather was nice, so it didn't really matter. Some upstairs rooms have balconies. This is an affordable place for Carmel. If you are looking for a spacious, luxurious room, go elsewhere and pay a much higher price! Carmel itself is charming and picture perfect. The town oozes exclusiveness and privilege. The many pampered dogs of Carmel are it's most easy-going, happy residents. Their owners and other humans will do their best to ignore you. We had a very good dinner at Dametra Cafe, a very popular place where reservations are necessary. The staff spontaneously broke into music and dance with mandolin, drum and tambourine and actually enticed some of the icy Carmelite women (actually, probably tourists) to get up and dance!

Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
Thank DJinconcord
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2013

We drove to 5th and Mission in Carmel and tried to find the Clarion Collection. Downtown Carmel does not use street addresses, so one can only find a hotel by its sign, and we did not see a Clarion sign anywhere near that corner. Finally we asked at another motel nearby, which gave us precise directions about which driveway to turn into. It was a place with a sign labelled Carmel Oaks. When we turned in and looked closely at their sign, we could see Clarion Collection in fine print under Carmel Oaks. We checked in, and the clerk was helpful and got us our rooms. Mine was chilly and I looked for a thermostat and couldn't find one. I phoned the clerk and she came up and showed me an object that appeared to be a flat-screen TV, with a controller also like that of a TV. She pushed some buttons on it and it showed something that looked like a fireplace, and did put out some heat. With some experimentation with buttons with undecipherable labels I managed to control the temperature. The controller on the real TV was also very difficult to use. When I had solved all of these issues, I ended up with a comfortable room with lighting better than most motels I have encountered, and several amenities like a refrigerator, microwave, an iron and plenty of extra blankets. It also had a comfortable couch. So it worked out well in the end.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank joehearst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2013

We found this hotel through Trip Advisor and it was a really great find. It felt like staying at a friends house instead of a hotel, friendly staff, really nice room with 'character', not a cookie cutter room. Great location and overall great stay. Highly recommended!

Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank James E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Clarion Collection Carmel By The Sea

Address: NE 5th & Mission, Carmel, CA 93921
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Monterey County > Carmel
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #23 of 25 B&Bs / Inns in Carmel
Price Range: $108 - $270 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Clarion Collection Carmel By The Sea 2.5*
Number of rooms: 17
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Also Known As:
Clarion Collection Carmel By The Sea Hotel Carmel
Clarion Carmel
Carmel Clarion

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