Date of Trip: December 2006
Let me start by saying that while our Dec 29-Dec 31 stay at Carmel Country Inn is a three-out-of-five, our prior two-night’s stay at Cayucos Sunset Inn B&B is mostly to blame. Either way, ratings are about comparisons, and my apologies that my wife and I visited perfection prior to this adorable Carmel Inn.
The Pros at CCI were the location… we walked EVERYWHERE! We parked the car and never started it for the 48 hours we were in Carmel. We went out after breakfast for exercise and into Carmel’s residential dreamland (and videotaped the most adorable little… and big… homes in the world)!! We walked out again in the afternoon for late lunch/snack/cocktails and window shopping and then late dinner walks, returning after 10pm. The streets of Carmel feel very safe… it’s truly a dream! Our room was large enough (the King Deluxe Studio) with a couple of rocking chairs, french doors overlooking the courtyard (nice), perfect fireplace, and nice sized bath with separate shower and two-person soaking tub. It was very quiet and the while the decor was a little dated, it was clean and fit the image of the inn in general. The staff seemed nice but only spoke when spoken to…
And now for the Cons… firstly, the other guests were nothing like the guests we met in our previous Cayucos stay or later in Santa Barbara. Seems as though 80% of them had pets and spent most of the time “talking” to them. And while the breakfast room provided the most comprehensive Continental breakfast around, the inn is (as I mentioned, and was aware of when I made the reservation) pet-friendly, but allowed the guest’s dogs to join them while eating… my wife and I were not impressed. In fact, we have a dog, and we love animals. But our dog is an outdoor dog and he’s called an outdoor dog for a reason (you know, fur?). It’s amazing to me that while one of the biggest concerns of travelers is the cleanliness of their lodging facilities… what’s the point of a “clean room” when after only minutes of a dog or cat entering a freshly maid-cleaned room, it immediately is no longer such? I must clarify that our room was a no-pets room and it showed, but our CCI trip was marred by having other people’s dogs in the commonspace (around food, no less!). Needless to say, my wife (and I with her) are only to stay in Carmel establishments with a no-pet rule. So begins my quest for next year’s visit.
In summary, we had a pleasant stay, but I have to give Carmel Country Inn 3 of 5 due to the pets in the breakfast room. To my wife and I, it would’ve been a 4 or 5 of 5 had the pets been kept away from the commonspace (food) area. For those that want to bring their pets, this Inn has to be a 4 or 5 of 5…. just not for us.
PS: As far as for Carmel dining, we can recommend everywhere we ate: Village Corner Mediterranean Bistro, Forge In The Forest, Hog’s Breath Inn and Flaherty’s (which had the best food and the best service, just not very much room or privacy).