Carmel-by-the-Sea, California is known world-wide to travelers and romance seekers alike. Recently named the 3rd most romantic city in the world (1st in the US) by Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards, if you aren't already you're bound to fall in love while you're there. Whether you are visiting with your loved one, your whole family, or on a girlfriend's getaway you can find so much to see and do in Carmel-by-the-Sea and when making a plan to visit, first you need a great spot to stay! Hofsas House, a family run Bavarian-inspired hotel is highly recommended for so many reasons, you'll be coming back year after year to enjoy the area to it's fullest!
1. Location If you're in the mood to park it and relax, this is the spot for you! Come for a weekend and park once then take advantage of the closeness of restaurants, boutique shops, art galleries, antique shops, and wine tasting rooms all by foot. Come prepared with comfortable shoes though as heels require a permit (really!) and explore this little village by the sea. If you tire out, it's just a few minutes drive to the ocean with lots of free parking available on a first-come, first-serve basis. White sand beaches are magnificent year-round and though cold, the water is beautiful temptation and you're bound to catch some surfers riding the waves. And, if you're wanting a day trip, Monterey, Pacific Grove, and Big Sur are all close enough but get back to catch an amazing sunset from the beach or even the top floor of the hotel!
2. Charming Accommodations Casual and simple elegance comes to mind when I think of the last few times we stayed at the Hofsas House. Rooms are spacious with amenities such as free wi-fi, kitchenettes, balconies, and fireplaces. Fireplaces come with Duraflame logs and add warmth and romance to the roomscape, or even just coziness to enjoy your morning coffee in bed. Touches of European culture are obvious around the hotel. Hotel founder Donna Hofsas commissioned friend and artist Maxine Albro in 1957 to paint the mural that welcomes visitors as well as pictures in the lobby and other highlights around the building. Our room had a unique dutch door which allows for both privacy and neighborly conversation with a hint of fresh ocean air. A year-round 82-degree heated pool will win any day versus that Pacific Ocean and something you don't see often, dry saunas are offered.
3. Carmel Wine Walk There are 13 wine tasting rooms all in walking distance from the Hofsas House and wine lovers will love this deal: during your stay, request a Wine Tasting Passport from the concierge for a discounted $50 price and enjoy one $10 flight at nine tasting rooms throughout the village! Each tasting room has it's own personality as do the people pouring the wine! Find fun, food, and great conversation at room and whether you love red, white, or sparkling wines you'll find a taste that suits you on the wine walk. Galante Vineyards (the room with the boot chair) was so impressive that we went off the passport and ventured to Dawn's Dream, owned by Mr. Galante's wife! Just weeks old, this room had the best atmosphere (bathtub included) and of course delicious wine! Best of all, the Passport doesn't expire, so for locals like me, I can stretch out my visits to Carmel over many weekends!
4. Packages If you are planning an event like a family reunion, Hofsas House provides a package with group rates and use of their meeting facility for up to 40 people. Traveling with your pet? The Tail Wagging Package offers a frisbee, bowl, dog bed, trail and hiking guild, treats and more for those four legged friends! Carmel-by-the-Sea is so dog-friendly you'll even see them in the tasting rooms!Two of our favorites are the wine and cheese package and the beach package. Local Monterey County wine and cheese are straight from the Cheese Shop located in the Carmel Plaza for you to enjoy in your room in front of that fire! Also, if you can, visit the Cheese Shop, you can sample the best cheeses from around the world and they are so nice in there! The beach package is great when kids are in tow, get firewood and matches, a beach blanket and flashlight, a frisbee and all the supplies for S'mores!
5. Hospitality I've met Carrie Theis, co-owner of the Hofsas House and granddaughter to Donna Hofsas and her love for the property and commitment to a perfect stay is apparent. The staff is welcoming and ready to offer any tips and suggestions on dining or activities. A local bakery's fresh pastries at offered at the continental breakfast, enjoy them in the lobby by the fire, in your room with a view, or by the pool if you choose. 60 years of hospitality can't be beat!
For more information, visit http://www.hofsashouse.com/ to consider the Hofsas House on your next visit to Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Two night's accommodations were offered, all opinions are my own.
Jen Andrade is a lifestyle and travel blogger at The Mom Reviews. A wine lover whose bag is always packed to drive, fly, or sail, she resides on the central coast in California with her husband and 3 children.