Last week Adam and I spent the weekend in Carmel, Ca. It’s a small town along the coast next to the Monterey Bay. It has a European feel to it, with its style, decor and laid back atmosphere. This much needed weekend getaway couldn’t have come at a better time as we snuck in one last baby moon trip before our baby girl arrives. Our agenda entailed lounging and relaxing at the Hofsas House Hotel (in our master suite, which we will get to below) and strolling around downtown Carmel and all the lovely shops it has to offer. Carmel is filled with so many quaint boutique shops, cafes, art galleries and delicious dining options. It was not our first time visiting or staying in Carmel, but we still managed to find new things to do and discover new places to eat.
A few fun facts about Carmel I learned that weekend was:
There is not a single street addresses on any houses or business! (everyone has to go to the post office to get there mail)
There is not a single street light in town! (it truly does keep that small town feel without all the extra lights)
You won’t find a single retail chain or fast food spot in town either! (my kinda place)
Its a small boutique hotel with a Bavarian flair. The hotel was founded by Donna Hofsas and has been a family owned hotel for seven decades! It is now owned and managed by her granddaughter Carrie, whom I had the pleasure of chatting with during my stay. She filled me in on its rich history and the labor of love it received throughout the years. One of my favorite designs from the property is the one-of-a-kind mural near the lobby entrance. The decor has a subtle and classy pink hue throughout the hotel and its so pretty to look at and take a few snaps in front of (I have been known to take a selfie or two). We stayed on the 4th floor master suite with a breath-taking ocean view (highly recommend this suite). Every room has a vintage chic decor but a style all its own. Every morning you awake to a continental breakfast offered by the hotel to all its guests; which helps start your day on the right foot. I loved the in-room cast iron fireplace which added to the cozy feel on the crisp winter evenings. The hotel is walking distance to all the downtown shops which is so convenient because you don’t need worry about searching for a parking spot. We found our “go-to spot” here in Carmel at the Hofsas House Hotel and can’t wait to return for another much needed relaxing weekend getaway.
As true foodies that Adam and I are, we mapped out our dining highlights with some of the greatest hits Carmel has to offer.
FORGE IN THE FOREST - this cute restaurant has a lush outdoor eating area lined with heaters and fire pits. We opted for a spot indoors given the rain but were not disappointed. Dinner began with their award winning seafood chowder (a must!), Chinese chicken salad and ended with a steak “menage a trois” medley. We will be returning to the forest to enjoy the outdoor setting when the spring comes.
FIFTH AVENUE DELI - this family-run deli located on 5th avenue (around the corner from Hofsas House Hotel), was a perfect spot to grab all the essentials for a beachside picnic. We packed our basket with a homemade soup, steakhouse chili and some other goodies to go with our sandwiches. After much debate we ended up with the Harris Ranch Trip-Tip and Spiral Honey Ham specialty sandwich with all the fixings. This pregnancy has me craving sandwiches so this lunch spot was a must eat!
LUGANO SWISS BISTRO - this bistro is known for it’s fondue and it did not disappoint. We each ordered the Four Course Fondue Sampler which includes a salad, a Swiss cheese fondue, sliced chicken and beef to cook in Burgundy wine broth, and end with a Swiss chocolate fondue. If you are looking for a hearty meal, you came to the right place. If you love rich Swiss chocolate look no further.
THE CARMEL COFFEE HOUSE & ROASTING COMPANY - this charming little roast house was a bit tricky to find but well worth searching for (hint, it’s in the center of a group of shops, look for the small alleyway). Once you find it the alley opens up to a lovely courtyard and has you feeling like you’ve escaped to a little European village.
Things to do
There is so much to do and see in Carmel, you will need a full weekend to check all the spots off your list. Below are just a few things we’ve done while visiting Carmel that are worth sharing:
Carmel Beach - (walking distance from all the downtown shops) We took our deli sandwiches and enjoyed an impromptu beachside picnic. Keep in mind there aren’t many picnic tables to tuck away a small blanket along with your picnic basket and picnic must haves.
Carmel Mission - If you grew up in California, you probably did a few California Mission projects. There is so much rich history and culture in every mission and a great day trip to explore.
Point Lobos Park - If you are in an adventurous mood and up for a small hike add Point Lobos to your to-do list. The breath taking ocean views are the reward at the end of this trail. Make sure to bring a few bucks for parking ($10 fee) and the 9am-5pm hours.
*This is a sponsored post but all opinions and experiences are my own. Hofas House Hotel, 5th Avenue Deli and Lugano Swiss Bistro.