The name and exterior of the Hofsas House (San Carlos St. and 3rd Ave., 831/624-2745, www.hofsashouse.com, $150) evokes a quaint inn set in the Netherlands countryside. Yet the Hofsas House actually sits in a quiet semi-residential neighborhood within easy walking distance of downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Rooms in the rambling multi-story structure are surprisingly spacious, with nice furniture and linens that show just a touch of wear, and adequate bathrooms. If you can, get an ocean-view room with a patio or balcony, buy a bottle of wine, and spend some time sitting outside looking over the town of Carmel out toward the serene (from a distance) Pacific waters.
For folks who come to Carmel to taste wine, hike in the woods, and enjoy the less expensive golf courses, Country Garden Inns (102 W. Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley, 831/659-5361, www.countrygardeninns.com, $170) offers a perfect spot to rest and relax. Actually composed of two inns, the Acacia and the Hidden Valley, Country Garden’s small B&Bs offer violet and taupe French Country—style charm in the guest rooms, as well as a pool, a self-serve breakfast bar, and strolling gardens outdoors. Rooms run from romantic king-bed studios up to big family suites and most sleep at least four people (with daybeds in the window nooks).
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition