As NoCal residents, my little loving family had never really explored Carmel-by-the-Sea and so we decided to treat ourselves to a nice spring break getaway. To really experience the place, its people and culture, we chose to stay at the Bavarian inspired Hofsas House Hotel located between 3rd and 4th Avenue on San Carlos Street. Their history currently celebrated with a 70 year anniversary, the family & dog friendliness, heated pool with sauna, room with fireplace and spacious private ocean view balcony was the perfect combination for us.
Due to a better than expected drive from our hometown San Jose, we arrived early and were warmly received by the hotel’s manager Carrie Theis and staff, offering to call us when the room was ready so we could start enjoying the beautiful day exploring the area. We were recommended to grab a lunch box at a picturesque deli at 5th ave, walk down Ocean Avenue to one of the white sand beaches for a picnic and so we did. First impressions clearly exceeded our expectations and left our 4 year old girl Suri delighted with the beautiful beach.
After receiving the courtesy call and a smooth check-in, we were dragged by our daughter to the pool area. The pool being both heated and located in a sun rich area behind the hotel, made it the perfect post-beach refresher even on a 70 F late afternoon. Grown up in Sweden myself, I had to try the sauna which topped off the water fun in a steamy way.
Returning at our room, my husband lighted the fireplace, we freshened up and enjoyed the delicious French cheese, local wine and apple cider for our daughter from ‘The Cheese Shop’ provided by Hofsas House for a mere $30,-. The balcony offered us a nice view of the sun set with some romantic background music playing after which we headed to the lobby for some advice on dinner. Since I have a Persian background and we were planning on a fish dinner the next day, the staff recommended a nice family friendly Mediterranean restaurant on Ocean Avenue. With live music, great food and complimentary baklava, the hotel’s directions hit the spot once more. A nice little hike up to the hotel and finishing our wine at our room ended our first day perfectly.
Waking up with complimentary coffee, tea, a variety of fresh rolls, yogurt and fruit to start another great spring day, is all we can ask for. Heading to the lobby, this time we were welcomed by Carrie who took her time to tell us about her great family heritage and enriched us with the best visitors information personally charted out on several paper maps. Feeling confident that her way was best, we headed of to Point Lobos taking the Scenic Rd. The beauty of Carmel River State Beach enticed us to take in the spectacular views and kicking off our shoes to get our feet wet and sandy. Briefly stopping at Carmel Mission and the Farmhouse for some great pictures, we took a nice trail at Point Lobos which treated us to seals giving birth on the beach while informing us about the area’s whaling history. A late lunch at the ‘Rocky Point Restaurant’ to enjoy drinks, crab sliders and especially gaze at the unbeatable coastal views before heading back to the hotel. Time for the recommended ‘Seventeen Mile Drive’ on our way to Monterey Fisherman Wharf’s Big Fish Grill dinner. We had to reschedule our reservation an hour later due to the incredible viewpoints on this one off a kind Pebble Beach drive. Ending the day with an abundance of fresh fish and some cocktails, we headed back in a haze of satisfaction.
A late noon hotel checkout, allowed our daughter to have a final splash after breakfast and us an appreciative chat with the hotel staff. Carmel, Big Sur, the beach and yet another beautiful day persuaded us to stay for the day. We enjoyed coffee and lunch at another gem in Carmel Plaza’s Coffee And Cocoa Bar.
Great memories made and some much needed vitamin family absorbed, we return to our nest with the conviction of returning for a repeat and determination to let everyone know about the Hofsas House Hotel and Carmel-by-the-Sea. We insist that this is one for everyone’s bucket list.