What We Love
- An elaborate daily continental breakfast including locally made French pastries is included in the Jetsetter rate
- Lush tropical landscaping with three-story-high bamboo, bird of paradise trees and a meditation garden with a gurgling fountain
- Quiet sidestreet location, walkable to everywhere, within earshot of the breaking ocean waves
- The Asian contemporary style — very fashion-forward for stuffy Carmel
- READ MORE: 72 hours on Highway 1
What To Know
- Rooms are built around a central courtyard, but excellent landscaping provides privacy
- Some rooms have distant ocean views; the beach is eight blocks away
- Four rooms have not been restyled; they’re perfectly comfortable, but lack the chic factor
- Few hotels in Carmel have AC — this one is no exception — which means sleeping with the windows open and occasionally hearing passersby. Light sleepers should bring ear plugs
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
A 2004 makeover by designer Charles Gruwell, of Mandalay Bay Las Vegas fame, landed the Tradewinds Carmel on the pages of Architectural Digest for its excellent use of space and fresh Asian-inspired decor. You can’t see the property until you’re in the middle of it: Gurgling fountains, tall trees and lush landscaping conceal many of the 28 guestrooms, creating a spa-like atmosphere. The architectural footprint is that of a Midcentury Modern hotel, but the rooms feel Asian and airy. They’re spacious and restrained in style, with a soothing flaxen color scheme, bamboo and rattan furnishings, Japanese pen-and-ink artwork and zero clutter. Second-floor rooms also have vaulted wooden ceilings that reveal the building’s quality construction. For a splash of color — and a warm welcome — the bellman delivers a stem of purple orchids at check-in.
Bed & Bath
Low-slung platform featherbeds are dressed in Egyptian cotton linens, with fluffy down pillows and duvets and custom silk runners. At the corner of the King rooms is a gas fireplace with a timer so that you can fall asleep with a fire glowing. Kimono-style robes from Bali hang in the closet, and every remodeled bathroom has a custom-built vanity with plenty of room to unpack your toiletries. Some bathrooms have separate travertine-tiled shower stalls and jetted tubs (ask when you book). We appreciate thoughtful touches like heavy long-staple cotton towels and locally made olive oil soap with bits of lavender and herbs.
Though it’s right in the village of Carmel, you get the feeling of being at a resort in the tropics. Out many windows you spot spiky ferns, tall bamboo and lush bird of paradise trees that grow higher than the roofline. The ocean’s breaking waves are never out of earshot. The beautifully landscaped courtyard comprises a stone firepit and a lush meditation garden with a towering Buddha fountain lit at night by tiki torch. Though Tradewinds lacks resort-style amenities (there’s no pool, spa, gym or restaurant), nothing is far away. The front desk can arrange in-room massages; the center of town is a five-minute walk, the beach 10.
In the Area
Carmel has a timeless storybook-village quality and some marvelous, whimsical architecture. Plan to stroll the cobbled streets, but carry a sweater: Fog twirls through the ubiquitous Monterey pines, and wind whooshes off the never-distant Pacific Ocean. The principle in-town activity is window shopping Ocean Avenue, which is lined with girly-girl boutiques and expensive galleries. To meet real local artists, stop by the Carmel Art Association. The real magic of Carmel is its coastline, best viewed on a drive along Scenic Road. For nature walks, nothing beats nearby Point Lobos State Reserve, a vast rocky promontory famous for wind-swept cypress groves, tide pools and thrilling coastal vistas.
How to Get There
This property is so nice, definitely exceeded my expectations. The property is extremely well kept. The room and the bedding are simply amazing. My favorite part was the bedding. Extremely comfortable!! Spoke with Karen at the front desk who was exceptionally welcoming of our last minute booking. I would definitely book here again. Short walk to town, food, and coffee. Highly recommend!!! Gas fire place was a plus!
We have stayed in other hotels in Carmel by the Sea and this was the best so far. The amenities and the furnishings in the room were great. They gave us an orchid and chocolate covered strawberries upon check in. We did not have a chance to sit by the fire pit in the evening but definitely would like to do that next time. The continental breakfast was good and on Sunday they even offered a quiche which was tasty.The room type that we booked was the ADA room which upon check out I was told was a one of a kind. The room was next to the stairs and the breakfast room which caused the room to be noisy at times which was why that room was priced a little lower. So next time we will ask for a different type of room but we will definitely be back.
Great value in Carmel. Has a Japanese theme with waterfalls, bamboo etc, very calming but not over done.
Room was clean and spacious, as was the bathroom, good amenities. A nice welcome card with our family name (its the attention to detail that counts). The continental breakfast was superb, the staff super friendly.
Very very quiet at night, which we like, except the damn squawking seagulls (not the hotels issue ;) ) but they tend to quiet down at 11pm or so but start up at first light (bring ear plugs).
We had a great time and the hotel made the trip - excellent
The touches inside and outside of the room made it feel like we were staying in someones home who had great taste. Staff went out of their way and really made an effort. The proximity to downtown was a pleasant walk and the continental breakfast was fresh.
My daughter and I stayed at the Tradewinds in Carmel - the last stop on our West coast road trip before arriving in San Francisco. The room was great, so were the hotel staff. A little noisy first thing in the morning when children woke up and walked outside our room but otherwise a good stay