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
Beautiful peaceful place. Not as close as we thought to main area , but just 5 blocks. Very quiet , which is what we wanted. If you don’t book direct, you may not get the best room, we were in a corner with no view. Room was big and very nice. Will go back but will request a room not by the house keeping closet.
We arrived here early and they were happy to check us in. Gave us directions for parking, plenty of off-street parking. The vibe is so peaceful. Lots of water features, even in the guest rooms. The bed is sooo comfortable. And they supply a decent fan, no AC. Once the sun goes down the air changes completely and it's very comfortable. The breakfast is very good. Fresh fruit, nice pastries, boiled eggs, toast, bagels, cereals and GREAT coffee and juices. All served with by very gracious ladies. Fantastic
We have stayed at Tradewinds three times. This visit was just as enjoyable as the first. They have really upgraded breakfast service. Staff is so pleasant, welcoming and helpful. Rooms are good size, nicely appointed, clean and the location is quiet yet convenient to walk anywhere.