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
- 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 was the first time we stayed in this hotel. It is beautiful. The King Bed room with balcony was spacious, clean as can be, had a gas fireplace and jacuzzi bath. Perfect for a stormy night! The bed was exceptionally comfortable. Loved the little things like an orchid to take to your room and the chocolates in the room. Breakfast was fresh and more than we could eat!!! It’s an easy walk to the local restaurants and shops. We will definitely be back!!!!
Received the promotional notice from Tripadvisor for Tradewinds, Carmel and it was so nice. All rooms recently redone, beautiful grounds, complimentary breakfast very nice. A little bit of a distance from downtown but still walkable.
Very charming oasii, away from Ocean Avenue but within walking distance to shops and restaurants. Love the Japanese decor touches and running water falls. Romantic ambiance. Only criticism is the continental breakfast. Went to Katy's Place for full breakfast.
We love Carmel...the shops...restaurants and ambiance. Generally we have stayed in Carmel Valley and drive to Carmel proper...but always wanted to pick a hotel closer to Ocean Avenue to limit the driving, etc. We were somewhat hesitant...as a large number of the local hotels are relatively dated...with the accompanying small rooms and wear and tear. When Travelzoo had an offer from Tradewinds...we made the leap, and are very pleased we did. While built in 1959, the facility had a full makeover in 2004...and retains a charm of the old carmel with the ambiance of a new facility...from the fireplace, to the jet tub...instant hot water, and outstanding breakfast of fresh fruit and pastries...not to mention the chocolate covered strawberries that greet you when you check in. The staff and housekeeping people were outstanding and accommodating. Tradewinds most defintaely has earned their high rating as a top hotel to stay at in Carmel.
My wife and I have visited Carmel on numerous occasions and stayed in a number of different lodging establishments. The Tradewinds is the best by far. The setting is in a quiet residential neighborhood close to the shops and dining with free on site parking. The rooms were well decorated and the complementary breakfast was outstanding. Every staff member was most helpful with dining suggestions and made us feel quite welcome. This will be our place to stay for future trips.