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xoxo, Madeline

Where to Stay in California - Hotel Carmel & La Playa Carmel, Carmel-by-the-Sea

Where to Stay in California - Hotel Carmel & La Playa Carmel, Carmel-by-the-Sea

Carmel by the Sea - by Madeline Lu

It is Mother's day weekend and I was spoiled by a short trip to one of my favorite beach towns in California, Carmel-by-the-Sea (Carmel)! We passed Carmel last year when I drove along Highway 1 from San Francisco to LA. But because of our long journey ahead, we only drove through the town and couldn't make a stop to explore the area. We thought it is only 1.5 hours drive from Silicon Valley and we will come here again to visit. So here we are!

For this weekend, we chose to stay at Hotel Carmel and La Playa Carmel. I know, it sounds crazy to change hotel for just one night, but I love doing it because it gave me the opportunities to check out different accommodations and experience what each can offer. If you remember a while ago that we visited Laguna Beach (here) and stayed at the cute Laguna Beach House? Well, Hotel Carmel and La Playa Carmel are the sister hotels to Laguna Beach House

For the first night, we stay at Hotel Carmel. Just like Laguna Beach House, this hotel, although small, is beautifully designed and decorated. Their room is clean, comfortable and cosy. We had a room (No.214) with a fireplace, which we loved very much. The kids and I were reading "Chronicles of Narnia" in front of the fire before we went to bed. Oh, I enjoyed every second of that moment. The Hotel Carmel is very close to the center of Carmel (5 mins walk) and not far from the beach either (5 mins by car, 20 mins by foot). 

Carmel is a quaint little town, which reminds me of the houses in England. The town is famous for its artistic history, hence lots of galleries and art shops on the street. I found those little houses in Carmel are so full of character and charming, very different from the traditional California style houses. You feel like you are walking in a fairytale or a Hobbit village (from Lord of the Rings). On Saturday morning, I got up early and decided to walk around in town before the family wakes up. It was so nice to walk on the empty street and look around at the cute houses in Carmel. 

For lunch, we went to Brophy's Tavern, which is famous for its burgers and fish n chips. But they also have many vegan options. 

For our second night, we stayed at another beautiful hotel in Carmel, La Playa Carmel. Compared to Hotel Carmel, La Playa Carmel is more like a heritage kind of hotel. You can tell from the decors that hotel has much history and been well preserved over the years. It is very close to the Carmel beach (2 mins walk). The hotel has a heated pool and gorgeous garden. The kids had great fun jumping into the pool and walk around in the garden. Then in the evening, we watched the sunset on the beach before heading out for dinner. There are many nice restaurants in Carmel, which offer a large variety of cuisines. On Sunday, it was Mother's Day, so I was spoiled by having a breakfast in bed with coffee and waffles with an ocean view (303). 

Another great spot to visit near Carmel is Point Lobo's National Reserve. It is about 15 mins drive from Carmel La Playa. There are many great hikes in this national reserve, and we chose to visit China Cove and Whaler's Cove. Both spots were incredibly beautiful, but my favorite was China Cove. The greenish colors of the ocean was just breathtaking. 

Below are a few snaps from our weekend trip. Hope you will venture out to Carmel real soon.

Watermelon Mojito Mocktail

Watermelon Mojito Mocktail

Vegan Avocado Key Lime Popsicles with Vitamix

Vegan Avocado Key Lime Popsicles with Vitamix