Monterey B&B Highlights Monterey County Wines
There is a place in Carmel, CA, where the hotel is as much of a destination as the area.
It’s called Vendange Inn & Suites and it’s more than just a place to stay, it’s a thrilling adventure. In the subdued Carmel kind of way.
Vendange is unique in that it has taken what is all around it – namely, several wineries of the Monterey Peninsula – and incorporated it into the hotel. But rather than do this themselves, the owners of this family-run hotel asked local wineries to decorate the rooms in the theme of their specific winery.
The execution is as spectacular as the idea.
What you have is Carmel’s most creative hotel, a place that immerses guests in the culture of the region. Wine has become such an integral part of the Monterey Peninsula that locals proudly boast that it’s California’s top Napa Valley alternative.
Even the name carries a wine theme; Vendange (prounounced ven-dodge) is a French word for the late harvest season.
Because of this perfect pairing, combining a place with a property, Vendage is an especially ripe place to stay for wine lovers and romantics.
Inside The Wine-Themed Rooms
Each winery has put its special touch on the rooms, be it a wine bar featuring bottles of its wine, artwork on the walls, specially-designed lamps or, in the case of J. Lohr, empty wine barrels on the porch that gives you the feeling you are in its private tasting room.
Blair has a huge wine rack in its room and McIntyre has turned the top of a wine barrel into a clock on the wall and mounted a 100-year-old grapevine over the bed.
Each room is stocked with the vineyard’s selection of wines and while you pay for the bottles, it means you’ve got great wines right in your room without having to step outside the door. You can also purchase wines from each of the wineries at the front desk.
The rooms are in available in queen, king, deluxe king and a cottage suite, and all are amply sized, have a comfortable bed with double memory foam topped with the winery’s logo over the blanket (a very classy touch, by the way) and a balcony.
They have a large 55-inch TV, most come with a mini-fridge, some with a fireplace, and have a shower that provides good water pressure, which is significant in an area where water conservation is a year-round concern.
There is also free WiFi.
Assuming you can pull yourself out of your room, you can take a bottle down to the fire pit, which is perfect because to locals and regular visitors, Carmel is known almost as much for its crisp nights as it is for its wineries. Fire pits are as common here as wine glasses.
You will most certainly want to make your way down to the lobby on Friday and Saturday evenings, where there is a wine and cheese tasting for guests from 5-7 p.m., that spills over to the fire pit. Sometimes, there’s even live music.
At Vendange, you can be wined, tho not dined. There’s no restaurant, although it serves a European-style breakfast in the morning – cereals, fruits, bagels, muffins, hard boiled eggs and juices – in a European-style setting in its beautiful lobby.
Vendange is located in a secluded area of Carmel on Carpenter St., which is in the quiet residential part of town. It’s a slow-paced 10-minute walk to the downtown shops and restaurants and about 15 minutes to the beach.
The only bummer about staying at Vendange is that you eventually have to leave. But with room rates as low as in the $90 range in the fall, winter and early spring – these can rise to $300 or more in busier times – you can plan to come back again without crashing the credit card.
VENDANGE CARMEL INN & SUITES
Address: 24815 Carpenter St., Carmel, CA
Phone: (831) 624-6400
Rooms & Rates: Queen, King, King Deluxe & Cottage Suites, ranging from $90-450 (appx.)
Additional Information: A total of 18 rooms and suites, 15 of which have been designed by local wineries. free Internet, free parking, complimentary breakfast, smoke free, no pets.