Savoring Unique Accommodations In Monterey Bay, CA
Wine and Carmel, CA, go together like golf and Pebble Beach.
But to put them together in a hotel? A themed hotel? In Carmel!?
What a brilliant idea!
That’s what the owners of Vendange Inn & Suites have done and much to their credit the execution is as grand as the idea.
I can tell you this because I’ve had a first-hand experience at Vendange. And it was so nice I practically had to shove myself out the door to go out in town. And I was in Carmel!
The property is beautiful, tucked away in a kind of secret corner of Carmel along Carpenter Street. Each of its 18 rooms are custom made, designed by wineries in Monterey and the Carmel Valley: Holman Ranch, Galante, Tudor, J. Lohr and Blair, among them.
Each winery put its personal touch on the rooms, be it photos of the wine making family, a wine bar stocked with the wines of the vineyard or even wine barrels on the deck. In common with each room is a huge and comfortable bed and a patio with a table and wooden chairs that just begs for bringing out a bottle.
I stayed in the room of the winery that started it all, Twisted Roots (after doing a little wine tasting at the Twisted Roots tasting room in Carmel Valley, of course). It has a wine rack on the wall with 10 of its wines over a bar with a mini-fridge, plus a fireplace, a couch and a small, romantic area with a table and two chairs between the bedroom and bathroom (too bad I was a solo traveler on this trip).
Everything about the place is plush. The grounds are as comforting as the rooms. There’s a small walkway through gardens, the centerpiece of which is a fire pit. Again, it’s too bad I was a solo traveler.
I did make it into Carmel, but quickly hustled back and had wine by the fire pit as the Carmel night snuggled itself around me. Like the fine Twisted Roots cabernet sauvignon that I was drinking, I was savoring every sip, every moment of the experience.
Overall, I had the feeling I was in an upscale hotel in Europe. Especially in the morning when I went to the lobby for the included breakfast – cereals, hard-boiled eggs, muffins, bagels, fruits and juices – sitting at a little round table in a room that was so quiet I could hear the soft clink of my knife hitting the plate while cutting the food. It reminded me of when I was recently in Switzerland.
With the European-style village of Carmel just a 10-minute walk away, its wide beach another five minutes in reach and Pebble Beach a 9-iron in the distance – well, a Tiger Woods 9-iron anyway, certainly not mine – the surroundings are as good as the hotel.
That is, if you can ever leave the hotel.
With all those bottles of local wines in the room (you DO have to buy them, by the way), the fire pit and wine and cheese tastings on Friday and Saturday evenings, it’s tempting to never leave the property.
Even in Carmel.
Vendange Inn & Suites
Address: 24815 Carpenter St. Carmel, CA
Rates: $100/night and up; rooms are standard queen and king, a deluxe king and a cottage suite
E-mail: [email protected]