Among the many, many things I love about living in Northern California is having the ability to jump in the car, drive a couple of hours and be in another world-famous destination. Last month, my husband and I did just that. We packed a few bags and headed south to Monterey County, for a romantic mid-holiday getaway, just the two of us.
I was asked to review the newly renovated Vendange Carmel Inn and Suites, located in the picturesque and abundantly charming village of Carmel-By-The-Sea.
This 18-room boutique inn is located between the heart of Carmel-By-The-Sea, less than a mile away, and Carmel Valley, a few miles inland. We stayed in this building, in a peaceful and very comfortable room.
Vendange Carmel caters to wine-loving couples (that’s us!). In keeping with that, children under the age of 18 are not allowed.
What is unique about Vendange – French for “grape harvest” – is that each room has different decor and it’s all wine-themed. In fact, Vendange Carmel is the first wine themed inn in the Carmel and Monterey area.
Brothers and co-owners, Brian and Jonathan Lee, came up with a clever marketing and design idea. They invited select local wineries to each decorate a guest room in a way that shows the individual winery’s character and style. Rooms are then named after the winery that designed them.
The wineries’ club members receive special rates when booking stays at Vendange Carmel. It’s a brilliant way to offer unique rooms – each with their own personality – while informing and enticing guests to visit these local Monterey county wineries.
Living in Sonoma Valley, I am no stranger to wine-themed decor. The decor of our room was darling and our room romantic. I loved the rustic ranch feel of our Holman Ranch room. Notice the horse patterned pillow. I learned that Holman is not only a winery but a horse ranch too.
The faux fur blanket on the bed was a personal favorite of mine, and I love the sheer polka dot curtains.
Two comfortable leather chairs with footstools face a small bar.
A the door leads to a cozy patio surrounded by lush trees and bushes. It’s an ideal place to enjoy a glass of Monterey County wine!
We always travel with our Wine Glass Writer to avoid the pitfalls of wine glass confusion. Apparently we didn’t want to forget our wine glass or where we were staying 😉
The Lee family cares about keeping lovely gardens for their guests to enjoy and admire. From these stunning fuchsia flowers to drought resistant lavender, Vendange Carmel is full of a variety of colorful plants and flowers.
Guests can choose to sit outside under the trellis and cozy up to the fire pit in the evening and perhaps enjoy a glass of local wine.
When you’re ready to explore central Carmel-By-The-Sea, head over to Ocean Avenue – about a 15 minute walk – and shop at all the darling boutiques.
Or just stroll through the neighborhoods and imagine which house you’ll buy when you win the California lotto.
My husband and I walked to the end of Ocean Avenue and ended up – guess where? The ocean.
What a gorgeous beach!
On a clear day, you can see for miles down the coast.
Later we returned to watch the sunset. What a show it was! Boy, was that gull in the right place at the right time.
As far as dining choices in Carmel, there are many. Lucky for us, a friend told us about Casanova. She said it was a must-visit. For as many times as we have been to Carmel over the years, I can’t believe this was our first time hearing about this adorable place.
Our friend said the gnocchi will make you cry. Never one to miss a food opportunity worthy of tears of joy, we ordered the gnocchi appetizer as soon as we sat down – a large order, just to be sure we had the full experience. While I didn’t shed actual tears, the gnocchi did leave a lasting impression on my carb-loving heart. They are the most lovely, light, and luscious gnocchi I have ever tasted. Do not miss this dish when you visit Carmel!
Speaking of eating, a lovely breakfast is included at Vendange Carmel. You may choose to dine in this darling room just off the lobby or take some breakfast goodies to your room.
Fresh fruits, yogurt, cereals, muffins and more are available to guests each morning.
In the evenings Vendange Carmel has a wine reception in this area each night during the high season and on Friday and Saturday nights during the low season.
I thoroughly enjoyed this romantic, quaint, affordable and comfortable wine-themed inn and will not hesitate to return.
Rates for Vendange Carmel Inn and Suites are very reasonable, starting at $100 per night, Sunday – Thursday ($150 per night Friday – Saturday). Visit their website for more information.
Have you had the pleasure of visiting Carmel-By-The-Sea?
Make it a rich day!
Disclosure: Our stay at Vendange Carmel Inn & Suites was complimentary. We paid for our own meals (except breakfast, which was included with the room) and incidentals. All opinions expressed here are my own, as always.