Pros and Cons to Hofsas House Hotel in Carmel-by-the-Sea

I’ve been fortunate to have a special “place” that Mike and I have visited since we met. I was going on two years of writing on this website when I was invited on my first press trip. Mike and I had been together for merely months and I decided to treat the “plus one” invite as my first Valentine’s Day gift to him. He joined me as I covered the Hofsas House Hotel in Carmel-by-the-Sea. 

Fast forward a decade later, throw in a marriage, two moves, two dogs, and a child, and we returned once again to the Hofsas. We’ve all been back numerous times over the past ten years including right before the pandemic began, during my pregnancy, with Mabel, and three times with the dogs. This trip? The whole gang in tow. We each adore any chance to get up to Hofsas and it’s ideal for both children and dogs. 

It was our first time staying in their King suite with a full kitchen. Our last few visits found us in the ocean suite with a private patio. As I sipped my coffee watching the fog roll by, I got to thinking about each unique room. Both offer plenty of great functions yet have pros and cons. Especially depending on how many humans and canines are joining, what you want to do during your stay, and factors like that. 

Room 36: King Room with Private Balcony and Ocean View

Pros: 

  • Street level with parking spots (although public street parking) right outside the door makes for easy unloading and overall ease if you need access to a car.
  • Street level so no stairs. ADA accessible as well.
  • This has always been a relatively quiet suite. Except for the one con (see below), you don’t get a lot of foot traffic or overnight auto traffic.
  • We take full advantage of the private balcony. The view is pristine and intimate. It’s great to eat al fresco or sip tea knowing it’s your own haven.
  • The vanity is spacious enough to set up a baby or toddler in a crib or playpen.
  • It’s usually brisk in Carmel-by-the-Sea so it’s cozy to warm up in front of the fireplace.
  • There’s a fridge and coffee maker also in the vanity. We like to eat out when staying in this room but bring some treats to keep cool like fruit and sodas. It’s also helpful if you’re nursing or need to keep milk/formula chilled.
  • There’s a bathtub and shower.
  • The floor is carpeted which was useful as Mabel was still learning to walk.
  • This is a beautiful room for a short stay.

Cons:

  • You’ll hear some noise from the street as cars drive by. Good to know if babies or dogs are light sleepers.
  • As mentioned, the parking spaces right outside room 36 are not reserved for the hotel. We’ve had mostly good luck parking outside the door. If not, we quickly unload and then move into the Hofsas lot.
  • There’s not a full kitchen so this is a great suite if you plan to eat out.

Room 21: King Room with Full Kitchen and Twin Bed

Pros:

  • This feels like a studio apartment. We just returned from staying in this suite with Mabel and the dogs. It’s ample and there was plenty of room for us all.
  • A large king bed plus a twin is perfect for a big family.
  • Our kitchen had a full fridge, stove, oven, microwave, sink, and coffee maker. We also had utensils, plates, and some cooking ware. This would make for a fun day out at the beach then return home for a laid-back night and cook in.
  • This room also requires no stairs to access.
  • We were right near the ice and cola machine. Helpful when we have someone who only likes her water with ice. 
  • Instead of carpeting, the floor is laminate wood. This was helpful as we came in and out a lot with sandy feet (and paws).
  • Did I mention the full kitchen? This is an ideal nook for a family. It would be fun to spend a longer duration here.

Cons: 

  • There are two communal tables right outside the door. Many guests utilize the space to chat and smoke. If you’re sensitive to this, I recommend room 36.
  • The housekeeping station is also nearby so there’s activity from the staff. Our dogs loved to bark hello each time they innocently walked by. Something to be mindful about if your dogs are also loud greeters.
  • This is a shower-only room. Mabel is versatile and luckily loves the shower.

More to Explore at Hofsas House Hotel

Hofsas House Hotel has 37 rooms in total including a stand-alone cottage. Each is unique with some having a bathtub. Explore each option here. Their daily breakfast is from eight to ten am. Beginning at nine, you can request a tray be brought to your room. There are locally sourced pastries (Mabel was a fan of the muffins), fruit, yogurt, tea, hot cocoa, and coffee. 

Speaking of the coffee, I’m impressed at their excellent roast. Carmel Valley Roasting Coffee makes organic, fair-trade coffee, and its decaf is water-processed. Hofsas brews them in the morning (so the lobby smells magical) and filters are in each room for guests. 

Another perk to Hofsas is Forest Hill Park half a mile up the road. They have a playground Mabel finished the day at while Hammy and Nova took a load off. As we potty train, I breathed a sigh of relief that they have restrooms (nice, too). 

A Weekend by the Sea

I admit: I’m singing Sondheim’s By the Sea in my head as I write that. No meat pies were made but we did enjoy a lovely afternoon by the sea. It’s our favorite reason to stay at Hofsas as we can easily walk or drive to the Carmel River State Beach. Dogs are allowed off-leash and we set up our tent for the day. We all even let a few waves soak us.

The beach is just under two miles from Hofsas. We drove and parked for our long day. On Sunday, we all went on foot to the village and beach. The stroller was along for Mabel, and we made it work with the pups who were loving life. We grabbed to-go breakfast from the Village Corner Bistro and sat on the white sand. The dishes are tasty and the staff is extremely hospitable. 

Before we headed home on Sunday, we strolled downtown Monterey. Revival Ice Cream makes their famous Bee’s Knees ice cream with honeycomb, bees wax, and caramel swirls. It’s always worth the long line and I realized this trip they’re a gluten-free facility. My two-scoop cone was heaven. 

Stay in Carmel-by-the-Sea 

Hofsas House Hotel and Carmel-by-the-Sea will always have a piece of my and my family’s hearts. We may keep it simple but isn’t that the best vacation?