Just one turn off of the iconic Pacific Coast Highway, with the ocean glimmering through the light early-morning fog leading to its property, you’ll turn in to find Carmel Mission Inn. The inviting 165-room boutique hotel is a cozy pet-friendly escape within the seaside community of Carmel.
This is a perfect year to visit Carmel Mission Inn, especially as a first-time guest, as the property is coming off of a multi-million-dollar full-scale renovation. The refresh touched on the charmingly chic property’s lobby and public areas, 7,000 square feet of event and meeting spaces, and the pool and courtyard. The renovation also brought a new signature restaurant, Shearwater Tavern.
The lobby–though mostly decorated in peaceful earth tones just as you would find while relaxing at a nearby Central Coast beach–has pops of colorful décor from the millennial pink chaise lounge to the abstract paintings hanging on a gallery wall and the multi-colored rug. These touches bring a California coastal ranch aesthetic, perfectly accompanying the iconic and highly photographed colorful statue of a California dairy cow accenting the front entry.
Rooms and Amenities
Beyond its traditional guest rooms, Carmel Mission Inn also has two family suites, three mountain-view suites, king patio-facing rooms and and king balcony rooms. The rooms are a modern reflection of natural elements of Carmel’s rolling hills and the Cypress trees surrounding the property with small pops of blue and orange colors enhancing each room with a mid-century modern influence.
The upgrades and modern decor don’t take away from the comfortability of the boutique property. Each room features complimentary Wi-Fi, a mini refrigerator, a coffee maker with pods and Bigelow teas, a 49-in. flat screen HDTV and eco-friendly bath amenities.
Select rooms feature a private walk-out balcony, some with pool or mountain views. Each room now features new wood laminate flooring, fresh furnishings, wall coverings and lighting. The beautifully modern bathrooms are outfitted with contemporary lighting, silver fixtures and large wall-sized well-lit mirrors.
The property’s boutique label does not mean a lack in size nor amenities. The Inn features an open-to-the-public event space; sundeck with a heated pool, hot tub and poolside service; full-service dining from Shearwater Tavern (which has quickly become a local favorite hot spot); outdoor fire pits; and EV-charging stations. Guests also get to enjoy a newly renovated fitness center, fitted with state-of-the-art equipment including Peloton bicycles and a newly refurbished outdoor pool and spa.
As a part of the Inn’s renovation, a huge emphasis went into developing and introducing Shearwater Tavern. What’s called a California pub may sound casual, but quality of the food and modern atmosphere is anything but. The beautifully designed space has geometric-shaped flooring and a fireplace center divider illuminating the restaurant. Along with the new restaurant concept came the appointment of globally trained Executive Chef Fabian Di Paolo, who uses European and Caribbean influences on some of the classic dishes for the restaurant’s new breakfast, happy hour and dinner menus.
Whether it’s for a long-awaited dinner date, a quick appetizer or a to-go option to eat in your room, you’ll be thrilled with anything you choose. For dinner, try the short rib tagliatelle pasta with shredded short rib ragu, one of the most ordered items on the menu, or the grilled Pacific salmon with roasted local vegetables and smoked maple plantain miso puree.
To sip, the signature cocktails, rotating each season, are divine. Perfect for summer, enjoy the Delayed Flight, made with Tito’s Vodka, grapefruit, Aperol and lime, and the Lavender Fields is crafted with Bombay Sapphire gin, lemon, lavender and a touch of honey.
In addition to new dinner menus, Shearwater Tavern’s popular happy hour, which takes place from 4 to 5:30 p.m. every Tuesday through Saturday, has also received a flavorful refresh. Discounted small plates from $5 to $8 are available, and the tavern will continue to offer locally crafted beer for $6 and house wine for $8 per glass on its happy hour menu.
Shearwater Tavern is open to the public and to guests.
3665 Rio Rd.
Carmel, CA 93923