Carmel-by-the-Sea is a unique and charming village, with shopping, dining and wine tasting opportunities mixed in throughout nooks and crannies all along the iconic Ocean Ave.

Along the way, you venture down seemingly hidden walkways to unleash treasures you had no idea were there in some cases.

With the interesting architecture of the town, it makes sense to have a lodging property that embraces everything Carmel has to offer.

Such is the case with the Pine Inn.

The history of the property makes the nostalgic feeling you get on the property more easily understood.

In 1889, the Hotel Carmelo was built in the undeveloped section of town on Ocean and Broadway (now Junipero). The hotel was built in the style of an elegant country inn.

As the town developed, the plan was to move the hotel four blocks down Ocean Avenue, getting the property closer to the beach. It was 16 years after the founding of the hotel, the decision was made to move the hotel.

The north wing of the hotel was dismantled, and the main building was then rolled along pine logs down the dirt road to its current location on Ocean and Monte Verde.

Within a year, the hotel was refitted and enlarged with a stable and a sun room looking out to the sea. The hotel was renamed the Pine Inn and that was the beginning of the desirable lodging property.

Since 1985, all rooms have been refurbished and in 1995, the restaurant was remodeled and reopened as Il Fornaio, a well-known Italian restaurant.

Even though everything has been remodeled, the Pine Inn is true to its history. As you move throughout the property, you get the feeling you could be back in time.

Our room was on the third floor and was accessible only by stairs – a bit of a haul with luggage (bell service is available if desired) – but worth the quiet and comfort.

The room was tasteful and colorful, with the past accented by our heater being a radiator. In so many ways, the Pine Inn excels at embracing the old time feeling.

Looking through our windows, you could enjoy an ocean view, and to the right, the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach was visible as well!

The rooms are spread out through the buildings, some right up the stairs from the lobby, some across one of the walkways and some in the courtyard area. It adds to the uniqueness of the Pine Inn.

Within the confines of the property, there are no less than seven shops/businesses to enjoy.

In the morning, Il Fornaio turns into the breakfast spot for Pine Inn guests – free with your stay – and offers not just your standard continental fare, but eggs, bacon, potatoes and waffles. It’s gives you a great base for the day in the comfortable, sun room setting.

The staff goes out of their way to make you feel welcome, as well as tend to pretty much every need you could have. We were always greeted by a smile every time we encountered a staff member, be it at the front desk or other places on the property.

As is the case with all lodging properties in Carmel-by-the-Sea, the proximity to the beach is a huge plus. On our first night, we walked down to the beach with our picnic basket, staked out a comfortable spot and enjoyed a beautiful California sunset.

The Pine Inn is also centrally located in the shopping district, allowing for the car to be parked during your stay as you enjoy the charm that is Carmel-by-the-Sea.

There is free parking in a lot across the street, another selling point for the area.

If you love Carmel like we do, make sure to spend some time at the Pine Inn. There many quality lodging options in Carmel-by-the-Sea, each offering something different from the others. But if you are looking for an authentic, old Carmel feel, you owe it yourself to experience the Pine Inn.

For more information, go to www.pineinn.com.

By Dennis Miller

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