Vinophiles seeking a side of romance should hit the brakes at Vendange Carmel Inn & Suites. The new and improved 18-room boutique property—centrally located in the seaside hamlet of Carmel—boasts of elegance, charm and genuine hospitality, with a finish that lingers long after checkout.
A recent overhaul from the inside out took Vendange from drab to fab, thanks to the addition of soundproof walls, double memory foam beds, Spanish marble in the bathrooms, lushly landscaped gardens and a refurbished lobby. The real buzz, however, is about the inn’s creative approach to theming each room after a local winery.
Step into “Blair Estate,” for example, and find the winery’s family heritage sprinkled throughout, plus custom repurposed wine furniture, and a warm reddish-brown and gold “B” color palette that coincides with Blair’s sophisticated label. Each thematically decorated room also offers bottles from their particular winery for purchase.
Complimentary amenities include Wi-Fi, a wine and cheese reception from 5-7 p.m. (weekends only), ample parking, vouchers for free (and two-for-one) tastings at the nearby wineries, and breakfast—complete with fluffy, locally baked pastries and bagels, fresh fruit and yogurt, plus coffee, tea and OJ.
CHECK-IN: 24815 Carpenter Street in Carmel, 831-624-6400, vendangecarmel.com
CHECK OUT: Flaherty’s Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar. A short jaunt from Vendange—just long enough to work up an appetite—and you’ll arrive at the original “sustainable seafood restaurant.”
With a tenured chef who’s been at the eatery for nearly three decades and a convivial ambiance, you can sit back, relax and enjoy your meal (I recommend the creamy lobster bisque, traditional cioppino, and Chesapeake Bay crab ravioli with grilled scallops). One taste of Flaherty’s and you’ll be hooked for life.
DON’T MISS: Your grape escape wouldn’t be complete without some sipping and swirling at Carmel’s numerous tasting rooms, dotted throughout downtown and the surrounding valley, and each ripe with character.
From velvety Pinot Noirs to snappy Sauvignon Blancs, there’s bound to be a bottle for all. Penny pinchers (and responsible sippers) would be remiss not to hop on the Carmel Valley Grapevine Express, which takes passengers from downtown Carmel through the valley’s wine corridor and onto downtown Monterey—all for $2.50 each way. Cheers to that!
Blog Post by Real Weddings Managing Editor, Megan Wiskus.
Photos courtesy of respective companies. Wine tasting photos courtesy of carmelcalifornia.com.
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