From the moment I saw the bowl filled with bone-shaped dog biscuits at the front desk –and the lady with two Yorkshire terriers in matching outfits sitting in the luxurious lobby– it was fairly apparent to me that the Cypress Inn is a (very) pet-friendly lodging.
Located in California’s charming seaside village of Carmel-by-the Sea (five miles from Monterey and Pebble Beach golf courses), the hotel is in fact, probably the most pet-friendly lodging I’ve ever stayed in. Pets are welcomed as warmly as guests by the friendly concierge and welcoming staff—and when checking in, dogs may get a biscuit, but guests receive a token for a free glass of Prosecco in Terry’s Lounge.
Opened in 1929, the inn has been a beloved “boutique hotel” long before there even was such a term. For the past 20 years it has been co-owned by actress/singer and animal activist, Doris Day and Dennis Lovett.
“Happy Hour” (4-6 pm) here is known as “Yappy Hour” in Terry’s Lounge, which is a part of the hotel. It’s popular with locals as much as those staying at the inn. During “Yappy Hour,” the hotel serves a meal for dogs at 5:00 p.m.(hamburger or chicken) while owners can sip on a handcrafted cocktail or a glass of local Monterey wine.
Although I didn’t have a dog (or pet) with me, I thoroughly enjoyed my cocktail and the social hour. Along with their owners, I met “Gertrude” (a black lab), and had my picture taken with Sheeba (she has her own Instagram account and business card). Everyone was friendly and open– chatting across tables inside, or outside on the pretty patio.
Of course, you don’t need a pet to enjoy and appreciate the inn’s sleekly retro Hollywood vibe and its cool Spanish colonial architecture. It’s fun to simply wander around, admire the beautiful Spanish tiles, the courtyards, and peruse the old photos and movie posters of Doris Day that tastefully decorate the walls throughout the legendary lodging. Near check-in there is also a tiny gift showcase that displays and sells Doris Day paper dolls, and Doris Day CDs. In the beautiful lobby later, I even heard Doris Day singing on the sound system–and on certain nights, there is talented and local live music performances (there’s a grand piano in the lobby).
Each of the 44 rooms are individually decorated and have different configurations; some have private entrances or verandas, some (like mine did) have fireplaces and Jacuzzis. But all have the same elegant charm, wonderful beds and bedding, plus free wi-fi, flat-screen t.v.s., plush bathrobes, and complimentary cream Sherry in a glass decanter. It’s also obvious the rooms have been updated with extra outlets near the bed.
My room was on the second floor—a cozy luxurious room with doors that opened to a Juliet balcony overlooking a pretty private courtyard.
At first, it looked like the Jacuzzi tub was part of the bedroom, but actually a heavy curtain could be pulled to separate it and the vanity from the bed. There was a separate room for the toilet and walk-in shower.
The Cypress Inn is in the heart of Carmel, a few blocks from Carmel Beach with many nearby shops, galleries and restaurants. But don’t overlook Terry’s Restaurant + Lounge at the inn; it is well regarded not only for its cocktails, but also for its food. Dinner there was delicious–from the local Castroville Artichoke salad to the Monterey Sand Dabs–served in a setting with the typical casual Carmel ambiance. I thoroughly enjoyed the meal and adored our friendly waitress, Kimberly, who was efficient, attentive, and fun!
Continental breakfast (included in the room price)–is also served in Terry’s Lounge exclusively for hotel guests. There’s a nice selection and good coffee–and as I indulged on fresh fruit and one of the hotel’s famous hot popovers, I even got to meet “Gigi”and “Bella” (the Yorkshire terriers I’d seen when checking in).
Room rates start at $279 and go up to $599 for a two-room suite. If it’s not occupied, ask to see the Queen Tower suite–lovely and unusual–with its beautiful views. For more information or to make reservations, check the website. You can also make reservations through Expedia or Travelocity.
Review and photos by Donna Tabbert Long who was a guest of the hotel while on an assignment in California. As always, all opinions are her own.