The charm of Carmel-by-the Sea has been enjoyed by guests at Hofsas House for 60 years, and it is a property that offers a charming ‘flash from the past’ experience for guests who appreciate the ambiance of a truly European style hotel. A beautiful Bavarian-themed mural commissioned by hotel founder Donna Hofsas, painted by artist Maxine Albro, is the first thing guests see when arriving at the hotel. It is a property that has retained its original grace, while moving forward to implement state-of-the-art technology for visitor’s convenience.


Hofsas House

Hotel owner Carrie Theis, a recently elected member of the Carmel City Council, seems genuinely happy to be a successful innkeeper in one of America’s most beautiful sea side destinations. Her warm spirit and desire to make people comfortable can be seen and felt throughout the property. She talks with great pride about her Grandmother Donna’s dedication and hard work to create the hotel, as well as her family’s ongoing efforts to continue the history of Hofsas House. What began as three small bungalows in 1947 has blossomed into a successful 38 room tourist destination, offering the only heated swimming pool with a dry sauna in the community.

Carmel is a classic example of the term international tourist destination. There is such a disarming ‘around the world’ quality in Carmel, and as you walk through town it is common to hear four or five languages being spoken within a five minute period. “Our property appeals to a variety of guest, and a large number of guests who stay with us each year are from Europe,” said Theis.


Maxine Albro Hofsas House Mural

The continental breakfast, which features delicious European pastries from a local bakery with fresh fruit, yogurt, juice and wonderful coffee, is better than you would find in most restaurants. Although Carmel offers some of the finest restaurants on the coast, Hofsas House guests have the option of selecting a room with a cozy fireplace, and a kitchen with cooking utensils that enables them to prepare a private dinner in their room. Delicious food items are available at Nielsen Bros. Market, The Cheese Shop, Trio Carmel for fantastic oil & balsamic products, wine rooms filled with wines for perfect food paring, and additional gourmet shops that are all within walking distance of the hotel.


The Cheese Shop

Places of interest are many, and include the beautiful Carmel Mission, where Father Junipero Serra is buried, featuring a museum containing a history of his life. Just down the road you will find the Mission Ranch and Restaurant, where sightings of owner Clint Eastwood are anything but rare, and if you are seeking wonderful theatre you may enjoy the Forest Theatre Guild performances. Carmel is rated in the top-10 art destinations in the US, and has more then 100 art galleries to visit.

Carmel Mission

Carmel Mission

The streets in Carmel are lined with boutiques, and unique shopping opportunities. A magical venue that any woman would love is Ajne, a brilliantly designed fragrance shop in the Court of the Fountain Center, where co-owners Jane Hendler and husband Rex Rombach blend natural oils into allergen-free fragrances that are divine, and just for you. Heart 2 Heart showcases chic style items for women, and if you forgot your sun bonnet visit The Hat Shop. Another fun spot not to be missed is the Cheese Shop in the Carmel Center that bustles with activity and free samples. Cheese Shop owner R. Kent Torrey loves to assist patrons with cheese and wine information and selections.

Mundaka Smoked Sardine Salad

Mundaka Smoked Sardine Salad

Carmel has a treasure trove of restaurants to choose from, and Mundaka is where Executive Chef Brandon Miller is serving up some of the best Tapas on the planet, accompanied by freshly made sangria, local wines and signature cocktails. Lunch at Carmel Belle offers delicious home-made soups and a congenial vibe. But, if you feel like a short drive to Pacific Grove, The Beach House co-chefs Briana Sammut and Guillaume D’Angio will dazzle you with their California-Mediterranean dishes. The views from this romantic restaurant at sunset are beyond spectacular.

Blair Pinot Gris

Blair Pinot Gris

For wine lovers the Carmel Wine Walk, offered through the Chamber of Commerce, entitles the bearer a passport to sample wines in a variety of wine rooms at a very affordable price. Currently, the wine rooms include Blair Estate, Caraccioli Cellars, Dawn’s Dream, De Tierra, Figge Cellars, Galante Vineyards, Manzoni Cellars, Scheid Vineyards, Shale Canyon, Silvestri Vineyards, Vino Napoli, and Wrath. The Passport Flight vouchers provide a Wine Walk flight at your choice of any 9 of the 12 tastings rooms. This strolling and sipping adventure is not only delicious, but very educational. The people pouring in these rooms know their wines, and are happy to answer questions and provide information on the Carmel area wine scene.

While on vacation having a home-away-from-home to relax in at the end of a busy sight seeing, shopping or beach day is key for a memorable experience. The staff members at Hofsas House are wonderful and strive to make this happen.



San Carlos Street,

Between 3rd & 4th

Carmel, CA 93921

(800) 221-2548


By Bonnie Carroll