Sitting in the lobby of the people-friendly and pet-friendly Cypress Inn in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, we overheard one question being asked over and over again. “Is Doris Day here?” The routine answer from the very gracious staff was, “I'm sorry, you missed her.” Although not physically present, her aura fills the halls and walls of this lovely hotel, which she co-owns, in downtown Carmel.
Doris’s music fills the air in the public spaces; posters of her many movies cover the walls; and the flat screen TV in Terry’s Lounge plays her movies during the day. None of this is the least overwhelming – it’s all part of the charm and warmth that the 1950’s screen and recording star brings to the sweet little hostelry that cherishes animals and coddles humans. If you love Doris Day like we do, it’s a reminder of why she was such a big movie star who remains an icon of talent and warmth today.
If you travel with a dog, you know how complicated (and expensive) it can be to find decent quarters for you and your best friend. At the Cypress Inn, it’s simple. There are a few rules you must agree to follow, such as never leaving the dog alone in the room and you are checked in. Make sure you sample treats for both of you from the generous treat jars at the registration desk.
Your room will be complemented with water bowls, treats and a neat doggie blanket to put at the foot of your bed for when Fido decides it is time to sleep with you. Our dog, Boomer, always starts in his own travel bed on the floor when we turn the lights off, but somehow finds his way into our bed after we fall asleep. The doggie blanket does its job.
“Dog-Very-Friendly” is the operative term at the Cypress Inn. The lobby is full of dogs of all sizes and pedigrees, sitting peaceably while their humans do their thing. Boomer accompanied us to dinner in the casual Terry’s Lounge, where we supped on several excellent small plates from their tapas menu, including crab cakes, mushroom strudel wrapped in a delicate pastry and smoked trout salad. Having just come from Sonoma, we accompanied our plates with one of the wines we had brought. As a guest of the hotel, there is no corkage fee. It was a lovely evening for the three of us; Boomer was especially fond of the smoked trout and crab cakes!
Our Innkeepers, Dennis LeVeet and Doris Day have made an obvious effort to make the hotel as comfortable as possible for their guests. The big main “Living Room” is filled with comfy-soft furniture, reading areas and a huge fireplace that was appreciated during our stay in cold, damp weather. The baby grand piano was not being used while we were there, but we had visions of Doris singing “How Much is that Doggie in the Window?” The dining areas, including the lounge, bar and main dining room, are similarly furnished, giving you the feeling of comfortable intimacy wherever you go.
Our first floor corner room, Number 112, had direct access to the street, yet was only a few steps from the lobby. We had a super comfy king bed, armoire with TV, fireplace and big bathroom with Jacuzzi. This is a bright and airy room, giving us views of the Carmel streetscape while we enjoyed the comforts of home. Each room is equipped with wifi, wet bar, mini-fridge and decanter of sherry, to help you, um, relax, after a hard day of, um, relaxing. If you are hungry, they have thoughtfully provided a complimentary bowl of fresh fruit and snacks.
Because of the weather, because we had done our sightseeing in Carmel before, and because we found the hotel so darn comfortable, we spent considerably more time than usual in our room and in the public spaces of the hotel. Each time we went to Terry’s Lounge or the Living Room, the mix of canines and humans was always fun to watch.
Each night’s stay includes breakfast from the generous buffet, handsomely laid out in the bar. Choices include fresh fruit salad, eggs, potatoes, yogurt, granola, coffee, fresh pastries and more. It takes energy to walk down to the beach and do all that shopping along Ocean Ave, so proper fueling is required! Do not miss the opportunity for a healthy and sumptuous start to your day.
There is Afternoon Tea available at an extra charge which includes tea sandwiches, homemade scones with jam & cream, cookies and a large selection of teas. This is a favorite of many guests to Cypress Inn.
Even if you don’t have a pet, you’ll love the Cypress Inn. A solo guest told us she found that the presence of people with their dogs added to the “humanness” of the experience. Dogs are a conversation starter and an easy way to meet others. As seasoned travelers, we can attest to the fact that we met more people here in a short time than at most other hotels where we’ve stayed. The charming Cypress Inn is indeed, people and pet friendly.
The Cypress Inn
Lincoln & 7th
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921