Hofsas House Hotel Celebrates 70-Year
Family Heritage, Carmel-by-the-Sea
Carmel and Monterey, CA is a frequent day-trip region from the
Bay area, and is a special, spiritual place by the sea.
|Hofsas House Hotel View, Carmel and Monterey, CA |
With each trip I take, I find something different to
explore. I am certain my daily
influences every year lead to these new discoveries. My favorite places to wander are the historical,
friendly main-street, also known as Alvarado Street, in Downtown Monterey. I
also enjoy the European-style Ocean Avenue in Downtown Carmel. Each place has its
own personality and style. This visit,
be it just an opportunity for an overnight-stay, led me to an entirely new
My overnight stay in Carmel, CA brought me two days of an
in-depth experience, and many conversations with locals. My hotel, Hofsas House Hotel, is a convenient
four-blocks away from Ocean Avenue in Downtown Carmel. I became acquainted with
Carmel in a different way. This travel review I saw from Travel Pulse news is
spot on – these are my insights from this trip.
The Hofsas House Hotel, Celebrates Family Heritage.
|Hofsas House Hotel, Carmel, CA|
I was drawn to the 70-year family-heritage celebration this year,
created by Donna Hofsas, and handed down to her only son, and his wife, Jack
and Doris, as well as the third generation of her grandchildren, Scott and
Carrie Theis. It was not easy in the
1950’s to build this type of hotel in Carmel, and acquiring all of the
local community-approvals and permits required, pushed Donna Hofsas to develop the hotel
through strength and persistence.
People may still stay in one of the original cottages Donna
created with her husband, called the family suite 9/10. I enjoyed learning the history of how this
hotel was developed from Donna’s granddaughter, Carrie Theis, General Manager.
I immediately connected with Carrie, and loved the local Carmel community
stories, as well as the stories of when Carrie lived in the Bay Area in her
early years. Carrie spent her summers
helping her grandmother with jobs, like greeting their guests, and helping out
at the front desk.
|"Leisure With Dignity" Mosaic Crest created by Fred Hofsas|
|"Welcome" Hofsas House Hotel Lobby|
My family history, and recent trip to Germany, makes this
discovery of this Bavarian style Hofsas House Hotel even more special to
me. My own surprise when driving up to
the hotel entrance was that it is located on these hilly Carmel streets. There is convenient and complimentary parking
on site, easy to navigate steps, and pet-friendly.
Everyone is greeted by a warm and friendly Bavarian-style welcome
mural, that Donna Hofsas commissioned painter Maxine Albro to create. Albro
also has an art piece at the Coit Tower in San Francisco. One will find more
paintings in the lobby, the front of the hotel, and even the headboard in Room
I found my hotel room quite large and comfortable. I simply turned my huge, oversized, and super
comfortable chair to face the window, and spent much of my time spell-bound by
the Monterey bay views – all whilst looking out my large window and writing
with my laptop.
|Welcome Mural at Hofsas House by Maxine Albro|
|Hofsas House Hotel Inside Room|
|Wine and Chesse Starter, Hofsas House Hotel |
|Hofsas HouseHotel, Fireplace Carmel CA|
It is convenient to open the top-half of the Dutch door for air
and light. My first night sunset over
the bay was glamorous, yet, there are no guarantee of sunsets, so I was
grateful to witness one my first night.
|Sunset, Hofsas House Hotel, Carmel, CA |
And, if all of this is not enough, the delicious morning goodies
of pastries, juice, and coffee await guests in the lobby entrance area. It is
your choice whether you will sit and chat over the pastries, or fix a small
basket and go back to your room. Coffee and tea are always available all
day. I had a small kitchenette with a
microwave, as well as a refrigerator to keep my items like wine, cheese, and
lunch items in.
I love the personal connection and energy I found throughout the
property. The employees are very helpful
with directing you to parking, things to do, and tips on traversing the
city. Remember to use the balcony look-out
area to sit around outside your room.
There is a heated pool, and even a meeting room available for small groups
– for mindful retreats and family reunions.
|Morning Pastries, Juice, Coffee|
What Made Carmel Different This Time?
Carmel is a European-style small village that is tucked away in
the hills next to Monterey Bay, and the main street leads to Carmel Beach white
sands. There’s a variety of tasty food, wine, and retail scenes to choose
from. Most visitors enjoy day visits,
and stay within the confines of the main-street, Ocean Avenue.
What did I do different? I
walked back and forth on each of the side streets crossing Ocean Ave. I had the
historic walking tour map in hand, and insights from Carrie our Hotel Manager.
Lastly, I caught fantastic sights of murals, statues, and unusual buildings,
along with the normal sights of Ocean Avenue.
|Carmel Parks and Statues|
Carmel is an artist community, and it is easy to visit many
studios and galleries. I discovered winetasting rooms interspersed between the art, shops and eateries. This time I tried Scheid Vineyards, a
family-run winery in Monterey County, Dawns Dream Winery who supports women
non-profits, and a newer tasting room, Carmel Road, who is in collaboration
with Drew Barrymore. These vineyards had
some amazing stories that were entertaining while tasting.
|Wine Walk Carmel, CA|
|Liquor Flavored Chocolates, All About Chocolates, Carmel|
One item, is I wanted to say thank you to a post by @VisitCarmel
on Instagram, about the City Hall building. I mentioned to Carrie about my
first unsuccessful walk by, and she quickly told me to go one more block
over. I found it - the quaint Carmel City Hall.
|Carmel City Hall |
There are frequent stories of the rich and famous living in
Carmel. One of my favorite places to drop in, is the Cypress Inn owned by Doris
Day. Carrie told me about the local’s 96th
birthday celebration, the day I was there, held at Carmel High School.
|Cypress Hotel and Doris Day Carmel CA|
|Don't forget to drive around Monterey Bay: Pebble Beach, Lover's Point, Pacific Grove|
One of my favorites, and another hotel-staff recommendation, was
Brophy’s Tavern, a local sports pub across the street from the hotel that is
comfortable and ideal, even for solo-women travelers. I enjoyed picking up a light lunch at the 5thStreet Deli as well. It would be very convenient for one to take these on hikes
or beach picnics.
|Brophy's Tavern Carmel CA |
|Brophy's Tavern |
|Go Where Everyone Knows Your Name Carmel, CA|
|Lugano's Swiss Bistro Carmel|
My Insider Tips:
Don’t forget to
walk around and look at windows of the Barnyard Shops which is a few minutes south
of downtown Carmel before taking off after dinner.
My idea for future trips are going on
the guided Food Tasting Tour and Carmel Walks. Each may be reserved online, and
start at 10 am in the morning.
My only challenge on this trip was that I found it difficult to
leave my room in my hotel and explore Carmel!
When I did, I found so many treasures in my new routing.
There are several Hofsas House Hotel special packages to choose from - Mindful, Artsy, Wine and Chocolate for travelers. Or call me to arrange the details of a small group two-night mindful retreat and reunion. People even stopped me on the Carmel streets and asked me questions because they thought I was a local!
Carmel is surrounded by hills of beauty that hikers enjoy, as
well as water and beach activities. It
is also a spiritual and relaxing place to turn off the electronic devices, and
enjoy mindful conversations with the the locals. ~ The Fun Tour Guru
|Is someone missing a scooter? Another Instagram follow is Chef Pepe, Carmel |
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written by, pictures courtesy of travel writer Donna West aka FunTourGuru. I
was a guest of Hofsas House Hotel, celebrating 7 decades of European
hospitality, however all opinions are my own. Enjoy more Carmel pictures on Instagram. Thank you to Carrie and everyone for this extra special retreat.
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