My friend Ben from One Mile at a Time had an objectively bad stay at the Hyatt Carmel Highlands. One reason he stayed there was because I encouraged it both in conversation and on my blog. So how could we possibly have such diametrically opposite experiences?
How Could Ben And I Have Such Different Experiences At The Hyatt Carmel Highlands?
I’ve written about the Carmel Highlands often over the years:
- Review: Hyatt Carmel Highlands 
- Review: Hyatt Carmel Highlands [Townhouse Spa Suite]
- A Rainy But Lovely Weekend In Carmel
- Review: Hyatt Carmel Highlands 
- My Favorite California Hyatt Is Now A Category 7
- My Favorite Hyatt In California
- Convalescing On The California Coast
- My Car Was Damaged In Hotel Parking Lot
Indeed, until COVID-19 it was my family tradition to visit twice per year, in February and November. But you may have noticed that there have been no reviews lately. In fact, I even wrote about cancelling my trip to the Hyatt Carmel Highlands over Thanksgiving due to pandemic-related concerns and the closure of the restaurant and room service.
Indeed, a cornerstone of my love for the Hyatt Carmel Highlands is breakfast at Pacific Edge. I love the dining rom, I love the food, and I love the service. I know the waiters and waitresses by name and they know me. They’ve seen my son grow up and I look forward to introducing them to my daughter.
But right now, the restaurant is closed as the hotel engages in hygiene theatre unrelated to COVID-19 or the health and safety of its guests. According to the hotel’s website, even room service or takeaway is not available. Without breakfast, which runs over $100/day but is covered by my Globalist status, I won’t stay at this hotel.
We can all agree that the hotel has some of the most amazing and beautiful views in the world. But it’s also remote, which presents an acute problem for guests when no food is available. There’s a Safeway about three miles down the road, but it’s nice not to have to prepare breakfast in the morning.
But breakfast and the view are not the only reason I like the Carmel Highlands. Indeed, the hotel suites are extremely practical for families with children. Just like I would not go to this hotel without breakfast, I also would not go without a confirmed suite upgrade.
As I wrote in my first review of the property, the standard rooms are fairly drab. In fact, some base rooms have no ocean view and no fireplace, which totally defeats the purpose of this hotel.
However, the “Townhouse Spa Suites” (what your Globalist suite certificates upgrade to) are so great for families. As the name implies, you have not just a suite with a living room and bedroom, but a townhouse. That includes two bathrooms, a downstairs bedroom, and a full kitchen.
When I travel with my kids we go out for breakfast and coffee but prefer to eat in. That’s our preference, but at most hotels that is not possible. However at the Carmel Highlands Inn we can cook our own dinner in the evening, which just works out better with a four-year-old and 10-month-old.
There are other things I like about this property too. Easy parking. Free charging for electric cars. Complimentary laundry. Whirlpools that my son loves. A decent gym. Walking through the Carmel Highlands (the hillside on which the hotel is built).
I’ve reviewed all my pictures and never was assigned a room with so poor an upkeep as Ben’s. There is no excuse for that. There is also no excuse for not offering food at least to go while indoor dining is once again permitted in Monterey County. And I readily admit the hotel is a bit on the dumpy side and a far cry from other Category 7 Hyatts like the Park Hyatt in Paris, Sydney, or Tokyo (or even the Ventana Big Sur just down the road on CA-1).
Nevertheless, I still love this hotel and will return.
I’m very sad that Ben had a bad stay at one of my favorite Hyatt hotels. I do believe the hotel is greatly overpriced. But, my family and I love Carmel, love the staff at this hotel, love Townhouse Suite, and will return…once the restaurant re-opens.
Stayed there 4 years ago in Thanksgiving time. We did not get upgraded to a suite. Our room was a king sized room with a balcony. The view was beautiful. The deco in the room was contemporary and the room was well maintained. The bathroom was not so much. I saw quite a bit wear and tear and it’s very basic. The globalist breakfast at the the restaurant was wonderful. Agreed the view is breathtaking. But facilities need some refresh. This could definitely be a 25000 points redemption, probably not at the top tier at 30000.
this hotel needs to go down to category 5. Its trashy and old and the service is horrendous. i think they need a new GM.
I own a timeshare here (1880 HRC points per year) but haven’t stayed at my home resort for awhile due to your guidance of no food. FYI – each night here on a timeshare stay is about 200 points for a one bedroom.
I booked the Hyatt Residence Club Breckenridge using in a 1 bedroom, 4 nights for 20 measly HRC points next month. Bottom line is that I can stretch my Hyatt Carmel one week timeshare points to about a month traveling off peak venturing other HRC resorts.
Without breakfast I agree it’s not a good deal. Also, while the fireplaces are nice to have, smoke from other units blows into the unit and smells like smoke. I still had a nice stay a few months ago (I upgraded to suite with certificate), I wouldn’t go there again until they include breakfast and have maid service again.
Perhaps Ben’s stay, and resulting bad PR could serve as a warning to other hotels that think they can continue to cut back on the guest experience, and blame it on dubious covid restrictions that have outlived their shelf life.
Agreed. Ben’s stay is inexcusable.
An interesting counterpoint to Ben’s review. Do you think that the hotel is overpriced, on points, cash, or both?
Both. I try to time stays when I can get a more decent cash rate, as I’d rather use 30K points at Ventana Big Sur.
Seeing that you stay at hotels less than 24 hours, you may not notice.
Looking forward to our trip to Damascus.
I grew up nearby, and it was considered a ‘fancy’ night out to dine there. Judging by your photos and reviews, the property is trading on its location as opposed to its quality. Much like the Hyatt Regency Monterey, it should be avoided.
The continued restaurant closures are absurd when most of the surrounding counties have indoor dining open at 50% capacity. I refuse to stay in any of them unless absolutely necessary. It is interesting how some properties are open for business (eg Hilton San Diego airport), Hyatt Incline but others make up BS excuses.