Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 27th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Hofsas House Hotel

stay1Bavarian charm and ideal locale create the perfect Carmel getaway

You wouldn’t know it from looking at it from street level, but Hofsas House Hotel in Carmel happens to have one of the most striking panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and portions of Carmel Beach than any other vacation portal in all of Carmel.

That’s just one of the many things about Hofsas that stand out. The other notables revolve around the hotel’s history—family-owned and prospering now for 60 years—and its Bavarian-inspired theme. (It really is like stepping into a European fairy tale.

Those things may make Hofsas House Hotel a major contender for an idyllic staycation spot for Santa Cruzans, but there really is something to be said about a successful family-owned property that values customer service. Owner/manager Carrie Theis grabbed the family business baton from family members before her and ran with it. Not only has she managed keep up the charm and spirit of this place, but to also help it thrive more in the 21st Century.

Beyond an impressive array of Internet booking specials, there have been notable upgrades to the property. A year-round heated pool—a rarity among most Carmel vacation spots—and heated saunas are a nice touch, but many of the spacious rooms themselves are fancifully decorated as if your mother or grandmother had laid their hands on then—most of them come with brick or stove fireplaces and kitchenettes. (A good spot for the family or a romantic getaway.) The hotel was built into a hill, hence the stunning view. Hofsas is also pet-friendly and, perhaps best of all, within walking distance from Downtown Carmel.

A recent weekend excursion here proved fruitful. Take note of six things worthy of your attention at and around this property.

1. Old-world Charm
If you can recall summer vacations with family members back in the day, when the day found you and yours heading to say, a cabin near the lake, you get that kind of cozy, down-home vibe here, but with a tad more perks. Be sure to indulge in the morning breakfast offerings as well as mid-afternoon notables in the lobby. It’s a great spot to meet other travelers and talk with the hotel staff.

stay22. Pilgrim’s Way Bookstore
Literally, just around the corner from Hofsas—Between 5th & 6th in Downtown Carmel—it remains the local go-to spot for both spiritual and contemporary books, and other publications. It offers a nice variety of gifts, too, and most days, you can find an intuitive reader on hand.

3. Kush Day Spa
Ask for one of the owners, John Jertberg. Trust me. Hands down, one of the best massage practitioners on the Central Coast. Beyond massage, facials, body treatments and other spa packages are offered. (Within walking distance of Hofsas.)

4. Little Napoli
Locals still dig it. Travelers continue to flock to it. Rich Pèpe gave birth to Little Napoli in 1990 and it is now considered iconic. Best of all: Some of the best service and Italian meals to be had here. Check out Vino Napoli, the roomy and diverse wine bar, right next door. For dinner, I recommend the Cannelloni Tricolore (Chicken, veggie & ricotta cannelloni with three sauces: marinara, alfredo & pesto) or “Hobo Stew” (braised peppery short ribs, potatoes, carrots, onions and veggies, with fresh potato gnocchi).

5. Wine Walk Passport
Those who might think of Carmel as still being just for the 55+ crowd, think again. The town actually boasts a lively social scene during the evening hours and much of that was sparked after a variety of wine bars opened over the last few years. You can nab a Wine Tasting Passport for $65—it entitles you to a $10 flight at each of the 10 tasting rooms (not bad, considering it’s a $100 value). There is no time expiration. Visit the Carmel Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center on San Carlos between 5th & 6th or inquire at the Hofsas House front desk.

6. Mundaka
Behold Mundaka. Frankly, it's one of the hippest culinary hotspots to hit Carmel in years. Specializing in Spanish-style tapas and--what's this?-- a DJ on hand during the later hours, it stands out for being both bold and diverse. (A DJ in Camel? It's true.) Much of the kudos can go to chef Brandon Miller, whose verve and creativity here are just a hoot. There's too many notables to list but whatever you do, savor these three: 1. Bravas (fried potatoes); 2. Pato (duck leg confit, bacon leek puree); 3. Bomba (house made sausage, mashed potatoes, mojo rojo). A feast on so many levels.

7. Carmelite Monastary
Most visitors flock to The Carmel Mission, but I encourage people to check out this unique haven just down the road on Highway 1. It is home to the order of nuns dubbed Sisters by the Sea. Built in 1931, it is actually one of the first Carmelite monasteries to spring up on the coast. Point Lobos is nearby. Fun fact: the nuns maintained the grounds and interior—be sure to relish the colorful flowers, nice array of lemon trees and the benches on hand for relaxation or meditation.

Stay tuned for more Carmel getaways.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Santa Cruz Gives

A look at the organizations we’re asking you to support in our new holiday giving campaign


Gratitude—For Each New Morning With its Light

The full moon of Wednesday brings light to Thanksgiving (Thursday) under the Sagittarius Sun and Mercury. Mercury in Sag offers humanity the message (Mercury) of thankfulness and joy (Jupiter). No other sign represents food, music and joy better than Sagittarius (only Pisces, when not in despair). Beginning on Thanksgiving, we can list what we’re grateful for. Then we can continue the list, creating a daily Gratitude Journal. What we are grateful for always increases in our lives. On Thanksgiving Saturn/Neptune square (challenging) is in full effect. This can manifest as traditions not being honored, disappearing, falling away. It can also create a sense of sadness, confusion, of things not working out as planned. It’s best to be as simple as possible. And to focus on gratitude instead. Gratitude is a service to others. It is scientifically and occultly a releasing agent. Releasing us from the past, allowing our future—the new culture and civilization, the new Aquarian laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarius, the Age of Friendship and Equality—to come forth. Gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution for humanity and the world’s problems.” The hierarchy lays great emphasis upon expressing gratitude. Gratitude illuminates all that is in darkness. Let us be grateful during this season together. Being, for others, the light that illuminates the darkness. A Poem by R.W. Emerson: We are grateful … “For each new morning with its light/For rest and shelter of the night/For health and food/For love and friends/For everything thy goodness sends.” (poem by R.W. Emerson). I am grateful for my family of readers.


The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program


Pluck of the Irish

Mid-century immigrant tale engagingly told in ‘Brooklyn’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


Second Street Café

Pies and tarts for all tastes—from traditional to adventurous


How are you preparing for El Niño?

Getting ready to buy some rain gear. Cory Pickering, Santa Cruz, Teaching Assistant


Fortino Winery

Cabernet and superb fruit wine from Fortino Winery


Tap Dance

West End Tap & Kitchen’s impressive menu to expand to Eastside location