Three Charming Guest Houses For Summer

From Carmel to the O.C., these small hotels are made for road-tripping



Lemon-printed wallpaper adorns the interior. PHOTO: Karyn Milllet.


Nomada Hotel Group has reimagined the classic motel in Paso Robles, originally established in 1947, as a unique bed-and-breakfast-style hotel with 26 cottages, all within walking distance of downtown tasting rooms and restaurants. The redesign maintains many historical aspects of the property while creating whimsical interior spaces to give the feel of a small-town retreat.

The “secret garden” has landscaped courtyards, fountains you can dip your feet in, and citrus and olive trees, all of which make a romantic, picturesque setting for evenings around the firepits sipping the local blends. The lobby market, Linus bikes, and stocked minibars create an ideal base for exploring the vineyards, which are just a short drive away. 425 Spring St., Paso Robles, 805-221-8377;  farmhousepaso.com.


The Attic Suite is entirely on its own floor. PHOTO: Tanveer Badal.


The Richland
Nestled in the historic Old Towne district of Orange County, The Richland pays homage to its early-20th-century roots while offering a luxurious modern interior, thanks in large part to Newport Beach–based Raili Clasen of Raili CA Design.

The newly opened boutique hotel boasts 12 guest rooms and suites, each with its own unique layout, and features handwoven rugs, original wood flooring, vibrant custom tiles, modern light fixtures, and stately craftsman furniture.


The Richland pays homage to its roots while offering a luxurious modern interior


For the ultimate home away from home, book the standalone two-bedroom cottage outfitted with a spacious living room and full kitchen. Mature olive trees and jasmine vine–covered pergolas around the property give the feeling of a magical idyll.

Not to be overlooked is the hotel bar and lounge space, where leather couches and dark wood panelling meet citrus grove patterned wallpaper, gingham-covered bar chairs, and pops of bright yellow decor. Sample a craft cocktail such as The Richland, made of bourbon, cane sugar, and bitters, or a Pardon My French, a blend of gin, gentian, blanc vermouth, and lemon, before dining on dishes including flatbread pizzas, a seasonal OC market salad, and The Richland burger on a brioche bun. 137 E. Maple Ave., Orange, 714-942-6110; therichland.com.


CARMEL BEACH HOTEL is made up of seven historic buildings. PHOTO: Josh Rose Photography.

Carmel Beach Hotel
As you enter Carmel Beach Hotel, the tone is set by views of Carmel Point through large picture windows and a driftwood-inspired bar. Offering a private club-like experience, Carmel-by-the-Sea’s newest getaway has on-site dining exclusively for hotel guests and is situated just 100 steps away from Carmel Beach.

Spread across seven historic buildings (with some structures dating back to the 1930s), the property has 26 guest rooms, including three suites, elegantly designed with Victoria and Albert soaking tubs and private decks so you can get some luxurious R&R while taking in the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the beach below.

The hotel’s designers, Carol Padham and Phyllis Martin-Vegue, sought inspiration from the pristine white beach, blue-grey hues of the ocean, surrounding cypress trees, and warm tones of Carmel stone, all of which play out throughout the decor. The custom walnut-grained mill-work includes the minibar and headboards running the length of the rooms, each outfitted with woven-back chairs and cafe tables.

Aubergine Executive Chef Justin Cogley of sister property L’Auberge Carmel oversees the Secoya restaurant, focusing on local seaside fare, cheese and charcuterie, and house dishes such as steak frites. The three-treatment-room spa offers a concise menu of therapeutic offerings. 13th and San Antonio Blvd., Carmel-by-the-Sea, 831-293-0388; carmelbeachhotel.com.


Feature image: FARMHOUSE revamped the classic motel.


This story originally appeared in the Summer 2023 issue of C Magazine.

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