Hideaway: Continental in Carmel

One of the fire pits in the courtyard of the Hideaway.
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To check in at the Hideaway, a 24-room inn tucked along a tree-lined lane in Carmel-by-the-Sea, guests cross a cobblestone courtyard that feels more old-world Europe than modern-day California.

San Francisco's PlumpJack Group opened the Hideaway in April, adding the renovated Monterey Bay-area property to a hospitality-management portfolio that includes Napa Valley's Carneros Inn and the PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn. The tranquil bed and breakfast takes its cues from the surrounding community, a century-old artists haven with a pedestrian-friendly downtown and a white-sand beach that curves toward neighboring Pebble Beach.

Built on the bones of the former Cobblestone Inn, the Hideaway incorporates chic design materials, such as rustic wood; whiskey-hued leather; crisp, white fabrics; and bold floor tiles in shades of slate, black and blue.

The upscale inn welcomes guests with its cozy, contemporary queen, king and suite accommodations. Some rooms have fireplaces, and others offer dog-friendly amenities. Evening turndown service is included with a stay, and the accommodations overlook open-air tables and fire pit seating in the property's central courtyard.

On a recent hosted stay at the Hideaway, I sipped PlumpJack Group wines and sampled snacks sourced from the Cheese Shop, a Carmel mainstay for more than 40 years.

That local emphasis underscores the inn's sense of place and connects guests with its regional highlights. Free coffee from the Carmel Coffee Roasting Co. is available in the lobby throughout the day. The hotel's designers partnered with Carmel's Weston Gallery, which carries works by Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and other noted photographers, to choose the prints displayed in guestrooms and public spaces. Pocket-size cards at the front desk list local favorites for dining, hiking and more.

Staffers can arrange excursions such as cycling outings with Bay Bikes or guided studio walks with Carmel Art Tours. The Hideaway is just two blocks from Carmel's central boulevard, Ocean Avenue, so it's a great home base from which to explore. Major labels and independent designers fill downtown storefronts at Carmel Plaza, located one block from the inn. Cafes create menus around the seasonal ingredients harvested in the nearby Salinas Valley.

To taste blends by some of Monterey County's approximately 80 wineries, visitors can access over a dozen downtown Carmel tasting rooms on foot. Several working artists open their studios to those who wander through the quiet alleyways that connect the community's busier avenues.

Some guests also purchase picnic setups at the Hideaway and head to picturesque Carmel Beach. The scenic stretch of shoreline attracts surfers, dog-walkers, families, plein air painters and photographers drawn to the aqua waves. Bordered by bluffs and cypress trees, the bustling beach feels like a slice of the Mediterranean on California's coast.

Rates start at $199 per night. Visit www.hideawaycarmel.com.

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