Friday, January 2, 2015

16th Annual Carmel Inns of Distinction - 2014 - Part 3 -Tally Ho Inn & Happy Landing Inn

Pin ThisShare on Google Plus

Tally Ho Inn
West Side Monte Verde at Sixth Avenue
Amenities:  Complimentary Breakfast
Ocean View Rooms, Parking Garage

Just three short blocks northwest from Cypress Inn is Tally Ho Inn.  As with many of Carmel's inns, Tally Ho also has a history.

It began life as guest cottages for the overflow of visitors to the Pine Inn in the early 1900’s.  The amenities in the early 1900's included cottages equipped with heat and hot water. Outdoors there was a putting green and tennis courts.

It has changed hands a number of times over the years even becoming a personal residence in 1945 for Jimmy Hatlo, a New York cartoonist known for creating “They’ll Do It Every Time,” and “Little Iodine,” and his wife. 

The Hatlo's joined the Carmel cartoonists' colony which had grown to include Gus Arriola ("Gordo"), Frank O'Neal ("Short Ribs"), Hank Ketcham ("Dennis the Menace"), and Bill Bates.

The Hatlo's hired Hugh Comstock to remodel the cottage into a mansion.  Comstock, using his Post-Adobe method, added several rooms, a patio and deck to the back of the inn. The Hatlo's also added an outdoor fireplace and created an English garden.  

In 1957 watercolor artist Paul Blaine Henrie who was living in Carmel at the time, painted the picture above which shows the house from the western elevation where the additions were made by the Hatlo's.  

The Hatlo's sold their home around 1952 to Tom McCrea the brother of actor Joel McCrea who was famous for his roles in the Beach Movies of the 1960's.  McCrea converted the house back into an inn calling it by its original name, Tally Ho Inn.  

Richard Gunner purchased the inn in 1993 and made more upgrades and added a new wing.

During the Inns of Distinction Tour guests wandered the grounds and enjoyed a taste of the 2013 Boekenhoutskloof The Wolftrap Syrah - Mourvedre - Viognier from South Africa poured by Carmel Crossroads wine room, Southern Latitudes.

The relationship with the Tally Ho Inn and the Pine Inn from the early 1900's still continues today with the Pine Inn Restaurant Il Fornaio providing a complimentary full American breakfast buffet for hotel guests Monday through Friday.  Inns Of Distinction guests enjoyed Il Fornaio pizza, and tomato and mozzarella caprese.

Open for viewing was Room 104 a Superior King in the new wing. This over-sized  ocean view room features a bed cornice,

an eclectic mix of Asian 

and English antiques.

A very large flat-screen TV
over the marble fireplace, and 

a spacious bathroom with soaking jetted tub.

The second room open was in the old wing, part of the Hatlo mansion from the 1940's. 

This Deluxe King Suite, Room 108, features a sitting room with fireplace, 

fold-out sofa bed, refrigerator, wet bar and private outside deck with ocean view.  Note to self.  If staying at Tally Ho, order dinner to go from one of Carmel's incredible restaurants and eat on the patio of Room 108 while watching the sun set!

Walk just one block north on Monte Verde to our next inn Happy Landing Inn. 

Happy Landing Inn 
North Side Monte Verde between Fifth and Sixth 
Amenities:  Complimentary Breakfast In Your Room,  
100% Dog Friendly, Unique Rooms Honoring American Icons

Happy Landing Inn was originally built for $11,000 in 1926.  It was built as a private home for two sisters, Ms. Leeb and Ms. Blauer, from San Jose.

The main building of the sister's original compound served as the family living room, dining room, kitchen and bath,

while the detached buildings surrounding the garden served as bedrooms for their family members.  

In the 1930’s they sold their family compound to Velma Craig who made the property into a boarding house.  Mrs. Craig subsequently sold the property in 1975 to the Thorngate family who turned it into an inn, naming it Happy Landing Inn.

The inn has changed ownership over the years, most recently in 2014 when Mark and Shari Lasher purchased  Happy Landing Inn. The Lashers completely remodeled the main house/lobby, garden, and each of the guest rooms.   

It is this stylish inn with its sleek new look and seven guest rooms, each uniquely decorated honoring a great American icon, we tour during the Carmel Heritage Society's 16th Annual Inns of Distinction.  

Our first stop the charming lobby of Happy Landing
 with its fashionable antiques where 

PortaBella General Manager Luiz Ferreira is hard at work serving up chefs Lamb Bourguignon 

and Raspberry Panna Cotta.

Step outside to enjoy a taste of Manzoni Vineyard wine poured by Mark Manzoni whom you will see regularly at the Manzoni tasting room in town.  

While we enjoyed touring six of the guest rooms we had the joy of listening to Breanna Eddy who crooned soft jazz classics that transported us back to the time of Monroe, Martin, and Hepburn.

The following video is a highlight of the style and comfort you can expect when you stay at Happy Landing Inn.  

A few blocks north of Happy Landing Inn is our next inn, Carmel Country Inn.

First picture front of Happy Landing Inn with sign courtesy of
Happy Landing Inn
Second picture front building of Happy Landing Inn from courtyard courtesy of Happy Landing Inn.
All other photographs by L. A. Momboisse - 

16th Annual Carmel Inns of Distinction - 2014 - Part 2 - The Cypress Inn

Pin ThisShare on Google Plus

Cypress Inn 
Northeast Corner Lincoln and Seventh Avenue 
Amenities:  Complimentary Breakfast, Eco-conscious, 
Ocean View Rooms, Pet Friendly Rooms
Terry's Lounge and Restaurant on Site

The Cypress Inn also enjoys a rich history. It begins in 1906 with artist Sydney Jones Yard. 

Sydney Jones Yard was born in Rockford, Illinois in 1856. In the 1880's he moved to California and opened a pair of photography studios in San Jose and Palo Alto. In 1898 he discovered the majestic oaks of Monterey County, and married Fannie M. Estabrook.   

Late in 1906 Yard began work building a rustic home/studio for himself and his wife on the south side of Ocean Avenue between Dolores and Lincoln in what had come be known as the artist village of Carmel-by-the-Sea. On January 1, 1909, Yard suffered a heart attack and died in front of the Carmel Post Office.

The following year the Yard Studio was purchased by another artist, Mary DeNeale Morgan.

Ms. Morgan was born in San Francisco in 1868.  She studied at the California School of Design under Virgil Williams, the same mentor of Christian Jorgenson. 

After the 1906 earthquake Carmel received an influx of artists. Morgan among them.  Shortly after she arrived in Carmel, she organized the Arts and Crafts Club.  Their clubhouse occupied what is now the Golden Bough Playhouse and was the first cultural center in Carmel.  Six week art classes taught by Ms. Morgan cost $15. 

In 1910, Ms. Morgan had the Yard Studio moved from Ocean Avenue, down Lincoln to what would later become the courtyard addition to the Cypress Inn.

Morgan Building 1993 before it became Courtyard of Cypress Inn photo MorganBuilding2lot16-Copy_zpsd06d9033.jpg

The wooden Yard Studio, the first artist studio built in Carmel, was the nucleus of the Morgan Studio. Ms. Morgan made additions to the Yard Studio in 1920, 1936, and 1937.

In 1927 she and her sister-in-law, artist Charlotte Bodwell Morgan were two of the founding members of the Carmel Art Association.  This organization is the oldest continuously operating gallery in Carmel.    

On October 10, 1948, while lunching at The Blue Bird Cafe in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Ms. Morgan suffered a heart attack and died.

The Morgan Studio remained in the possession of the Morgan family until around 1998 when it was purchased by Cypress Inn Investors.  The Morgan Studio was demolished, making way for the courtyard suite addition to the Cypress Inn in 2001.

Cypress Inn Courtyard addition on lot of Morgan Studio - 2001 photo 0262_zps3b5b60cc.jpg

The memory of Mary DeNeale Morgan lives on even if her house does not.  Just north of the Cypress Inn is a court named after the artist.  

The original building of the Cypress Inn was built much earlier than 2001 and also has a history. 

In 1927, Dr. Rudolph Kocher, had a building constructed for his medical practice on the northwest corner of Dolores and Seventh Avenue.  The building was the first of three commercial structures designed by Blaine & Olsen in the Spanish Colonial Revival style that would line Seventh Avenue between San Carlos and Lincoln, giving the area the nickname "Spanish Hill."  This style can best be described as Spanish with Moorish features such as bright tile work, decorative grill work, and the signature tower. Today Dr. Kocher's medical building is the home of La Bicyclette 

The second building by Blaine and Olsen was built in 1928 for Businessman L. C. Merrill. This building is now the home of Little Napoli.

The third building by Blaine and Olsen was built for Dr. Kocher in 1929 adjacent to his medical office.  This building which was financed with the help of his partner in this project, Grace Deere Veile (of the John Deere Family).  Grace Deere Veile would go on to found the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula (CHOMP) in 1934.

Dr. Kocher newest building was built on the former site of the Lincoln Inn managed by Mrs. John S. Ball. Dr. Kocher opened his new venture as The La Ribera Hotel in 1929 retaining Mrs. Bell as manager.

At its opening, the Monterey Peninsula Herald called the La Ribera "One of the show places of the peninsula," offering its hotel guests high tea and wine tasting.  Though it opened to great reviews , it did not survive the effects of the Depression and went into receivership in 1930. 

The hotel was reopened and managed as the La Ribera by A. G. Wood, former manager of the luxurious San Carlos Hotel of Monterey. In the 1960's Earl E. McInnis took over management of the hotel and renamed it Cypress West.

In the mid 1980's businessmen Denny LeVett and actress Doris Day fully restored the hotel and reopened it as The Cypress Inn.  It became Carmel's original pet-friendly hotel. Notice the German Shepard enjoying the veranda of the King Suite in the courtyard wing above. 

During the Inns Of Distinction Tour, guests were serenaded by the music of Kenny Stahl in the Doris Day Room.

The inn's walls are decorated with Doris Day vintage movie posters, reminding us of a simpler time.  

Nearby Christmas cookies hot from the oven of Terry's kitchen tempt Inns of Distinction guests 

as they decide which wine from Heller Estate Organic Vineyards to pair with their treat, the 2011 Merlot or the 2012 Chardonnay. 

Over the past three years on the Inns of Distinction Tour, I have had the opportunity to tour a number of the Cypress Inn rooms in the newer courtyard wing (the area built where the Yard/Morgan studio once stood).  This year it was a treat to tour rooms in the original part of the hotel.  The following is a video of all the rooms I have toured at the Cypress over the years.  

Just three block to our next hotel Tally Ho Inn.
Landscape with Sheep by Sydney Yard - Sydney Yard Tonalist.
Black and white photo of Mary DeNeale Morgan - Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery
Point Lobos Cypress and the Deep Blue Sea - Mary DeNeale Morgan - Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery
Black and white photo of Morgan Building 1993 Historic Content Statement, Carmel Historic Survey -  courtesy of Carmel City Hall Building Records.
Color photo of the Courtyard Suite Wing of Cypress Inn added 2001 - courtesy of Carmel City Hall Building Records.
Black and white photo of La Ribera Hotel c. 1929 - Carmel Historical Resources Binder Harrison Memorial History Library.
All other photography and video by L. A. Momboisse -

McGlynn, Betty Hoag.  The Root of Carmel's Art Galleries, (November 13, 1998). Harrison Memorial Library History Department.
Morseburg, Jeffrey. The Magic Hour Light of Sydney Yard.

16th Annual Carmel Inns of Distinction - 2014 - Part 1 - First Murphy House & La Playa Carmel

Pin ThisShare on Google Plus

Carmel Heritage Society
“It’s ours to protect.” 

First Murphy House Carmel-by-the-Sea Home of the Carmel Heritage Society photo FirstMurphyHouseAA-Copy_zpsc3836876.jpg

First Murphy House was built in 1902 by Michael J. Murphy. Today First Murphy House is home to the Carmel Heritage Society. 

On Sunday December 7th, Carmel Heritage Society held their 16th annual Carmel Inns of Distinction Tour.  This year eight unique inns in downtown Carmel-by-the Sea were featured on the tour.

The $30 ticket included a Carmel Heritage Society commemorative wine glass which I frequently used throughout the afternoon, as local wineries and restaurants provided lite bites and wine tasting at each of the inns on the tour.

The Inns of Distinction Tour is one of my favorite Carmel events.  Not only do I get to see inside the rooms of these charming inns during one of the more festive times of the year, I also enjoy the treats and tastings offered at each venue.  And I always come home with gift cards to restaurants and wine bars that far exceed the purchase price of my ticket!! 

The word on this has apparently gotten out, because this year Carmel Heritage Society had their largest number of tickets sold to date for this event! 

Here are the video highlights of the tour.


Now come along while I review the history of the inns and some of the highlights of this year’s tour. 

The La Playa Carmel 
Camino Real & Eighth Avenue 
Amenities: Complimentary Breakfast Buffet, 

Ocean View Rooms, Pool


The La Playa Carmel, known as the Grand Dame of Carmel hotels has ties to some famous Carmelites.

Christian Jorgensen was born in what is now Oslo, Norway in 1860.  His family immigrated to San Francisco in 1874 where he was "discovered" by Virgil Williams at the age of 14 as he sketched a San Francisco cityscape.

Jorgensen became the first person to receive a scholarship to the California School of Fine Arts.  After graduation he became an instructor, and it would be in one of his sketch classes that he would met his future wife, Angela Ghirardelli (as in chocolate). 

Christian and Angela married in 1883.  They had two children and spent many years traveling and painting. Christian was fascinated by the California Missions and captured all 21 of them on canvas.  


The Jorgenson's came to Carmel-by-the-Sea in 1905 and built their home/studio on the southwest corner of Camino Real and Eighth Avenue which was completed in 1907.

In 1909 Alida Ghirardelli, daughter of Angela's favorite brother, drowned in Carmel Bay. Others have reported that it was Angela who drowned but it was not.  Angela outlived her husband Christopher by six months, dying in January of 1936. 

The photo above shows the home/studio c. 1905 - 1907 during construction.

In 1911 the Jorgenson's leased some of the rooms of their home to Agnes Signor for use as a boarding house. Signor had come to Carmel-by-the-Sea after the 1906 earthquake destroyed the three hotels she was managing in San Francisco.  At the time she opened the boarding house at the Jorgenson's, she was also the manager of the Carmel Bathhouse located at the foot of Ocean Avenue.

By 1916 the Jorgenson's sold their property to Signor who desired to make her boarding house into a fashionable hotel.  But she needed help. So she sent for her two nephews, Harrison and Fredrick Godwin.

The Godwin brothers arrived, quickly learned the hotel business, added twenty rooms to the property and opened the La Playa Hotel in 1920.

Three years later Agnes Signor died, and the Godwin brothers became the new owners.  In December of 1924 a devastating fire destroyed most of the La Playa Hotel. 

Undeterred, the Godwin brothers spent $34,500 to restore the La Playa Hotel, adding an additional thirty guest rooms. They reopened in 1925 with rooms rates starting at $2.50. 

In 1930 Fred Godwin bought out his brother Harrison's share in the La Playa Hotel and would become the sole owner until 1963. Fred Godwin would also become mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea from 1946 to 1950. 

Since 1963 the ownership of the La Playa Hotel has changed hands a few times.  The last in 2011 when it was purchased by Classic Hotels and Resorts, renovated at the cost of $3.5 million, and reopened in August 2012 as the La Playa Carmel. 

This is my third year touring the La Playa Carmel with the Carmel Heritage Society Inns of Distinction Tour.  And it never gets old.  I am mesmerized by the building and enchanted by its story.  

Walking to the entrance one can still view the original quatrefoil window patterned after the Carmel Mission.

Jorgenson designed this window and master-mason Ben Turner, who came to what was then called Carmel City in 1896, built the window into the ground level of the stone tower. (look at the b/w pic above and you can glimpse the window on the left, in the base of the brick tower)

Pass through the lobby and
 sitting room with cozy fire burning,

to the Library.  It is here that a complimentary breakfast buffet is served daily to the hotel guests. 

During the Inns of Distinction Tour, this is the gathering place to enjoy some delectable deserts fresh from the La Playa Carmel kitchen and 

pair with a tasting of the 2013 Sauvignon Blanc from Windy Oaks Winery or their 2012 Estate Pinot.  Windy Oaks just opened a tasting room in the Su Vecino Courtyard off Lincoln between Fifth and Sixth. If anyone is counting, this would be the 19th wine bar in Carmel-by-the-Sea. 

A short pause to enjoy the view of the garden below and it is time to get my peak inside an Ocean View King.

Spacious, simple and uncluttered with a delightful garden view and peak of the ocean through the plantation shutters. 

A short walk three blocks north to Lincoln Street to our next stop, the Cypress Inn.
Black and white photo of Christian Jorgensen - California State Parks Museum Collection.
Jorgensen Watercolor Carmel Mission - Paintings in permanent collection at Sonoma Mission.  Photograph from A Virtual Tour of the California Missions, Jorgensen Watercolors Collection

Black and white Photo of Jorgenson home/studio c. 1905 - courtesy of Harrison Memorial Local Library History Department.
All other photographs by L. A. Momboisse -

McGlynn, Betty Hoag. Straightening Out La Playa's History. The Sun, November 25, 1992, p.2.