Rocky California coast at Big Sur

Enjoy nearby Monterey.


    California coast Source: istockphoto Permission: licensed

    California coast Source: istockphoto Permission: licensed

The Highlands Inn, in Carmel California, is an oceanfront resort owned by Hyatt Hotels. It is in a luxury vacation area about two hours south of San Francisco. The hotel attracts celebrities looking to take a break from Hollywood, as well as others who enjoy serenity and nature. It is probably not the ideal place for families traveling with kids.

About Highlands Inn Carmel

The hotel has a total of 48 rooms. This includes 11 two-level suites, five garden rooms that look out onto the landscape from a balcony, and 32 extra large rooms that overlook the ocean. Each room includes accommodations for up to four guests. Room amenities include the following:

  • Wireless Internet
  • Telephone with data port and voice mail
  • Bath products and bathrobes
  • Makeup mirror
  • Television with cable channels
  • Iron with ironing board
  • In-room heat control
  • Free daily newspaper delivery
  • Refrigerator
  • Kitchenette
  • Binoculars for observing Big Sur

Dining Options

The hotel has four different dining options, including a restaurant, two lounges and a counter for quick service entrees. The restaurant is called Pacific’s Edge and features coastal cuisine, such as seasonal vegetables and seafood. It’s a recipient of the AAA Four Diamond Award and has both an extensive cigar menu and wine list. It’s open every day of the week for dinner. Reservations are recommended. You can make them by calling 831-622-5445 or going online to Open Table . You can also have food delivered right to your room 24 hours a day.

Recreational Facilities

While at the hotel, guests get access to several recreation options. These include a heated outdoor pool and three hot tubs, a fitness center with treadmills, bikes and stair climbers, and free mountain bikes for rental. There are several golf courses, an equestrian area and a tennis center within 10 miles as well as the very popular Monterey Bay Aquarium. You can also take advantage of local hiking trails, and the water is perfect for kayaking or fishing. The hotel offers babysitting if you’d like to take in the sights, do some shopping or spend a night on the town in Carmel or nearby Monterey.

Meeting Space

The Highlands Inn Carmel has ample meeting space. It has six glass-walled conference rooms, plus an outdoor terrace. These areas, plus prefunction space, total more than 5,300 square feet. Each room has both audio and lighting systems, plus Internet connectivity and phone ports.


Parking at the hotel is free, and there is an ample number of spaces. You can either park your car yourself or opt for valet service. Note that valet parking is subject to a small charge.

Getting There

The hotel is located at 120 Highlands Drive. To get there from San Francisco, the easiest thing to do is take Route 1 South. Then all you have to do is exit onto Fern Canyon Road and follow that road until you reach Highlands Drive. If you get back to Route 1, you’ve gone too far. The nearest major airport is San Jose International, which is approximately 55 miles north. There is a closer airport, Carmel/Monterey Peninsula, but due to its small size it less likely you will be able to book a flight that stops there.

Making Reservations

You can book a room online and see current rates through the hotel’s page on the Hyatt website, or you can check availability on the site and then call the hotel directly at 831-620-1234.