Carmel Part One: Bavarian Themes and Hospitality in Carmel Begin and End at the Original Hofsas House Hotel (Vintage Eve Circa 6/2014)

Of course I’ve been to Carmel before. I may have even noticed the prevalence of Dutch doors (doors split in half so you can swing open at the top) and Bavarian themed buildings. But I needed to ask Carrie Theis, granddaughter of founder Donna Hofsas of the Hofsas House Hotel, a few things about it:

11709265_10205958143620116_2272339637345629426_nWas Hofsas House following an established existing theme in selecting Bavarian architecture for its buildings 60 years ago?

Carmel, the “Village in the Forrest by the Sea”, has always had a European Village feel. (Carmel will be celebrating its 100th year in 2016.) It was established by many Bohemian type residents, and Mr. Fred Hofsas (pronounced “hoff-says”) had Bavarian ancestry.

Fred and his wife Donna had built a cottage to start and traveled to Bavaria before the hotel’s expansion. Their cottage home is now part of the property as guest cottages. (Hofsas House is not the oldest hotel in Carmel; that would be the Pine Inn.) No hotel is allowed to build over two stories above street level and lots are small in keeping with the European cottage theme throughout Carmel.

Carmel-by-the-Sea is only 1-square mile large, making it ideal for walking everywhere: (The Wine Walk being first on my list, as well as visiting shops, restaurants, galleries and bars.)

Why Bavaria? Were many of the residents back then from Germany?

Fred and Donna Hofsas have ties to Bavaria but Carmel’s founders migrated here after the San Francisco earthquake. Many writers and artists also found a home in Carmel, giving the town a very Bohemian feel.  Each home is unique, there are no tract homes to be found. Flowers are year round, and air conditioning isn’t needed.

Could I see more of the murals and paintings by artist Maxine Albro? Hofsas House is the only hotel with these accents. I asked to see room 47 to see the special headboard by Albro and the valence, walls, end tables and crown molding by local artist Christine Sorenson. I was amazed at the different furnishings and offerings in the rooms. See my story of the unique art here in my Facebook album.

Adding the Carmel-by-the-Sea Wine Walk to the existing landscape of beautiful surf, unique cottage homes, restaurants, shops and art galleries…works for me. Do people enjoy taking it all in without driving?

Carrie said that guests enjoy walking everywhere and that’s another thing that makes Carmel different. (In the past I had stayed in Monterey while my husband Eddie was attending the Naval Post Graduate School there. Now I think that one day in Cannery Row was enough. It’s a metropolis, Carmel is not.)

“Carmel is a place to get away from technology and reconnect,” Carrie said. “We are very low-key. And as Carmel faces west we have nightly sunsets” to offer.

After my stay these key points about the hotel stuck with me and make me want to return: Family-run and family-friendly. Bavarian-inspired. Ocean view from large private balconies. Wine waiting in the room after check-in. Fireplace turns on with the flip of a switch. A complete S’Mores, map to beach fire pits and firewood package. Original one-of-a-kind art. Loved my Dutch door. Walking distance to everything. French roast coffee in my room. Pets welcome. Large rooms, each with unique styling. A feeling of history. FREE Wi-Fi, continental breakfast with local baked goods and parking.

About Hofsas House

Hofsas House 4th Ave. & San Carlos St. Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA  93921

831-624-2745 (Direct)/831-624-0159 (Fax) Facebook:

The Hofsas House Hotel is a boutique family-owned inn with 38 uniquely decorated, spacious rooms, many with ocean views overlooking the pines in the village of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Dutch doors appoint each room allowing our guests to enjoy the fresh ocean air. Our guests watch glorious sunsets over the Pacific Ocean from the privacy of the inn’s decks or rooms. Some rooms and most suites have fireplaces, private balconies, wet bars or kitchens…(more)

Eve Bushman has been reading, writing, taking coursework and tasting wine for over 20 years.  She has obtained a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, has been the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and recently served as a guest judge for the L.A. International Wine Competition and Global Wine Awards.  You can email to ask a question about wine or spirits that may be answered in a future column. You can also seek her marketing advice via