The Most Pet-Friendly Hotels in Big Sur, California

Humans and pups will be delighted with a stay at Ventana Big Sur
Humans and pups will be delighted with a stay at Ventana Big Sur | Courtesy of Ventana Big Sure / Expedia
Photo of Tim Rowland
27 January 2021

California’s Big Sur is a wonderful place to visit on your own or with family or friends – and even better when you bring your dog along. This selection of hotels features inns, luxury resorts and boutique properties perfect for you and your furry friends.

Hike with your four-legged friend on a redwood forest trail in a wilderness resort a world away from the concrete jungle of Southern California, or enjoy the amenities of Carmel-by-the-Sea, a small pet-friendly city with numerous dog-friendly restaurants, businesses and beaches.

Svendsgaard’s Inn

Hotel
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Svendsgaard's Inn
Courtesy of Svendsgaard’s Inn / Expedia

Svendsgaard’s Inn bills itself as the pet-friendliest hotel in Carmel-by-the-Sea, with leashes, dog beds, water bowls and daily treats all provided for your furry companion. You can also take your dog for a walk around the inn’s grounds, Forest Hill Park nearby or the dog-friendly Carmel Beach. Humans are looked after pretty well here, too, with most of the 35 suites and guest rooms coming with garden courtyard or pool views. Many have kitchenettes, spa tubs and fireplaces. You can also enjoy discounts at several restaurants in Carmel, many of them pet-friendly, too – try Enzo between Ocean Avenue and 7th Avenue for mouthwatering Calabrian cuisine that takes full advantage of the local seafood.

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Tradewinds Carmel

Hotel
Map View
Tradewinds Carmel
Courtesy of Tradewinds Carmel / Expedia

Built in 1959, this wellness-themed boutique hotel benefits from a quiet location a little way up the hill from the busiest part of downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea. It’s arranged around a private courtyard and meditation garden that includes a firepit, flowering ginger, a fountain and bamboo trees. The 28 rooms have Balinese, Japanese and Chinese flourishes, such as Japanese tansu wet bars and kimono robes made in Bali. Some rooms also have spa-style tubs and fireplaces. Almost all are dog-friendly, providing your pet is at least six months old, no more than 3.5ft (1m) tall and weighs less than 70lb (32kg).

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Coachman’s Inn, a Four Sisters Inn

Hotel, Luxury
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Coachman's Inn
Courtesy of Coachman’s Inn, a Four Sisters Inn / Expedia

Opened in 1954, Coachman’s Inn is a Carmel institution, run by the same family since 1985. You can enjoy breakfast in the Coach Room or your bed if you prefer, along with a complimentary wine and cheese mini-picnic every afternoon. The inn has 30 rooms featuring Keurig coffee makers and many with jetted spa tubs and fireplaces. The Treehouse Cafe across the road has a rooftop dining area serving Mediterranean, Greek and Thai dishes – try the lamb kebabs, with two skewers of New Zealand lamb served with Greek salad and saffron rice. There is a dog-friendly guest room at the Coachman’s Inn, so make sure you check when booking.

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  • Carmel Lodge

    Hotel
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    Carmel Lodge
    Courtesy of Carmel Lodge / Expedia

    Just a couple of blocks from Carmel’s main drag of Ocean Avenue is Carmel Lodge, a relaxed and good-value option. Enjoy EO organic bath products in any of the 42 rooms. Just round the corner is Mexican restaurant Cultura Comida y Bebida, where the street tacos and Cultura mole are must-tries. The same rules apply for pets at Carmel Lodge as at sister hotel Tradewinds Carmel. Walk 10 minutes from the hotel to reach Carmel Beach, where dogs are allowed to run off-leash.

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    The Briarwood Inn

    Hotel
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    Briarwood Inn
    Courtesy of The Briarwood Inn / Expedia

    The Briarwood Inn has a real homey feel, with its white clapboard buildings trimmed with green, covered in cascading ivy and decorated with hanging baskets. The rooms are welcoming, too, with lots of gold and rose colors and wood paneling. Cottage-style family units and suites are available, and there’s a complimentary breakfast – including sliced muffin bread, hard-boiled eggs and pastries – and an afternoon port and sherry hour. For the dog – and the kids – Forest Hill Park is a five-minute walk away, with a walking trail, climbing gym, horseshoe pit and basketball court. Only certain rooms at the Briarwood Inn are pet-friendly, so be sure to ask.

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    Ventana Big Sur

    Boutique Hotel
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    Ventana Inn
    Courtesy of Ventana Big Sur / Expedia
    This wilderness resort sits within 160 acres (65ha) of redwood forest just off Highway 1 next to the tiny community of Posts, around 50mi (80km) south of Monterey. You can dine in your room, by one of the two heated outdoor pools – one of which has an infinity-edge hot tub – or at the Sur House, which has ocean views from the terrace. There’s also a Doggie Dining menu, with chicken and rice, coco patty and artic char options. Enjoy Japanese baths, a fitness center, yoga, tai chi and meditation, or just walk the dog on a self-guided garden tour or proper hike, for which you can rent equipment from the hotel’s Excursion Outpost. The rooms really work the rustic luxury vibe, and many have balconies, private patios and hot tubs.
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    Big Sur Lodge

    Lodge
    Map View
    Big Sur Lodge
    Courtesy of Big Sur Lodge / Expedia

    Big Sur Lodge is another great wilderness option; it sits in the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park on the western slope of the Santa Lucia Mountains. The lodge has 62 cottage-style guest rooms – some of which are dog-friendly – surrounded by redwood forest, and each one has an outdoor deck. As well as redwoods, there are maples, alders, oaks, conifers, sycamores, willows and cottonwoods, and on hikes through the park, you may see wild turkeys, bobcats, black-tail deer and possibly an American bald eagle or endangered California condor. The lodge has a seasonal outdoor pool and the on-site Homestead Restaurant, overlooking Big Sur River. Try its Porkie burger with wagyu beef, cheddar cheese, applewood smoked bacon, barbecue pulled pork and parmesan truffle fries.

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    These recommendations were updated on January 27, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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