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About Us

Discover the Rich History of Our Hotel

A retreat of peace and serenity since 1925, the Colonial Terrace sits in the heart of the exclusive “Golden Rectangle” residential neighborhood of Carmel-by-the-Sea, one of America's Favorite Beach Towns as published in Travel & Leisure. Travelers visiting our hotel in Carmel, CA are drawn by our personalized service and unmatched location.

The quaint and secluded property offers much more than a bed and breakfast. Each of our 26 guest rooms and suites are designed to blend the splendor of the California coast with all the usual comforts of home.

The hotel connects Carmelo St. with San Antonio St. through a series of grass and bricked terraces, offering an assortment of beautiful gardens, lawns and sitting areas, where guests are treated to a peaceful ambiance.  Situated just 72 steps from the beach at Carmel Bay, guests anywhere on the property can hear the soothing sounds of the crashing waves nearby.

The Colonial Terrace is only a short walk to the shops and restaurants of Carmel Village and a quick drive to the renowned wineries of Carmel Valley and Monterey. When not exploring the beautiful California coast and surrounding areas, hotel guests may relax in the comfort of their room or suite, read a book or newspaper in our plush guest lounge or enjoy the sun and ocean breezes on one of our many private patios.

Guests also have the convenience of complimentary on-site parking.

Our History

The vision of Carmel-by-the-Sea began in early 1903 as a seaside town on Carmel Beach in the pine forest alongside Carmel Mission. Roads were built to curve around the trees to ensure the natural beauty. Over the next 20 years, the community began to develop attracting teachers and professors from Stanford and UC Berkeley, as well as artists, poets, musicians and actors.

Fast forward to 1925. Under the guidance of the cultured and independent-minded, Mrs. Ida Theurer, the Colonial Terrace was built. Over the years, she created and expanded the Inn by developing a considerable complex of cohesively designed and well-sited buildings, modeled to blend visually with the predominant Colonial Revival style of the time of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

As an excellent example of the type and style of visitor accommodations developed in Carmel-by-the-Sea during the decade of the 1930's, the Colonial Terrace combines a popular eastern building style with architectural elements from the surrounding community.

The use of stylized cornices, door surrounds, traditional building materials and other colonial detailing is coupled with the more local elements of Carmel stone, veneers and decorative exterior wood shingling that give the hotel a clear "Carmel" look.

Key elements of Mrs. Theurer’s creative design remain evident in the hotel today. The imaginatively shingled edifice housing the current lobby and lounge is only one such example.  After her trip to Oberammergau, Germany, in 1937, Mrs. Theurer commissioned a German carpenter to create this intricate exterior reflecting the small town’s long tradition of woodcarving.

After 90 years, The Colonial Terrace hotel in Carmel continues to be shaped by its celebrated history, but surely exceeds Mrs. Theurer’s original vision for this little Carmel inn-by-the-sea.