Reviews of Highlands Inn
Fantastic! The restaurant provides the most beautiful Views of the Big Sure Coastline that I have ever seen. Staff was so helpful. My grandson's 5 and I was worried about his safety on the balcony and they came and installed a mesh on the balcony. They clean daily. They bring in firewood and the daily paper. I also attended a timeshare presentation and they are very professional and courteous.
The following review with pictures is available at my travel blog website: http://www.thefamilytravelguy.com/2015/06/review-hyatt-highlands-inn-carmel.html
Hotel/Timeshare Background: The Hyatt Highlands Inn is located 15 minutes south of Monterey, in the city of Carmel, California. The original Highlands Inn opened in 1917 and has been remodeled a few times since then. The property is a combination hotel and residence club overlooking the Big Sur coast with picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean and set in a very nicely landscaped hillside resort. The view as you walk in to check-in offers a great ocean view and they have a nice lobby area.
The seaside hotel/timeshare property has amazing oceanfront views and blends in the amenities of a large property with the charm of a boutique hotel. The hotel portion of the property has 48 guestrooms including 11 suites, 32 Ocean View King rooms, and 5 garden view rooms. The residence club portion has approximately 92 units and offers 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom units with ocean views, horizon ocean views and some units with only garden views.
Highlands Inn Main Lodge: Our recent stay here was in a 1-bedroom ocean view room in one of the residence club units. The ocean view unit was on the lower level of a two level block of units in the 435-444 range of rooms. Our unit included a kitchen, living room, dining table and bedroom/bathroom. Furniture and decorations in the room weren't exactly brand new, but very nice and fit in well with the landscape of the area.
The unit also had a wood-burning fireplace which was perfect for the cold mornings and nights. Ample amounts of firewood is available and a washer/dryer is also accessible in a nearby building. The over-sized bathtub in the unit was a big hit with my child and them never wanting to get out of the bath. There are two fire pits on the property and a fitness center as well. It was a little chilly to use the pool, but it did look inviting.
Timeshare Presentation: When checking in, the front desk gives you a discount card for the on-site restaurants and some nearby restaurants/shops as well, but in order to get the actual discount pass, you have to stop by the Hyatt Residence Club sales desk.
I figured we could use the discount pass and since I was curious on developer pricing at the Highlands Inn anyways, I stopped by the desk to grab the coupon and also signed up for a quick one hour presentation to learn more about the vacation ownership pricing. The sales presentation was pretty low-key and no pressure to buy. We toured a few units and were blown away by some the ocean views the units had. I would say 208, 209, 218 and 219 have the best views on the property, although all ocean view units have very nice views.
After touring three units, we sat down and began discussing pricing. I was aware of the resale market and was surprised by some of the comments made by the sales people, as I knew they were not being 100% accurate. The resale market has diamond and platinum weeks for approximately half of what they are offering them for, with the main thing you'd be giving up is the Hyatt Gold Passport program exchange. The Hyatt Gold Passport exchange is only available for those who have purchased from the developer, Hyatt. The other thing is that the unit for the week you would want it may not be available on the resale market or may never show up there.
Once they figured out I knew a little more than the average person and wasn't going to buy a unit through them, the sales presentation ended pretty quickly and away we went with our resort credit for attending. Also, one thing to note is almost all the units at the Carmel residence club are 1-bedroom units and are still equal to 2200 HRC points. The sales person made me well aware of this and how a 1 bedroom at Hyatt Carmel equals a 2 bedroom unit at other locations in the system. There are only five 2-bedroom units available and some two story 1 bedroom units as well.
Hyatt Carmel Highlands Inn currently has offers available online for a three day-two night stay for $189 per night, but you must attend a timeshare presentation. You can save quite a bit of money on a nice weekend getaway with typical pricing starting at upwards of $500 per night with this deal if you can stand attending a sales presentation. There are also some other offers that may are available if you are in the area. I've seen the $189 per night offer as low as $149/night and $99/night, if you meet certain conditions or are referred. I was able to get the cheaper options for some friends while I was there.
The restaurants located on the property are all very good and include:
Pacific's Edge Restaurant: Overlooks the Pacific Ocean and offers full views of the coastline with floor to ceiling glass walls. I would recommend making reservations for dinner as it is a popular place and is on numerous lists, including Top 100 by Zagat and is listed as one of the Top 10 restaurants with a view by USA Today. The menu price range is higher than average and there is an extensive wine list.
Sunset Lounge: The lounge overlooks the ocean as well, with more of a Point Lobos view, and I'd say is more for drinks and a small quick bite.
California Market Restaurant: Dining is available outside on a terrace overlooking Yankee Point or inside next to the gift shop. Good spot for breakfast and lunch while enjoying some nice views.
Nearby Things To-Do:
Point Lobos State Park Breathtaking views hiking along the pacific coastline. Take a picnic basket as it's great for kids as they'll see tons of animals along the way and enjoy the scenery.
17-Mile Drive & Pebble Beach Enjoy a scenic drive through Pacific Grove and Pebble beach with stops along the way to take in all of the scenery, famous golf courses, and mansions. Toll road with four entrances and a fee of $10 for entry.
Monterey Bay Aquarium & Cannery Row Kids will have blast at the aquarium and once they've enjoyed all the fish and sea life, go for a walk along Cannery Row and grab some lunch and enjoy the shops.
Carmel River State Beach Park Bring a picnic or grab some snacks from the nearby Safeway and enjoy the waves crashing along the beach
Mission Ranch Restaurant Owned by Clint Eastwood and includes a small Inn. The restaurant doesn't open for dinner until 5pm, but you can get there at 4pm for drinks and appetizers. Food is good, reasonably priced and includes a nice ambiance. Kids will enjoy the sheep grazing out in the pasture and all of the small birds swooping in for food scraps.
Summary: It was our first time staying at the Hyatt Highlands Inn and overall I would say it is a great looking property and worthy of your time. There are lots of kid friendly things to do nearby and there are great offers currently available to stay at the property, if you don't mind attending a timeshare sales presentation.
This is a truly spectacular resort and retreat. Quiet elegance perhaps best describes this smaller "getaway" overlooking the Pacific Ocean with impeccable service and staff without the stuffiness that usually accompanies higher quality establishments. We are a very casual couple but appreciate the high quality standards of this property and its inspired landscaping and ambiance. In addition to the cozy and comfortable rooms, restaurants, ocean view lounge and the photography-ensconced lobby with fireplaces, you are just minutes away from some of the most extraordinary hiking trails and ocean vistas, the cities of Carmel, Pacific Grove and Monterey, a plethora of golf venues (public and private), and a myriad of restaurants and art galleries. The most magical thing about the Highlands Inn is that it is in a private setting overlooking the ocean in a unique setting that will not change due to development or addition of new "phases" and it is adjacent to Pt. Lobos state reserve which is a landmark property and habitat which provides unforgettable experiences that would excite any lover of nature.
It is true, that we are owners because of our fascination with the Highlands Inn and the surrounding area, but we have been at this property a myriad of times and always look forward to our next visit. We do own an other more typical RCI 5 crown resort with golf courses, tennis courts, wide streets, pools and lots of people and enjoy that as well......but it is just a different thing for a different experience. Staying at the Highlands Inn is like a private audience with the Pope and staying at other typical quality timeshares is like going to Disneyland. Both good, but different.
If you ever have an opportunity to stay, rent or own a unit at the Highlands Inn, it should be a remarkable and memorable experience.
We stayed in a beautifully appointed townhouse in August and couldn't have been more pleased. The view was spectacular! The grounds are lovely and the restaurants are both excellent. This is really a first class place to stay. The only negative was listening to the timeshare salemen in the lobby-I'd much rather view the photography in peace and tranquility.
Exceptional view and the restaurant is wonderful. This visit sold us on buying a timeshare. Can't wait to go back.
Traded in here and the prior review gives a great description. Would agree with all of it. Had an ocean view one bedroom with pullout. Great fireplace (and they take care of the clean-up and restock.) Only thing to note is the dinner restaurant is quite pricey and upscale -- which is fine if you are expecting that. And it might not be worth the price in my opinion. The other restaurant is great for breakfast/lunch and what a view! The Hyatt experience is always top-notch.
This is a biased review as I am an owner. I purchased due to the location and the Hyatt reputation for service. Highlands Inn is located in the Carmel Highlands, 4 miles south of the village of Carmel, on a lovely forested hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The day we arrived, there was a wedding on the gazebo overlooking the Pacific...of course, that is what Highlands Inn has been known for over the years.
Although 212 is designated a garden view unit, you can catch glimpses of the Pacific through the floor to ceiling glass in the bedroom and from the deck off the living room. This is a 1 bedroom unit with a full kitchen, dining area, living room with fireplace and a master suite, which is separated from the living room by Shoji sliding doors.
The kitchen and bathroom counters and the 2- person jacuzzi tub are done in dark granite. The kitchen and master suite floors are slate tiles, as well as the fireplace. The bed is king size with a goose down duvet and the best feather/goose down pillows upon which I have rested my head!
There is daily housekeeping, as well as turn down service (delicious Ghiradelli chocolates.) The fireplace is cleaned and set up daily for use in the evening. Bath salts are left for the evening soak and cozy terry robes are hung for your use. Listening to the soothing music from the CD's in the room add to a restful soak. Coffee and tea are provided in the room...although, I brought our own. A morning paper is left on the doormat daily.
The lodge constructed of golden granite is the focal point of the resort. It was originally built in 1917. From the lodge, the restaurants and the surrounding decks, you can see the rocky coastline, ocean and beautiful sunsets. There are two massive fireplaces at either end of the large central room of the lodge. Overstuffed leather sofas and chairs are arranged throughout the room, allowing guests to curl up with a book for the afternoon or visit with other guests. On the west side, the wall is nearly floor to ceiling glass with an endless view of the Pacific. A large antique looking telescope is set up in a corner for use. Again, there are large leather chairs for you to sit and enjoy the views. In the evening, the area is an overflow from the bar, and a pianist entertains nightly on the baby grand piano. Around 8 pm, both fireplaces are lit and guests congregate to chat, play board games or sip a glass of wine and enjoy the music.
The grounds were immaculate. Highlands Inn is built on a steep hillside, so walkways meandered through levels of units and were lined with flowers, ferns, shrubs and everything green. There is a pool and several hot tubs on the grounds.
Requests were handled immediately and with smiles...no grumps at all. Staff lived up to the high quality expected of Hyatt. I can hardly wait to go back there during the week of Thanksgiving!