Explore our rich history in Carmel-by-the-Sea
The Early Years & The Big Move
The history of the Pine Inn starts with the city of Carmel’s founders, Frank Devendorf and Frank Powers. In 1889, the Hotel Carmelo was built in the undeveloped section of town on Ocean and Broadway (now Junipero), by the firm that preceded the Carmel Development Company.
The hotel was built in the style of an elegant country inn, with wood from the old Tivoli Opera House in San Francisco.
Sixteen years later, as the town developed and grew, it was time for a big move.
The Hotel Carmelo was on its way to a new home, four blocks down Ocean towards the beach. The North wing was dismantled and the main building was rolled along pine logs down the rugged dirt road.
Within a year, the hotel was refitted and enlarged with a stable and a sun room looking out to the sea. With the help of M.J. Murphy, a local contractor, the hotel was reborn as the Pine Inn.
Murphy himself was a famous local figure, whose company built most of the houses and businesses within Carmel, including the neighboring library and his first home, located behind the Pine Inn.
The Hotel, Reborn
The new Pine Inn opened its doors on July 4th, 1903, with the village’s first community event, a town dance. The attendance in those succeeding months was so great that a campground was added next to the hotel to house the overwhelming number of guests.
As the years passed, the Pine Inn became the social center of Carmel. The Carmel Missionary Society, now the All Saints Episcopal Church, held their services at the Inn while they raised funds for the new church across the street. Shakespeare and poetry readings were held every month, and the sun parlor became the place to sit and discuss the events of the day
1920-1986 The Hotel Evolves
John Jordan, an actor and scholar, purchased the hotel in 1920. Soon after, he expanded it to include cottages, a tennis court, and putting greens located where the neighboring inn is today.
The hotel once again went through a remodel, adding a Spanish flavor to the decor. Shortly before World War II, the Pine Inn was purchased by Harrison Godwin.
The hotel was closed down for five months as it underwent remodeling. Upon its grand reopening on April 1, 1941, the new Pine Inn sported the addition of 12 stores, rooftop gardens for dining, and rooms decorated with a Victorian flair from the south of France.
The Victorian theme was carried throughout the hotel, extending to both the dining room and the newly added Red Parlor pub.
The next owner, Carroll McKee, added a bit of modern flair to the hotel. The garden dining area was enclosed beneath a unique glass dome that rolled back to reveal sunny days and star-filled nights. The Gazebo dining room was created, becoming the favorite dining place for locals and the site for many weddings and special events.
Today: Countryside Ambiance
The most recent owner, Richard Gunner, purchased the hotel in 1986. His touches have restored the French countryside ambiance of the Pine Inn. The rooms are adorned with the French fabrics of Pierre Deux.