Cocktails with the Canines: Cypress Inn, Carmel, CA

Whenever I visit Carmel-by-the-Sea, I head for the Cypress Inn at cocktail hour. There’s nothing like it. The pet-friendly hotel co-owned by Doris Day, has an intimate cocktail lounge decorated with posters from Doris’s films.

Here at this intimate and elegant hotel, guests — two- and four-legged varieties — gather for socializing, and dog lovers like myself drop in for the fun. You’re likely to see anything from a Chihuahua to a large Hound Dog lying patiently at its owner’s feet. Somehow the pooches seem to know that they are the main topic of conversation as owners trade stories and the rest of us oh and ah over the animals. For the most part, the dogs are well behaved, but occasionally a trouble-maker will appear on the scene, causing a brief uproar among the mutts.

Adjacent to the bar is Terry’s Lounge, named for Doris’s late son. In this larger room, light bar fare is served (the burger and garlic fries are fabulous) but sorry, no dogs allowed in here.

You can also enjoy cocktails in the living room lobby where a vaulted ceiling, large fireplace and cozy couches create a comfortable setting for guests and their pets. On Thursday-Saturday evenings the excellent jazz duo of Dick Whittington on piano and Rob Fisher on bass entertain.

The Cypress Inn has 44 rooms and a beautifully landscaped courtyard with fireplace. Built in 1929, the Mediterranean style building is situated one block from busy Ocean Avenue and a short walk to the beach, where dogs are allowed to romp off-leash.

Since the hotel does not allow pets to be left alone in the rooms, they provide names of pet-sitters for guests who want a little pet break. They also provide a list of pet-friendly restaurants. (Check out their Web site and hear Doris sing a few bars of “Que Sera, Sera.”)

The Cypress Inn.
A: Lincoln at 7th Street, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.
T: 800-443-7443.

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