Our Story

view or property

Our Story

An idyllic seaside villa, perched above the bluffs of Carmel Beach.

view of hallway


Sweeping views of Carmel Beach, and memories of perfect weekends spent at rambling family compounds on the coast inspired our vision for Villa Mara. Taking inspiration from estates in the Hamptons, our favorite European boutique hotels, and getaways in the Greek Islands, we sought to imbue the property with a sophisticated and timeless elegance, layering bespoke and vintage furniture to create an oasis of calm. 

No two rooms are exactly the same at Villa Mara, creating a sense of discovery for repeat guests to explore each of the different rooms on the property.

cute little cottage on property


Villa Mara was built in 1929 by Basilicio Jesena, a housekeeper of the first hotel in Carmel. Originally built as an 11 room inn named the Holiday Inn, which changed its name to Holiday House in 1952 when the national chain bought the rights to the name Holiday Inn. Famous historical guests include architect Frank Lloyd Wright and 38th President Gerald Ford. In 2019 the property was purchased by its current owner Ocean Lodging and envisioned in 2022 as Villa Mara.

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Our Location

Villa Mara is at home in the storied neighborhood of Carmel Point, 100 yards from the pristine soft sands of Carmel Beach, alongside some of the area’s most revered private homes, the acclaimed Clinton Walker House by Frank Lloyd Wright and the Robinson Jeffers Tor House with a quiet, calming sensibility signature to the Carmel experience.

Approximately one mile from the Carmel by the Sea’s downtown stretch of boutiques, shops and restaurants, the property is also in close proximity to Mara Beach, the Carmel Mission, and offers views to Pebble Beach, Stillwater cove and the Carmel Beach 

The image of the pristine beauty Lives in the very grain of the granite, safe as the endless ocean that climbs our cliff.” – Robinson Jeffer’s Carmel Point Poem. 

view of beach

Please note that Villa Mara Carmel is designed to cater to an adult clientele and all hotel guests must be 21+ to reserve a room or stay with us.