One of the best parts of staying at a luxury or boutique hotel is the wow factor when you first walk through the doors. There’s a certain glitz – an attention to detail in the design and theme that makes your visit a truly immersive experience. If you’re scoping out Hotel Carmichael reviews you’re probably wondering… Does this place stack up? Let’s just say I gasped a little when walking inside!
Nestled in Carmel City Center near Carmel, Indiana’s Arts & Design District, Hotel Carmichael is always beautiful. However, if you visit during the holiday season you can expect a feast for the senses. Think glimmering Christmas trees laden with bulbs, a wood burning fireplace, life-size Nutcrackers standing guard by the front desk, and a self-playing grand piano piping festive music through the halls. I wouldn’t blame you if you twirled a bit as you walked the gleaming black-and-white checkered floors. It’s a sensory overload in the best possible way!
We’ll cover a lot of ground in this Hotel Carmichael review, including the dining options, accommodations, and what you need to check out in the surrounding area
The first thing I remarked to a friend while walking in is “there’s something musical” about this place. Little did I know, that’s the whole idea! Hotel Carmichael Carmel Indiana is part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection. If you’re unfamiliar with this designation (I was), Autograph Collection hotels are noted for guiding you somewhere Marriott calls “remarkably unforgettable.”
In short, this means Marriott handpicks independent hotels for its Autograph Collection ferreting out those with the most originality and passion in their expression. This includes a heartfelt design concept, dedication to boutique hospitality, and firm sense of place. Autograph Collection hotels tap into their surroundings to create that immersive and unique experience. For the Carmichael, that means a stay grounded in the musicality of the Great American Songbook.
Disclosure: Thank you to Hotel Carmichael for its assistance in photography access and offering a complimentary stay to help me write a detailed review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Musical references are everywhere – from the hotel’s daily (and free for guests) 4 p.m. champagne toast/discussion of a select song from the songbook to the amusing door hangers, each referencing lyrics. Then there’s Feinstein’s restaurant. The live entertainment and dining venue pays tribute to 5-time Grammy nominee and Great American Songbook founder Michael Feinstein. It offers guests live entertainment and exquisite dining in an elegant setting.
Not a music buff? Allow me to briefly explain the connection. The Great American Songbook is a canon of the most important and influential American pop songs and jazz standards from the early 20th century. And Carmel, Indiana just happens to be the home of the Great American Songbook Foundation.
If you’re browsing Hotel Carmichael reviews, you probably already know Carmel, Indiana is worth a visit. However, if you don’t, let me share a bit of insight.
Admittedly, I have somewhat limited experience as a Carmel visitor. Although it’s just 30-minutes from the heart of Indianapolis, I had relegated it in my mind as a pass-through town. A nice place “on the way” but not a destination itself. Gosh, was I wrong!
Carmel feels like the towns you see in Hallmark movies this time of year, but with the amenities of a big city. Best of all, when you stay at Hotel Carmichael, you’re steps away from all of Carmel’s main draws. Like shopping? There are darling boutiques surrounding the hotel. Prefer more traditional winter activities? You have a view of the Carmel Christkindlmarkt from your room. Keep in mind, this is no ordinary Christmas market. Carmel’s Christkindlmarkt just nabbed the top spot for “best holiday market” in a USA Today poll for the third time!
Best of all, there’s still time to scope out the fun. Christkindlmarkt’s last day is Dec. 30, so get yourself to Carmel ASAP!
Hotel Carmichael is right across from Carmel’s Center for the Performing Arts. There are tons of fun shows coming in January and February. Can’t think of a better way to spend a blustery winter day than cozied up inside watching great theater! As for dining, you are in close proximity to options for all palettes and preferences.
Want fine dining? It is steps away. Fast casual? You’re covered there too. There’s even a grocery store in walking distance! Of course, I highly recommend scoping out the dining options right inside the hotel. In fact, I’m fairly certain most Hotel Carmichael reviews will begin with the restaurants – they are that good.
Normally I go off-property when staying at a hotel. I like to get a taste of the local flavor and love discovering “hole-in-the-wall” type establishments. However, Hotel Carmichael’s eateries were too tempting, largely because of the exceptional ambiance. These spaces tell a story, just like the food they serve!
I visited on Sunday, so Feinstein’s (a dinner club/cabaret venue) was not open that particular evening. However, I did get to tour the setting and plan to go back. There are so many upcoming shows and performances that sound fun!
Instead, I enjoyed a delectable brunch at Vivante French Eatery with a friend. Vivante is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Generally, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. The cuisine is French-inspired, fresh and approachable. I had the most delicious crepes with asparagus. Better yet, I ate them in an igloo! Vivante just opened its outdoor igloos for the season. Talk about a romantic vibe! I am itching to come back to bring my husband along.
Finally, you can also grab a quick bite and signature cocktail, beer or wine in the Adagio Lounge. Open Monday-Sunday from 2-11 p.m., this space will have you staring up at the ceiling as you sip. In my opinion, it has the most magnificent décor of the whole place! It also offers many intimate nooks for you to mingle with friends or relax solo.
Looking for that jump right out of bed feeling totally refreshed feeling? Hotel Carmichael will make it happen! The hotel has 122 rooms, including 8 luxury suites if you need a bit more room. Each room is thoughtfully appointed and feels very elegant. As a boutique hotel, the rooms have unique touches and classical décor elements (like a gorgeous chandelier and spa-inspired bathroom) as well as all the modern amenities you could ask for.
You’ll find a smart TV, coffee/tea maker and rooms that welcome pets (with availability). I thought the bed was super comfortable and loved the sitting area space. It was a perfect staging area for all of my camera equipment and simply getting ready for the day.
Will I be back? Absolutely! Honestly, I haven’t been this pleased with a hotel in a long time – especially as a creative. For me, the trip was part business. I was looking for an inspirational location to spark content ideas and to serve as a backdrop for holiday-related content. Hotel Carmichael served that up on a silver platter. It was more beautiful in person than I imagined.
Most likely your stay won’t involve taking hundreds of photos, like mine. However, if you are looking at Hotel Carmichael reviews wondering if this place offers a luxury experience, my answer is an emphatic YES! In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion, your camera roll might fill up too. This place is magical!