In the old days you booked hotels through a travel agent, at least most people did. These days we have the internet! And, oh, do I spend a lot of time looking for the hidden gem and perfect combination of low price and amazing value. It’s fun too even if it can be frustrating searching for London hotels for three weeks straight. But I get to ‘spend time’ at my destination well before I even get there.
In the case of Carmel, I also spend many long hours and finally had to conclude there was no such thing as a lovely, affordable hotel. It was either or. In the end we decided to go for ‘lovely’ and get the most value for our +$400 a night for a family room. Thankfully we only planned to stay one night.