When it comes to location, the Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa in Monterey, California, can’t be beat. The hotel sits above Monterey Bay, one block from the town’s historic Cannery Row. From many of the 290 rooms in the hotel, you can see, smell, hear, and feel the ocean as waves crash against the pylons that support the building. Built in the 80s, the hotel recently underwent a major renovation, refurbishing common areas and brightening and modernizing the guest rooms. Its modern-yet-classic feel fits perfectly into the coastal setting while still nodding to the historic surroundings.
Rooms are comfortable and cozy, and many have balconies that sit above the bay. My room was a 400-square-foot harbor view room with a King bed with pillow-top mattress, LCD flat screen tv, Keurig coffee maker, and a Plum wine machine, which dispenses taster size (or full-size glasses) of two different wines. There was a small sitting area with two chairs, and from my balcony, I had a view of the water swirling around the shore below. Throughout the halls, black-and-white photos depict scenes from Monterey’s history as a important fishing town that was once the center of the sardine industry. And in common areas, lustrous dark wood and deep blue furnishings bring a nautical air. Onsite, there’s the Tidal Coffee cafe, which serves pastries and coffee; the lobby Helmsman Lounge, which has an excellent selection of whisky; and Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar, a lively spot for happy hour or a romantic dinner with a view of the bay. My husband and I opted for the latter, enjoying steamer clams, lobster, and filet mignon with wine pairings, from a corner table with beautiful sunset views.
One of my favorite things about the hotel is the fact that no matter where you are, you have a glimpse of the gorgeous coastal surroundings; from the rooms, the restaurants and lounges, the lobby, even the spa and fitness center have stunning sea views.
The hotel also offers a plethora of amenities: complimentary bicycles from Adventures by the Sea, a shuttle to Monterey airport, complimentary apples in the hotel lobby, and a courtesy Land Rover shuttle that’ll take you just about anywhere in the city. There’s everything else you’d expect from a luxury hotel, too: concierge service, nightly turndown service, 24-hour valet parking, 24-hour room service, same-day dry cleaning service, a business center, and complimentary daily newspaper.
While the best thing about the Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa is undeniably it’s incredible location perched above the bay in the heart of Monterey, it has plenty going for it beyond its geography. With stylishly updated rooms, excellent service, loads of amenities, and plenty of onsite dining and activities to keep you busy for days, it’s the perfect luxe getaway in Monterey.
If you go: Check in is at 4:00pm. Check out is at noon. Room rates start at around $170 per night and there is an additional resort fee. Youc an make your reservation through Expedia or directly at the hotel website.