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“Who Knew?” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Howard Johnson Marina at Monterey Bay

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Howard Johnson Marina at Monterey Bay
2.0 of 5 Hotel   |   416 Reservation Rd, Marina, CA 93933 (Formerly Days Inn Marina)   |  
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Ranked #2 of 8 hotels in Marina
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Who Knew?”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

I hadn't heard anything from, by or about Howard Johnson's Motor-Hotels in DECADES. I really thought they had gone out of business. What a surprise to find that they are not only still around but they are right up there with the best of moderately-priced, family motels. I believe the term "motel" originated with HoJo's. Back in the 50's, the only places to stay overnight along the Ohio Turnpike (and I believe also the Indiana Turnpike) were Howard Johnson Motor-Hotels, hence the term mo-tel. They also had the only restaurants along those toll roads.

If you've read any of my other reviews, you know I prefer a private dwelling or condo (with kitchen, VIEW, fireplace) when traveling. I can't remember the last time I stayed in a motel in the past 10 years. Well, try to plan a spur-of-the-moment weekend get-away to the Monterey Coast the same weekend as the famous Gilroy Garlic Festival, numerous Blues Fests, throw in all the normal summer sightseers, the golfers and surfers, etc., etc... and you have yourself a
be-e-e-g fat disappointment! Even if you can afford big bucks AND a 3 - 7 day "minimum stay required", you'd still be pressed to find something on short notice. Forget getting a reservation at almost ANY place even close to the coast in the summer! (I checked as far away as 40 miles in three directions!)

Thank you TripAdvisor...AGAIN! This place is a little more than a mile from Highway 1 (and a sparsely populated beach, I might add), about 10 minutes to Seaside which runs into Monterey, has a gas station and mini-mart on the property, has exceptionally large rooms (I had room to dance at my own private party), included a sofa bed, microwave, mini-fridge, hairdryer, iron/board, etc. It was clean - I mean SPOTLESS - inside and out, nicely landscaped, has a surprisingly varied choice of fresh LOCAL fruits, partries,and cereals for their Continental breakfast.

And, the best part is the cost. In the rarefied high-rent area of the Santa Cruz-Monterey Coast, you can't get a better bang for your buck.
You do get some highway noise during the day. But who's there during the day when there is so much to see/do up and down the Central Coast! It's an ideal location as a base, close to San Francisco, Big Sur, Hearst Castle farther south, and of course Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Carmel. It's a golfer's dream location with several golf venues, all within blocks of the ocean.

The bed was comfortable and I felt safe enough to sleep with the window open. With the fresh salt air (and a lot of fog), I slept like a baby. The staff is friendly and accommodating. Overall, it's the basics but comfortable, clean, and affordable. More than I expected for a last-minute trip. Sadly, there is no famous HoJo Restaurant but there are plenty of choices on that main street and countless more in Seaside and Monterey.

Be sure to take long pants and a jacket/sweater. "Don't Leave Home Without It" never was more true. It is, after all, the Central Coast and ALWAYS expect fog as the sun goes down! But try to get to somewhere with a view of the water to watch the sun set. If the fog isn't too thick, that's what creates those picture-perfect sunsets.

WELCOME BACK HOWARD JOHNSON'S. I'll have to keep them in mind for future spur-of-the-moment get-aways!

Room Tip: The hotel itself is quiet and, because all the rooms are near the street, there is some traffic nois...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Terry B, Owner at Howard Johnson Marina at Monterey Bay, responded to this review, 3 days ago
WomenOutForFun
Well who knew we would be in this business, certainly we did not. Thank you for taking the time to write a review and thank you for staying with us. We try to keep our rates in line with who we are. We are certainly not in in the city of Monterey but as you have noted only a couple of miles to the beach. We love the area and its access to all of the great Monterey Bay sights. Thank you again for staying with us at our Howard Johnson Marina at Monterey Bay.
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150 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Booked through AAA, arrived at 9pm on July 4, and NO ROOMS!! They did not even secure a room for us somewhere else, even though there were comparable rooms available. They did not think they should have to pay the difference!! They tried to blame the whole thing on AAA, but AAA does not sell rooms hotels do not make available online...They sell the rooms through multiple locations and do not hold back extra for goofs. Don't trust a reservation here...

Room Tip: Book Somewhere else... or you may not have a room...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Terry B, Owner at Howard Johnson Marina at Monterey Bay, responded to this review, 1 week ago
Snagwam
It is our worst nightmare when we do no have a room for a customer. We are both caught by computers that have incorrectly settled the matter. We had no rooms to reserve and we had no record of that reservation. I do not even have any idea as to which computer in the chain of computers decided that that we had a room when we did not. Unfortunately those decisions are not made by our computers as we like you can only look at results, as the reservations are made centrally between AAA and Wyndham. I am deeply sorry that you got caught in this computer trap.
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Spokane, Washington
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

If there is any thing the owners can do for you to make your stay more enjoyable, they go out of their way to help you. They go above and beyond the call of duty. Our room was great, the tv was great and to be perfectly honest, the service you get here is better than a 300.00 room !! I should know, this motel filled up and we had to check out for 1 night, I couldn't wait to get back to this motel for the remainder of our stay. Breakfast is great, healthy and organic. I would stay here any time I was on the peninsula. I will tell all my friends and family who live on the peninsula about this place and how specoal we were treated !!

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Terry B, Owner at Howard Johnson Marina at Monterey Bay, responded to this review, 1 week ago
LisaSkyy
Thank you for taking the time to write a review and thank you for choosing us for your stay. When you tell us you had a great stay it makes all of our days. Thank you for continuing your stay in the face of obstacles as you have noted the Monterey Bay area is beautiful and very busy during the summer months. I was happy to see that you enjoyed our new HDTV service. Thank you again for staying with us at our Howard Johnson Marina at Monterey Bay.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Apple Valley, California
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Based on other reviews here, we tried this one on a busy summer weekend when everything in the area was outrageously expensive. Wasn't even cheap here, but less than elsewhere. It definitely lived up to reviews - I gave it five circles, not because it's the most deluxe hotel, but because it exceeded my expectations. Staff were very welcoming and helpful. Rooms were clean and comfortable (the pillows were a little hard). The location isn't deluxe - in a commercial district, and a gas station occupies the front of the hotel. But it's only a short drive to the beach, Monterey or Carmel.

Room Tip: There's no elevator, so ask for a ground floor room if you're with someone mobility-limited.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Terry B, Owner at Howard Johnson Marina at Monterey Bay, responded to this review, 1 week ago
BB1769
Thank you for both taking the time to write a review and for choosing us for your stay in the beautiful Monterey Bay area. We are a travelers choice motel, close to all of the Monterey sights but even in the summer more value priced. Sarah's team keep our large rooms fresh and clean. We just recently add HDTV for all of our rooms, although I must admit I would rather be out sight seeing. Thank you again for staying with us at our Howard Johnson Marina at Monterey Bay.
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Lier, Belgium
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Owner very friendly, nice rooms, good location. Breakfast room is a bit small, but not bothersome. Beach is just couple of miles away. Perfect place to stay when you're travelling through. Very close to Monterey.

Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Terry B, Owner at Howard Johnson Marina at Monterey Bay, responded to this review, 1 week ago
StevenBel
Thank you for taking the time to write a review and thank you for choosing us for your stay. We offer large clean rooms that are kept clean and fresh by Sarah's team. Sarah puts out a great breakfast and of course has very good attendance. Our property is a traveler's choice as we are close to all of the Monterey Bay sights. Thank you again fro staying with us at our Howard Johnson Marina at Monterey Bay.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Howard Johnson Marina at Monterey Bay

Address: 416 Reservation Rd, Marina, CA 93933 (Formerly Days Inn Marina)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Marina
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 hotels in Marina
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Howard Johnson Marina at Monterey Bay 2*
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