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“Nice hotel for weekend getaway” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay

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Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   2 Portola Plaza, Monterey, CA 93940   |  
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Breakfast for Two Package
Ranked #8 of 54 Hotels in Monterey
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Danville, California
Level Contributor
34 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Nice hotel for weekend getaway”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012

This is our "go to" hotel when staying in the Monterey area. The rooms are very nice and updated with very comfortable beds. For a quiet stay, ask for an inside room away from the pedestrian road that can be noisy up until 11pm or so. There is a charge for parking but on check out day you can leave your car even after checking out and walk to downtown and the surrounding bay front. The restaurants are good and it has a nice lobby for relaxing. A Spa massage is also a nice treat.

We often rent bikes and ride to Cannery Row. I highly recommend renting a kayak or kayak tour that takes you to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. This is a great kayak tour and allows you to get up close to the otters and sea lions. We usually rent from Adventures by the Sea at Cannery Row. Their guides are very knowledgeable.

We visit Monterey/Carmel often. Our trip would not be complete without driving south on Hwy 1 to the Highland Inn to watch the sunset and have drinks in the lounge. Breathtaking! A drive along Sunset Drive in Pacific Grove for tide pooling in Asilomar State Beach is also a must for ocean lovers. Go during low tide.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PortolaHotelSpa, Manager at Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay, responded to this review, July 23, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on TripAdvisor. We always appreciate your feedback and support.

With countless opportunities to enjoy Monterey, we are glad to hear you are enjoying local venues such as Adventure by the Sea. Be sure to check out the Portola’s Packages & Specials for Attraction and Action packages for your next stay!

We are happy to hear we are your “go to” hotel in Monterey and we look forward to welcoming you back soon!

Sincerely,
The Portola Hotel & Spa Management Team
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1,803 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (401)
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The Americas
Level Contributor
130 reviews
100 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012

This is a quality property but has a few shortfalls. No courtesy internet anywhere whereas the Marriott accross the street has courtesy internet in public areas. Come on! You can throw that in! Breakfast service and offerings are outstanding. Rooms are not as large as I would have expected. We got sent to one overlooking a parking lot in an adjacent building. That was a true let down. They could use those rooms for storage and not for guests. It needs some refreshing. It is also inconvenient as the annex does not connect to the lobby except through an outdoor walkway. Self parking is super expensive considering that there are nearby alternatives for half that price.

Room Tip: Ask for the main building with a city or wharf view. Stay away from annex.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PortolaHotelSpa, Manager at Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay, responded to this review, July 23, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write an online review on TripAdvisor. We always appreciate your feedback and do share your comments with our staff.

Recently we upgraded the building to support wireless internet for a fee, but we do offer complimentary Wi-Fi in the lower atrium as well as Jacks Lounge. The Lounge opens daily at 11am as well as offers our salad bar for lunch!

Thank you again for sharing your feedback, we hope to welcome you back soon!

Sincerely,
The Portola Hotel & Spa Management Team
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Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2012 via mobile

We enjoyed our stay here. The room was clean and a good size. We found a little bug in the bathroom, but that's probably not a reflection of cleanliness. Nice bathrobes - although we had to request them (having seen them in another room). There were a lot of families with young kids staying and a bit of resulting noise early in the morning! Also, the remote control was broken which was a bit annoying, although I expect they'd have replaced it if we had got around to asking. Overall, a nice place.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boca Raton, Florida
Level Contributor
24 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2012

This review is for the hotel and the little brewery that is there. We did not use Jacks (restaurant) or the spa.
From the valets at the front door, the front desk people and the bellhop -- all of them had huge smiles and made you welcome. Every time we went in or out of the front door in three days, the valets (usually 2, sometimes 3) greeted you and said hello. I have never seen staff like that. The staff at the brewery were the same way. So A+ for staff. Cleaning crew kept the room spotless and did it in a timely fashion. You didn't have to wait until 3PM to clean the room and they also did not run you out of the room at 9AM. They spoke English, and smiled. A+. The room itself was pretty nice and included a safe and small fridge as well as coffee. Bed was modern and comfortable with one of those new mattresses. Had shutter type windows that my wife liked. It was not elegant but was very nice. I will give it an A for its type.
Location -- Fantastic. It felt like you were 100 yards from everything. A++. Parking was in their garage and non valet parking was $17 per day, $20 for valet. I thought this was expensive BUT...the public parking lot right next door that was not covered, was $15 per day, and much more expensive if you drove in and out a couple of times per day. So I would give it a B for parking.
The public areas were spotless and pretty. The lobby area was very large running the length of the hotel and about 30 feet wide. Internet was free in the public areas but you had to pay in the hotel rooms. (Our room was on the second floor (3 on the elevator) so we were low enough to get "free internet" when I sat in one corner of the room. It was $10 per day if you paid for it. Because I didn't I won't give it the C that I would ordinarily.
The brewery (cannot remember its name) had some pretty hot Buffalo wings and jalapeno french fries which warmed us up. The beer was really good and they had a sampler of several small beers for those who couldn't make up their mind like my wife. I would give it a B+ or an A for its type - the menu was expansive, a party of children was pretty noisy but they were off in a corner by themselves. Served liquor as well as the beer.
Upon arrival the front desk gave us cookies which were great. They should offer them each night you are there. Cost -- I had a special rate that was VERY inexpensive that I got through an online site. First time I have ever gotten a bargain that way. One other note -- there was supposed to be renovation going on for the three days that we were there but they had finished early -- that probably explains the cost but it was great regardless. It certainly contributed nicely to our 40th anniversary.

Room Tip: Don't get a room near an elevator -- this is a general practice I have kept for years. Our...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
53 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2012

My wife and I spent two days at the Portola in July, 2012. the hotel is rated as 4 stars but I don't think it is deserving, 3 1/2 stars maybe, 3 stars definately.
The location is great for fisherman's wharf and downtown monterey. If you want to head up to the aquarium there is a free shuttle running until 8PM.
the hotel room was nice, recently remodeled and had everything we needed. Even had a Kurig for coffee in the morning. The bed was comfortable. I booked through priceline and they had me for 2 double beds, I asked for a king and it was no problem. the staff was nice, no problems and the valet was very fast. my only complaint is that the building is old and the bathrooms are old. I wasn't expecting extreme luxury but the hotel met our needs just fine.
We didn't eat at any hotel locations, there are lots of good breakfest places a few minutes walk into town. good, although touristy, restaurants on the wharf. we had a good meal there and a bad one... The hotel does have some noise but nothing to steer me away as it is right on the wharf. I would stay here again but don't be fooled by 4 star rating.

OH yeah and no air conditioning. It was a little warm at night.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PortolaHotelSpa, Manager at Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay, responded to this review, July 19, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to review the Portola Hotel & Spa on TripAdvisor. We truly appreciate your feedback and support!

At the Portola Hotel & Spa we strive to provide quality service in a comfortable and eco-friendly environment. We are currently reviewing our bathrooms and look forward to renovations in the near future. We do hope you will be back to visit soon and even try one of our restaurants!

Thank you again for taking the time to share your experience.

Sincerely,
The Portola Hotel & Spa Management Team
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Georgia
Level Contributor
28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2012

Stayed here and found the location excellent for doing the Monterey/Carmel thing. This hotel is not part of a chain. The staff is mostly courteous, but does not go too terribly out of their way to make you feel welcomed or appreciated. The rooms are nice sized and the beds are good. Not fond of hotels that do not offer free, or included, WiFi, but there is complimentary WiFi in the lobby.

We got to this hotel using Priceline so for the price, we were pleased that our offer was accepted. If we did not get this through Priceline, we probably would have stayed at the Marriott which was very close.

Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newbury Park, California
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2012

We were very excited to stay at such a nice hotel, but the Portola was somewhat disappointing. The hotel is very centrally located (right across the street from the wharf), but difficult to get to -- Monterey streets are a real pain to navigate. The parking structure, which you have to pay for, is separate from the hotel. In addition, the pool is located separate from the hotel. You have to cross a square to get to the hotel. The hotel looks like any other nice hotel, decor was typical and a bit drab. The hotel layout is sort of strange. In addition, the Portola is right on a public square so be prepared to listen to bands and parties -- very loud! However, the service staff is excellent. Room Service is prompt and friendly. Housekeeping staff is excellent. We had a breakfast package and got breakfast at Jack's (hotel restaurant). The buffet was delightful -- fresh seasonal fruit that was sweet and delicious. Our favorite were the Belgium waffles, so crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. A must have! Jack's staff was so kind and attentive. I have two young children and the staff was so helpful. Don't skip the breakfast buffet!

Room Tip: Requesta bay view, otherwise you just face other rooms -- life in a fishbowl!
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay

Address: 2 Portola Plaza, Monterey, CA 93940
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Monterey Peninsula > Monterey
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Monterey
#2 Spa Hotel in Monterey
#3 Luxury Hotel in Monterey
#3 Business Hotel in Monterey
#7 Romantic Hotel in Monterey
#8 Family Hotel in Monterey
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay 4*
Number of rooms: 379
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Portola Hotel & Spa reflects the captivating spirit of a rich, historical setting surrounded by everything that the Monterey Peninsula has to offer. Your stay at the Portola Hotel begins with warm homemade chocolate chip cookies, provided at check-in. As the only Silver LEED(R)-EB certified hotel on the central coast of California, the hotel boasts 379 guestrooms and suites, an award winning full service day spa, two on site eateries, a craft brewery and more! Portola Hotel & Spa is one of California's premier family-friendly destinations offering easy access to Monterey's favorite attractions. The hotel is also pet friendly. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Portola Hotel And Spa At Monterey Bay
Portola Hotel Monterey Bay

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