(Specific room recommendations are in the last paragraph.) Despite the opening of an Intercontinental, nothing can beat the lovely Monterey Plaza for views, features, service and ambience. The hotel is vaguely S-shaped, wrapping around and over the edge of horseshoe-shaped Monterey. Its rooftop jacuzzi set at the corner of the building has what I think is the best view from a whirlpool tub anywhere. Charge champagne through room service, relax in the spa or by the outdoor rooftop fireplace and just say ahhhhhhh. (The workout facilities overlook the bay, too.)
The rooms are spacious. And yes, it's expensive but it's one of these special experiences that doesn't feel so painful because it delivers.
The bar (smaller) side of Schooner's bar and restaurant is charming, with interesting house-created cocktails and gorgeous views. (I skipped the artichoke cocktail created to honor artichoke Day, however.) My Ruby Sipper was excellent and the Santa Cruz Sidecar being consumed at the next table over was well received. The food is good, focused on seafood but not limited to it. You can order from the full menu in the smaller bar side in addition to the bar menu. I've had great crab there in years past although it wasn't crab season during this visit.
Important note: they have you initial an "events" clause on check-in saying you understand there may be some noise from events. They aren't kidding about that. I've stayed several times when there have been rowdy wedding parties in the evening, especially from April through early fall. If you're going to spend the money on ocean front, ask for a room in the spa tower that doesn't perch over the big decks where they hold weddings. I don't think being on upper floors matters much but request rooms 13-19 (e.g. 1213-1219, on the second floor) or 3-5. Those are perched over the water with no "party" decks below. (Nice touch: binocs in the rooms to watch the sea otters float by, which is common.) Though a big splurge, the corner suites, for example 1201/02, are the prettiest suites anywhere but get above the 2nd floor because of The Chart House restaurant --adjacent. Avoid 07-12. 14-18 and 26-36 face an internal courtyard. This is one hotel where the room and setting is a main attraction so it's worth the money for ocean view unless you have to be gone during all the daylight hours.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Relax on the water's edge at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa. Dramatically perched over the Monterey Bay and located on historic Cannery Row, the Plaza is the perfect place to enjoy the gentle sounds of the surf, the fresh scent of sea air and all of the activities that the Monterey Peninsula has to offer. The only Forbes Four Star rated hotel in Monterey, the Plaza welcomes you with its warm Mediterranean ambiance and its legendary personalized service. While here, enjoy our roof-top Vista Blue Spa, the European-style Café La Strada, and our waterfront restaurant, Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar.For the comfort of our guests, all sleeping rooms and balconies are 100% non-smoking. In addition to taxes, a $27 per night resort fee applies to all reservations, which includes valet parking, guestroom internet, access to the spa facilities and local phone calls. Periodically, the Plaza is host to events such as weddings, dinners and concerts which may be seen and heard from sleeping rooms. Every effort is made to keep the times and volume of these events within reason. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Monterey Plaza Hotel Monterey
- Monterey Plaza Hotel And Spa
- Monterey Plaza Resort
- Plaza Hotel Monterey