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“The quality of your experience depends on what room you get” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Asilomar Conference Grounds

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Asilomar Conference Grounds
2.0 of 5 Resort   |   800 Asilomar Avenue, Pacific Grove, CA 93950   |  
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Ranked #10 of 17 hotels in Pacific Grove
GreenLeadersGold level
Sunnyvale, CA
Top Contributor
180 reviews 180 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
708 helpful votes 708 helpful votes
“The quality of your experience depends on what room you get”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2012

We stayed May 3-5, 2012 at the Asilomar. There have been widely varying opinions on people's stay at the Asilomar facilities.

First some facts: this is really a sprawling campus over half a mild wide, with 32 lodge buildings containing 420 individual guest rooms. The lodge buildings may be described in two types: rustic and contemporary. Rustic buildings were constructed between 1913 and 1928 and are on the cramped side, small in size, with often twin sized beds, and hardwood floors. They have a certain charm to them, but every footstep can be heard by your neighbors, with noisey plumbing . These room are often given to people attending conferences, as the sitting rooms on the ground floor can be used as a meeting room, or a setup room for appetizers outside.

We stayed in a contemporary building, 839 Breakers West, with an sunny outside balcony, carpeted floors, and a full bathtub. The room fit two full size beds, and was so large it could have fit another single bed (see pictures). The mattress was firm, and the bedding and towels of good material. The room was immaculately clean, but had dated furniture, faded rug, and the building was weathered on the outside. Cathedral ceiling, but no cobwebs. No AC. We could see the ocean from both our back balcony and our front door. (This is rare, as most buildings do not have an ocean view, but are surrounded by pine forests. ) We were also the closest building to the 30' x 60' heated pool.

Some disadvantage of the room: no noise insulation. We could hear our neighbor's conversations word for word, at normal speaking volume. No TV, but one could go to Phoebe's cafe in the social hall, and watch ESPN. No microwave and no refrigerator.

Yes, there are waiting lines for breakfast -we waited 14 and 18 minutes respectively in line. This is to be expected, with dining facilities seating 500. However we got a delicious 4 course hot breakfast.

Travelzoo offered a $99 special, which we took. We were given a $50 credit slip for our next visit, which we will certainly take advantage of. And we would be willing to pay the normal $169-$229 price.

Asilomar is isolated, with only one outside restaurant nearby. However it is a ringer -the fabulous Fishwife seafood restaurant. That's for another review.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (113)
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2012

This hotel is located across the street from the beach, and is situated in a very nice natural setting. We walked three miles down the coast among nice beaches and rocky terrain. There were deer freely wandering around the hotel grounds. It's quiet and serene, and if you're looking to relax, it's nice. It's only about a ten minute drive into Monterey.

This is not a typical hotel, as the rooms are located in several smaller buildings around the conference grounds - which almost feels like a campground. The rooms were a bit outdated in my opinion, but the bed was comfortable and the bathroom decent enough. For those of you who love to watch TV, these rooms do not have TVs. Repeat - these rooms do not have TVs. I actually enjoyed that, but I think many would get bored with that. There is free WifI though. The buildings are a little old, but they're clean and well-kept. There's also free parking.

I only paid $99/night for this hotel, which was a pretty good value. We didn't have any issues with service. There is a nice hot breakfast served daily, and is much better than any continental breakfast served in a chain hotel.

So, I think this hotel depends on what you want. If you're younger and looking for something to do at night, then it's probably better to stay in Monterey. If you want to relax and need a getaway, or are just passing through while driving down the coast, this is a nice place to stay. I'd give it a 3 1/2 stars rating if I could.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2012

I will start by saying that the only saving grace of this place is that the service staff are nice and the food didn't make me sick, but that's all the nice I have to say. I came for a scientific conference and what I came away with is I am now an expert at waiting in line; as others have alluded to, meal times are strict and unbendable, so you wait in line with the entire rest of the resort. The food is college dining hall food, two options. The rooms are straight out of Twin Peaks/Dirty Dancing. The furniture is old and outdated, and if you're unfortunate enough to be stuck on the bottom floor, you will not sleep for the noise of the person above you, the floors are horrible, the walls paper thin, you can hear EVERY door slam, I heard people snoring in the room next door, and every footstep of the person above me. There is no air conditioning, the heating system is outdated, the wifi is slow, there is no TV or phone, all for $200 a night!! It's also very sprawling, the dining hall was a five minute walk from my room, and not a smooth one (dirt trails, tree roots- if you are at all mobility-challenged, DO NOT come here, it is not accessible). I had a very bad experience with banging in the night in my first room- plumbing or something, they never told me what was going on- and so I didn't sleep the first night. They switched me to another room and when I went there, someone else's stuff was there! They tried to put me in a room that was still occupied! So I had to go back to the front desk with all my stuff and had to get another room. The upgraded me to a fireplace room, and I did enjoy a fire one night, but the room was small. Also disappointing is the number of beds in every room! Why do you need two beds in a single room? And jammed in so tight?! I couldn't walk around my bed, I had to climb over the other bed. If you're into summer camp and don't mind regimented meals and long walks to get to your room and strange noises in the night, AND if you've got money to waste, then by all means, stay here, but I CANNOT possible justify a $200 a night price tag for what is offered here. The halls where we had lectures were very old-lodge-like; charming, and large, with big fireplaces and exposed beams- cool looking, but not enough to make my overall stay bearable. Yeah, the grounds are right on the beach, but it's a state park, just go visit for the day and then stay somewhere else. I'm sorry to the people who work here, I'm reviewing the hotel, not you.

Room Tip: This is really lose lose, just pick somewhere else.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auburn, AL
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2012

I stayed here for a weeklong conference. Note that I said conference and not "religious retreat".
This place would be OK for a day or two but after 7 days you feel like you are in a cult.

The rooms have NONE of the following:

- Air Conditioning
- Fan or anything that's NOT heat with which to circulate air
- Telephone
- Television

The rooms DO have the following:

- crappy AT&T DSL Internet (1.21 Mbps down/up)
- slow water flow
- hair dryer
- tired old carpet
- lamps from the set of "The Rockford Files"

My company paid $220/night for me to stay here for the conference. This rate included food at the dining hall. The food quality was OK but there's NO menu and you get a choice of two dishes. You get in line. Go left for option A, right for option B. You are handed a plate and expected to move on. The Soup Nazi would love this place. Also, good luck eating outside of their draconian serving times. The dining hall is LOCKED promptly at the end of meal service. Meal times are:

7:00 - 8:30 AM Breakfast
12:00 - 1:00 PM Lunch
6:00 - 7:00 PM Dinner

It's also forced socialization during dining. You MUST sit with your conference group or the serving ladies will report you to dear leader! I was at a very technical conference, and I needed a few minutes to just think and zone out. This was not possible during dining as ALL of the tables are round and the seats are very close together. I'm surprised we were not required to all wear white sarongs and sandals.

I am writing this review on my fourth of seven days here....please, send help!

Room Tip: Pick a different hotel.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2012 via mobile

My girlfriend and I just checked in and are completely appalled by the room we were given. We upgraded to a fireplace room for a romantic evening. What we found was the epitomy of anti-romantic. We have a room with four beds. Three singles and a double. There are burns all over the nasty carpet. It is a bare bones roadside motel looking room that should be $39 a night. We purchased a travelzoo deal to stay here ahead of time. Otherwise we would demand our money back and go somewhere else. Disappointed to say the least.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Alamo, California
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2012

Man, do I regret not reading the yelp reviews before using Priceline to book our two night stay at Asilomar Conference Grounds. We stayed there over the weekend with our two boys (ages 5,2) they had a blast running around the grounds and playing on the beach. The actual rooms on the other hand were another story-
Just like the other reviewers mentioned- very outdated furniture much like what you would find at a summer camp.
Our first night there, I was woken up around 2am by a rustling noise in the room. I thought it was the ventilation or heater coming on and off but it was coming from our bags in the closet. It sounded like something trying to open plastic crinkly wrap.
In the morning I mentioned it to my husband that I thought there might be rodents or something and he went to open our bag of bread and found a huge gaping hole-gnawed apart.
Okay so the rooms are close to the woods and we are in a state park reserve but I was pretty upset. We spoke to the front desk and honestly they were pretty bummed to hear about it- probably because now they need to set traps or fumigate that building. They moved us to another building on the far side of the complex-


Will NOT be staying here again.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aptos, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2012

We have lived in the Monterey Bay area for years and finally spent a night at Asilomar last week. I strongly urge you to spend the extra few dollars for a fireplace w/ ocean view room. The lodge is rustic but charming. This is not a place with granite counters in the bathrooms or jacuzzi tubs. Things are very basic and sometimes a wee bit tired. What you are paying for here is the location. You can walk down to one of the most beautiful sections coastline in the state. Both days we walked from our room all the way to Point Joe (part of the 17 mile drive area). The on-site coffee shop is great, and if you're done walking you can play pool on one of the two tables or a song on the piano. We used this as a base to drive a short five minutes to Spanish Bay and have our anniversary dinner at one of my favorite restaurants. Asilomar is a great way to go if you want to see Pebble Beach, the 17 mile drive, and Spanish Bay, without paying huge rates.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.

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Additional Information about Asilomar Conference Grounds

Address: 800 Asilomar Avenue, Pacific Grove, CA 93950
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Monterey Peninsula > Pacific Grove
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 17 hotels in Pacific Grove
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Asilomar Conference Grounds 2*
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Also Known As:
Asilomar Conference Grounds Hotel Pacific Grove
Asilomar Conference Grounds Pacific Grove
Asilomar Conference Center
Asilomar Hotel

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