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“Mixed bag” 3 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
Level Contributor
46 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Mixed bag”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014

The highs are high and the lows are low. I was here for a conference. The location is phenomenal, so close to all the Monterey Peninsula highlights while being right off of the beach. It was really easy to walk out to the beach or the nearby boardwalk for walks or trail runs. The scenery and setting is really lovely, wildlife runs around pretty freely, so you feel close to the natural beauty of the place.

The overall architecture is special, there's a very distinct look to the place that's inviting. In the main spaces, the social hall, dining hall and big meeting hall, everything is really well done. It's when you get to the individual rooms that things start to get dicey. I stayed in Sand which was a long A-frame building divided into 6 or 7 rooms. It was one of the older structures on the grounds. The walls were very thin, you got to know your neighbors well. The room itself was really interesting, lots of space and 4 beds which seemed a little funny for one person to stay in (but would be good for a family). The patio was great, large and with a partial ocean view. There was a dressing area with lots of closet space which was nice. All of the finishes were a little run down and several things were broken - ie the screen door to the patio, some lights). The bathroom was divided up so it felt small and confining. The shower was roomy but getting a consistent water temp was impossible, it was either scalding or freezing. There were also condition issue in the bathroom, like old cracked grout and caulk, that weren't very attractive. I saw several other kinds of rooms on the property and in general they were all a little shabby. Also no AC, and the rooms got stuffy during the day since mine at least had no window you could leave open.

The food was really good though and the staff were awesome, really nice and helpful. On the other hand there was no TV (which was kind of nice I guess) and the wireless internet was only fair (and a pain since you had to keep signing into it over and over). Then again the outdoor spaces were really ideal for relaxing with a glass of wine and good book or conversation. The flip side is the property is super spread out and a little hard to navigate. Another point in their favor is how they try to reduce waste on the property.

In summary, a mixed bag. I would stay there again, I would happily attend a conference there again, I may not choose to have my wedding or honeymoon though. It's a tad pricey for the lack of many amenities.

Room Tip: The grounds are really spread out - look carefully at the map and try to get a room closer to the so...
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Green Features: They put a lot of effort into signage making you aware of recycling and water use reduction on the property which was interesting and hopefully impactful.
  • Stayed July 2014, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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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546 reviews from our community

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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
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English first
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014 via mobile

A fabulous spot. We could look at the ocean from out deck. If you want an ocean view be careful what room you book. The room was adequate but spartan; no frig, no phone, no TV and the WiFi was a pain to use. This is a huge place so don't expect the normal B & B breakfast. I would suggest not taking the breakfast option and eating else where.

Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
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Level Contributor
56 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014

Asilomar is located in a State Park, so you can visit it anytime, see the historic (and wonderful) architecture of Julia Morgan, with some exhibits, and of course a beach, some forest, wildlife. Watch out for poison oak, it is all around, but I did not see any warning signs.
Reasons not to stay here: we were at a conference, stayed in a :"historic room" and including all meals for five days for about $1700 ($850 each). The room was not very clean when we arrived. There are very limited outlets and I had to rearrange the two beds and the lamps so we each had a reading light and a small space to put glasses, etc. The sink didn't work well, and of course the rooms do not have phones, I learned later there is a phone in the lobby of our cottage, but orginally I thought, how do I ask for more cleaning, for a sink fix, .... the walk to the front desk was 5-10 minutes. No coffee maker in the room, no small fridge, that's basically ok for a historic place, but if you price for amenities, mostly what this place has is location & history.
They advertise that each historic cottage has a living room with a fireplace, but one night it was locked, and when I called the front desk, they said those rooms were actually for conference use (implied you would pay more) and that we were not entitled to use it as guests in that cottage. A clear contradiction of their website.
The fireplaces are a nice amenity -- we ended up using the one in the living room till they locked us out. It's pretty much always cool in the evenings, so a fire can be nice even in mid-summer.
So--except for the historic value and the fireplace, the room was worth maybe $100-$140 a night. That meant that we were paying $80-100 each for food (except they may not parse it this way). The food was very good for "cafeteria style," but not special, and no choice, e.g., for dessert, it was already at your place. One complaint, and this is actually California regulations, I guess, is that you had to ask for water, even though the table would have a pitcher of ice tea (but not water) on it. And the service to the table if you wanted water, coffee, tea,... was pretty slow, I would get up and go ask. There is a bar to get wine and beer for moderately inflated prices.
I got to Asilomar via public transit, I think most people would have a car. There are wonderful attractions in the area, including Point Lobos, Monterey Bay Aquarium, charming towns and lots of beautiful coastline. Asilomar does rent bikes. Especially if I had a car, I would stay elsewhere and be sure to visit Asilomar. And there is pretty good public transit as well.

Green Features: It's a State Park, so quite strong on that count, and conscientious otherwise. I suppose fireplaces are not necessarily environmentally friendly, but they are nice :)
  • Stayed July 2014, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Bay Area
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196 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014

Large room with an open view across the entire side. Thankfully, no TV or other distractions. MInimal furniture but functional. I thought the food excellent and the staff everywhere, from the receptionist office to cleaners and servers, was great. Made friends with Placido Domingo :). Starbucks in the reception center.

Beautiful architecture, with buildings made of wood; 10 buildings designed by Julia Morgan. The crown jewel, of course, is the natural setting, with the beautiful white sand beach across the road, nature trails, restored dunes with the native flowers, and wildlife. No loud music, drunken revelers, banality or hoi polloi. This is a place that I could not get tired off.

A potential downside is WiFi which in rooms seems to be on the slower side, something one might not expect from a conference center in CA.

This was my third visit to Asilomar. I will be back.

Room Tip: Ask for the room with a view :)
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Green Features: A major plus!!! A lot of thought went into protecting the dunes and native plants.
  • Stayed July 2014, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2014

For $65/night off of a long broken down highway it would almost be reasonable, $300/night for a room that looks like something straight out of the bates motel is outrageous. Here for a conference, the facilities are poorly laid out, the AV is awful, the rooms are terrible (wall paper falling off the walls, holes in the carpets, windows will not close, dirty chair, carpet smells etc), the service or lack there of is awful and the reception was unfriendly, I would never come back here, EVER. Nor would I ever recommend that a conference be held her.

The only positive is the grounds are sort of nice, that is it.

Room Tip: Book a room somewhere else.
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Green Features: There are signs everywhere on how not to use to much water.
  • Stayed July 2014, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 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.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

I was there for 4 days 3 nights in July for a conference and stayed at South View and Scripps one for my own early arrival and one for the conference. They could not allow me to keep the same room. I was happy with the quietude of Southview. Scripps was a very small room with enough space for a bed, desk and chest of drawers and a sink. I was keen to upgrade but was told all rooms were booked for the weekend. The staff was helpful to try to check for a while but no rooms were available. She advised me to stay out more of the time. I tolerated the small room and the lack of soundproofing. I thought someone was in my cupboard when actually it came from the sound of next door. I adjusted to it anyway.

Truly said by the staff , I enjoyed the surroundings more than the rooms - the occasional deer roaming near the grounds, the nice seating area where you can get your coffee or wine to sit and relax and watch the sea afar, the breezy walk on the boardwalk that connects back to the Conference Grounds, the beautiful ocean on a sunny day. For a short stay with day conferences being away, it is still on the whole a good stay.

Room Tip: If you don't drive, better choose a room near the check in social hall. The dining hall and soci...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
160 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014

When coming from Europe, I expected to see something more impressive in this famous place. Yes, this is a nice piece of wild nature with dunes and ocean, but I can say, the Atlantic cost of Spain looks even better, the more so, you can swim there. On the other hand, a whole accommodation and food reminded me life of the first american pioneers: comform is minimal, no TV in rooms, etc. The price of 1100 UDS for three days looks greatly overestimated .

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
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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
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Pacific Grove
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Asilomar Conference Grounds 2*
Number of rooms: 312
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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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