I stayed here for two nights during the Christmas season. The Valley Harvest Inn is on the main drag a little off the freeway, with a medium size shopping plaza (Denny’s, Taco Bell, McDonalds’s, supermarket, etc.) almost next door. The real downtown Soledad is about half a mile north, with more traditional small businesses that reflect the large Hispanic population. If you want a mom-and-pop grocery or variety store or Mexican food, this is where they are.
This was a trip that took me to both sides of Pinnacles National (soon to be) Park. I didn’t have a reservation, but business was fairly slow and I had no trouble getting a room and then moving when the original one wasn’t to my liking. Soledad is the gateway town for West Pinnacles. The Mission Soledad (Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, named for Our Lady of Sorrows) is a few miles away at the next freeway exit south. This was a good location for visiting these places and exploring around Greenfield and King City (I know, you’re wondering who explores around Greenfield and King City. I think Huell Howser would have had a good time.) For winery enthusiasts, several are nearby.
The reason I wanted to switch rooms was that I was first given a ground-floor room with a sliding glass door facing the parking lot, which I don’t prefer for security reasons. There wasn’t a patio, partition, or any other amenity there, just the glass door looking out onto the row of parked cars. I was able to move to an upstairs room in the inner court, which felt more secure and was quieter.
This is a good choice in a small town that is not exactly a hotbed of tourist activity. The large room had a queen bed; a sitting area with a couch, lamps, coffee table, TV, and desk; and a microwave and fridge. The wi-fi was erratic, possibly because of the stormy weather. A nice touch here is one that motels should have but many do not: draperies with inside sheer curtains, so occupants can open the drapes to let in some light without being on view to everyone passing by.
All the staff that I saw were friendly and cheerful, and the desk personnel were always efficient and courteous.
I used the small exercise room a couple of times because the weather that week was extremely stormy, with rain maybe half the time and often very heavy (I didn't do a lot of heavy-duty hiking at the Pinnacles either.) Other amenities include a pool and Jacuzzi, laundry, computer in the lobby for guests, a few books in the lobby (probably left by guests), and breakfast in the morning which included cold cereal, oatmeal, pastries, toast, fruit, and beverages. For larger appetites or other meals, the Windmill Restaurant on the same property, which I first visited on a different trip in November, has an extensive BLD menu. It’s normally open until 10:00 p.m. but had irregular hours Christmas week.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to the Valley Harvest Inn, located in Soledad, CA, the heart of the Salinas Valley and Monterey County wine country. Close to Pinnacles National Monument, Mission Soledad, and Monterey Bay, the Valley Harvest Inn motel and restaurant is the perfect stop for travellers, outdoor enthusiasts, and wine tasters. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Valley Harvest Hotel Soledad