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“Hotel is fine, PeterB restaurant--just horrible.”

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Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay
Ranked #16 of 55 Hotels in Monterey
GreenLeadersGold level
San Francisco
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Hotel is fine, PeterB restaurant--just horrible.”
Reviewed November 24, 2007

We stayed there for just one night. Overall hotel isn't bad, especially if you don't have to pay full $200 rate. Room was big enough for 2 adults and two kids, with two double bads--a little outdated, but not bad at all.
My big complaint--"PeterB" pub/restaurant located right behind hotel. They advertise this place (hard to call it a restaurant) everywhere and most likely own it. My gosh, food was just horrible and service--simply absent at all!!! They sell overpriced food and drinks (hardly food at all) to unaware guests--great biz for them. Just for example, ice cream--$6--we got a small bowl, with maybe 1 scoop of ice cream and 3 (THREE) cookies planted inside to make it look big. Those cookies were distributed to hotel guests during check in time for free--I guess they had leftovers, so what a great way of using unused cookies. And martini--oh boy, don't even go there.
Anyway, you can stay at the hotel but avoid that horrible eatery at any price. I wouldn't eat there for free again.

  • Stayed November 2007
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank I_am_travel_junkie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Palm Desert, California
Level Contributor
49 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
Reviewed November 20, 2007

This place is tired. Staff is lazy. Restaurant staff LAZY LAZY LAZY. It is more a 2.5 star hotel. I was not impressed. Beds were comfy. The gym was AWFUL!!!! Rusty, moldy. They do give you lots of towels. I paid extra for a better view, and I could see the ocean if I stood on my head. WARNING--the sea lions bark VERY VERY loudly and all night long. Lots of complaints there. Had a conference here and we were all disappointed. Was not worth it for the $$.

  • Liked — Comp wine in room
  • Disliked — Dirty and tired. Black hair embedded in comforter
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Danni0005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern California
Level Contributor
24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed November 10, 2007

Our room was fine -- I feel it was overpriced, as we paid quite a lot to stay there (it was Memorial Day weekend and everything else was booked). We didn't like the loudness of the alleyway/marketplace right outside our window. The walls were thin, too, and the family in the room next door got up VERY early and didn't hesitate to let us know about it. The bed was comfortable, though, and everything was clean. Especially liked the selection of in-room movies -- some real charmers, better selection than most.

The draw in Monterey for us was the Aquarium and the hotel has an aquarium package that includes tickets, saving you a long wait in line. We walked from the Aquarium back to our hotel after taking the crowded shuttle from our hotel to the Aquarium. It was a long but nice walk. We also enjoyed the fact that the hotel was right near the old marina, which is a total tourist trap (for heaven's sake don't eat there, the food is all dreadful) but was fun to walk around. Lots of nice restaurants and stores within easy walk of the hotel.

The hotel gym, outside and down the street, was just okay even though it had been built up as some amazing fitness center.

We had a little trouble with parking -- their parking lot was full, which was really frustrating (nothing like leaving your space just long enough to eat dinner and then coming back to find no parking at all! we wasted a lot of time circling!), and we ended up being forced to do valet parking, and then they put valet parking on our bill for all the nights we stayed there. The valet guys were noticeably friendly and did a great job.

As a happy ending to the parking problem, when we talked to the front desk about our parking woes on the morning of our departure, they were super-sweet and ended up taking all parking charges off our bill. Nice service, guys!

This is really a Doubletree that they are trying to make seem like a boutiquey hotel. It's nothing that special, but it was perfectly serviceable and we had a lovely time there.

Recommended if you can afford it, but it's not amazing, so don't do what we did and splurge on it -- not worth it.

  • Liked — Comfortable, good location, polite staff and nice service
  • Disliked — Parking trouble, overpriced
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank willCodeForFun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
36 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 172 helpful votes
Reviewed October 26, 2007

I can't complain about the location, as you are right on the Plaza, close to the Wharf, so for people who come from out of town (mostly, out of state) and you have an expense account because you are here for a convention, then this is probably the ideal place.

As a somewhat local (CA) person, I was kind of put off that I had to pay extra for my Internet connection (I don't have this problem with other hotels at half the price), and that I had to pay $18 for valet parking. Valet parking, I can understand to a degree, but no free WiFi?????? Not acceptable. Especially since they cater to corporate events! But maybe it's no big deal if someone else is paying for it.

I took my college-age daughter here for her fall break since we wanted to spend some time together and we both love the Aquarium....one good tip.....buy your tickets at the concierge's desk and you can have two full days for one price (no surcharge). The front desk staff was very helpful and the bar and lobby area very accommodating.

Our room was okay, but for that price, I'd prefer the Hotel Pacific, just across the way. The only reason we didn't choose it is because we needed separate beds.

All in all, this seems more like a conventioneer's hotel than a touristy place......lots of probably good conference rooms, and quite a lot of activity on that end from what we could see. However, our room, at $200+ per night, only overlooked the street, and I don't consider it much of a bargain for families or other than conventioneers.

  • Stayed September 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Pacifica_traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tel-Aviv
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2007

Stayed for one night in September. The room was nice but small.

Service was very good and kind.

There is no breakfast.

Located within walking distance to everything.

  • Stayed September 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ARonen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, MN
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2007

Was a very nice hotel, nicely appointed and a great bathroom - roomy and clean. Those darn sea lions barked all night and it sounded like they were very close - but they weren't! Some find it soothing - but we're not used to sea lions in the midwest. Overall, it was a very nice hotel.

C.R., Minneapolis. MN

  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank CARMN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin
Level Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed October 6, 2007

Perfect location, you can't ask for any better.

We booked a standard room online but what we got was a huge room with two very comfy queen beds (we just had to have one each, for a change!) and which overall was very well decorated.

Free (monster size) cookies at check-in. You can check out from the TV (worked well).

The extras are expensive (parking $15?) but it is a very nice hotel and worth staying in.

  • Stayed September 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JDxtra
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

Property: Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay
Address: 2 Portola Plaza, Monterey, CA 93940-2419
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Monterey County > 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
#3 Luxury Hotel in Monterey
#4 Spa Hotel in Monterey
#4 Business Hotel in Monterey
#8 Family Hotel in Monterey
#9 Romantic 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 Certified hotel on the central coast of California, the hotel boasts 379 guestrooms and suites, an award winning full service day spa, three on-site restaurants including 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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