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“Not as good as it looks in the ads”

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Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay
Ranked #14 of 56 Hotels in Monterey
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed June 21, 2013

If you stay here bring ear plugs. Noise levels are intolerable. There is no air conditioning so to be comfortable you have to keep the windows open at night. Although our room was no where near any meeting place, we were disturbed both nights of our stay by drunken rowdy partiers whooping it up well into the early morning hours. When that finally subsided after 2 am we were serenaded by each night by the very loud sound of snoring coming through the wall from the next room.
The room was comfortable and clean. The hotel was lovely if sterile.

The service was substandard. Upon arrival we were met by a uniformed valet who didnt bother to welcome us or take our bags, but instead said - will you be using self park or valet. When we said we would be self parking ( in the hotel garage for $17 a night) he said you are going to have to move because we need this space . WHAT !!! There was an entire courtyard/driveway available for check in and he wanted us to move. We said firmly, we'll check in first, then we will move the car.

I had reserved a king sized room a month in advance using the hotel website. We were given a room with two doubles. Not a big deal, but when I called to inquire the clerk asked if I had booked online. I said yes. She said ( with clear disdain) when you use the discount websites this is what you get. I corrected her and said I had booked directly with the hotel and had specified a king sized bed. She said she would check and get back to me. We waited 20 minutes and she never called back , so we did, got someone else, who said he would call back and never did. We finally gave up. Not a big deal but not great service. Although we got a discount by booking in advance, there are so many other fine choices in the area that I am sure one could do better elsewhere. By the way, the pool looks great in the photos but is barely the size of a hot tub.

Room Tip: stay elsewhere
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Sarah M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,522 - 1,528 of 2,599 reviews

Reviewed June 20, 2013

My husband and I (and our 2 month old daughter) were on a trip back from Northern California and we decided to stop in Monterey for the night. Upon check-in we received freshly baked cookies (which were very yummy!) and were greeted by the friendly staff. Our room was very nice and even included a Keurig in the room, a fridge, and a ceiling fan. Our room overlooked the plaza and we didn't find it noisy. The location is great- walking distance to the Fisherman's Wharf and shops nearby. Parking is fairly expensive- $17 a day for self-park. We got a great deal on our rate though for the room... 50% summer special! Can't beat that!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank jsickles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2013

We stayed here my daughter for 2 days for my daughter to attend orientation at USMB. I decided to take our golden retriever since it was dog friendly. When we checked in we got cookies for the dog and cookies for us. We upgraded the room to harbor view which was very nice. I had read other reviews that the road rooms are noisy so i avoided that. Our room was very nice with keurg and refrigerator. They give you Paul Newman coffee and sleepy time tea. We were in 619 which was a great room. Very quiet, hardly saw anyone on our floor. We ate at Jacks one night next to the fires with the dog. Basically anywhere they eat outside you can eat with your dog. I did try to eat at the restaurant in the hotel for breakfast, but it was buffet for 17.50 and I couldnt leave the dog for daughter was at orientation so I went to a little shop around the corner for breakfast. It was in courtyard. Parking is $17 for self park and $20 for Valet. Garage is a bit away. I would stay here again. Spa prices outrageous so we did not use the facilities. Plus $50 for dog non refundable.

Room Tip: Harbor view is best.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Crazedw2kids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2013

I was hesitant to book here since I was traveling with 4 kids (ages 6 months to 13 years), but they really enjoyed their stay here and are already asking me when we are going to go back! After reading other reviews, I decided to upgrade to a harbor view. I was a little disappointed that we weren't closer to the water at first, but when we heard the seals and seagulls at night, I was very happy with our location. The pool was heated and the kids had fun playing with some of the other kids. The room/décor was updated and clean. The staff were all very friendly. Their room service was timely - large plate portions for hungry kids. The hotel location was excellent - a short walk to Fisherman's Wharf, the beach and Dennis the Menace Park and a manageable walk to Cannery Row. I didn't mind the $17/day guest parking since I would have to pay to park if I had drive to these places anyway.

The only cons: It would have been nice to have a microwave in the room. Also, it took over an hour and for me to call back to have them bring an extra blanket to our room.

Room Tip: Upgrade to a Harbor View room... I would have hated to get stuck with a room next to the pool.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Jen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2013

We stayed over winter break while we had family visiting from out of state. The price for off season was acceptable for location and being an upscale hotel. The rooms we were given were a little difficult to find and went through a maze of inside then outside and then inside our tower, but since CA winters aren't too bad didn't really bother once we were able to locate our rooms. We had adjoining rooms that overlooked the seasonal ice skating rink, a little noisy while operating, but also a treat to watch out the windows. The in-laws had a single king with a pull out sofa, and were quite pleased with the space and also the large library of area sights and even novels. They commented it was the best hotel they ever stayed in. Our room had 2 doubles, and was a little tight with 2 adults and 3 small kids, but we just left the adjoining door open for the social time anyway. Appreciated having a fridge for water, milk, and juice for the little ones. The little ones also enjoyed walking around the lobby looking at the hand crafted ships on display. Highly recommend, since there are so many places nearby to eat, look at and just plain adventure to.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank betweenadventures
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2013

We booked last minute for a one night stopover. The king room was on the 5th floor overlooking the inner courtyard. The room was a good size and the shutters give a beachy feel even when there is no view to speak of. The water bottles on the desk were $4 each the cost of which was etched in the glass stand beside them - and hard to read. Perhaps a more obvious notice that the water was not complementary would have been helpful. The Venture gallery in the hotel's foyer is a collective of local artists and well worth a look.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank nzdarl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2013

Three of us stayed at the Portola June 1 -3. We had traveled there so I could fulfill my son's last wish for his ashes to be scattered off shore. It was an important time for us and the staff made our stay just amazing. Seven of us had breakfast at Jack's and I highy recommend the food and service. The room was comfortable, coffe available was also very good. Pool area was extremely relaxing. I will return.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Kay G
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

Address: 2 Portola Plaza, Monterey, CA 93940
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 Business Hotel in Monterey
#4 Spa Hotel in Monterey
#7 Family Hotel in Monterey
#9 Romantic Hotel in Monterey
Price Range: $188 - $423 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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