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“Lovely location, great staff”

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Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay
Ranked #16 of 56 Hotels in Monterey
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed June 28, 2013

We had a business and pleasure trip to Monterey and stayed at this hotel for the meeting. The staff were friendly and helpful, especially when we arrived and got locked out of our car. They helped us contact AAA and soothed our otherwise frantic nerves. We stayed for a week, so long it began to feel like home. Highly recommend for both the rooms and the meeting facilities.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from vending machines and elevators.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Sharon B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,462 - 1,468 of 2,552 reviews

Reviewed June 28, 2013

This location is great to experience downtown and a walk to Cannery Row. The rooms are nice and very clean. The staff is helpful and quick to respond (our ceiling fan battery was dead so someone came up right away).

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank DebbieRae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2013

We stayed at the Portola for four nights while my husband attended a conference. This is a lovely hotel in a great location, in old town Monterey, next to Fisherman's Wharf.. With everything an easy walk, you do not need a car here.

We had a slight issue at check-in - the front desk staff needed to be a bit more specific about the location of our room; he correctly told us that it was in the building across the plaza, but failed to tell us that the first floor is actually the second floor (the "L"for lobby is the first floor). After several minutes of getting lost/confusion, another guest explained this to us and we found our room.

Our room faced the plaza, and was well-appointed, with very comfortable bed, two big chairs and a table, desk/chair, large flat screen tv, and nicely updated classy/beachy decor. Some plusses were lovely plantation shutters, a decent-sized refrigerator, a Keurig coffeemaker, and a make-up mirror in the bathroom. It was also nice that we could open the window and let the sea breeze in. While the room seemed updated, the bathroom strangely seemed like it missed the update - it was very clean, but looked dated. We had free wi-fi, but it was a perk of the conference my husband was attending - I'm not sure if this is something all guests can get.

The staff was overall helpful, though some seemed much more eager to please than others. The facilities/amenities were beautiful. We did not use the pool or gym, but I did use the spa services. My manicure was nothing special, but the view out the window was wonderful. The massage services were exceptional - highly recommend this service at the spa!

There are two restaurants at the hotel; Jack's, which seemed like more upscale-ish American fare (we did not eat there due to few vegetarian choices, and high $$) and Peter B's. Peter B's is Monterey's only authentic brew pub, and my husband the beer snob really liked their beer. However the food was only so-so, and the service was awful -we waited and waited to give our order, then waited some more for our food - it seemed like they were short-staffed. There are good restaurants in town or at the Wharf (we liked Cafe Triste and Paluca Trattoria for dinner, and there is a great little place next to the hotel called Cafe Pino? - hope I am rememmbering the name correctly - it is right bewteen the spa and the Plaza rooms - for breakfast/lunch) . I'd say skip the hotel restaurants, unless you want a good beer :)

The hotel is close to restaurants/shops in town and the wharf, but about a 10-15 minute walk to Cannery Row. However, that walk along the Shoreline trail may be one of the prettiest walks in the country! Beautiful seaside views, trees, beach, etc. on this walking/biking trail.

Overall, we had a nice experience here, and would stay here again.

Room Tip: We liked our room on the plaza - our room had a lovely tree in front that gave it a little more priv...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Dreamer1999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2013

We just spent 4 days at the Portola for a conference. The location can't be beat - right in the center of Old Monterey next to Fisherman's wharf and pretty much within the historic park. The hotel itself is a pretty typical conference hotel - spacious lobby, v. good customer service (particularly friendly folks working both front desk and bell desk), decent rooms. However, our room had two full size beds, not queens, and when I called to ask for a room with a king (or two queens for that matter) I was told they were full and no other rooms were available except suites. It made for some tight sleeping! Also, although I found the bed very comfortable in terms of support and cushioning, it was hot - almost like there was a plastic cover on the bed under the sheet (there wasn't). The room was also miles away from the elevators - anyone who has difficulty walking should ask where the room is when they check in.
I am surprised that no one has mentioned the concierge specifically in their reviews (that I have seen) - she is outstanding! She knows everything and everyone, and does a wonderful job suggesting the right restaurant for your tastes.

Room Tip: Some rooms are a very long walk from the elevators (those is in the 40s and 50s for instance). Also...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Kathy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2013

I recently stayed at the Portola hotel - location was great, beds extremely comfy but very disappointed with our room and the staff!

These rooms come in Premier & Standard and what they should come in is: Premier, Standard & Extremely noisy room next to a generator! We were given a room next to a huge generator - now if this was a city hotel I would expect lots of noise. Anyway we asked to move three times and each time we were moved around the generator!! This was unbelievable and I really felt like the front house were effectively 'taking the mickey' with this! In the end I asked for the manager who eventually moved us to a quieter room with absolutely no apology and was very blunt with us - almost like we were being a real pain. I am sorry but I don't expect to be stuck in an incredibly noise room and pay £100 plus for this room, it's not a luxury and I felt like I was staying in a downtown motel (I did in L.A and it was much better than this hotel!)

I stayed in 6 hotels on this trip and every one of them also provided complimentary Wifi - this hotel didnt and you have to pay $9.99 to upgrade. Considering the trouble we had you would have thought they would have upgraded us to this for nothing! It doesnt cost a hotel much more to provide the Wifi for free & it's a nice touch.

I am not really not one to complain (and I normally read trip advisor and think Gosh that's a petty complaint so I dont take complaining lightly!) and have some stayed in some hotels with lesser stars than this but with much better service! I gave it two stars for the comfy bed & the location but the rest of the hotel is very poor! I wouldnt bother staying here again & would advise other people not to. I wasn't asked how my stay was when i checked out - as otherwise i would have said how disappointed I was!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Kirsty W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2013

The hotel and staff certainly exceeded my expectations and even though people like to get home to their own bed, I sure miss those feather pillows and down comforter...what an awesome place to stay!! The service was awesome, friendly staff and great food.

Room Tip: Short walk to look at the seals too!
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled on business
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Thank eayalles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2013

I recently spent a week at the Portola while attending a conference. This is by far the best customer service I have experienced in many years of travel. The facilities are excellent, the location spectacular, and the staff exceptional.

Room Tip: The spa and pool are in an adjacent building but it is only a few steps across a cobbled path. Most...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled on business
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Thank deana o
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 Spa Hotel in Monterey
#4 Business Hotel in Monterey
#7 Family Hotel in Monterey
#9 Romantic Hotel in Monterey
Price Range: $167 - $392 (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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