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“Historical & the Nature here is Wonderful!”

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Asilomar Conference Grounds
Ranked #10 of 17 Hotels in Pacific Grove
GreenLeadersGold level
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
31 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Historical & the Nature here is Wonderful!”
Reviewed January 2, 2013

This was our second stay at the historical Asilomar. I love this lodging. The grounds are so beautiful. Walking around the grounds you might easily see deer. A short walk away you have the beautiful ocean. The main lodge is beautiful and full of activity.

Our rooms have always been very large and roomy. This time we requested a fireplace and we were not disappointed with the pine trees and view of the ocean.

There are no phones or TV's in the room.....that is a PLUS. You might want to travel with a coffee pot if you are a die hard coffee drinker. Breakfast was included in our package and that was yummy.

There were 3 family reunions here .....I thought that was a great idea.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank debnpaulo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2012

As my husband said to me when we entered our room. Charming, rustic and dedicated to rest and reflection - the website description. I think a better way to describe the ammenities is, simple rooms not intended for those seeking luxury, but rather a place to read and sleep. I venture to say it's quiet, but I could hear my neighbors easily, even though they were quiet. Without question, the surrounding property is amazing. Fantastic boardwalk that leads you to the ocean in just a couple of minutes.

We purchased a travelzoo voucher for our stay. We received a discount of $99/nt and free breakfast. The price was fair, given the location. The room we were in I believe was the standard modern room and not the rustic, although it felt like an ode to the 70's. Again, simple rooms, with nothing to boast about. The bed and bedding was fine. Flooring was plain, industrial carpeting (I only noticed because it was a little hard); bathrooms were in need of repair; paint, caulking, and new doors. Hinges were loose and falling apart, nicks on caulking and tile. The vent was full of dust.

When I go on vacation, I enjoy staying at hotels (or even motels) where management takes pride in how rooms are maintained - in the same manner that I take with my own home. If I have guests, I do what is necessary to make sure they feel at home. I didn't see evidence of that kind of care in the room we stayed in. As mentioned, simple, no-nonsense room. Nothing special about it.

With that said, my husband and I enjoyed hiking in the surrounding area; we spent much of the time outside of the room. Lots of good restaurants in Pacific Grove, which is just minutes away. Charming town.

The free breakfast was good. We were seated at a large table with other folks. Depending on your comfort level (whether you like privacy or can dig eating with a bunch of strangers), we were delighted to chat briefly with the other guests.

It would seem like this place would be great for families, but because the walls are thin, I'd only recommend this place for quiet families. For couples, the surrounding area is fantastic and so romantic, especially if you can catch the sunset or sunrise.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank destination2fun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Pacific Grove hotels

Columbia, MD
Level Contributor
67 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed December 25, 2012

I stayed at the Asilomar Conference Grounds three nights in mid-Dec. 2012 for a conference. Because we were quite busy much of the time, my time outside of the buildings were limited to walking between the guest rooms, dining hall, and conference rooms.

The rooms were rustic and very comfortable. Wi-Fi was available but I enjoyed the peaceful quiet of the evenings. My room had a functional fireplace with wood supplied on demand.

The meals were cafeteria style and quite tasty. A strong and appropriate emphasis on local California ingredients.

The conference rooms were spare but comfortable. Unfortunately, ours lacked microphones and a PA system which made it difficult to hear soft-spoken presenters.

The high point of the stay was two late afternoon/sunset strolls on Asilomar State Beach, which is a adjacent to the conference grounds. This is part of a National Marine Reserve so the aquatic life is rich and varied. Many seabirds of many species frequent the beach and surf. One evening at sunset I watched a group of otters drift in from the sea to a protected cove for the night.

Such a scenic and peaceful location!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank moudan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Folsom, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed December 17, 2012

As soon as you pull into the Asilomar Hotel, you can tell it is unique! The beach is across the street and the hotel ground well maintained beautiful. This hotel was undergoing restorations when we were there. The sidewalks were being repaved, and some of the buildings were being remodeled. However, this did not take away from our stay. The grounds were lush with trees and brush and the short walk to the beach was lovely. The hotel lobby had a roaring fire and a gorgeous Christmas tree. The staff was friendly and helpful. Our room had a roaring fireplace and endless wood at our disposal. We woke to find two deer resting outside our room. The breakfast room was set up kind of like cruise ship style. We sat with people we didn't know but it was ok. i would have rather had a private table but the food was good. Overall, our stay was comfortable. I was a bit nervous after reading some of the negative reviews. We stayed in the newer wing which was across the street from the hotel lobby,but we had no problems with service, our room, or anything else. This hotel is in Pacific Grove which is close to both Carmel and Monterey. I would go back in a heartbeat.

Room Tip: Make sure when booking to be asked to stay in the new wings.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank pnkdrgn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albany, California
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 15, 2012

Asilomar is indeed a refuge by the sea, as its name implies. I have been making that pilgrimage since the 1970s, and each time I return to enjoy the historic lodgings created by Julia Morgan, breathe in the pine trees, walk the boardwalks, flanked now by re-introduced native plantings, play on many of the pianos in the community living rooms, I feel like I'm home. The quality of dining right there has been consistent-- they always provide a fresh wonderful selection of salads, homemade baked delicacies, and now in addition to the standard entrees, vegetarian and vegan options. People complain about the accommodations being run down, and in some cases that's true, but I'd rather stay here than most places, for the serenity, the company at the big dining room tables, the sensibility, and the beauty.

Room Tip: "Historic" rooms are smaller "Modern" rooms may have fireplaces higher floors...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank lbencleo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 13, 2012

I've stayed a Asilomar 2 times now, both times I was impressed by the mix of convenience, simplicity and connection to the outdoors. The third component is the most important part. If you're traveling to monterey and would like to spend some time at the beach.

If you are into fancy amenities, this place will get a 3 out of 5. But if you like straight forward sleeping quarters at/near the beach, this place is a 6 out of 5. I liked it.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank JIMMYtheBOOT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sunnyvale, CA
Level Contributor
379 reviews
89 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1,550 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2012

4 DIFFERENT VISITS. We stayed at Asilomar Conference Grounds (ACG) Sept 1-3, 2012, and Oct 8-10, 2012, two holiday weekends. Previously we had stayed in 839 Breakers West with a balcony, ocean view, and old faded carpets, and in 858 Spindrift North with a balcony and no ocean view, but with new carpets. This time we stayed in two very different locations in ACG, one in the forest area far from the ocean , and another in an historic room. Both had no ocean views, no balconies, and no new carpets, and the rooms were quite different from our first two visits.

DON'T PAY THE $200+ HOTEL RACK PRICE: We paid between 50% and 65% of the rack price each visit. We joined the ACG e-mail list and made reservations two months in advance through third party travel internet sites for the first three visits. Our fourth visit, we checked the ACG web site every week for 6 weeks, until one week beforehand, the prices came down, as a block of historic rooms were released by a conference sponsor.. Pricing is dynamic, and changes weekly. Usually the rates go up the closer to the stay. Our last visit was a nonrefundable rate, after I had checked out the weather forecast.

ASK FOR AN OCEAN VIEW ROOM, BUT DON'T EXPECT TO GET ONE. You can ask for an ocean view room, but your chances of getting one are less than 15%, unless you have at least 4 people -the majority of ocean view rooms are in buildings with at least 3 beds. The Long View buildings facing west, each with two full size beds, have the best ocean views, but are small, with no balconies, antiquated bath rooms and former smoking buildings. The web site picture of the fireplace room with the ocean waves in the background is from the second floor of Spindrift South closest to the ocean, which has only one king size bed per room -available only for couples with no children. Fireplace rooms require an upgrade, and are not available at the discount rate.

CALL 1 WEEK AHEAD TO SEE WHICH BUILDING YOU ARE ASSIGNED: On our third and fourth visits, we called one week beforehand to find out which building we were given, to make sure it was satisfactory.

BUILDINGS TO AVOID: People who sign up at the last moment will often get assigned to the overflow area on Synex Ave beyond the corner of Asilomar. These buildings include: Forest Lodge, Afterglow, Heath, Embers and Woodside. If you get one of these, ask for another building closer to the cafeteria. Same with the Long View buildings facing east, and the first floor of Whitecaps North -dark rooms with little sunlight. If you get Forest Lodge, and there is nothing else available, cancel the reservation, and consider any one of several motels on Asilomar Ave. north of Synex.

CHECK IN EARLY: We checked in at noon 4 hours before check in time. You can ask to see the room before you check in. This may be impractical if there is a long line at 4pm, and the room is half a mile away on a windy road in the rain or dark. If you can't see the room before you check in, at least ask for a corner or top floor room, of a building on the ocean side of Asilomar ave, close to the cafeteria and main registration hall. Note that if you go through a third party travel internet site, there may be an added service fee of up to $10 per day, and breakfast may not be included in the discounted price. We didn't mention this to the host, and got our breakfast vouchers.

LIVE OAK: Our room on our Sept visit was 1109 Live Oak on the forest side of Asilomar Ave. Live Oak is part of a trio of two story buildings including Tree Tops and Deer Lodge, each with 10 rooms, with interior corridors and doors. No balconies, but with 8 rooms on the corners, each with two large adjacent windows abutting each corner. We got a top floor corner room facing the northwest, away from the main entrance, and facing Asilomar Ave. There is a common living room downstairs with a fireplace, tables, chairs and sofas. Fortunately for us, there were no families with young kids around to run amok in the living room.

NO NOISE FROM NEIGHBORS: There was no noise from our neighbors, but a lot of noise from the downstairs back door, as the door brake was defective. The advantage of the corner room is we have only two neighbors -below and behind the bathrooms. This type of building has less noise from the neighbors due to the room configuration, compared to the rooms in buildings close to the ocean.

FRIDGE AND SAFE: The top floor room had two full size beds, two children's size desks, and cathedral ceilings. The beds were hard but comfortable, but the pillows were tiny. There were two sinks and a full bath with a full height glass louvre window in the bathroom. The room was more modern and better equipped than those on the ocean side, with a small noisy refrigerator, and an electronic safe. As usual, no TV, AC, microwave, nor phone. Wi-fi was free but very weak access except in the registration center.

STAINS ON CARPETS: The room was fully carpeted with a faded green carpet, stained as usual next to the doorway. At ACG, there are often stains next to the doorway and next to the balcony door, as guests spill liquids while fumbling to open the doors. Rooms with balconies will have more liquid stains on the rugs because of this. However our carpet had been shampooed recently, as I walked barefoot on it for two days, with no dirt showing on my feet afterwards. There were also food stains on the curtains, where guests with chocolate on their hands had pulled the curtains at the bottoms. If you don't like stains on your rugs then try Spindrift North (one king size bed) near the ocean, or Tree Tops (two full size beds) in the forests which have new carpets.

HISTORIC ROOM: Our room on our Oct visit was 508 Pirates Den a corner room on the bottom floor of an Historic building, designed and constructed in the 1920s by Julia Morgan. Historic rooms have hardwood floors and usually 2+ single beds. They have no carpets and no screens on the windows, as the windows open outward from the bottom of the frame. The hardwood floor was moped and cleaned after each change of guests, and was immaculately clean.

ADVANTAGE OF A CORNER ROOM: Our corner room has 5 windows: 1 window east, 3 windows south, and 1 bathroom window, and was full of light during the daytime. Noncorner rooms have as few as 1 window, plus bathroom window and are dark and dingy, and to be avoided. We overlooking parking lot, some 20 feet away, but since we were about 8 feet off the ground we had unobstructed afternoon sunshine.

NO NOISE INSULATION: The walls and hardwood floors amplified all conversation and foot falls. We could understand all talk by our neighbors. One joker played and sang the guitar for half an hour. And our beds touched the wall of adjoining room beds next door, so we could hear neighbors snoring.

VERY SPARTAN FURNISHINGS: Our historic room had a dresser, closet, no desk, two night lamps overlooking the most simple of beds, with no headboards. The beds were comfortable with mattress and box spring on a basic metal frame. No AC, TV, phone, microwave, fridge, nor electronic safe. Digital clock with luminescent readings.

RENOVATED BATHROOM: the bathroom was big, modern, tiled with a large shower area, and clearly had been completely renovated from the original.

BREAKFAST came with the room. Meals are served 730am to 9am at Crocker
dining hall, about 150 yards from Pirates Den, and about 300 yards from Live Oak. There was no line, due to the lack of conference attendees during the Labor Day weekend and Columbus Day weekend holidays. They assign you a
table, and you never know who might sit down to eat next to you. Our
enjoyment of breakfast was directly related to how open and conversant our
fellow diners were. We were fortunate not to have to share a table with a
bunch of whining children, on a neighboring table.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank robert c
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

Property: Asilomar Conference Grounds
Address: 800 Asilomar Blvd, Pacific Grove, CA 93950-3704
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Monterey County > Pacific Grove
Amenities:
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
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Pacific Grove
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Asilomar Conference Grounds 2*
Number of rooms: 312
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This refuge by the sea is a tranquil oceanfront retreat cradled by pine forests and white sand beaches. Situated along the shoreline of California's famed Monterey Bay, Asilomar offers historic lodging with views of the forest, surf and sand, plus unique conference spaces. ... more   less 
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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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