I have attended about 11 of these quilting seminars at Asilomar since the late 1990s. The charm of the facilities and grounds make this the perfect place for a week-long experience. The food is excellent. It has varied over the years, depending on the food service contract holder. Right now it is wonderful and should continue to be so in years to come. Seating in the dining hall consists of tables for 10 (segregated by conference, of course) so that mingling with others in your conference is encouraged. The quilting seminars (there are 4 or 5 each year) consist of about 200 students and a dozen teachers each session, to give an idea of the size of accommodations available.
Many of the buildings go back to the turn of the previous century but have been modernized with up-to-date bathrooms. The beds are comfortable. The meeting rooms vary depending on the building and size of the conference. Same for the housing accommodations. Some are rustic, yes; some have been built later. By no means is this to be considered a "modern hotel or motel" experience but rather a chance to be in a very lovely setting kept as natural as possible. It's a step back into serenity and oceanside beauty away from traffic and hassle.
It's a special place for conferences and seminars because of its setting and the deliberate lack of TVs and telephones in the rooms. People come here to be focused and not to be distracted by more modern appointments. Now that cellphones and laptops are common, wifi service is available in the main registration building.
Asilomar was created in the late 1800s by the wives of very wealthy San Franciscans as a retreat for poor women/girls under YWCA auspices. The land they acquired was expensive then and priceless now. The foundation found the taxes unbearable later in the 1900s and ultimately turned the property over to the California State Parks system, which manages it today. Check the nearby attractions in the Monterey area to see why this location is so special.
With Asilmar's history in mind, it continues to be a favored site for business conferences as well as for specialties like Empty Spools Seminars (now past its 25th year and counting). I look forward to many more visits to this beautiful, calming, "rustic" location.
- 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