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“Relaxed warm ambience” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Asilomar Conference Grounds

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Asilomar Conference Grounds
Ranked #10 of 17 Hotels in Pacific Grove
GreenLeadersGold level
Kolkata, India
Level Contributor
38 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Relaxed warm ambience”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2013

We had a conference at Asilomar. The venue was efficient -- smooth audio/video presentations, lectures in a chapel(!). True olde world charm, not an artificial all-look-alike hotel. For a three-day meeting the food was fine but some items -- e.g., bacon strips -- could surely be better. The scrambled eggs for breakfast on all days was a shade boring. The salads were good. They served iced tea at mealtimes and it was not always easy to ask for and get plain water. From other reviews it appears that they rotate the same menu, which is okay unless one is staying for really long. Didn't miss the TV in the room but a phone -- even an intercom -- would come in handy. The table clock had a radio but that was not in good shape. Rooms are well furnished. Mine had heating, which was needed -- in May -- and in good working order. The room walls are not very thick but wasn't ever a bother. The architecture and the surroundings are superb but we had little time to even explore the beach. Most importantly, the staff were very courteous and helpful.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank IndianScientist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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708 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (214)
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English first
Santa Cruz, California, United States
Level Contributor
29 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2013

The biggest tip: if you get a fireplace room, be aware that the fire alarms are VERY sensitive and while you may not trigger it, your neighbors will. It will likely be at night, probably when you are sleeping. It will be accompanied by profanity (because the poor folks who are hearing it without the muffled walls have got to be in pain!).

Now, that said, we LOVE Asilomar. It's not a five star hotel. It's for people who want to be outdoors more than indoors. There are no in-room phones or big amenities, but then it's really camping for the tent-disinclined - which means I got a great night's sleep and a hot shower in the morning. Perfection. Also saw deer out our window, critters all over the grounds, a short walk to the most stunning beach and a little longer walk to tide pools (check the Internets for low tide times), food from the finest Monterey and Pacific Grove restaurants. I mean damn.

Mom (age 75) rented a bike with my kid. They rode for three miles, she fell, busted up her knee and we had to modify our plans for the evening. But our indoor picnic was a success and the staff helped her back downstairs in the morning (yeah, we eventually ended up at urgent care but that's a different review!).

This place is so worth it if you have kids. They can run amok, play in the large lodge, pretty much can't destroy the rooms and there are things to poke, look at and smell everywhere. You must go!

PS: the whole place has wi-fi. So nice.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank JenCarole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
141 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 23, 2013

My husband and I attended the West Coast Ukulele Retreat at Asilomar in early May 2013. I was familiar with the Monterey Peninsula, but had never been to Asilomar. It was perhaps a bit more busy than I had expected, with many groups in attendance, from a large contingent of lucky 4th graders to some Stanford statistics students, and of course our large ukulele group as well as others.
What a spectacular setting! A short walk to incredibly beautiful beaches and a short drive to Monterrey, Carmel, 17-mile Drive, and the other wonders of this area. We had a very busy schedule with all our uke classes, but did rent bicycles, right on the property, for an afternoon, only $18 for 4 hours, and rode part of the 17 mile drive.
We stayed in Scripps, one of the historic buildings. It was rustic, but very clean, with an abundance of thick, soft towels. The room was made up daily by the time we returned from breakfast. No tv, nothing fancy, but a view of the ocean more than made up for that.
Meals were in a large dining hall, cafeteria style, where you sit with your group, if you have one. Food was very good, and sometimes excellent. There was always a vegetarian option, though perhaps not always a vegan or gluten free one. Sometimes the line for meals was very long, but it always moved quickly, we never waited more than two or three minutes to get served at the counter and then directed to our table.
I'm not sure if I would recommend the historic buildings (like Scripps) for families with very young children, or for anyone who has trouble walking. You may have to park your car a bit of distance from the building, and it can be somewhat steep.
I would certainly love to stay in Asilomar again, if the opportunity arises. It is a beautiful setting, and staff were all friendly and helpful.
By the way, we each had an extra meal ticket that we didn't use because we had to leave very early for the airport. We gave them to a friend, who lives close enough that she wants to come back for lunch one day. I was happy that they allow that.

Room Tip: I only saw one other room, but our room in Scripps was on second floor, with a slight ocean view, an...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank rajalance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atascadero, California
Level Contributor
65 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 15, 2013

I try to be as fair as possible when writing a review, but it is nearly impossible for me to contain my total revulsion at Asilomar. It is a one star hotel with five star pricing. I was stuck here for a conference, and, trust me, I would have left after the first night had it not been a mandatory work event. The first room I stayed in was in the "historic" Pirate's Den. It had the ambiance and appearance of a cloistered nun's cell. After much commotion on my part the front desk crew allowed me to change rooms. I was transferred to a room that was characterized as "more modern". By modern they meant mid-20th century nightmare. The light on the ceiling over the bed is hanging half dissembled. I am not even scratching the surface but the entire experience reminded me of a bad dream from the 1960s. The entire complex is filthy. The dining hall had dirty glasses and silverware. In an attempt to be fair, I will state that the setting of the complex is outstanding as it is along the Pacific coastline outside of Monterey. However, Asilomar is in need of much help, and, I, for one, will never give them the opportunity to see me again.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank 723Kingscroft
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Pacific Grove hotels

Palo Alto, California, United States
Level Contributor
33 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2013

It ain't a fancy resort, nor does it pretend to be. It might remind you of the best summer camp you never went to. Right away at check-in you know this is not your standard hotel. The massive timbered social hall with fireplace, pool tables and comfortable chairs stands in contrast to the slick lobbies of most nice places to stay- and make no mistake, this is a really nice place to stay, just not in the ordinary way. Accommodations are clean but on the rustic side, with no special accoutrements. Meals are served at the dining hall, camp-style: no menu, you just exchange your pre-paid meal ticket for a plate of whatever they are serving; again, no frills.
So why is it good? Look where you are: right on the wild Pacific Coast, with nature blasting you in the face. Your stay is quite reasonably priced, considering what they charge at other places in Pebble Beach. And it's a nostalgic peek back into a simpler time, when travelers found adventure in seeking the nature of our beautiful planet.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Daniel L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon, United States
Level Contributor
115 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 9, 2013

Super location day or night. Walking the beach trail here is amazing and stargazing at night is as good as it gets. That said, staying in your room might verge on torturous. We could hear every conversation going on above and surrounding us; the walls in this historic property are THAT thin. Lots of people are there on retreats so they tend to congregate in groups and talk! We cut our stay short with no objections by staff. They know the realities of a hundred plus year old property. The dining experience is a big plus. You get your food cafeteria style then go to your assigned table. Talking with our fellow travelers was great fun. We lingered after the meal to talk and share. The accommodations are austere at best. Sort of like being at sleep away camp.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jonathan A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
273 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 9, 2013

Asilomar is celebrating 100 years of existence in 2013. It started as a YWCA camp and is now a premier site for conferences located in Pacific Grove, California next to Monterey. although this facility is now run by the California State Parks system, the main lodge lodge looks far more like the lodge in Yellowstone or Yosemite. It has the same feel, the same look, even the same furniture. (So does Disney's Grand California for that matter.) The rooms are 1960s roomy and adequate. Our room had a king bed and room for a second king bed. It was that large. The grounds are magnificent and there are walkways along Monterey Bay with some of the most spectacular views on earth.

The meeting rooms we used are in one of the many residential buildings around the campus. The meeting facilities are adequate if primitive for 21st century meetings with the associated and "necessary" electronic bric-a-brac. Best to bring your own if you need anything related to sound equipment, teleconferencing, or computers.

Finally, there's the food. Frankly, the food's why I give Asilomar four stars. The views, the atmosphere are all worth six stars. The food's cafeteria fare, served in a common dining hall. Large dinners with 100 people seem a bit beyond the staff's current grasp and my group paid for the "upgraded" food. Sorry, portions served cold because there's not enough staff to handle the crowd in a timely way and meat that's too gristly don't qualify as "upgraded" in my book.

But I didn't come to Asilomar for the food. Everything else was terrific.

Room Tip: Ask for a good view.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Steven L
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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