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“Beautiful, but small, noisy, and dark”

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Asilomar Conference Grounds
Ranked #10 of 17 Hotels in Pacific Grove
GreenLeadersGold level
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Beautiful, but small, noisy, and dark”
Reviewed September 7, 2013

As many other reviewers have noted, this is an absolutely gorgeous property with easy access to the beach as well as Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel, and the Big Sur coast. That said, I can't give it much more than an "average" rating due to the size of the room, in-room noise levels, and the poorly lit grounds. I don't know if our room was typical in size, but be warned that if it is, the rooms are very much on the small side. I can't imagine staying here more than two or three nights. I also agree with the assessment of many other reviewers that the rooms are very poorly insulated against noise. Try to reserve an upper floor, corner room or you will suffer. Even though we had such a room, our next door neighbors' fussy baby sounded like he/she was crying right next to our bed. To mitigate the room size and noise, try to take advantage of the beauty of the Monterey Peninsula and the Central Coast and spend as much time as you can away from the Conference Grounds as possible. Lastly, be very, very careful when driving or walking around the property after dark. The roads and driveways are very poorly lit and have short sight lines due to their twisting and curving about the place. I know there are a number of foot paths that cross the grounds, but that doesn't seem to keep people from walking on the roads in the dark. Even driving slowly and cautiously I came very close to hitting pedestrians when leaving or coming back to my room at night. If you are on foot, be sure to either wear reflective clothing or carry a flashlight with you and keep your kids close. I used to live in Monterey and know there are many other places to stay that better suit my needs and comfort levels. I won't say Asilomar is bad, but it doesn't really suit me and I doubt I'll ever stay here again. Give it a try and if you like it, then good for you. Me? I'll pick someplace where I can't hear people snoring in the next room - even if it means I'll have to drive to the beach to watch the sunset.

Room Tip: Upper floor, corner rooms are best.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Libor M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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739 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (228)
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English first
San Francisco, California
Level 6 Contributor
104 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed September 5, 2013

Asilomar offers an atmosphere of calm in a touristy area. We like to stay in the 'historic' buildings housing 10 or so rooms on halls leading from a large, common room with a fireplace, piano, and chairs facing large windows with views of the grounds. But we've also stayed in more modern, motel-like rooms some of which have views of Monterey Bay. What's especially nice about the place is the walk down to the long beach on protected dunes, with pines and wildflowers edging the boardwalks, and exploring the tide pools for starfish, anemone, hermit crabs and other sea life. There's free breakfast in the dining hall, and all of this comes with a very reasonable price.

Green Features: The beach walk describes the conservation practices to preserve the dunes. Rooms have signs about saving energy and water.
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank DansMarin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 5, 2013

Asilomar in Pacific Grove, CA was the best place for not only a family reunion but also a great place to celebrate my dad's 70th birthday. The sound of waves, beautiful beach across from the cabins was just a perfect place to spend a day with young and old!
Walking through the peaceful, serene, woods to make it to breakfast in the morning was so complacent and memorable. Breakfast was not only healthy but well-staffed so all guests were served well in timely fashion.
From the front desk staff to housekeeping staff, each were very friendly and patient - fulfilling every need promptly! Looking forward to visiting Asilomar again next year!!!

Thank You, Asilomar for giving my family a very memorable and great vacation!!!

Room Tip: Rooms in the woods were serene and memorable!!!
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Green Features: Asilomar Conference Grounds are very environmentally friendly and practice green in every way!
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank LuxuryLoving44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Princeton, New Jersey
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2013

Came for a conference and we stayed at Pirates Den. It was absolutely charming! A corner room with sweet windows on 2 walls that overlooked trees on one side. The only challenge was the thin walls as others have said. I brought my sound machine and ear plugs. Stayed for 6 nights and only once did the machine and ear plugs not help, so reversed our heads/feet and fell back to sleep. Bathroom adequate and clean. I worked at the desk every day and was guite inspired.The shore is just amazing, wonderful and beautiful. The food is not terrible, but after 4 nights we were eager to leave and try anything else. Stock up at the Trader Joe's in Pacific Grove with drinks and snacks and you'll be set. There is wonderful hiking along the shore- go at sunset, or rent a bike for daytime riding. It is windy but so cool in the summer (cold even). It was quite expensive, but if you are there for a conference it is nice to be on campus. The wifi works quite well. Be prepared for a long check-in line during conferences.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rainbowsparkle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stamford, Connecticut
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2013

My 3 girlfriends and I from high school (a long time ago) decided to go on a vacation together.
We heard about Asilomar in Pacific Grove, CA and we stayed for 5 nights and 4 days.
It is a California State Park facility. It has two huge public rooms, one called a social hall and one the dining hall. The stay included a delicious breakfast each morning. There are 30 residential buildings nestled in the woods and there are boardwalks to the ocean among the sand dunes. It is a rustic, but well cared for facitlity reminiscent of the lodges in the national parks. One could just stay on the grounds or take side trips daily which we did. We did the 17 Mile Drive and had a delicious lunch at the Pebble Beach Golf Course, the Monterrey Aquarium, Carmel by the Sea Scenic Drive and then to Point Lobos and to Carmel Highlands to have lunch at the Market Place, a restaurant with a deck at the Hyatt, and the last day a drive to Pinnacles Rock National Monument. There are excellent restaurants in Pacific Grove including Passion Fish and Fifi"s. The cost at Asilomar is very reasonable.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank bettek421
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fresno, California
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2013

With kids from ages 2, 4, 5, 7, and 13, Asilomar was great fun for my husband and our entire family. Enjoyed the included breakfast buffet, the nearby trails on the dunes, the heated outdoor pool, the volleyball court, and even the room comfortably accommodated us all. The surrounding trees were beautiful and held deer and butterflies. There are bikes to rent and ample towel at the pool. At night they have wood-burning stoves to sit around and enjoy the coast.

Room Tip: not all rooms have a television (if this is important on your vacation)
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Green Features: We totally respect the towel policy that encourages reuse of linens as well as the water awareness that is posted throughout the grounds.
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jeska1977
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pasadena, CA
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2013

I loved this place. Our room was in the "Stuck-Up Inn", one of the Julia Morgan-designed buildings. It was nicely decorated in Arts-and-Crafts style, very clean and well-maintained. The bathroom was basic but had good-quality toiletries and linens. No TVs or phones - perfect! The lack of electronic diversions (although there is Wifi) means that people get out of their rooms into nature. Or they gather in the Main Lodge in the evenings and read, play pool or board games, or have a drink by the fire.

The staff was uniformly pleasant and attentive, and the property well-kept. I'm a little puzzled by some of the comments like "The outside of the buildings are in need of fixing up". Perhaps the writer was unfamiliar with the Arts-and-Crafts aesthetic?

All in all a relaxing and delightful experience.

If you

Room Tip: In Stuck-Up Inn, the corner rooms - doubles - are larger and have windows on 2 sides. Room 409 is ri...
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Green Features: They are assiduous about their green practice. The dune restoration project has been very successful.
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CACatgrrrl
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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