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“Deteriorating Next to the Ocean” 2 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
VT
Level Contributor
32 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Deteriorating Next to the Ocean”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 21, 2008

The good, nice location adjacent to private beach. Easy access to 17 Mile Drive, and Monterrey. Free WiFi in the main lodge. Views of ocean from balcony.

The bad, deteriorating property last updated in 70s. Paper thin walls with no insulation. Old mildewy carpet and general mustiness. Stuff growing in corners of shower. Average mess hall food service with limited menu each morning. No televisions or telephones in the rooms.

  • Liked — Proximity to ocean beach.
  • Disliked — General deteriorating conditon of property and lack of privacy.
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank MADDJAXXVT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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708 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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
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English first
Fullerton, California
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 23, 2008

Our family joined with relatives from across the country for our tri-ennial family reunion. This year we stayed at the Asilomar Conference Grounds on the Monterey Peninsula. I can't recommend this place highly enough.

Our family stayed in the Surf and Sand complex. The rooms were spacious, very clean and comfortable. We purchased a group package that included meals and the food was excellent. The service at the hotel was amazing. Everyone was very friendly and always kept asking if you needed anything.

The location is spectacular. You are steps away from Asilomar State Beach, which, even in July, was never crowded. The beach is beautiful. We enjoyed the tide pools and saw so much sea life. We rented beach cruiser bicycles at the hotel and then rode into Monterey, which is just a short ride away. You're minutes away from everything on the peninsula, but outside of the hubub of Cannery Row and within a setting of unspoiled natural beauty. The boardwalk paths through the dunes are beautiful also. Be prepared for cool, even cold, weather even in summer and fog.

I'll be back.

  • Liked — The spectacular location and excellent service.
  • Disliked — Nothing.
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Karen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sonoma county, ca
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 31, 2008

My husband and I just spent four nights at Asilomar. We wanted a relaxing get away on this beautiful stretch of coast. I note that a handful of reviewers are harsh about the Asilomar experience, but this is a world class location at highly affordable prices and perhaps its uniqueness is just not for everyone. Those reviewers who enjoyed the experience seemed to "get" Asilomar.

Although the historic rooms might be perceived as camplike, they are in fact part of America's architectural glory! Designed by Julia Morgan, who also designed Hearst Castle, they are formed as part of the landscape and expansively use redwood construction. Though the rooms are simple, the beds are hotel quality -- sooo comfortable with plenty of good pillows and good crisp linens. There are abundant fluffy towels. Daily maid service makes up your room while you are at breakfast. The showers are clean and basic but always have abundant steaming hot water with great pressure.

There is a lot to do in Monterey County, but without getting in your car, while at Asilomar you can:
Walk the boardwalk along the coast all the way to Spanish Bay and farther if you like;
Rent bikes on site and get a bike trail map;
Enjoy the sheltered and heated outdoor pool and lounge on the lovely teak lounge chairs;
Watch the sun set from the deck of the main hall;
Eat your complimentary full breakfast in the enormous dining hall; (you can go with the daily scramble and varied accompaniments or choose a special order if you have special dietary requirements);
Light a fire in your room if you have a fireplace room or in your building's common living room if you don't!
Sit by the big fire in the main hall, in a comfy chair, read and look at the view through the giant windows.

With California's State Park System in jeopardy due to the budget crisis, go to Asilomar! Support the state park system both here and by visiting the many nearby state parks with amazing hikes and coastal suprises!

Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Love2travelevenmore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2008

We decided to take our first mini-vacation/road trip with our 3 year old daughter up to the Monterey Peninsula. A friend recommended Asilomar because she had great memories of staying there as a kid with her family. I had read some reviews on this website that said it was not maintained well, etc. but went ahead and booked it despite my concerns. We were really happy with our short (2 night) stay here! We had a view of the ocean from our room's balcony; the room was large and comfortable; breakfast was delicious. We had a nice swim in the pool, which could have been a little warmer considering the cold air temperature. It was a short walk through gorgeous sand dunes to the beach, where we spent some time building sand castles and looking for cool shells (too cold to swim!). The location is excellent, within a few minutes' drive of Monterey/Cannery Row and only a little further to Carmel.

Yes, it's true that the room decor could use a facelift (it felt very 70's) but for us that was part of the appeal. Everything was clean and comfortable. We just wanted a quiet, rustic getaway and that's what we got. We loved the fact that there was so much open natural space so we could play with our daughter, she had a chance to run and look for "treasures" and discover bugs, etc. And despite the fact that there were lots of people there, it felt very mellow and restful. The families and conference guests didn't seem to clash in any way, and everyone was friendly.

We really felt it was so much better than staying at a Best Western or something, which would have been the same price but without the natural beauty and character. Asilomar is special and we plan to go back!

  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank atomicbrat67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
california
Level Contributor
171 reviews
92 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 224 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 27, 2008

I stayed as an independent traveler or Leisure Guest. When there are rooms left over from the groups, you can book them directly with the hotel. You can choose between historic or the more modern rooms, but you probably are not going to be able to specify which building you want. I booked a Historic Room, and wound up in the Lodge (upstairs, no elevator BTW).

I won't belabor the no telephone etc. which has been covered elsewhere.

The front desk and dining room staff really aren't going to explain how things work unless you ask questions. E.g, they're going to tell you where to park, but not what to do if all of the spaces are full. The dining room staff will try to put you in the back room with all of the children, just request to sit in the main dining room and it will be allowed. Also, they won't explain that you can order various modifications to your breakfast if you are on a diet, such as egg beater eggs. You don't have to take the plate that will be thrust into your hands if you stand in line. However it might result in a bit of a wait.

If you are interested in the Julia Morgan architecture be sure to take one of the brochures in the main lobby. You can walk into the common rooms in most of the historic buildings and there will be additional displays and photos. It's quite interesting. Also the beach is fantastic, although I think it is more exposed than some of the other beaches in the area.

  • Liked — The Grounds
  • Disliked — Staff is not informative
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank mlgb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
84 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 20, 2008

I was at Asilomar for 4 nights at an art retreat in mid-April, 2008. This was my second visit there. I can say nothing but wonderful things about this place! There is variety of different types of rooms around the grounds in various types of buildings, so checking directly with them would be a good idea if you have special needs. I think the food was very good. I was on a special diet both times I was there. I met with the head chef before my first meal. He wrote down my dietary restrictions, and the food was wonderful at every meal! I was actually the envy of everyone at my table!! There is a van that will pick you up near your room and take you anywhere you need to go on the grounds. Tammy, the driver, is wonderful...lots of fun and funny too...a real joy. There is also a year-round heated outdoor pool. There are no phones or TV's in the rooms...which is actually quite nice. With all the wildlife...especially deer...wandering around the property, plus a beautiful beach just a short walk away, you don't really want to spend too much time in your room. Bring a jacket at least, as it can be windy. There is plenty of parking near the different buildings; and only a short drive to Pacific Grove, Monterey, & Carmel. Must sees in the area are Point Lobos and the Monterey Aquarium. Enjoy!

  • Liked — Rustic setting...wildlife, peace and quiet, the beach.
  • Disliked — Having to leave!
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank fc646
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington Beach, CA
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 6, 2008

Stayed 3 nights in late April. The Conference Center was wonderful for the historical buildings and natural beauty. A great place to get away and enjoy your vacation. Close to everything in the area. Food at the cafeteria was just average, but very edible and the staff was friendly. Of course, there's plenty of dining choices in Pacific Grove, Carmel, and Monterey. Beautiful beach, fantastic walking and biking spot.

Helpful?
Thank nopain4u
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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