The highs are high and the lows are low. I was here for a conference. The location is phenomenal, so close to all the Monterey Peninsula highlights while being right off of the beach. It was really easy to walk out to the beach or the nearby boardwalk for walks or trail runs. The scenery and setting is really lovely, wildlife runs around pretty freely, so you feel close to the natural beauty of the place.
The overall architecture is special, there's a very distinct look to the place that's inviting. In the main spaces, the social hall, dining hall and big meeting hall, everything is really well done. It's when you get to the individual rooms that things start to get dicey. I stayed in Sand which was a long A-frame building divided into 6 or 7 rooms. It was one of the older structures on the grounds. The walls were very thin, you got to know your neighbors well. The room itself was really interesting, lots of space and 4 beds which seemed a little funny for one person to stay in (but would be good for a family). The patio was great, large and with a partial ocean view. There was a dressing area with lots of closet space which was nice. All of the finishes were a little run down and several things were broken - ie the screen door to the patio, some lights). The bathroom was divided up so it felt small and confining. The shower was roomy but getting a consistent water temp was impossible, it was either scalding or freezing. There were also condition issue in the bathroom, like old cracked grout and caulk, that weren't very attractive. I saw several other kinds of rooms on the property and in general they were all a little shabby. Also no AC, and the rooms got stuffy during the day since mine at least had no window you could leave open.
The food was really good though and the staff were awesome, really nice and helpful. On the other hand there was no TV (which was kind of nice I guess) and the wireless internet was only fair (and a pain since you had to keep signing into it over and over). Then again the outdoor spaces were really ideal for relaxing with a glass of wine and good book or conversation. The flip side is the property is super spread out and a little hard to navigate. Another point in their favor is how they try to reduce waste on the property.
In summary, a mixed bag. I would stay there again, I would happily attend a conference there again, I may not choose to have my wedding or honeymoon though. It's a tad pricey for the lack of many amenities.
- 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