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“Minimalist and a bit dated, but quiet and beautiful location”

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Asilomar Conference Grounds
Ranked #10 of 17 Hotels in Pacific Grove
GreenLeadersGold level
Seattle
Level Contributor
89 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Minimalist and a bit dated, but quiet and beautiful location”
Reviewed October 30, 2009

Rooms have no TVs, phones or internet access. There's internet access at the main registration lodge. There's an option to buy meals on an individual basis (they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner). Their food was reasonably priced and good, but there's so many outstanding restaurants in the area. The rooms could use a facelift, but they were quiet and comfortable. Ours had a fireplace that was prepared every day for use, and you could hear the sound of the ocean.
Older kids may get bored.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank hernse1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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720 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (223)
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
35 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed October 10, 2009

I love Asilomar -- LOVE IT. I've stayed here several times over the years and every time is a most relaxing experience. I've only stayed in the historic rooms, never the modern ones, and I completely recommend them. Each cabin has a fireplace with a well stocked firewood, and the rooms are old fashioned. It's like camping, grownup style! The central hall has ping pong, board games, another fireplace, a store, and a pool table. Outside are Adirondack chairs to overlook the sunset. Deer walk outside your room windows, and songbirds wake you up in the morning. Wonderful! If you're looking for a calm, relaxing getaway from modernity, Asilomar is IT.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Elizabeth M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Allentown, PA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 8, 2009

Upon arrival we were greeted by a very friendly, competent staff. The room assigned to us was not ready, so we were reassigned to a spectacular ocean view room!. We had requested a refrigerator for medical reasons and we were assured one would be delivered to our new room. It was delivered promptly. The rooms are a little out dated but adequate and very clean. The walls between rooms are very thin, but everyone in our building adhered to the quiet times. There are no televsions or telephones in the rooms which is a nice change of pace.
This area along the Monterey Peninisula has paths to the Pacific Ocean with boardwalks and spectacular views. The entire campus of Asilomar is very serene and peaceful. You can feel yourself relaxing as you travel the campus.
Our favorite part of the stay was the view and peacfulness. It allows you to connect with your true self. It is very slow paced and relaxing.
The rooms have a potential for noise from other guests. We were fortunate to be in a quiet area.
It reminded us of upscale camping. Just what the doctor ordered for a great vacation.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank sue1723
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Macclesfield
Level Contributor
80 reviews
78 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed October 5, 2009

My wife and myself checked into this resort on the 16th September 2009, after driving from San Francisco. We arrived at Pacific Grove at about 4pm, after driving near the picturesque sand dune beach. The resort comprises of numerous 2 level basic wooden chalets, and at first you think, what type of place is this. The rooms do not have a TV or internet, but you can get signal for your mobile. None of this matters, the location and the peace and tranquillity are fantastic. The rooms are large with very high ceilings, and the bathroom is split into 2 small rooms for the sink and toilet and shower/bath. Coffee making facilities are available and parking is free located near your chalet. The balcony is large with table and chairs; we got talking to our neighbours, two ladies from Fresno who were off to see the jazz festival at Pacific Grove later that night. They recommended a great restaurant at the end of the road called "Fishwife", which was reasonably priced and was excellent, within 5 minutes walk, which meant you could have a beer. The other great advantage of the conference centre resort is it located right next to the Pacific Ocean, which makes a great beach walk. It is a little cold in the morning, so wrap up, and there was some weird looking seaweed that had washed up on the beach. Don’t expect any fancy bars or gambling machines, it’s not that type of resort, but the pool is warm, as lots of children were in it, and the reception has ping pong and pool tables etc. The breakfast is interesting, they have a set menu of scrambled eggs, potatoes, waffles, and pancakes and place you round large circular tables accommodating about 15 people, so you have to mingle, which is no bad thing. We both turned up at this resort expecting the worse, but were pleasantly surprised to find it’s a great place, with very specious comfortable accommodation, Nice one Asilomar, see my pictures of the room etc.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank MarkWButler5705
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Finland
Level Contributor
60 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2009

Having read some of the other reviews, ratings seem to reflect wide diversity of expectations more than the place itself. I was informed in advance that I would be sharing a room with a fellow delegate (without knowing that person), so I figured it wasn't the Ritz.

The rooms are spartan and the bathroom reminded me of a small beach place my family rented by the beach back in the 1970s. But, if you don't need all the bells and whistles, like coffee makers, ten towels, plush bedding or a TV, it's fine. If anything, it makes sure that you get out and enjoy the reason for being in Monterey in the first place.

The service was invisible, which is to say that rooms were cleaned, food was served in the dining hall in an efficient manner, and check ins and outs were prompt and efficient. It wasn't a wow experience but nor did the experience have any negatives attached. All in all, I thought it was a great place to take a family and a cost-effective way to have a corporate off-site in Monterey.

The bottom line: it's not the Hilton Waikoloa but if you are outdoorsy and can handle spartan accommodation, it will put you close to the action of Monterey without tempting you to stay indoors.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Suomessa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LONDON
Level Contributor
16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed September 5, 2009

I would definitely reccomend Asilomar - just don't expect it to be the normal bland hotel experience We stayed for 2 nights during our recent Californian road trip and it was wonderful - the location, the vast common room where we could read in front of the fire, while the kids (14 and 10 ) played board games and pool whilst someone else tinkered on the grand piano. The breakfast was really tasty - blueberry pancakes, chicken apple sausages, scrambled egg and fresh melon - what's to complain about?. Our best breakfast in the US. We also really enjoyed chatting to other guests at breakfast who gave us great tips about what to see and do. Our room was a standard, and although very large and clean, was pretty tatty around the edges - but the kids loved it - watching deer from our patio. I would definitely stay again for longer.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank FAMILYUKLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Forestville, California
Level Contributor
76 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 213 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2009

I have to give the lodging/dining 2-plus stars. I had made an online reservation well in advance (including a deposit) for a “historic room” which is a specific lodging category with its own rate, and confirmed these arrangements by phone a couple of weeks prior to our arrival. However, upon checking in we were told that none of the historic rooms were available. I indicated that this was the specific type of room I had reserved/confirmed and would not have made reservations at all if a room in that category was unavailable. The clerk was nice, but could only apologize. I assume that all the historic rooms (which are less expensive than the more modern “standard rooms” and are clustered closer to the main buildings) were assigned to the conference attendees, a group which represents the primary business for Asilomar (it IS a conference center, after all). But there is a clear and obvious line drawn between conference group members and “leisure guests” (they aren’t even allowed to dine in the same room), and the latter appear to be placed in whatever rooms are left over, regardless of what type of lodging they reserved. Summer is a particularly busy season, so perhaps this would be less likely to create conflicts at other times.

Our room in Deer Lodge (East Woods complex) was as bland as the food at Asilomar. It looked very much like an old motel room altho’ it was quite spacious with a King bed (2 doubles stuck together). The decor was stark and utilitarian with nary a piece of art or anything else on the walls. The bedspread was a very dated, cheap polyester thing that had a yucky slick feeling to it. The bed itself provided a comfortable night’s sleep. Our room had 2 desks, 2 sinks and a large area to hang clothes--with plenty of hangers (a rarity at most places of lodging). The room was very clean and decently maintained. I later peeked into a couple of the “historic rooms” and altho’ quite small, they were as charming as I’d imagined. I once again felt extremely disappointed that we weren’t allowed to stay in one of them.

Being a relatively light sleeper, I had requested a “quiet room”--a request that places of lodging normally honor. But at Asilomar we quickly found that we were surrounded by rooms which were occupied by a minimum (hard to keep count) of 3 infants and 2 toddlers. The kids did what kids do: screamed, cried and ran around. Unfortunately, the parents were not considerate of other guests and left strollers, toys and other items in the halls and in the other common areas. 2 families completely took over the building’s only lounge which had seating and a nice fireplace--a location that SHOULD have been an inviting and quiet spot to read, chat, relax, or have a glass of wine. All impossible with kids yelling and running thru the room and the adults talking loudly to be heard over the kids. Better management at Asilomar would not have mixed families with young children into the same small building as single guests and couples (especially when a guest has requested a quiet room!)

Breakfast was included with our room rate and as many others have noted, the food is very institutional--reminiscent of what one might receive during a hospital stay. It even comes with the same type of plate cover, just like in the hospital. OK--it could be like those that room service provides. Food is basic, bland tasting and uniform looking. Even if not included in your room rate, the cost of breakfast is minimal (under $7) and I honestly have to say that it was a definite plus being able to walk to breakfast and have it all taken care of quickly, allowing us to begin the much more enticing activities of the day. Our first morning we were told (nicely but firmly) to share a table with another couple even tho’ the dining room was nearly empty. The second morning we were ushered into a much smaller dining area which quickly became so packed that it was difficult to carry on a conversation and with all those bodies crammed together the temperature rose uncomfortably. Brought back memories of eating in a school cafeteria! There are many good-to-great restaurant choices within a short drive from Asilomar. One very good dining spot, the Fishwife, is a very short walk away--but make reservations since they are obviously quite popular. Two of my favorite restaurants in Pacific Grove are Fandango and Passionfish. With such great dining options readily available, I would not encourage anyone to eat dinner at Asilomar’s dining facility unless they absolutely have to. Breakfast and lunch... maybe.

Asilomar’s historic Arts and Crafts style buildings designed by the renowned architect, Julia Morgan (who also designed Hearst Castle) are quietly beautiful with the exquisite design and craftsmanship apparent in the stone and redwood details. We made arrangements to go on a ranger-led “architectural and historic walking tour” on one of our mornings at Asilomar. It lasted about 90 min. and was edifying, entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable. Roxanne, the impressively knowledgable ranger who led the tour, made the fascinating (and at times, funny) history of the people and the place really come alive. I would highly recommend the tour to all visitors. You can call the Park’s ranger station to schedule one: [--].

Julia Morgan’s buildings were designed to compliment, not rival the magnificent natural scenery that abounds at Asilomar. The pines, dunes, beach and ocean are sights to savor. Take time to stroll thru the grounds, along the boardwalks in both directions, and the beach trail across the street from Asilomar. You can even walk all the way to the Inn at Spanish Bay. Be aware tho’ that during busy times, you will be sharing this lovely environment with scores of conference attendees, families and other visitors. The quiet appearing grounds and surroundings are oftentimes far from quiet!

Every staff member at Asilomar that we met was friendly, cheerful and polite. We heard that the current management group, Delaware North Co. did not get their contract renewed and new management will be taking over soon. I can only hope that they will retain the current staff, but make some policy changes which will result in a better level of service being provided, especially in the areas of room assignments and dining facilities. Beautiful, historic Asilomar--and its guests--deserve better than what is currently provided.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Forestvillian
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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