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“Bait and Switch”

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Asilomar Conference Grounds
Ranked #10 of 17 Hotels in Pacific Grove
GreenLeadersGold level
Mendocino
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Bait and Switch”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 17, 2010

The web page shows a lovely room overlooking the sea. My wife and I were shown a damp and tatty room overlooking the side of another building. We refused to stay and lost the nonrefundable full room rate deposit

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NapaMendocino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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714 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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Silver Spring, Maryland
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 28, 2010

My spouse joined me for a 5-day meeting here. We kept our expectations low after reading all the hot or cold reviews for this place. Previous guests either loved the place or hated the place.

Aramark took over management of the place in early 2010, and they're striving to improve the Asilomar experience.

Following the advice from another review, we kindly requested a room with an ocean view at check-in and they were able to accommodate us. We could see and hear the surf from our room. Ahhh.

We were in one of the historic buildings and yes, the walls are thin. But the other guests respected the quiet hours and this wasn't a problem for us. The rooms were simple yet nice...a rustic cabin kind of feel with no carpeting (which we like) and clean. Beds were comfortable.

We enjoyed our stay and plan to stay here the next time we're on the Monterey Peninsula -- it's a value for people who shop for decent budget lodging.

Our meals were included and we were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food. I was expecting college cafeteria fare and was treated to nicely prepared and presented meals. There was always a vegetarian option and the freshly made soups were fantastic.

We ate at PassionFish the first night and loved it. Highly recommend it; and a great wine list too. If you happen to sleep in and miss the Asilomar breakfast (7:30-8:30am) trry Holly's Lighthouse Cafe in Pacific Grove. Tasty pancakes, breakfast burritos; and great coffee.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BirdHiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamburg
Level Contributor
76 reviews
74 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 17, 2010

This place is different, it cannot be compared with normal hotels. Just go and see (if you got the chance).

Stayed here for the 49th ENC in 2008 and just loved it. The Asilomar grounds are great and the community feeling is hard to find anywhere else. The rooms are basic, but sufficient, as well as the food.

Recommended!

  • Stayed March 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank fruehstueckspause
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palo Alto, California
Level Contributor
68 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2010

We stayed here right before Christmas. We had read the reviews and knew the accomodations are dated. Part of the draw for us was for the real wood fireplace and location. The place is in the Asilomar State Park, so the location is fabulous. It's a walk to the beach and our room had a view of the ocean. Real wood fireplace was wonderful. But the room is very dated/basic. Beds ok, furnishings dated. They mention there is ping pong and a pool table, but there was a conference going on and these folks apparently paid for use of the pool tables (and used them to put books and coffee on top), so we didn't get to use them at all, which was disappointing to my son. The food is awful, but we knew that going in. Breakfast is included, but don't bother, drive up the street to a wonderful bakery instead. No internet, TV, or phones, as other reviewers mentioned. OK for one night, but I wouldn't want to stay there for a longer time.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MaxBoris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 30, 2009

I've visited Asilomar on many occasions when doing conferences. This week, several of us arrived there to spend the Thanksgiving holiday.

We reserved rooms in Spindrift over a month before and prepaid with our credit cards. Imagine our shock when we arrived to discover that not only were the designated rooms we rented given to someone else but we were all scattered in rooms at opposite ends of the site and in rooms that were LESS than basic. They even tried to stuff two unrelated persons in a single bed. When we complained, we were informed that it was their policy to move people around when they wanted to do so without notice and that everyone does it this way in their facilities. The dark, windowless room with one bed and no amenities was charged at the same rate. Over $650 for 4 nights!!! Talk about bait and switch!!! We left Asilomar and stayed across the street at Deer Haven in a full apartment with kitchen, etc., for less than half the price of Asilomar.

There are lovely hotels all around that area that are service oriented and provide a complimentary breakfast, as well. These accommodations are frequently less than half of Asilomar's present prices. (See the review of Deer Haven, for instance.)

Needless to say, we'll never stay at Asilomar again, either as visitors or conference planners and attendees.

The original stipulation as written by the family who donated the Conference Grounds to the State of California many years ago reserved Asilomar as a 'low cost conference ground for the residents of California'. This phrase was removed from the charter several years ago and Asilomar was converted to a profit center for the State. With that change, the prices skyrocketed and the service declined.
We ceased planning several annual conferences there as they became cost-prohibitive. We will now add vacationing to the 'forget this place' list. It's beautiful but so are all the rest of the local hotels and you'll enjoy the savings and service at those hotels.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank jerry6665
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Pacific Grove hotels

ilovethesun2009
1 review
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 26, 2009

I used to love this place. But it has significantly gone downhill since a new compamny took over. I would not recomend it.

Stayed September 2009, traveled on business
Helpful?
Thank ilovethesun2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 13, 2009

My husband and I went down for a weekend getaway and booked two nights with an ocean view @ $165.00 a night. We never stayed there before and wanted to give it a try. Well the first thing we noticed was a really bad musty mildew smell and the ocean view consisted of standing on our tip toes and looked out over the tops of the trees, needless to say we could see very little ocean. I could have been ok with the obstructed view but I could not stand the musty mildew smell. Everything looked original with no remodeling since the place was built. The carpet looked like it was original and even looked unsanitary. We found mildew on the window seals, curtains and in the bathroom. After explaining to the manager that I could not sleep in the room with the mildew smell he offered us two other rooms to look at but all the rooms were the same. The manager said that he could only credit us for one night and have to charge us for the other night. I had to take him up on his offer because I could not stay there with the mildew smell; to me it was a health risk.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Rollingwave
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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