Pajaro Dunes is simply the best, most beautiful hidden gem in the Monterey area! I'm a huge fan! I seriously can't say enough excellent things about Pajaro Dunes! I've stayed there well over 7 times with family and it's absolutely excellent every single time. Pajaro Dunes is a private, upper scale gated development of condominiums in Watsonville, next to Monterey. It's somewhat of a lengthy drive all the way down Beach Road, but once Pajaro Dunes comes into sight, you know you've reached an excellent place!
The entire place has different sections of condos all along its own private beach right next to the coast. No matter where you stay (and I recommend upper level units simply because of the views) you will have community stair access right down to the sand and beach; about 1 minute walking time no matter where you're staying.
People with a hard time walking should definitely stay in the ground floor units because the condo developments are all accessed by stairs and well-designed wooden walking paths, but they're all at an incline, so ground floor is always best for people who have a hard time walking for any reason. At the parking areas, there are shopping baskets you can use to transport your luggage and other belongings right to the door of your condo up the walking paths.
It's a quiet area that isn't extremely touristy because many of the condos are not just rented for you to stay at, but many are owned with the owners living there full time. They have 24 hour roving security which is good and always visible and present. There is also housekeeping there too which cleans the units prior to your stay.
There is also a 24 hour gatehouse which is where security is stationed and where access is controlled. No one can enter Pajaro Dunes even by foot unless they are a registered guest or an owner that lives there. Security is well controlled here; a real plus for families. When you drive up, you'll reach the security gatehouse where you have to verify your identity each time, which security keeps on a daily updated list, so they know who belongs there and who doesn't. If you're on the list, security will open the security gate for you to let you drive through. Guests of yours must also be on the list otherwise their access is denied. Kids can go anywhere and feel comfortable knowing that access to the entire development is well controlled and security is always driving around.
I'm not an owner, I'm just a guest who absolutely loves this hidden gem of a place! You can't go wrong here. Driving into town is only about 10 minutes. You do have to bring your own groceries, but access to the city center is easy.
After staying a few times, you'll no doubt discover a condo you like more than the rest and you can always specify a particular condo when booking. Or another good idea is to ask the staff when calling. They're extremely nice and they do know the better, most popular condos. Trust me, I've asked before and they know the skinny on the best ones, so be sure to just ask. If you get someone who says they don't know, don't believe them. Ask for someone who knows the best units.
The singularly best piece of advice I can give you is that all the units are NOT the same. They're all individually owned, even the ones that are rented out for you and some are much better than others. There can be some duds; it all depends on the individual owner and how they chose to decorate and furnish the unit. Some owners put obvious care into making a great unit and some definitely do not.
I've stayed at some big duds here that were overall a nightmare, so if you encounter that, simply call up the gatehouse and demand to be transferred to another unit that is much better and meets your expectations. This is where the asking part comes in. Do not be afraid to speak your mind here, my experience has always been that they'll listen and try to make it right.
So, be sure to ask for a better, popular unit when booking and if you get a dud (and there are duds here for sure) be sure to call right up while you're there and demand another unit. Don't be afraid to speak your mind here. It's a great place and you should be 100% happy with absolutely everything because it isn't hard to have a great time here!
After staying just once at this quiet, upper scale setting, you'll understand what I mean and you'll keep coming back. For me, the sea air smells so good and is so intoxicating that I hate leaving. It's extremely peaceful and relaxing! You can make it exactly what you want! Pajaro Dunes is truly a beautiful hidden gem in the Monterey area!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Why settle for a room, when you can enjoy a beautiful coastal home?! Nestled along the Monterey Bay is one of the most scenic stretches of California's central coastline. Spanning 1 1/2 miles of pristine beach, Pajaro Dunes Resort is in a secluded, gated community featuring a collection of beautiful beachfront homes, townhouses, and condominiums - available for vacation rentals & group retreats.Looking for a perfect Santa Cruz County family vacation, family reunion or seminar site? Pajaro Dunes is 4 miles west of Watsonville and conveniently, 20 miles south of Santa Cruz and 25 miles north of Monterey/Carmel. Enjoy the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz Mountain Redwoods, Monterey Bay Aquarium, central coast wineries and world famous golf! When booking with us, you'll enjoy full service! No hunting for a key n the dark like some vacation rentals. We provide personal check in, 7 day on site staff 9-5:30. Visit our Lobby for free DVD movies, tennis rackets and sport equipment, ice, coffee and a morning paper. Our gift shop has almost anything you might have forgotten, along with local winery favorites, fabulous kites, gifts and more. Plenty of tennis courts, basketball & volleyball, walking trails and we'll even set up a reserved beach bonfire with s'mores for you! We offer homes from 1-3 bedroom condos, to fantastic 5 bedroom beach front houses. Choose your level of view and luxury in this memorable getaway. We'll save a sunset for you! ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Pajaro Dunes Condominiums Hotel Watsonville