The Monterey Plaza has 1,000 linear feet of oceanfront space, and they’ve made the most of it – the public spaces and many of the rooms look out to the bay. You can launch a kayak from the hotel’s own sandy beach – or stay up on the terrace and watch divers, coast guard boats, mother otters fishing for their babies, and porpoises. Or dive into The Grapes of Wrath – Café La Strada sells Steinbeck with its cappuccinos.
The lobby is full of dark, rich colors and textures: teak paneling, deep carpets with red and gold patterns, blue velvet armchairs, and a fireplace with a big, old-fashioned mantelpiece. A long corridor with a red marble floor connects the lobby to the two restaurants, the meeting rooms, and the elevator to the rooftop spa. Gorgeousness doesn’t stop at the rooms: the carpets are thick, the bathrooms are large and marble-lined, the tubs are deep. Best of all, if you’re in an oceanfront room, open the windows to let in the therapeutic sound of the bay's gentle waves.
Embracing the history of Monterey – in utter comfort
The very energetic bell staff take superlative care of your bags, as is usual in a four-star hotel, but also hand out excellent restaurant recommendations. If you’re feeling old-school, stroll across the thick, richly patterned carpets & around the cherry-wood columns to the concierge’s desk.
Hand-raised central coast oysters, roasted artichokes grown just up the coastal highway, sustainable fish dishes, and rib eyes and prime rib for meat lovers – the menu at Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar is satisfying, the room is very well run by the attentive host and servers, and the windows look over the Bay. Breakfast is equally delicious – the fruit plate has good local berries.
Café La Strada is on the outdoor piazza overlooking the water, and serves a light menu, and Peet’s coffee.
There’s an outdoor terrace at the rooftop spa where you can cook yourself in the steam room and then cool off on loungers looking out over the Bay. Or you can lounge in the hot tubs and wait for a porpoise to swim by. Inside, the treatment rooms and lounges are quiet, and the technicians are excellent.
The Monterey Plaza is on Cannery Row, three blocks from the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. Fisherman’s Wharf, Old Town Monterey, & the Maritime Museum are all within walking distance, and Carmel, Pebble Beach, 17-Mile Drive and Big Sur are all a reasonable – and stunning – drive away.