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“A Bit Dated But Nice Location in Monterey; Noisey Repairs in Morning”

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Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay
Ranked #14 of 56 Hotels in Monterey
GreenLeadersGold level
Cool
Level 6 Contributor
87 reviews
79 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
“A Bit Dated But Nice Location in Monterey; Noisey Repairs in Morning”
Reviewed 9 May 2014

This is part of a continuing series of my impressions and experiences staying at various hotels and resorts while traveling to attend concerts worldwide. This stay was during my recent trip to Monterey in April 2014. This review is for Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay.

Property: Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay
Location: Monterey, California
Address: 2 Portola Plaza, Monterey, CA 93940
Phone: (888) 222-5851
Website: www.portolahotel.com
Room Type/Class: (Room 553)
Date: April 15 - April 16, 2014
Booking Source: Hotwire
Overall Rating: 3/5 [Note: Score is totally subjective based on price, location, and comparison to "like" properties within same area and price range]

For this trip, I needed somewhere to stay close to Big Sur, so chose this class of hotel on Hotwire and this was the hotel that it ended up being.

I was actually in quite a hurry to check on on my way to an event in Big Sur, stopping by to do that on my way.

There is valet and self-park available for guests, and in stopping to check-in, they will take your car keys (thus, in my opinion anyway, pushing the valet option).

The lobby is vast, with lots of connected shops and conference areas.

The front desk was only helping one guest as I walked up, and though there were four people working at the front desk (or at least standing behind it), none would help me or greet me or even make eye contact, so I was left to wait about five minutes for the one rep to finish with the other guest. Check-in was otherwise unremarkable.

The hotel itself is nice, but a bit tired and dated. The thing it most has going for it is the location, which is great if you are in town to visit Monterey.

Though a bit dated, the room was generally nice, and featured a coffee maker and supplies, empty mini fridge, robes, iron, and electronic safe.

The view was unspectacular - just looking at the property and other rooms.

Self-parking was easy and I would recommend that option.

The one real negative during my stay was some early morning repairs going on in a room below me. Two workers were repairing a slider door, which entailed about a half an hour of pounding and loud hammering, which disrupted my sleep for the morning.

Overall, it was an okay stay, but there are other properties I would chose instead in Monterey.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rock-Subculture
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PortolaHotelSpa, Manager at Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay, responded to this review, 22 May 2014
Rock-Subculture,

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience at the Portola Hotel & Spa on TripAdvisor. We are constantly striving to improve our Hotel to improve upon every guest experience. We value you as a guest and we want you to know that we greatly appreciate your feedback. We hope overall your time in Monterey was enjoyable and you visit the Monterey Peninsula again soon.

Again, thank you for taking the time to write a review.

Sincerely,
The Portola Hotel & Spa Management Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
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  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (571)
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Pasadena, California
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviewed 6 May 2014

I was staying at the Portola because it was a convenient location for the Big Sur Marathon and there were good reviews. Once I arrived, it exceeded my expectations. The lobby was beautiful and bright and the staff very helpful and courteous. I arrived quite a bit early so I knew my room wouldn't be ready but they were kind enough to take my phone number and notified me as soon as it was (even before the 4:00 check in!) while I did a little sight seeing. This location is near everything you would want to see! The room was VERY clean, and trust me I looked everywhere for dust! And the bed was so soft and comfortable which I love. This is definitely a great spot to spend your time in Monterey.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gina L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2014

Great location, pay for parking like most coastal California hotels which bugs me. Great location to fisherman's wharf and not too bad of a walk to Cannery Row. Wait staff at Peter B's was rude and slow. Took 20 minutes to get a beer while sitting at the bar tables. The room was nice and comfortable. No air conditioning could be a problem during a hot summer stay and the ceiling fan is not located in a position to feed air over the bed.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WS1129
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PortolaHotelSpa, Manager at Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay, responded to this review, 22 May 2014
WS1129,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review on TripAdvisor. We were disappointed to hear about your experience at Peter B’s Brewpub, but we hope you will give the pub another try when you visit Monterey. We always make it a point to share guest feedback with our team to improve future guest experiences and it is from postings like your review that contribute to training efforts and team development.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Portola Hotel & Spa soon!

Sincerely,
Portola Hotel & Spa Management Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampa, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 May 2014

Stayed at the Portola Hotel and Spa and had a great experience. The hotel not only has several amenities and right at Fisherman's Warf, it is also attached to the Monterey Convention Center! The host staff is amazing and friendly. If you need anything the front desk and housekeeping will get it to you right away. The only problem is the hotel is not part of the major chains so you need to use hotels.com or one of the other booking websites if you want to earn points for your stay.

Portola is only 1 mile from Cannery Row/Monterey Aquarium and on the walking and bike path which makes it convenient to a lot of the action. Downtown Monterey is just out the front doors. If you are visiting family or friends attending the Defense Language Institute or Naval Postgraduate School, they are also only blocks away.

They hotel is very clean and the staff s very prompt and good at making sure your room is clean. The provided soaps and lotions are actually very good too. The Spa and restaurants are in the complex that makes up the hotel's facilities. And they are all very close. The bathrooms are very spacious and perfect for those that have more than one person sharing a room. The beds are very comfortable, comparable to the best hotels, with mattresses made by a local company. The rooms are well appointed and either had a balcony or terrace if you were on a ground floor. One of the small drawbacks is that the hotel property is fairly large and there is only one bank fo hotels so you could be in for a little hike.

I recommend the odd numbered rooms because they face into the complex or over the bay/coast, while the even numbered rooms face out onto the street of the neighborhood behind the property. There is a pool and Jacuzzi; however, I didn't visit them because I was taking advantage of going to the nearby beaches. Be warned the coastline in the area is a natural ecological preserve. While running on the nearby beach there were dead/decomposing seals. While the hotel is not responsible for maintaining the beach, young kids may not be very happy seeing these animals and you will find yourself explaining the life cycle.

Overall though the hotel is awesome. In room Keurig for coffee or tea, a mini-fridge, large dresser/entertainment center, club chair, and desk. Plenty of closet space and towels too. It was very nice to be able to open the door and hear the ocean and then the seagulls and sea lions in the morning. Also there was an amazing view of the coastline looking into the foothills of Monterey.

If you are looking for a local hotel with high-end charm this is the right place.

Room Tip: Higher floors in even numbered rooms. They face north east.
See more room tips
Green Features: This is a northern California hotel, being environmentally friendly is a priority, especially the drought.
  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Shawn H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 May 2014

Wife and I stayed here for the Big Sur Marathon weekend. Perfect location for pickups, local restaurants, Starbucks, Fisherman's Wharf, etc...Only negative was no king bed despite a very early request and off in a seperate wing that needed to go thru additional doors. Jack's restaurant was average and Peter B's had better beer than food, although the garlic fries were very tasty. Overall, a nice experience and would stay again if in town.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Brad P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Connecticut
Level 4 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 May 2014

I recently stayed at the Portola Hotel and Spa for the Big Sur Marathon weekend. It’s a great location attached to the convention center. The Wharf and Cannery Row is within walking distance and the walking path provides beautiful scenery.

On marathon morning, the bus pickup was just across the street which was super convenient at 4am! Lots of great restaurants in the vicinity as well including a Starbucks across the street. Staff was friendly and accommodating to my needs- I was initially placed in a room overlooking the street which normally would not be an issue but because sleep was a priority I needed a quiet room. The reception staff immediately changed my room and it was much better.

The fitness center was the typical hotel style gym. Very minimal and oddly located in another building. You had to walk outside and across a pedestrian road to enter. It is rather secluded and since I was in there at alone at 2am it was a little creepy (I’m on East coast time). I would suggest you take advantage of the walking/bike path and get your workout done outdoors instead. I did not dine at either of the hotel restaurants but the lobby bar (Jack’s) appeared very nice with a large sitting area, couches and chairs. A good place to relax at the end of the day.

If you have a car, take the drive down to Big Sur. I was lucky enough to run the 26.2 miles from Big Sur to Carmel and the course was absolutely breathtaking …certainly a dream come true for me!

Bottom line: I would definitely recommend the Portola Hotel and Spa for those visiting the Monterey Bay area. Say hi to the sea lions for me!

Room Tip: If you need a quiet room, make sure you are not overlooking the street. Ask for a courtyard view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank travelgal214
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PortolaHotelSpa, Manager at Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay, responded to this review, 2 May 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your Big Sur Marathon weekend at the Portola Hotel & Spa. We appreciate your kind words and feedback about your stay. We hope you enjoyed the marathon and you did well – the coast line along Highway 1 in Big Sur is truly breathtaking!

We look forward to welcoming you back soon!

Sincerely,
Portola Hotel & Spa Management Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland, New Zealand
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 April 2014

Given how much it cost to stay in this hotel expectations were high when we arrived. When you pay a lot you expect a lot. Fortunately the hotel did not disappoint and except for a few minor issues we had a good stay over 6 nights. This is a large hotel that is geared towards the convention market and so that obviously affects the atmosphere. We booked a top floor room so that we could get a view. We were glad we did otherwise I probably would not be writing such a positive review. Without the view it would have been ordinary. The view was great. The room and bathroom were a good size and had everything we needed and some nice extra touches. Bear in mind that the top floor, 7, is only actually the 5th floor as 1 is ground and for some reason there is no 2nd floor. The toilet broke on two days and the shower backed up so I had to make two trips to reception to ask for those to be fixed. I noted no apology or anything from the staff who did not seem particularly friendly, but the issues were fixed quickly (but its a shame they did not fix it properly the first time). I found the lack of free WiFi in the room annoying. I have stayed in 2 star hotels in third world countries that have fast and free WiFi. There is free WiFi in the lobby, but that is not really what one needs. We tried to log in and pay on line for in-room WiFi but the system did not work and we were unable to complete the transaction on two occasions. It all seemed very unnecessary and annoying when everything else is of a high standard. Overall I would be happy to recommend this hotel and would stay there again.

Room Tip: Go for the top floor if you want a view
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Runninguy1011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay

Property: Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay
Address: 2 Portola Plaza, Monterey, CA 93940
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Monterey County > Monterey
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Monterey
#3 Luxury Hotel in Monterey
#4 Business Hotel in Monterey
#4 Spa Hotel in Monterey
#8 Family Hotel in Monterey
#9 Romantic Hotel in Monterey
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay 4*
Number of rooms: 379
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Portola Hotel & Spa reflects the captivating spirit of a rich, historical setting surrounded by everything that the Monterey Peninsula has to offer. Your stay at the Portola Hotel begins with warm homemade chocolate chip cookies, provided at check-in. As the only Silver LEED Certified hotel on the central coast of California, the hotel boasts 379 guestrooms and suites, an award winning full service day spa, three on-site restaurants including a craft brewery and more! Portola Hotel & Spa is one of California's premier family-friendly destinations offering easy access to Monterey's favorite attractions. The hotel is also pet friendly. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Portola Hotel And Spa At Monterey Bay
Portola Hotel Monterey Bay

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