We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Not as good as last time”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 11 more sites!
Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay
Ranked #17 of 55 Hotels in Monterey
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Del Mar, California
Level Contributor
486 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 288 helpful votes
“Not as good as last time”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 May 2014

We stayed here because it is a great central location to the oceanfront and also the city.
Unfortunately, there were a few things that tweaked me this time / There were also things that were especially good.

1st, the check-in was easy and we got welcome cookies which were hot and fresh and well liked after a long drive. The room itself is nice, good size, had a safe for the electronics, and was clean. There was however a spider the size of a nickel on the bathroom floor that was not what my wife expected while in there with the door closed. We did have a "welcome back" card in the room and some food in the frig so that was nice and not expected.

A couple other issues that knock it out of 4 stars - the walls are thin and we heard noise on both sides each night. My wife woke up at 6AM on Sunday with screaming kids and loud parents next door - this went on for 2 hours! I did not hear it or I would have banged on their door and called security. This made for a tired following day which made us both cranky. Not what I expected when I pay to get away and need some quiet RNR. Out check-out, 2 young gals checked me out. Arleen did not seem to care much about what I said. Taylor was even younger and she just said "kids will be kids". I said "No, it's the parents that need to control their kids and not act like entitled brats". I was not happy and there was no further discussion. We also heard a lot of noise in the halls while napping in the late afternoon after an early morning excursion.

On a more positive note, the friendliest and most knowledgeable employee we met was Chris, a younger male at the front desk. We said he was 3rd generation Monterey and was very nice, pleasant, friendly and knowledgeable. He helped us with the historic walking tour and gave us advise on what was best to stop and see on our schedule. He also gave us an extra cookie for the walk - very nice guy.

Most other employees need to go through a "Disney Happy School" - they were not negative or outwardly difficult but just seemed as though they were there because it was job to do. The other notable exception was the guy that was our waiter at breakfast (didn't get his name unfortunately). He was very friendly and kept our drinks full and was timely with our kitchen order of pancakes. Breakfast was the only meal we had at the hotel and the buffet food and service were both very good.

No hotel I stay at gets 5 stars since that would be a place like Four Seasons and I don't stay in those overpriced places. So the best rating is 4 stars for me and this place gets 3 stars for reasons detailed.

We stayed away from wharf for food and ate at local downtown restaurants which I would highly recommend (reviewed also).

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Travelin M
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
Travelin M,

Thank you for returning to the Portola Hotel & Spa and taking the time to share your experience on TripAdvisor. We value you as a guest and we want you to know that we greatly appreciate your feedback about your experience with the staff. 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 and your wife back to the Portola Hotel & Spa!

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
Write a Review

2,342 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    1,062
    743
    312
    153
    72
See reviews for
693
821
75
364
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (548)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
San Diego CA
Level Contributor
23 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 May 2014

I have been visiting Monterey on business for many years now, and have always preferred the Portola for it's location and excellent service. This past visit, in early May, continued to illustrate the warmth and ambiance of the property. Literally teps from Monterey wharf and right in the middle of downtown, the location is superb. The attached microbrewery was excellent! We will definitely be back! Did want to call out one particular staff person, Chris, who helped us through a reservation knot hole and made everything right by us with a smile. Fix a problem, make a friend. The concierge was also very helpful.

Room Tip: Be sure to get a room in the main property - while perhaps a little more busy, it's closer to th...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Cloudripper
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
Cloudripper,

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience at the Portola Hotel & Spa on TripAdvisor. We were pleased to hear we are “still the one” and service was excellent. We appreciate you taking the time to write a review and 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
toronto
Level Contributor
107 reviews
86 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 May 2014

Location was excellent, short walk into town or out to the wharf,
Rooms were large and comfortable, lack of ac not an issue in April (we never noticed).
Service was good; the buffet breakfast was excellent, large choice with cooked to order items.
Peter Bs bar attached to the hotel was a nice spot for a drink.
Overall a most enjoyable stay.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bruce14
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
Bruce14,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review about the Portola Hotel & Spa on TripAdvisor. We were delighted to hear you had an opportunity to dine in Jacks Restaurant for brunch and enjoy a beverage in Peter B’s Brewpub.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon!

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
rocklin
Level Contributor
268 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 May 2014 via mobile

A few coworkers and I chose Portola Hotel because it was centrally located and close to the wharf. Despite being a beautiful hotel, there were quite a few reasons I most likely won't return.
#1 - no air conditioning. I know Monterey's weather usually doesn't require AC, but it was stifling when we check in. My coworker's room was directly in the sun, had 2 beds and just 1 ceiling fan. Sweat city!
2 - Hidden fees. We use a corporate travel system, and I know of other hotels that show the extra fees. The Portola charges $17/ night for parking and $9.95/day for internet. We were told by valet that is was only $3 more to valet and the $20 was for the entire stay. Upon checkout, surprise, it was per night. Fortunately, they reversed one night of parking when we told them. Thank you!
3-I had to go down 3 long hallways to get to my room. Not usually so bad, but, it was far from my coworkers. I guess gov't rate = rooms the others don't want
4- pool and work out room are across the plaza; thus, you have to cross a busy Monterey area in your bathing suit or robe.
5- spider in the shower, gnats on the counter. Could be due to the windows being open (and that means no privacy and we were even told to shut up by another guest for being to loud)
All in all, the hotel is good, but, I think I'll stay in my usual. This is a great location for travelers interested in walking to nightlife or the wharf.

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank tr21
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
Tr21,

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience at the Portola Hotel & Spa on TripAdvisor. We value you as a guest and we want you to know that we greatly appreciate your feedback. We always make it a point to share guest feedback with our team to improve future guest experiences.

We do hope when you return to Monterey you will consider another stay at the Portola Hotel & Spa. Once again, thank you for taking the time to write a review.

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
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 May 2014

Stayed here for Big Sur Marathon, perfect location. Very easy access to race Expo in the hotel, and just a short walk to catch the race bus on race morning. Concierge was outstanding, staff's customer service very accommodating.

Room Tip: Layout of the hotel a bit confusing, hard to find the room initially, many rooms quite a distance aw...
See more room tips
Stayed April 2014, travelled on business
Helpful?
Thank Colleen904
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, 16 May 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on TripAdvisor. We were glad to hear the hotel location was a great fit for all of your Big Sur International Race Day needs and we hope you did well at the race!

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
Oak Park, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 May 2014

The hotel has a great location in Monterey especially if you are attending any car auctions. Stay away from the wharf is nothing but trashy and I would not recommend it at all even if the desk clerk gives you a free appetizer card. The rooms are nice and beds are very comfortable. The towels are plush and the amenities in the room are very nice too. The rooms are not air conditioned which usually is not an issue in Monterey but you should be aware. You can and do hear the seals barking by the marina which I happen to enjoy! The spa they have is nice too but it would be nice if they had more than one shower in the men's area.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MrsDouhy
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
MrsDouhy,

Thank you for taking the time to post a Portola Hotel & Spa review on TripAdvisor. We were delighted to hear you enjoyed your stay and the sounds of the sea lions near the Monterey Wharf. We look forward to welcoming you back to Monterey soon!

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
Bakersfield, California
Level Contributor
48 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 May 2014

Stayed at The Portola recently and, despite the heat wave in Monterey, the hotel was comfortable - our room had a ceiling fan and windows opened to outside air. Easy access to restaurants and shopping.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PoipuKapele
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
PoipuKapele,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review to the Portola Hotel & Spa TripAdvisor. We were thrilled to hear you had an opportunity to visit Monterey and enjoy the beautiful weather. We look forward to welcoming you back to the Peninsula 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
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Monterey hotels
1.1 mi away
InterContinental The Clement Monterey
2.1 mi away
Monterey Tides, a Joie de Vivre hotel
0.5 mi away
Hotel Abrego
Hotel Abrego
#7 of 55 in Monterey
4.5 of 5 bubbles 2,201 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.7 mi away
Monterey Bay Inn
Monterey Bay Inn
#5 of 55 in Monterey
4.5 of 5 bubbles 1,577 reviews
0.1 mi away
Monterey Marriott
Monterey Marriott
#16 of 55 in Monterey
4.0 of 5 bubbles 1,203 reviews
0.1 mi away
Hotel Pacific
Hotel Pacific
#12 of 55 in Monterey
4.0 of 5 bubbles 387 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay

Property: Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay
Address: 2 Portola Plaza, Monterey, CA 93940-2419
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 Spa Hotel in Monterey
#4 Business 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Odigeo, TravelUp, Traveltool, S.L.U., Evoline ltd and HotelQuickly so you can book your Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Portola Hotel And Spa At Monterey Bay
Portola Hotel Monterey Bay

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing