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“Great place to stay!”

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Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay
Ranked #16 of 55 Hotels in Monterey
GreenLeadersGold level
Seattle
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Great place to stay!”
Reviewed 8 January 2006

We stayed Christmas weekend at the Portola and paid the off-season rate. We loved the location and the hotel was excellent. Entering the open atrium lobby we received warm oatmeal chocolate cookies at check-in. Our 6th floor room was quiet, overlooking a japan-esque courtyard and was warmly decorated in spa fashion. Next morning, we left our car and walked along the coastal trail to the aquarium. We stopped to take pics of the seals along the way. The hotel is perfectly situated next to Fisherman's Wharf. Some drawbacks: parking fee, no a/c, and you must walk outside to access the pool/gym. We rented bikes next door and rode along the ocean trail to Pebble Beach. All-in-all a great place to stay!

  • Stayed December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank U2HappyTravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Falls Church, Virginia
Level Contributor
66 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2006

This hotel gave me food poisoning. What more can I say??? I arrived around 5 pm, had a massage at the spa, and settled into my room and ordered room service. I ordered "Buffalo Shrimp". It is still makes me feel extremely ill to write the word "shrimp" and I will never eat it again. I woke up around 2 am and was viciously ill all night. Because I was too ill to travel and America West couldn't get me home to DC before Friday anyway I called down to the front desk (way too ill to change hotels, and I was alone) to let them know that I needed to stay until Friday and that it was because of food poisoning from their room service. The front desk person promised to have a restaraunt mananger call me and asked me to come down before 3pm to have my card keys reswiped. No one called. When I dragged myself to the front desk to have the keys swiped at 3pm, I told the front desk person no one had called. She promised that head of security would call me right away. Well he did, and asked me a series of perfunctory questions and that was it. He didn't even ask if they could do anything for me!! They ruined my vacation. And they did absolutely nothing to see to my comfort after I let them know how ill they had made me. Aside from the security man who called to take the incident report, no one called to check on me or apologize. Nothing. I have called the Montery Health Department and let them know about it, but that won't get my (desperately needed) vacation back.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank fand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arlington, VA
Level Contributor
121 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 December 2005

Stayed here after America West abandoned me in Monterey. A blown business trip. What to do? Drove around Monterey, saw the Aquarium, had some seafood, purchased some chocolates, looked for lodging.

Portola Plaza is a good place to land. Older hotel but immaculately maintained. Staff pleasant & professional. Wakeup call on time. Hallways of hotel reminded me of "The Shining" for some reason. Room with king bed very comfortable. Looked out on drab courtyard. Kept shades down instead. Fitness center was above average for hotels. Highly recommend professional massage in the spa / fitness center by "Ottie." Book this the day before. Two restaurants in hotel: Pub food at the pub was bland, basic. Pub microbrew also bland. Raspberry Wheat was stinkin' heavy on the raspberries. Phew! Main restaurant in the hotel lobby looked upscale, looked very nice, but didn't eat there. Many nice restaurants on the streets surrounding the hotel.

Paid $ 119.00 for king NS. No advance res. BTW, ask for the "advance special rate" if you're a walk-in. That will trump the rack rate of $ 40.00 higher. I was here in mid-December 2005. The parking lot hit for $ 14.00 per night self-park, or pay more for valet, was a scam of sorts. You could just park your vehicle in the adjacent city parking garage yourself without paying that fee, I thought. Monterey was nicely devoid of the madding crowds this time of year. During summer, this place is tourist madness.

Helpful?
4 Thank fawlcon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 27 November 2005

We stayed for two nights in November. We had read earlier reviews that had "not worth the price" as the resounding comment. But we felt that we could give it a try at the off season rate. It was disappointing. The interior design is appealing but the bed was way too soft. There were red wine stains on the counter of the bathroom vanity and coffee stains on the wall.
One of the two mornings the milk for the coffee in the restaurant was sour and formed little white lumps in the coffee. It was removed without an excuse and I was treated as if I was being picky. The fresh cup of coffee that arrived had baked on dish washer residuals on the outside. There was already coffee in the cup so I couldn't tell how the inside looked but I definitely didn't feel like this cup of coffee and said I'd skip the cofffee here. I asked for the check and actually only had to pay for my two slices of toast (only one of them had butter on them at $3.22 incl. taxes)

Helpful?
5 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 21 November 2005

We booked a 2-night stay in May 2005, and we did not even stay the first night, instead choosing cut our vacation short and drive home -- at 11:30pm --the very same evening we checked in. Why?

Poor service, extremely noisy room. We had a bay view room that was located on the side of the hotel that faced downtown -- and the dance club across the street that played live band music that could be heard with great clarity with closed windows. My husband and I will never be able to listen to Rob Thomas' "Smooth" with straight faces again. About the service -- we waited 15 minutes in our car in the driveway before we received help with our bags at check-in. There was hair in our bathtub when we checked in; we had to ask housekeeping to come clean it -- twice. When we decided to leave that night, at 11:30pm -- there was no one to help us with our luggage. I found a luggage cart myself in the lobby, brought it up to our room, and brought it back down to our car. There was no valet to load our bags into our car, there was no valet to get our car out of valet parking. I made certain before we left that night, that I would not be charged with the 2nd night of our reservation. Sure enough, we were charged -- and it took about 5 phone calls in 3 days for the hotel to drop the charges. Bottom line -- this hotel thinks it is premium and charges accordingly. Customers should not pay these kind of prices and have really poor service. We were willing to accept our mistake in choosing this hotel by paying for the first night --- but we were not willing to actually stay in this hotel. For anyone contemplating staying here -- we left within 8 hours of check-in.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California Bay Area
Level Contributor
43 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 November 2005

Stayed here for a conference at the Convention Center for three nights. Got the best price through the auto club's website after trying several other travel sites. Checked in and was given a room with 2 double beds, though I had wanted one king. She offered me a room with a balcony to compensate, and I gladly accepted. However, my balcony was directly over Peter B's, the hotel bar. I'm a light sleeper and had an early wakeup call and had to sacrifice most of my night's sleep. But my standard room was spacious, nicely decorated, clean, with a good sized desk, closet and dresser. The bathroom was larger than you'd expect for a standard room, and did include a shower cap, cotton swabs and balls, and a teeny tiny emery board. Loved how the scale took 10 lbs. off me! The ceiling fan/vent worked in bathrooms in both rooms I stayed in (see below). Housekeeping was prompt.

The second night was a Friday night, and now the club around the corner was in full swing with a live band. It was 9 p.m. by then, and I debated if I should just suck it up and bear it. I decided they couldn't kick me out for just asking for another room, if not for that night, then the next night, Saturday, which I expected might be progressively worse. The desk guy hesitated, asked if I had reported my previous night's problem, which I had not, not being a complainer. He stated there were no other standard rooms available, but then checked with the manager, who immediately searched the system for options. He kindly offered me a deluxe room that I gladly accepted. He was extremely courteous and gave me no attitude.

My second room was very large with a sitting area and two TV's. Though on the third level, the sliding doors opened onto a courtyard, so there was extra security on the door. The next day housekeeping did not come through until after 3 p.m., and lacked thoroughness (payback?). However, I was happy to be away from the sounds of the local night scene. I could, however, hear plumbing from other rooms, footsteps overhead, and the ice machine, but none too intrusive.

The beds and pillows are all very comfortable. The rooms get very stuffy, so glad for the remote control ceiling fan and sliding doors. Every staff person I encountered was friendly, courteous and attentive. My reservation did include breakfast coupons each morning, and entitled me to the breakfast buffet that included coffee or tea, fresh fruit, cold cereal, yogurt, scrambled eggs, breakfast meats, hashed browns, baked goods and the made to order omelette station in the hotel's gorgeous Jack's Restaurant . Self parking was $14 a night in the adjacent covered garage. The free cookies were part of the Doubletree tradition that used to run this property, so getting one cookie on arrival is a nice nod to that; nothing to get in a twist about. Behind the hotel is the historic Custom House Plaza where the Maritime Museum is located, and behind that runs the Monterey Bay Recreational Trail, a concrete pedestrian/bike path that will take you right to Cannery Row and the Aquarium in a very pleasant twenty minutes on foot, and a safe distance from auto traffic (except for cross streets). There is a free trolley as another reviewer mentioned, but it only runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Get out and walk!

For dining, don't miss Montrio Bistro just up the street. Don't bother with Old Monterey Cafe; great service, but mediocre food. Lallapalooza seems to be THE hot spot for great food and very loud surroundings. Get yourself to Monterey Fish House for great seafood if you want to avoid other tourists at (the great) Fishwife Restaurant in Pacific Grove.

Also, plan an evening at the Golden Gate Theater 2 blocks from the hotel to catch old movies in an awesome recently restored art deco setting.

Overall, a great location, a nice property, excellent service, but you better look hard for the lowest price you can find to make it a good value.

  • Stayed November 2005, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank CA78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Okemos, Michigan
Level Contributor
29 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 November 2005

We stayed at the Portola again for a conference, and as usual found it quite comfortable. Our room was quiet, large, nicely decorated, and we had a private terraced courtyard complete with blooming rose bushes. The room was clean and comfortably outfitted. (I agree a mini-fridge would be a nice addition at the Portola's prices.) Bed was very comfortable and I loved the pillows especially. We like the location of the Portola very much - so close to everything, including nice shops in the Plaza. There are many restaurants very nearby, and a nice downtown movie theatre where you can see foreign and smaller movies that aren't run-of-the-mill. Every Tuesday evening there is a street fair, with local produce, products, food booths, and entertainment. Quite fun. The Portola's conference facilities are perfect for a smaller conference. Quite navigable and pleasant. We expect to attend the same conference next year and will again stay at the Portola - will probably request the same room. (We have stayed before in one of the balcony views overlooking the wharf, and frankly liked our courtyard room better - less sea lion barking, and more space to step out!)

  • Stayed October 2005, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Okemosian
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 93940-2419
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 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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