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“Beautiful Hotel, Great Staff, No A/C!” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay

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Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay
Ranked #16 of 55 Hotels in Monterey
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
easton ma
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Beautiful Hotel, Great Staff, No A/C!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 September 2007

We were with Caravan tours, and this was the Hotel for Monterey. The Hotel is beautiful, rooms clean, beds comfortable, bathroom clean. Nice touch, little seals on the tub, you can keep! The restaurant, Jakes, was excellent one of the best meals we had, service was good and pleasant. But, we were there during an unusually warm spell, the room was hot! My husband tried to turn a/c on, we got heat, called front desk, we were informed they don't have ANY A/C in any room!! Every person on our tour was doing the same thing! We opened the shutters, there was a screen, w/patio outside, and ceiling fan in room. The problem, we were right beside a very busy street. all you could hear was noise. Went to front desk and they were very pleasant about changing our room. The room was in a quieter section of the hotel, but when you opened the shutters and had the screen to get air, again, you could hear all the noise from the wharf and the convention center below. I could not sleep at all, you could hear fire engines any kind of noise from outside . This totally ruined what a great hotel and location!!

  • Liked — The Location, near wharf, hotel is lovely
  • Disliked — NO A/C
  • Stayed August 2007
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank dunbar28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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
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Bristol, UK
Level Contributor
426 reviews
165 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 315 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 August 2007

This review is simple - its a great hotel in a great location very close to Fishermans wharf with friendly staff who deliver excellent service. The rooms are very large, bathrooms the same, and fitness facilities good. There are two nice bars - one more formal and a sports bar. We had a lovely stay here and I would reccomend this to other people.

  • Liked — Location and room size
  • Disliked — Lack of mini bar in room but now I'm being picky!
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank JUDITHbristol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oakland, CA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 August 2007

• The pool was fine for my 8- & 11-year-old kids to play around in. Towels were provided at the pool. The pool furniture was padded and of excellent quality.
• The rollaway provided was very good, almost didn't mind paying the extra $20.
• The location is nice for walking around town, & down to the docks to see sea lions. You can walk to the aquarium, but it's a long walk. But a nice one.
• The thermostat is deceptive- it only controls hot air, there is no AC-you have to rely on the balcony screen door and fan for air. It's cool at night so near the water so it's no big deal, the room was just stuffy when we first got in.
•The toilets are noisy. And you can hear *every* *single* *one* surrounding you.
•There is very little in the way of soundproofing at all. When the hotel fire alarm went off (false alarm) you could clearly hear the instructions (which is good) as well as every one out in the hall discussing them (not so good).
• In this hotel you are directly below planes landing nearby. It is very loud.
• It's nicely decorated and the staff was very nice. My son loved his pillow and was unhappy that I wouldn't let him bring it home!

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — noise
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank OaklandMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aliso Viejo, California
Level Contributor
29 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 August 2007

I was a bit jittery about arriving at our hotel after reading some of these reviews. I booked our room at a great deal on Portola's "Summer Delight" internet special (my husband, my two kids and I all went) and THEN read the reviews. Well, from the moment we arrived, my jitters disappeared. I called from Big Sur to let them know we'd be late, and they told us no problem. We arrived and checked in without any hassle and received a nice room in the main building (508). We also got those nice, warm, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. The room was bright and cheery (a buttercup yellow) with two double beds. Granted, two queen-sized beds would have been slightly more spacious for sleep, but we had no problems. Our room was serviced early in the day which was great, especially as we stayed 3 nights. I've been at hotels where I've tried to come back for a mid-afternoon nap--and with kids this is essential--and my room wasn't ready. But here, the room was clean and ready to go by the kids' naptime. For those parents who might be concerned about the TV resting on the dresser, it appears to be bolted down on a swivel and I had no concerns about my rambunctious 3-year old. I also had no concerns about the balcony we had. I was going to request a room with no balcony because we have a young one, but decided against it. I was happy I didn't because the sliding door had a chain lock so we could have the door open and not be fearful that she'd run out.
My only concern was that the hotel parking lot ($15/day) was also a public lot, so when we arrived after a long day on our second day the lot was full. We decided to go get dinner and returned back an hour later and were able to find a spot without a problem. It didn't help that we came into town during the time of the Classic Auto auction / race thing and they closed off the streets making it somewhat hard to get back into the hotel. There were also many, many covered ferraris parked in the garage, but I will reserve judgment and say that they belonged to hotel guests.
In all, I really liked the Portola. It was quiet (we had a courtyard room, better than anticipated), we got to hear seagulls in the morning, our room was clean and cheerful, the maid service was excellent, and the people at the desk were all very nice. I do recommend the hotel and will gladly stay there again should we travel to Monterey. One more thing: I had almost booked at the Hyatt Regency and am glad I didn't because it was too far off the beaten path. I liked our central location.

  • Liked — Clean, quiet room
  • Disliked — parking
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank marlindorie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2007

The Portola Plaza Hotel is a beuatiful, sedate hotel. We stayed with our 2 children for a 3 day getaway to Monterey from the San Francisco Area.

It is likely a 4 star hotel; we did not eat in any of their restaurants or have much interaction with the hotel staff. I agree with other reviewers that the pool/hot tub was nothing at all, and the in room coffee is terrible. To get around the 2nd problem there is a wonderful Italian Cafe and breakfast street right across the way.

The main thing I loved is their location has to be the best we could have hoped for - far enough away from the kitsch and noise of Cannery Row but a pretty walk there and to the aquarium; right near Fisherman's wharf. There is another great Italian restaurant - non touristy - across the street and plenty of places in downtown Monterey.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — pool
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Stephen Deadelus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
301 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 803 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2007

We stayed at the Portola Plaza for two nights in early August 2007. We were assigned the hotel as part of a conference arrangement and we had no idea what to expect, Frankly, having been to Monterey on day trips, we were not expecting much. The Portola Plaza was a pleasant surprise--the location just cannot be beat. It is close to the wharf and boat excursions there; it is an easy walk to the Duck Club (very good food) and to the Cannery Row sights.

Our room was on the 7th floor, overlloking the pedestrian plaza and waterfront. We could not have asked for better. The bed was very comfortable, housekeeping immaculate. View spectacular, complete with sound of gulls and sea lions barking. True there was no refrigerator, but there were complimentary candy bars and wine, good cookies on checkin and at turndown (made good snacks for our trip to Point Lobo), and the ice machine was just down the hall. I am not sure how much the room cost, but after reading the other reviews, if your budget permits, by all means get one of the "Platinum level" rooms with a waterfront view!!!

The only negative about the room is that the in-room coffee was decaf both days and it was horrid. On the bright side, the Italian coffee/breakfast place on the plaza at the side of the hotel had GREAT capuccino and looked like it was a good spot for a quick meal. Our room included the breakfast buffet and it was fine.

The lobby is cavernous and taken over by conference groups most of the time....not an inviting spot to hang out. Did not check out the pool, but there are great places to run or walk along the waterfront.

We did not bring a computer this trip so used the in-lobby business center...two PCs for use at $15 for 30 minutes. One was tied up for hours with a fellow playing poker, so if you need business-level access, bring your laptop and use the $10/day wi-fi!!

On this trip we enjoyed the Duck Club restaurant. It's in a hotel that appears to be more posh and probably costs more, but we'd definitely stay at Portola Plaza next time if we could be sure of getting the same room. The location cannot be beat.
We went on the Science at Sea morning sail--pleasant but we wished they sailed a bit more for the price. Boat is great but very limited seating...probably why they don't sail for long because they have a lot of sail and standing around is not feasible under way, Point Lobos is a great place to hike--just a few miles south of Carmel on Rt. 1 and easy to find.

  • Liked — Location, waterfront room
  • Disliked — Lobby area
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Honu_Ohana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
35 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2007

We stayed at the Portola Plaza for three nights; one of us was there for business; the other two (spouse and son) came along for the trip. Overall we enjoyed the property - very nice, spacious and well appointed room, bathroom, lobby/atrium area, and fantastic location. A trolley stops in front of the hotel, it is right next to the fisherman's wharf, and very close to everything else. I had colleagues stay at the Marriott across the street, and by most accounts the Portola was much nicer than the Marriott.

Downsides are that the hotel is much larger than it appears; the walk from the elevators to the room was a trek. Also, there is no fridge or mini bar with snacks in the room - things that are very useful when you have a 2 year old toddler with you! Also, our room at the end of the hallway was noisy - we kept hearing toilets flushing, sounded a bit like bombs going off.

Room service was prompt and the food was quite good. Staff was courteous and also prompt. Bed was very comfortable, much more so than most of the vaunted "Heavenly Bed" type contraptions that are often touted.

We liked the hotel; the only thing that might keep us from staying again is the fact there's no fridge in the room (for milk, snacks, etc.) and the trek to the room. While a minor thing, the convenience factor is huge. If you do stay, ask for a higher floor room that's quieter.

  • Liked — Location, room, bathroom, food
  • Disliked — Size of hotel, noise in room, no fridge
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank TeamJK
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 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(R)-EB certified hotel on the central coast of California, the hotel boasts 379 guestrooms and suites, an award winning full service day spa, two on site eateries, 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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