Affordable Travel Guide to The Monterey Plaza Hotel

The Shoreline Gem of Steinbeck’s Dreams

The Monterey Plaza Hotel

A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. — John Steinbeck (1902-1968)

Like a bold, elegant stork, the Monterey Plaza Hotel stands directly over top of the waters of Monterey Bay in Northern California. It feels more like a ship than a hotel, with its stone deck and balconies looming over the Pacific Ocean; it is this perch that makes the Monterey Plaza Hotel, in Monterey, California, a rare find among North American hotels. Its sensibility is a grand ocean-side hotel in Europe.

Location, Location, Location

With impeccable service and opulent furnishings in the common areas and guest rooms, the Monterey Plaza Hotel offers something that no money can buy; the sheer force of its location creates this unparalleled perquisite… Beneath the rooms’ balconies is a living, continual dance of nature. It begins at dawn as the fishing boats head out and the birds herald the morning. Whales, otters and seals frolic, catching waves and following fishing boats in and out of the harbor.

To wake up in the morning, with your tray from room service delivered promptly, with a fresh flower, and to take your breakfast on the verandah while you watch the otters play just below, is, simply, paradise. Here is where you can forget the bustling world that carries on… Somewhere else. Located at 400 Cannery Row (yes, like the title of the Steinbeck novel), the Monterey Plaza Hotel is in easy walking distance of:

  • great little shops and boutiques in town
  • an outlet mall
  • the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Fisherman’s Wharf

And it’s a short drive to Pebble Beach Golf Club, one of the top courses on the planet. You’ll want to move in; this hotel has it all. Granite and marble, wood-burning fireplaces, dramatic original art and sculptures, and huge vases of giant flowers create an ambience that makes guests feel as thought they have suddenly become part of an exclusive club. It all evokes a subtle majesty, the kind that Steinbeck aspired to when he quit his job in a San Francisco warehouse and moved into a small cottage, not far from where the hotel is now located, and began to write in earnest. If Steinbeck chose this as his muse and writing paradise, it’s going to have an effect on you, too.

Take lunch on the dining terrace, and then spend the afternoon spoiling yourself at the rooftop Vista Blue Spa, dinner at the on-site superb restaurant, Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar, and then a walk along the wharf as sunset. Tarry a while until darkness falls and watch the lights of the fishing boats as they clamor to settle in the harbor for the night, tucked in berths. Then it’s your turn to sleep with the sound of the waves beneath your room. To dream that this is your grand Spanish villa on the sea. You’ll never want to leave.

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