Wine Tasting

Monterey County is the largest wine growing region in California boasting more than 40,000 acres of wine growing and about 85 wineries and vintners. Dozens of tasting rooms across Monterey Bay offer the public ample opportunity to discover favorite wines and get to know the distinct differences of this popular and scenic wine growing region.

Free Trolley rides in Monterey

It’s Summer on the Monterey Peninsula and that means the summer shuttle service, is up and running until Labor Day in September.  What this means to a visitor at our hotel is added convenience of access to Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.   If you are planning a day of sightseeing along Cannery Row, and Fisherman’s Wharf, taking the Trolley is an easy way to make the trip.  And, it’s FREE too!   Ride along scenic spots and/or stop along the route  at Fisherman’s Wharf, Cannery Row, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Downtown Monterey.  So, park your car at Downtown Parking Garage on Tyler and Del Monte Street or Cannery Row Garage on Foam and Hoffman and let someone else drive you!   No hunting for parking spaces!  Parking is $7. Monterey Free Trolley rides

Scott, Writer by the Sea

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Thanksgiving Ideas and Getaway

Had enough of the festive Thanksgiving hoopla at your house?  Is your significant other just plain tired of going through all of the pain and effort to put together a holiday feast?  Maybe this is the time to have a little Thanksgiving Getaway.  Think about it—take a day and night at our hotel on the Monterey Peninsula, maybe you have friends here or in one of the surrounding towns, if not, picture yourself and your companion in a romantic setting with one of our Romantic Getaway packages with flowers, chocolates and wine.  No more crush of people, no more harried turkey-baker and pie maker, just the warmth and relaxation of one of our cozy rooms for a night or two.  The best part is—you can show your significant other how much you appreciate all those home-baked Thanksgivings by taking them to a traditional Thanksgiving at one of the Peninsula’s fine restaurants.  There are so many Thanksgiving themes to choose from it boggles the senses.  Come to Monterey for Thanksgiving for a change of pace, enjoy our Fall colors and bring home some wine for Christmas.


Romantic Package Link:

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Complimentary Wine Tasting

October and November are the times when wineries up and down the Carmel and Salinas Valleys harvest their Fall crops and bring out their best seasonal wines.  Both the Carmel and Salinas Valleys are known for their varietals, especially Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs that rival anything that comes out of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys.  Our vineyards have come of age over the last twenty-five years and it really shows in the quality of wines offered by local wineries.  To celebrate the Fall wines of 2013, our hotel is offering Friday Night Wine Tasting with Cheese Parings to all of our guests through the month of November.  Tastings provided by Boutique Winery in Carmel Valley and Chateau Sinnet Winery and Vineyards.  Each event to be held between 3:00PM and 5:00PM, November 1, 8, 15, 29.  Come join us for these complimentary events and experience the comfort of our hotel.  Better yet, book a getaway starting on a Friday and get your weekend off to a great start.


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Hidden Treasures in Monterey Peninsula

A little known jewel of the Monterey Peninsula is the area known as “Sand City.”  Sand City is a green conscious, artistic community of about 200 people who live, work and play by the sea.  There is something for everyone in Sand City.  Residents and tourists alike enjoy biking through town or spending the day shopping and visiting one of the local eateries, artists’ studios or magnificent coastal views.  Sand City used to be the “industrial” cul-de-sac of the Monterey Peninsula, but as industry struggled to survive the economic changes of the Peninsula, the large, vacant warehouse and production spaces of bygone industry became attractive to artists and independent designers who were being priced out of Carmel, Monterey and Pacific Grove.  The old industrial spaces were perfect for sculptors of large pieces, clothing designers, mural painters and many other creative types, and they were affordable to rent.  Take an afternoon and visit the studios and creative production spaces of Sand City, maybe taking in a lunch or dinner at one of Sand City’s excellent restaurants.  There is so much art to look at and ponder that you won’t forget your visit.  Ask one of our Front Desk Associates for directions.

Reference to Sand City:

Popular Coastal Recreation Trail

Everyone agrees, the Recreation Trail that girds the Monterey Bay from Santa Cruz to the tip of the Monterey Bay at Asilomar Beach, is a great way to see Monterey Bay.  On the Monterey Peninsula itself (the Southern extreme of the trail) the Recreation Trail offers quick access to everything from Del Monte beaches to Cannery Row to Asilomar Beach in Pacific Grove.  If you are planning an excursion along the Trail, one of the best places to start is at Fisherman’s Wharf at the foot of Historic Old Monterey.  After eating a hearty, complimentary hot breakfast at our hotel the morning after you arrive, plan to start out at the Wharf for a trek to Cannery Row, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Pacific Grove’s Lover’s Point.  The Wharf is a great place to discover things you might want to do tomorrow, such as sailing tours, whale-watching tours, fishing trips and restaurants for lunch or dinner.  You can easily spend an hour or more investigating all the fun and savory things that you might want to do later.  Have fun at the Wharf, it’s a great starting point for an exciting day of Recreation Trail exploration.

Local Favorite Restaurants and Activities, Monterey CA


Visiting the Monterey Peninsula is always a special occasion, you do exciting things throughout the day such as whale watching or wine tasting, activities that allow you to explore, sense and feel the essences of the Peninsula.  When evening starts to draw down it is our nature to seek out places of warmth, security and relaxation.  Certainly, your room at our hotel fits all of those requisites, but we need to eat and make a little merry at the end of the day in a warm place.  There are three out-of-the-way areas that locals frequent to get away from the mainstream and chill a bit.  If you are partial to ocean views and fresh fish, the Sandbar and Grill is easily accessible from the commercial fishing wharf and welcomes fish-lovers of all types with fresh fare.  On North Fremont St., Monterey Cookhouse represents one of the best places for wood-fired, smoked cuisine.  Close to the center of Downtown Monterey, the Cookhouse prides itself on steaks and fish cooked in their unique way.  For a taste of Old Monterey, Restaurant 1883 is your best bet; their menu is varied and offers fish, meat and vegetarian options.  Restaurant 1883’s wine cellar is storied to be one of the largest on the Peninsula.  The Monterey Peninsula sports over 250 eateries of all description and one is sure to fit your taste.

The Sandbar & Grill:


Monterey Cookhouse:


Restaurant 1883:


Gift for Mother’s Day in Monterey CA

Mother’s Day is just around the corner (May 12)  and there are more inventive ways to say “Thank You” to your loved Mother than just candy and flowers.  Call us and we can customize a gift certificate for Mother’s Day. Take that special Mother on a little overnight road-trip to the Monterey Peninsula to sample one of our special Mother’s Day exceptional brunches by the bay.  There are several lodging options available, such as our Aquarium Package that includes tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium along with a night’s lodging at our hotel.  We also offer a deluxe “Date Night” or “Romance” package that is sure to please that special Mother.  Treat Mom to an exceptional dinner in the evening and maybe present her with a little acknowledgement of your affections with a gift from one of our local artisan jewelers.  In the morning, check with our Front Desk Associates for a selection of special Mother’s Day brunches at many of our fine restaurants located on the bay.  This is the time of the year that seals and sea otters are clearly visible in the bay and the occasional dolphin might put in an appearance.  Bay-side brunch is sure to please.  Don’t forget to check our “Featured Special” and craft your own unique Mother’s Day getaway. Visit for more info.


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Heaven on Earth, Steinbeck style

Ever wonder where great novels come from?  Think community.  Monterey and its surrounding environs, especially Big Sur, are well known as a highly literary, audacious community of productive writers.  Not just novelists reside here, but poets and columnists too.  The Monterey Peninsula’s history is well populated with writers as well.  Ever wonder where Robert Lewis Stevenson got his idea for Treasure Island?  It was the time he spent sitting and writing at Lover’s Point in Pacific Grove.  Of course, there is John Steinbeck (“Cannery Row”), probably the most well-known writer this area has produced.  Visit the John Steinbeck Center in Salinas to learn about his history and have dinner at the house he was born in, now a museum and restaurant.  Touring through Carmel and its wealth of restaurants, there are many writers’ hangouts to be found, such as the Hogs Breath Inn, a classic example of a place where writers used to congregate.  Next time you plan a getaway, make a little time to pursue the environs of writers and don’t forget to book a room at our hotel early, the weather is warming up and walking tours are a must, or take a driving tour of Hunter Thompson’s (“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”) Big Sur.

The Steinbeck House:

National Steinbeck Center:

More about Historic Monterey:

Is it Luck of the Irish or is it Bad Luck?


March brings thoughts of pots of gold, green beer and how lucky the Irish might be.  After doing a little research, I discovered that the phrase “Luck of the Irish” is actually a misnomer.  Throughout their history, the Irish have had spectacularly bad luck, in terms of famine, wars and misunderstandings between Catholics and Protestants.  Some trace the origin of the phrase to the US where, during the exploration for gold in the West, there were a high number of Irish people who got lucky, and found their “pot o’ gold” in the gold fields of California, or were equally prosperous in silver mining.

Luck of the Irish does owe its origin to the U.S.A.  When they arrived, they were very disliked, treated badly, despised and hated.  When the Irish had any kind of success, most Americans at the time didn’t believe that the Irish were capable of such successes, so they called it luck.  Hence the term “Luck of the Irish.”  Once a year, we can consider ourselves lucky too, lucky to not get pinched, lucky to have green beer and lucky that there are a multitude of Irish and British bars in Monterey in Monterey where we can celebrate this day with the Irish.

Favorite Local Pubs include, Crown and Anchor (ps love the British version of Chicken Curry!), Britannia Arms, London Bridge Pub (Decent Fish and Chips too).

Bubbly, Flowers and Chocolates not jut for Valentines.

I have a friend who just turned fifty years old and I really wanted to do something special for her.  As she isn’t married or otherwise in a relationship I had to dig deep in my creativity to come up with an idea that would appeal to her.  What I wanted to do was to get her to come to Monterey for a little celebration, take time away from her otherwise busy professional life and relax a little bit.  As I live in Monterey I felt that I had an opportunity to get together with my friend for that special event in her life and celebrate it in a unique way.  I decided that I would use a modified version of our Romance Package to entice my friend to come visit for a day.  The Romance Package is ideal as a way to start a special occasion even if it isn’t specifically for Valentine’s Day.  After all, it’s a room with fresh flowers, chocolates and a bottle of Sparkling Wine what could be more special?  Add to that a spa treatment at one of our local day-spas, sightseeing along Fisherman’s Wharf and dinner at a nice restaurant on Cannery Row and there are all the makings of a wonderful birthday getaway for my friend.  She will appreciate getting away from her usual life and spending a couple of days on the Peninsula.


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