Our first stop on this trip north to Monterey was the Monterey Bay Inn. Right on the water, the Monterey Bay Inn offers well-appointed rooms with adorable balconies that provide access to some spectacular views. During the week you can get rooms for under $300, and we got an extra discount going through the Hotel Tonight app (even with taxes the ocean view room was only $189). While the rooms are very comfortable and gorgeously updated (my photo of the bathroom does not do it justice), the location is what will sell you on staying at the hotel.
The hotel not only sits right on the water with view of the Bay and the piers, but it is also just at the end of Cannery Row. If your goal is to park your car and walk to the big tourist points (like the aquarium), you couldn’t pick a more perfect spot in this price point. We also enjoyed walking the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail which we picked up just outside of our hotel. The trail is a scenic path that winds into the historic downtown of Monterey – giving you the option to play on the wharf, or head into the town (we ended up doing both).
We didn’t take full advantage of the amenities – for instance the hot tub that overlooks the bay seemed incredibly inviting, but we wanted to roam more than soak, and in the end we ran out of time. There is also a second hot tub on one of the lower floors. It doesn’t have the view, but it does sit near a fireplace that makes taking a dip on colder nights more appealing. There are also little touches like fresh-baked welcome cookies in the lobby that are a pleasure to encounter after a long drive. You can also buy tickets in advance for the aquarium at the check-in desk. It’s a great way to skip the lines if you plan on visiting that attraction (and it is pretty amazing).
Look, I can get grumpy after a long drive even if I’m heading into an adventure that I’ve been dreaming of for weeks. But my travel-weary mood lifted when we got into the room and just took in our surroundings. We even briefly considered moving in permanently and just working on our scripts from the balcony. Alas, sense and our finances dropped us back into reality fairly quickly. So, we took a few minutes to rest and then hit the trail to start exploring. Hint: you’ll be seeing those pictures soon!
Where: Monterey Bay Inn, 242 Cannery Row, Monterey, California 93940
Prices: Ocean view rooms during tourist season will start around $250 + taxes and head up depending on size and luxury appointments.
Parking: Self-parking is $17. At first, I almost hesitated to book because of the parking fee, but after seeing the parking situations down by the water, and the discount we got, we went for it. Super glad that we didn’t let that stop us.
Tip: Check the travel discounts apps. Our ocean view room was significantly discounted down to $169 + tax through Hotel Tonight which dropped it firmly into our budget range. Had it not been for that discount, we would have missed this thoroughly charming spot.