Referring to a hotel as a “home away from home” always seemed like cliché to me, but in the case of the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa, it’s fairly close to the truth – if my home had a spa, two pools, three restaurants, a working fireplace near a lounge with live Jazz performers and a maid who liked leaving chocolate and bottled water by our respective bedsides. So, really, the Hyatt Regency Monterey makes you feel as comfortable as you would in your own home, but with the luxury of staying at a hotel that knows how to pamper its guests.
Let’s start with the obvious – the Hyatt Regency Monterey does not look like the kind of hotel I would associate with big chain hotels. You won’t see a tower of rooms anywhere on the campus. This is an asset property. The original buildings were part of the Mark Thomas Inn, which opened in 1955, and the property has been growing ever since Hyatt acquired it. There are 23 buildings on the campus that offer accommodations, in addition to a separate spa, conference center, and registration/restaurant buildings. They offer 550 guest rooms (32 of them are suites) – making this the largest hotel in Monterey by a significant margin.
You would think that all of these buildings would mean a lot of cement, cars, and an industrial feeling. Not so! The buildings merge into the surroundings, and the first thing you notice about the place are the trees. In fact, it felt closer to a forest/mountain retreat than a city hotel. The second thing you notice is that the hotel rests up against the Del Monte Golf Course. Built in 1897, Del Monte has the distinction of being the oldest golf course west of the Mississippi in constant operation.
We were lucky enough to be housed in Building 6. Our view was of this gorgeous golf course and it was next door to the main registration and restaurant building. This turned out to be fortuitous placement, as it actually rained quite heavily most of the time we were there. It was a nice present to be able to walk under the protection of awnings into our wine tasting and dinner the night of our arrival.
As you can see, the room was spacious, and had an incredibly comfortable king bed at its center. Two viable work centers were in our room – one formal desk set-up and an arrangement on the balcony that would have worked well on a less damp weekend. The bathroom was quite large with enough counter space to allow for two people to get ready. It was well-equipped with every product and appliance we could need. The shower head was one of those detachable ones that you can use as a hand-held device. This worked quite well for me, in its holder, but less well for Andy, who is considerably taller. Amenities included the HDTV, refrigerator and coffee/tea makers that we have come to expect in upscale hotels. The colors are soft, as are the fabrics, and there is a warmth about the room that has nothing to do with the heating system.
I enjoy hotel stays, but even I have to admit that often hotels don’t make you feel like you belong there. Not so here. Andy was the first to point out that there is an almost immediate feeling of welcoming. There is a trust here – a partnership even – between guest and hotel. When we spoke to the General Manager, he made of point of saying that they want guests to feel like they are part of a larger traveling family. This was echoed by the actions of every friendly staff member we met during our weekend (most of whom did not know I was writing about the hotel).
Speaking of families, this place is ideal for family travel. Between the pools, tennis courts, ping pong tables and the games made available in the Fireplace Lounge (more on this magical place in the next post), this is a great spot for families visiting the area to call home. We saw many families using the hotel as their base of explorations, and given that it is only a couple of miles from the Monterey Bay Aquarium (“Finding Dory,” anyone?), Cannery Row and the delights of downtown Monterey, it makes for an ideal location.
It’s also a no-brainer for business travelers. Given that conferences seem to be continually held in their newly redone ballroom and conference center, the short cab ride (or complimentary hotel/airport shuttle ride) from the airport location, and their proximity to all the fabulous things in Monterey, it is definitely a place all travelers should consider when making their way through the area.
Another bonus – it’s budget-friendly even without the discounts available on booking.com, and other websites. That means you can easily book an extra night so that you don’t have to rush through your sight-seeing. Though I should tell you that it is the 13th busiest Hyatt in the world, and ranked 4th in sell-outs, so please make a reservation. Sure, you might get lucky and find a room, but if you know Monterey is in your sights, go ahead and book the room.
Now you know about the space, but that doesn’t begin to tell you all we discovered while we were there. Over the next week or so, I’ll let you in on all the details of the on-site spa, restaurants, Jazz lounge and wine tasting that Andy and I will continue to reminisce about for months to come. Stay tuned!
Where: Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa on Del Monte Golf Course, 1 Old Golf Course Road, Monterey, California, USA, 93940-4908, Tel: +1 831 372 1234
Budget: Varies depending on size, view and season, but standard rooms without discount are under $250 (and you can often find great deals, even on weekends, that lower that price significantly)
Atmosphere: Casual and comfortable
Wi-Fi: Free and everywhere
Parking: Free and everywhere
Our stay at the Hyatt Regency Monterey was part of a sponsored, scheduled press trip. All expressed opinions are my own, and that of TravelingWithoutANet.com