Back in 1967, a three-day concert was held along the Pacific in Northern California. The Monterey International Pop Music Festival drew musical acts and fans together for a weekend on the peninsula. Famously, the rock band, The Who, demanded to headline the event, forcing Jimi Hendrix to take the stage before them. Hendrix would say, “You have to go on and be crazy. Craziness is like heaven.” With unbridled spirit, the guitar virtuoso would go on to give one of the most epic performances in music history, culminating in him kneeling over his guitar which he had set ablaze, coaxing the flames to dance higher. The Who became a mere footnote to be forgotten like yesterday’s news.
You, too, can find craziness in the heaven that is Monterey. Whether you are re-living your youth, or you’ve learned that with age comes wisdom and want to view once-familiar faces through wiser eyes, a trip to the picturesque peninsula is a festival for your senses, emotions, and well-being. Hotels in Monterey offer you an opportunity to visit the iconic hamlet where the cliffs give way to the churning sea, a place where you can slow down and experience heaven…and maybe submit to the craziness and dance like a flickering flame.
Where Are the Best Places to Stay in Monterey?
Another Jimi Hendrix quote reminds us, “We have time, there’s no big rush.” Keep that in mind as you look for where to stay in Monterey. There are Monterey lodging options all over the peninsula. Our recommendation, though, it to find a place close to the beach where you can let the time pass by like the backbeat of a mellow blues riff. Here are some of our favorite Monterey hotels:
- Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa: Nestled between the Monterey Bay Coast Trail and the rocky shoreline along Cannery Row, this hotel offers incredible views of the bay. From the lounge-side deck above the waves, watch the surf crash into the rocky coast below. Guests of the hotel enjoy classic California coastal style that is complemented by two outdoor whirlpool spas overlooking the bay, soothing massage services, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. Indulge in some upscale retail therapy at the on-site shops and boutiques, and when hunger hits, you can select from one of four dining options.
- Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa: Situated on 22 acres overlooking Monterey Bay, the Hyatt Regency is a true destination hotel in every sense of the word. With world-class guest accommodations, the aptly named Marilyn Monroe Spa, and a championship golf course, you might not leave the grounds, save to dip your toes into the cool waters at the beach. Well-equipped guestrooms provide free Wi-Fi, a 42” flat panel television, and home stereo with iPod docking station. Savor the Tuscan and Californian influences over dinner at TusCA Ristorante, or catch the game at Knuckles Sports Bar.
- Monterey Tides, a Joie de Vivre Boutique Hotel: This beachfront boutique hotel is unlike any other in Monterey. For starters, it is just north of town right on the sand offering more quiet and solitude than those on the cliffs downtown. Let the sounds of the tide kissing the golden sand lull you to sleep on your king-size mattress with custom bedding. Amenities include a year-round heated pool, beach cruiser bike rentals, farm-to-table seafood restaurant, and oceanfront courtyard. Step outside your room and enjoy a stroll along the sandy strip of serenity as your troubles fall into the sea like Jimi’s “castles made of sand.”
- Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay: You’d be hard-pressed to find a better location for a hotel on the Monterey peninsula. The Portola is steps away from a surreal adventure at the Dali 17 museum, a few blocks from the shops, restaurants, and whale watching charters at Fisherman’s Wharf, and a quick 17-mile drive to the renowned Pebble Beach Golf Club. Room accommodations include pillow-top mattresses, pressed hypoallergenic linens, and organic toiletries. Enjoy elegant dining at Jacks Restaurant and Lounge or a local craft beer at Peter B’s Brewpub. After a day on the links or sightseeing, unwind with a soothing treatment from the hotel’s Spa on the Plaza.
One of Jimi Hendrix’s most sage statements reminds us that “Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.” Travelocity is talking—offering you great deals for cheap hotels near Monterey, luxurious resorts on the beach, and upscale rooms all across the peninsula. Listen with your wise heart and visit Monterey to experience the natural wonder, refined culture, and distinguished style that continue to define this amazing spot on the third stone from the sun so many decades later. All other vacations will become The Who to Monterey’s Hendrix, a forgotten footnote that pales in comparison.