The Best Hotels to Book in Monterey, California

Dont miss out on the stunning ocean views on offer at Monterey Plaza Hotel
Don't miss out on the stunning ocean views on offer at Monterey Plaza Hotel
Kim Gregory

Monterey, in north California on the beautiful Monterey Bay, boasts wide sandy beaches as well as the bustling Cannery Row made famous by John Steinbeck. There are many appealing inns, hotels and resorts for a comfortable stay. Read on to discover our pick of the best hotels in Monterey – all bookable on Culture Trip.

1. The Stevenson Monterey – for the location, location, location


A double room at The Stevenson Monterey with a large bed, dark-wood furniture and an armchair
Courtesy of The Stevenson Monterey /

The Stevenson Monterey offers an uncomplicated stay with all you could need. Contemporary rooms – including family-sized and accessible options – come with the usual amenities, including HDTVs and hypoallergenic pillows. Plus there’s a 24-hour front desk, and a seasonally heated, lounger-filled pool. Free indoor and outdoor parking means you can discover the area by car, but there’s plenty within walking distance of this Downtown stay, from Fisherman’s Wharf (around 10 minutes) to Monterey Bay Aquarium (30 minutes).

2. Portola Hotel & Spa – for bringing your four-legged friends

Spa Hotel

Twin room at Portola Hotel & Spa with two double beds, a blue-and-white decorative wallpaper, and wooden shutter blinds
Courtesy of Portola Hotel & Spa /

This wins its place on our list of best Monterey hotels, because it’s AAA Four Diamond awarded, environmentally conscious and, of course, pet friendly. Tuck into fresh Californian cuisine at the hotel’s restaurant and sample craft beers at the on-site Brewpub. Your dog will love the patio as much as you, as you sip by the fire pit. Don’t miss a visit to the award-winning Spa on the Plaza – the largest day spa in Monterey County – at this Monterey-Bay-side stay.

3. Hotel Abrego – for a sustainable stay


Outdoor swimming pool at Hotel Abrego surrounded by tables and chairs and a view of the hotel building
Courtesy of Hotel Abrego /

Hotels in Monterey don’t get much more convenient than this downtown stay featuring free on-site parking. You’ll appreciate the boutique room touches like the eco-friendly toiletries, beverage coolers and, in some, fireplaces or balconies. Dip in the heated outdoor pool when the sun is shining, then take advantage of the restaurant’s daily happy hour. The ever-changing menu includes locally-sourced fish, thoughtfully served in accordance with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Guidelines. Wake up to breakfast on the terrace.

4. Merritt House Hotel – for vacationing your way


Exterior view of Merritt House Hotel, with white-painted walls and black doors and window frames
Courtesy of Merritt House Hotel /

Customize your vacation here, from boutique hotel rooms with different features like garden-view balconies, vaulted ceilings and French doors; to suites in 1830-built The Merritt House which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Tree-surrounded suites boast living areas, baths, fireplaces and eclectic, old-glamour furnishings and accessories. Sip a glass of local vino at the hotel’s Wine & Cheese Hour and try local bakery goodies in the continental breakfast offerings.

5. Monterey Bay Inn – for a little luxury


Room at Monterey Bay Inn with a double bed, beige bedding, dark-wood furniture and doors leading out to a balcony
Courtesy of Monterey Bay Inn /

This boutique hotel on Cannery Row is one of the well-located beach hotels in Monterey: it boasts a rooftop hot tub overlooking the Monterey Bay Sanctuary. Choose a room with an ocean-view balcony, and you might spot sea life through the complimentary binoculars. The Panoramic Oceanfront Room has especially impressive scapes plus a two-person jetted tub blessed with views. Hotel staff will bring the luxuries to you, including complimentary in-room continental breakfast and bookable private massages or facials.

6. Victorian Inn – for Old World charm


Living area in a suite at Victorian Inn with a beige sofa, patterned carpet, television and fireplace
Courtesy of Victorian Inn /

Victorian Inn – located near Cannery Row and plenty of restaurants – exudes classical style. Rooms come with different highlights like a marble fireplace, balcony, vaulted ceilings or window seats. Your dogs are welcome at this eco-friendly stay which meets the Green Seal™ Environmental Standard for Lodging Properties. Take breakfast-time seasonal fruits and ham and cheese croissants up to the iron wrought table and chair-strewn rooftop, and help yourself to complimentary hot drinks in the lobby when you need warming up after your chilly Pacific swim.

7. Hotel 1110 – for an adults-only retreat

Boutique Hotel

A double room at Hotel 1110 with matching patterned headboard and curtains, white bedding and dark blue cushions
Courtesy of Hotel 1110 /

Pick a room that suits your style at this boutique hotel in Monterey with decor different to each: think artsy wall features, vintage accessories and amenities like jetted tubs for two. You’ll find quirky, vintage styling throughout the hotel, located across from Del Monte State Beach. Special occasion? Order treats to your room such as champagne and a poem; and head to the rooftop for cocktails and a charcuterie platter, or Mediterranean-style dinner such as souvlaki plates. The hotel is over-18s-only: a good atmosphere for grown-up stays.

8. Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa – for stunning ocean views


Room at Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa with a large double bed, dark-wood headboard, gray armchairs and patio doors
Courtesy of Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa / Expedia
Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa, on Cannery Row, sits above the ocean with its own private beach. The Vista Blue Spa, with two whirlpool tubs that overlook the bay, offers many massages, private bath rituals, exfoliating scrubs, oxygen-infused facials, manicures and pedicures. Meanwhile, your main dining option is Schooners Coastal Kitchen and Bar, where you can sit inside or out with a great view of the bay.

9. InterContinental the Clement Monterey – for a stroll on the boardwalk


Large reception room at InterContinental the Clement Monterey with several gray and beige sofas and armchairs, and wooden tables
Courtesy of InterContinental the Clement Monterey / Expedia
The InterContinental the Clement Monterey is a modern luxury hotel on Cannery Row overlooking the bay with its own pier and boardwalk. The hotel includes a heated outdoor pool as well as a state-of-the-art fitness center and a spa. Right next to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., as well as many other unique dining opportunities, the hotel also has its own eatery, the C Restaurant, and bar.

10. Spindrift Inn – for the food and freebies

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

Deluxe corner view king room in soft pink and olive green colours and ocean views at Spindrift Inn
Courtesy of Spindrift Inn /
The Spindrift Inn, on Cannery Row, is a beach hotel in Monterey on McAbee Beach, a short walk from many of the town’s most popular attractions. Your stay includes a complimentary breakfast brought to your room on a silver platter, as well as a gourmet wine and cheese reception with coffee and tea every afternoon in the lobby. Guests can dine at the Lalla Oceanside Grill next to the lobby, or at the Sardine Factory restaurant close by.

For a bit more luxury, check out the best beach hotels in Monterey, or opt for a budget option with one of the best cheap hotels, bookable with Culture Trip.

This is an updated version of an article originally by Helen Silverstein.

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