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Monterey County Update: February 2009

March 2, 2009 By: Travel Agent Central Contributor Travel Agent

off renovations in 2008 and 2009, Monterey County is ready to shine. The
fruition of the largest amount of capital invested in this destination in some
time has come to pass and we have experienced more growth in new properties
than we’ve seen in two decades.

The new
InterContinental The Clement Monterey
made its big debut in Spring/2008 on
$80+ million luxury beachfront property at 750 Cannery Row.  As the newest
waterfront hotel on California’s Central Coast -- and possibly the last
-- the property features 208 luxury rooms, 10,200 square feet of meeting
space, 18,500 square feet of high-end retail, an on-site spa, and a 95-seat
C restaurant

The Hyatt Regency
Monterey Resort & Spa at Del Monte Golf Course
recently completed a $40
million three-phase renovation including all of the property’s  575
, 32 suites, President’s House, lobby and front desk area,
restaurant and exterior landscaping of the 22-acre property. The property will
be opening their spa in the first quarter of 2009.  This addition will be
8,000 square feet
and will include a health club and 12 spa suites focusing
on solitude and rejuvenation. Additionally, they are installing new property
signage and lighting, painting the exterior of the entire property, resurfacing
the parking areas and adding a covered walkway throughout the property.

The Monterey Plaza
Hotel & Spa

has received the prestigious Mobil Four-Star Award.  This award is
extremely significant since the Mobil Travel Guide has been the time-tested
gold standard for hotel rating systems for nearly 50 years, providing travelers
with the most objective, most disciplined ratings for hotels in North America.
Hospitality and travel industry professionals respect and revere the Mobil Star
rating and certification system, and consumers have put their faith in it as
they determine where to stay. In addition to this prestigious award The
Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa has opened La Strada Café serving
Pete’s Coffee and baked goods, completed an enhancement of the main
entrance, added air conditioning to all guest rooms and added a
cobblestone crosswalk to the main entrance and portico. 800-631-1339

In the heart of
historic downtown Monterey, and surrounded by the attractions of the
spectacular Monterey Peninsula, the Monterey Marriott provides an ideal
location for your business, recreation and meeting needs, featuring smoke-free
rooms, and endless views of the Monterey Bay coastline. Fully completed and
renovated rooms feature down comforters and designer appointments. The
Monterey Marriott is equipped with high-speed Internet access and a spacious
work desk for the business traveler
and Revive bedding and bath
collections.  There is 50,000 SF of meeting space, Complimentary Business
Center with high speed Internet access, heated pool, whirlpool, and on-site
Fitness Center featuring LCD screens on all cardio equipment

With 369 spacious
guest rooms
or 10 luxury suites the Portola Hotel & Spa includes
amenities such as the recently renovated award-winning Spa on the Plaza, heated
plunge pool, The Fitness Center, a variety of intriguing shops and galleries, 24-hour
Business Center and three exceptional dining and entertainment choices
part of the package. Meet friends and warm up by the fire in the
library-inspired Jacks lounge, enjoy casual dining, sports and a variety of hand-made
beers at Peter B's Microbrewery or treat yourself to a sizzling steak
and fresh-caught seafood at Jacks restaurant. The Portola Hotel &
Spa truly provides everything that is the Monterey Peninsula. 866-711-1534

The Monterey Hotel
is expanding with expected completion by the end of Summer of 2009. The
renovation will add 24 new guest rooms (eight per floor; all with private
) to the current 45 rooms, as well as an additional 454 square
feet of meeting space
, which will seat approximately 40 people. This
project is designed as a viable move to add needed amenities while preserving
the hotel’s early 20th century detail and charm. Other changes include
extra underground valet parking; a new elevator system; and a 1,500-square-foot
fitness facility, including a spa, treatment rooms and an exercise room. The
interior design will remain consistent with the hotel’s existing
Victorian theme, while adding an indoor garden conservatory on the lower
level near the spa entrance. The project also includes space for three new
retail shops adjoining the hotel along Alvarado Street, and a new pedestrian
walkway linking Alvarado Street to nearby Calle Principal. 831-375-3184

With 171 guest rooms, including 51
fireplace suite-style rooms, Casa Munras hotel in downtown Monterey,
offers a range of room types to perfectly accommodate the needs of business,
group and leisure travelers. All of the rooms feature complimentary wireless
High-Speed Internet access, coffee maker and luxurious LATHER bath and body
products. Casa Munras recently opened their SANO Spa and completed the
soft goods portion of their guestroom renovation. 831-375-2411

Hotel Pacific is a boutique hotel
conveniently located in downtown Monterey, just steps away from the Monterey
Conference Center
and a few minutes from the Monterey Bay Aquarium and
other top area attractions. Hotel Pacific offers luxury all-suite
accommodations with fireplaces, complimentary continental breakfast and
afternoon refreshments, luxurious feather bedding, recently renovated rooms
offer flat screen televisions and wireless internet. 800-554-5542

The Spindrift Inn is a luxury hotel
located directly on McAbee beach in the heart of historic Cannery Row
overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Monterey which recently added 3 guestrooms
to their original 42 and completed room renovations in December 2008.
Your stay at the Spindrift Inn would include exclusive oceanfront location,
luxury accommodations, elegant renovated guestrooms with hard wood floors, deluxe
feather beds, marble baths, and flat screen televisions with wireless internet
available and complimentary continental breakfast as well as afternoon wine and
cheese and valet parking service. 800-841-1879

After a multi-year, $13
million renovation, 36-hole Bayonet & Black Horse is back and better
than ever. One of the largest scope and scale golf course construction projects
to hit the Monterey area in years, award winning architect Gene Bates made
dramatic alterations to hole routings, corridors and view sheds. New tees,
bunkers and green complexes
were installed and intrusive copse of
non-native trees were removed to provide unobstructed views of Monterey Bay,
downtown Monterey and Point Pinos from a number of holes on both courses. The
agronomic changes were equally as impactful, as all kikuyu and poa annua
grasses were replaced with Jacklin T1 Bentgrass from tee to green to encourage
the best playing conditions in the region. For more information about both
courses, please visit
or call 831.899.7271 (PAR 1).

The Fairmont Resort

is currently scheduled to break ground in Mid-2009 and will open in 2011.  
A 275-room, five-star
Fairmont Hotel & Resort,
square foot spa, 24,000 square feet of meeting space,
170 fractionals /
condos and 125 home sites are also part of the master plan for the property
in addition to the
existing golf courses, Bayonet & Black Horse. The resort and two 18-hole
courses are situated on a 440-acre site overlooking the Monterey Bay—part
of the former Fort Ord.

All Pebble Beach Resort
properties including The Lodge at Pebble Beach, The Inn at Spanish
and Casa Palmero have added complimentary WiFi in all
guestrooms and public spaces, replaced guestroom carpets, some soft goods,
added Plasma TV’s to compliment substantial golf course upgrades
and renovations at Pebble Beach Golf Links. 800-654-9300

Carmel Valley Ranch, cradled in the
foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains, provides a delightfully modern setting
to inspire and entertain corporate groups. With the recent completed renovation
of the lobby, restaurant and meeting space
after the year prior’s
golf course and clubhouse renovations; the secluded resort features an
impressive array of meeting space and location on the sunny side of the
Monterey Peninsula. Located within the completely renovated and refurbished
Lodge, the restaurant, Michel Richard’s Citronelle, features foods
infused with locally grown ingredients and produce, creating a platform for a
uniquely Californian twist. Enjoy the casual ambiance indicative of the relaxed
West Coast sensibility. Whether dining in the informal bistro or fine dining
room, feel at ease to savor delicious food, approachable service and
comfortable surroundings. 831-625-9500

Carmel Mission Inn recently completed a comprehensive
of their guest rooms, lobby, restaurant/lounge, meeting space
and hotel exterior. The hotel’s stylish setting and array of gracious
amenities that include a heated pool, fitness center and room service delivers
the type of stay that makes a business trip or vacation feel complete.

Ventana Inn & Spa is emerging onto the
small meetings destination scene. After more than 30 years of hosting couple
retreats, the resort opened its doors to select groups, board meetings and
retreats in winter 2008 in the wake of a property-wide $18 million
that included the addition of new meeting space. The
resort provides a tranquil backdrop for executive board meetings and leadership
retreats, incentive groups and special events. Ventana Inn & Spa includes 60
spacious rooms
and suites, each with private balcony or patio and either
valley, mountain or distant ocean views and most rooms and suites have
fireplaces. Due to a structural fire in August 2008 the restaurant, Cielo,
is closed and the projected reopening date is April 1, 2009. In the interim
breakfast, lunch, room service and dinner for resort guests is serviced from
the Ventana Bistro located in the Inn lobby. 831-667-2331


Central California's
leader in agriculture, wine tasting and customized educational tours, Ag
Venture Tours
offers different packages that include transportation,
lectures, winery dinners and events. 831-761-8463

At the Monterey Bay
you and your group can meet otters, penguins, and the newest
exhibit opening on April 6, 2009: The Secret Life of Seahorses, as well as
greet other denizens of the ocean. Take a backstage tour, follow the aquarists
on their morning rounds or have a function at one of the greatest aquariums in
the world. 831-648-4888.

Aerial tours from Monterey
Bay Aviation
showcase the spectacular coastline and scenery of Monterey
County, including the Monterey Bay and Big Sur. Each plane holds
one-three people. 831-375-2FLY http://

With Monterey Movie
you and your group can see the beauty of the Monterey Peninsula,
including 17-Mile Drive, through the eyes of Hollywood. Visit sites
where movies were filmed and watch the actual scene on overhead monitors in a
luxury tour coach. Individual and group tours offered. 831-372-6278 http://

Elkhorn Slough Safari provides two hour boat
cruises of one of California's largest wetlands featuring an in-depth
look at various aspects of slough ecology, fascinating history, and birding in
the company of a naturalist guide. Like an African Safari on water! Guided
Nature Boat Tour—831-633-5555

With Carmel's famous
guided tour - Carmel Walks- you can stroll through secret pathways,
hidden courtyards, award-winning gardens, and by enchanting fairytale cottages,
the homes, haunts, and history of artists, writers and movie stars.

Central Coast Day
Tripper of Pebble Beach
intimate tours of Monterey and the surrounding areas. Tours can be
booked for anywhere from two hours to an entire day. 831-657-9442

Big Sur Guides and Hiking provides guided hikes
and walks for people of varying capabilities into the breathtaking Big Sur
Wilderness. All walks begin at the lobby of the Ventana Inn and Spa.


                Monterey County is located
120 miles/192 km south of San Francisco and 345 miles/552 km north of Los
Angeles along the classic California corridor.  The region boasts 99 miles of prime Pacific Coastline, the Monterey Bay
National Marine Sanctuary, three historic missions, 40,000 acres of premium
vineyards, 25 golf courses and over 200 lodging properties.  Monterey County
includes the Monterey Peninsula, Big Sur, North County and the Salinas Valley. 
The Monterey Peninsula Airport (MRY), just three miles from historic downtown
Monterey and minutes from the area’s major attractions, is served by
non-stop flights to and from Denver (DEN), Las Vegas (LAS), Phoenix (PHX), Los
Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO) and starting May 3, 2009 San Diego (SAN)

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New hotels in Monterey County make the Pacific Coast destination a must-see.
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