Check out the new, mobile-friendly WineSpectator.com!
If you want to be pampered at a first-class hotel, the Monterey Coast doesn't disappoint. Visitors have a host of options, from the secluded luxury of the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur to the good-value InterContinental Clement Monterey, on the piers of lively Cannery Row.
Please note that prices and other details can often change. We recommend that you call ahead before you go.
415 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley
Telephone (888) 648-9463
This intimate retreat in the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains recently changed ownership. While an upgrade is in the works, the lodge maintains its appeal for easy luxury. With a vibrant and modern adobe design, the resort is elegant, while retaining rustic highlights of limestone, rough-hewn logs and ceramic tiles. It combines the privacy of a country getaway with the amenities of a larger resort, including a pool and a spa and fine dining at Marinus restaurant. The spacious guest rooms have vaulted ceilings, fireplaces, two-person tubs and French doors that open to a patio or balcony. Located 10 miles inland, in Carmel Valley, its vineyard setting is sunnier and warmer than the coast. Another plus: It's near the area wineries and tasting rooms.
The 500-acre Carmel Valley Ranch is an idyllic retreat with hiking, a spa and golf.
CARMEL VALLEY RANCH
1 Old Ranch Road, Carmel Valley
Telephone (866) 405-5037
After a $40 million makeover in 2010, this once dusty 1980s-era resort has become a summer camplike getaway for affluent families. The ranch covers 500 acres, much of it wooded and mountainous. There are 8 miles of hiking trails, a spa and two pools, as well as an 18-hole golf course designed by noted course architect Pete Dye, a working vineyard and an organically grown garden. Native oaks shade the three clusters of guest suites. The suites themselves are large, and each includes a living area with a pullout bed. Interiors are finished in attractive warm colors, with wood floors and slate-accented fireplaces. The menu at The Lodge restaurant favors local ingredients, and the wine list offers a solid selection of 450 bottles.
Genteel accommodations at a great location are at hand at the Intercontinental Clement Monterey, near the aquarium at Cannery Row.
INTERCONTINENTAL CLEMENT MONTEREY
750 Cannery Row, Monterey
With a genial atmosphere and a prime location right on the blue water of the bay, the Clement is one of the newer additions to the Monterey scene. It's located just a few steps from the aquarium in the heart of an increasingly revitalized Cannery Row. The rooms are genteel, done in wood accents and soft colors. Many have gas fireplaces and large soaking tubs. The best rooms have balconies that overlook the water and provide views of the many seals and sea otters, while entry-level rooms are across the street but easily accessed via an enclosed pedestrian bridge. Restaurants, bars and entertainment are plentiful in the surrounding area.
Casa Palmero is the most intimate of Pebble Beach's three resorts, and feels like a village.
PEBBLE BEACH RESORTS
The Lodge at Pebble Beach, 1700 17-Mile Drive; The Inn at Spanish Bay, 2700 17-Mile Drive; Casa Palmero, 1518 Cypress Drive; all Pebble Beach
Telephone (800) 654-9300
Rooms 427 (among three resorts)
Suites 27 (among three resorts)
Pebble Beach has three resorts, each with a distinct personality. The Lodge, built in 1919, offers classic old California elegance, with rooms that have a stylish formality. It also overlooks the 18th hole of the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links. The Inn at Spanish Bay is more contemporary in design, and the accommodations have a casually luxurious ambience. Guests gather nightly around firepits that look out to the ocean. The intimate setting of Casa Palmero evokes a small Mediterranean village, with flower-trellised walkways, red tile roofs and fountains. The rooms radiate an easy opulence. Restaurants, shopping, golf, spas and health clubs are all on the resorts' shared property.
Perched on the cliffs of Big Sur near Highway 1, the Post Ranch Inn offers fine dining and postcard views.
POST RANCH INN
47900 Highway 1, Big Sur
Telephone (888) 524-4787
Secluded in the mountains of Big Sur, Post Ranch seems a world away. It's a place to tune out and rejuvenate without forgoing luxury or exceptional food and wine. Rooms are divided among buildings scattered along the ridge of the 100-acre property. They share a rustic sophistication, highlighted with reclaimed wood, stone and rusty steel. Tree House rooms sit among redwoods on 9-foot stilts, while the Pacific and Cliff rooms are designed with dramatic curves that seem to hang off the mountain. Amenities include two spas with infinity edges overlooking the ocean, as well as a lap pool and miles of hiking trails. The inn's restaurant, Sierra Mar, is one of the best in the area, with a remarkable wine list.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered