One of Monterey's newest hotel establishments is Hotel Pacific in the heart of the city's historic district. Located directly across from the Monterey Conference Center, Hotel Pacific sits on the two-mile walking Path of History where you will discover over forty of Monterey's historic adobes, as well as other sites including a 1827 Custom House, where Commodore John Drake Sloat claimed California for the United States on July 7th, 1846.
You will also come across the Casa del Oro that dates back to 1845. It served as a general merchandise store for Joseph Boston. Then there is Jack Swan's Tavern and Seaman's Lodging that can trace its roots to 1847.
It was quite interesting to learn that the Henry House, a classic elegant Victorian, once stood next to Jack Swan's Tavern on the current site of Hotel Pacific. It was here that the 31st President of the United States, Herbert Hoover, met, courted and married Miss Lou Henry.
Built in the late 1980s, Hotel Pacific was one of the last elements of Monterey's continuous Urban Renewal that began in the 1960s. The street where the hotel is situated was once known as Jackson. Most of the houses of a bygone era were single family dwellings belonging to families involved in Monterey's fishing and canning industry. Although there was some resistance when these homes were torn down, architect, Paul E. Davis, together with owner/developer, Theodore Richter, and interior designer, Charles Gruwell, assured all concerned that the hotel would effectively meld into this historic neighborhood. Their objective was to capture the spirit of Old Monterey with its beauty and its legacy of several cultures, including Native American, Spanish, Mexican and Italian. According to Davis, the forms and textures of Hotel Pacific embrace the property's history and romance. They surely have succeeded admirably!
The interior of the hotel's all-suite design compliments the lush private courtyards, fountains and gardens that capture the spirit of old Monterey. The result is a romantic modern adobe-style hotel wherein the reception area immediately greeted us with a homey feeling with its plush club chairs and sofas warmed by a fireplace that invariably invites relaxation.
We even noticed acclaimed photographer Helmut Horn's original photographs adorning the walls in the lobby depicting the history of Monterey's past.
Once we checked in we began to enjoy the outstanding and helpful service that gives Hotel Pacific recognition as a triple A Four-Diamond rating.
Our suite was the epitome of charm without being stuffy or pretentious – plush goose-down featherbed dressed in rich spreads, plump pillows, comforters, fine linens, as well as beautiful hardwood floors, a gas fireplace, a refrigerator, French doors opening to a private balcony, and a spacious bathroom with separate bath and shower that included Aveda products. In fact, the suite resembled an intimate town house and it was very tempting never to leave the hotel premises with its stay-in atmosphere that began with a bountiful complimentary breakfast featuring a selection of juices and cereals, fresh baked breads and pastries, and a choice of Carmel Valley Roasting Company coffee or Tazo teas. This was followed with an afternoon tea service that comprised a selection of cheeses and fresh fruit.
Incidentally, many of the nearby restaurants in the Wharf area have a 12:00-6:00 Happy Hour where you can grab a drink before heading off to dinner at one of the fabulous Monterey restaurants designed for every taste and budget. If you are looking for great Italian food at very reasonable prices, check out the Loose Noodle Pasta House on Lighthouse Avenue. They even have an early bird special between 5:00 and 6:00 and the food is "molto bene".
The additional attraction of Hotel Pacific is that it is an ideal getaway for a variety of vacation scenarios. From a romantic getaway for honeymooners or anniversary celebrants to a full family vacation, you can experience the Monterey Peninsula and enjoy golfing, hiking, winery visits, museums, historic sites, health clubs, kayaking, boating, bicycling, scuba diving, surfing and beaches. These activities, as well as visiting the world-famous restaurants of Fisherman's Wharf and Cannery Row and the world-acclaimed Monterey Bay Aquarium, are only minutes away from the front steps of the hotel.
In passing, if you wish to snuggle under a blanket on a beach, a company by the name of Romantic Room Designs will set up a beach bonfire on Carmel Beach, a short drive from the hotel. Apparently, as one couple recounted to us, they even write your names in the sand in front of the fire.
Norm and Lily Goldman are a husband and wife team who meld words with art focusing on romantic destinations. They are the publishers and editors of sketchandtravel.
Norm is also the publisher and editor of the book reviewing and author interviewing site, bookpleasures.com.