I do not have to tell you that Monterey is a great destination for meetings and incentives. You already know that. So why am I writing this?
First… in keeping with our Mission Statement to share cool stuff you can use, we keep adding descriptions and links to suppliers of all kinds to our Ever-Expanding Meeting Resource Library. Bookmark It. You need an idea or a contact, go there. It’s a free searchable resource of “good”.
Second reason… Monterey is in the midst of a major renovation, the main component being the completely re-born Monterey Conference Center, plus the make-over of everything around it Yes, it’s Major.
With all of that in mind, here is a very brief guide to what is happening in Monterey. We’ll keep adding things as we find them, but here is Chapter One. And by the way… there is so much there that in the interest of time and your ability to process, we have decided it’s better to split Monterey off from Carmel/Pacific Grove/Pebble Beach for the moment. We’ll get to that in another article. Promise.
Monterey Conference Center
The BIG NEWS: The Conference Center is undergoing a $60 million renovation and plans to open in mid-summer 2017. By providing a modern, state-of-the-art meeting facility combined with all of the other incredible things Monterey has to offer, it is back on the map for larger events and meetings.
As a stand-alone facility, the Conference Center offers 41,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space, featuring a 19,150 square-foot exhibit hall and brand new junior ballroom divisible in 5 that is just under 10,000 square feet. In partnership with its three adjacent hotels (see below), the new Conference Connection provides 70,000 square feet of meeting, exhibition and banquet space, 700 deluxe hotel rooms (right there) and many more in very close proximity. www.montereyconferencecenter.org
A member of Monterey’s Conference Connection (and connected to the Conference Center by Skybridge), the 341-room Monterey Marriott offers16,000 square feet of onsite event space. The top floor 3500 sq. ft. Ferrantes Bay View room is aptly named and features awesome views of Monterey Bay.
And of course… downtown Monterey is right there, and everything else is… right there. www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/mryca-monterey-marriott/
Portola Hotel & Spa
First thing you notice about this 379-room Four Diamond LEED certified hotel… it’s connected to the new Conference Center. So connected, it seems to be the same thing It’s not, but it is definitely has the Location thing going for it. By itself, it offers 50,000 square feet of meeting space, and groups routinely use both the Conference Center and the hotel. (Historical Note… I had a group that used both facilities in 1980. Pretty funny).
But that is far from all… it’s right next to a state historic park (let’s add 60k square feet of outdoor space), and about a two-minute walk from the Wharf and the Beach. There is also a Brewery on property, bocce ball courts, and get this… a Salvador Dali museum right next door.
There are a billion other things. Check it out at www.portolahotel.com
Like its Conference Center neighbor across the street, the 105-room (all Jr. Suites) Hotel Pacific (a member of The Conference Connection) has also undergone a complete refurbishment. The hotel offers three meeting rooms, the largest of which is 951 square feet. My handy calculator tells me that is 39 max., classroom. Max. But… it is right there, and all of the downtown Monterey stuff is right there too. www.hotelpacific.com
Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa
The facts… 290-room Four-Star property on Cannery Row overlooking the Bay. 17,000 square feet of indoor space, 13k of outdoor space (also overlooking the Bay). Their marketing speak says it combines elegance and sophistication… I find that both interesting and fascinating. Just teasing. I have stayed there on multiple occasions and It’s a really, really great hotel.
If you are thinking of Monterey, you would be doing a dis-service to your group if you did not at least ask them for a proposal. www.montereyplazahotel.com
Intercontinental The Clement Monterey
This 208-room luxury hotel overlooking the Monterey Bay is literally next door to the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium and on historic Cannery Row. It features 12 meeting rooms and 16,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting space.
Note… on one page of its web site it says “the sapphire waters of Monterey Bay” and on another it says “the cobalt waters of Monterey Bay”. I am no judge of that. All I know is… I have stayed there, I have booked groups there (more than once), the staff is great, it’s right on the water (regardless of the color) and it is beautiful there. www.ictheclementmonterey.com
Hyatt Regency Monterey
This 550-room resort has The Del Monte Golf Course next door, a Spa and 40,000 square feet of meeting space. It’s not in downtown Monterey (it’s a Resort), but is “nestled” (their word) on 22 acres just a short drive away. I am not sure why resorts in general always seemed to be “nestled’ somewhere, but that is a subject for an entirely different article. Anyway…
It’s a great resort and, like all Hyatt Regency’s, does a great job. Consider them and Request a Proposal. monterey.regency.hyatt.com
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Do I really have to say anything about the Monterey Bay Aquarium other than if you have a group in Monterey you just have to try and have an event there? It’s famous and deserves its reputation. Just do it. www.montereybayaquarium.org/
The Sardine Factory
Speaking of iconic venues, The Sardine Factory has been doing what they do since 1968. It’s now a tradition that if you are anybody who is anybody, you dine there when you’re in town. It deserves its reputation (as in, it’s really good and deserves its reputation).
They take groups and because the restaurant has several private and semi-private areas, they can be very flexible with group size. In addition, they have a great private dining room in their wine cellar (for up to 28) and can do wine tastings, food and wine pairings, and… a lot of eating and drinking. www.sardinefactory.com
Monterey Beach House
Located on the sand (not kidding) this venue is the only venue on the Central Coast offering beach front access for corporate events and is within walking distance (not kidding) of the conference center, all of the hotels around it, Fisherman’s Wharf and downtown. Note to meeting planners…saves on transportation.
They cater both indoor and outdoor… from the gourmet to s’mores on the beach (with bonfires). They offer team building activities such as but not limited to; Wine and Paint Nights, Sand Castle Building, Kayaking and Volleyball Tournaments. Inside, they can accommodate 250 for sit down dining or 400 standing. Need to go really big? They can handle up to 1,500 for combined inside/outside events. www.montereybeachhouse.com
The Monterey CVB
The MCCVB team will match your needs to hotel and resort options that include 200 properties and nearly 12,000 guest rooms. Like all of the best CVBs, they save you time by providing complimentary services as the liaison between your group and their member hotels, offering visitor services and registration staff. And one other thing about them… they are really good at what they do. www.seemonterey.com
That’s it for now… except I have to make a few important points. First, this is obviously not everything in Monterey. We’ll keep adding as we go. Second… We didn’t even talk about Carmel. That’s an entire article on its own (and will be forthcoming). I just know that readers can only read so much so I have to break it up… and everything goes into the EVER-EXPANDING Meeting Resource Library that you can search at leisure.
AND… bookmark allthingsmeetings.com, share it with your colleagues, and click on everything. AND… come to one (or all) of our Trade Shows so you can meet suppliers and form your own relationships, AND… if there is something you want me to write about, tell me.
(AND... If you happen to be in San Francisco on April 26th, join me at our 16th Annual All Things Meetings San Francisco Reception and Trade Show. Admission is FREE for Qualified Meeting & Event Planners. Featuring Over 95 Travel Suppliers From Around The World. Plus Great Food, Wine and... Lots of Prizes. APRIL 26, 2017 5:30 - 8pm at the newly renovated and expanded Hard Rock Cafe at Pier 39, San Francisco. CLICK TO GO REGISTER
(AND… if you are reading this and happen to be a supplier/vendor to the meeting planners of the world, please consider exhibiting at one of our three Bay Area Reception/Trade Shows AND/OR advertising on allthingsmeetings.com). Call me. :) Neil 707.738.5627
I have a passion for photography. Here are just a few pics I took recently in Monterey. Hope you enjoy them… and if you do, when you have some time to relax, please visit neilcramerphotography.com and enjoy one of my slide shows. Just for fun. :)