Where to Stay to Make the Most of Monterey, California

With its rugged coastline, rich Spanish and Mexican history, and its impressive range of modern attractions, the coastal city of Monterey in central California has been a longstanding magnet for artists and tourists alike. Here are some of the best hotels to stay if you decide to follow in the footsteps of famous figures such as George Steinbeck and Robert Louis Stevenson and to enjoy some beach time and cultural visits in this dynamic seaside city.

Scenic Fisherman's Wharf at dusk - Image by Esther Levy via Trover
Scenic Fisherman’s Wharf at dusk – Image by Esther Levy via Trover

Great value at El Castell Motel

El Castell Motel is a solid budget option situated only a few miles from the waterfront. This Spanish hacienda-style motel offers room conveniences including a desk, a large TV screen, a microwave and refrigerator, as well as an indoor pool, business center, and complimentary breakfast. The affordable rates will allow you to save up some money to spend on the nearby family-friendly attractions, such as the Monterey County Fairground and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Budget sea views at Holiday Inn Express Monterey-Cannery Row

If you’re looking for a well-located base that won’t break the bank, the seaside Holiday Inn Express Monterey-Cannery Row is another top choice. This charming establishment fitted with modern and spacious rooms affords stunning views over the Monterey Bay Harbor and direct access to Cannery Row, the heart of Monterey’s fishing past, as well as the city’s downtown area. It’s a perfect place to lay your head during festivals and cultural events such as the Monterey Jazz Festival, and the Aquarium is just a 10 minutes’ walk away.

Elegant comfort at Hotel Abrego

Hotel Abrego is all about sleek design and plush comfort. Among special touches, the rooms are furnished with a gas fireplace, an iHome Clock Radio, and a 37 inch HDTV, while the communal facilities include an outdoor pool, hot tub, onsite restaurant and fitness center. Once you’ve enjoyed the luxury details of the decor and amenities, you can make the most of the hotel’s central location with a trip down the 17 Mile Drive, a stroll to Pebble Beach, or a tour of the old town and Fisherman’s Wharf to take in monuments such as the National Marine Sanctuary and the San Carlos Cathedral.

Nearby Carmel-by-the-Sea beach - Image by Travel Notes & Beyond via Trover
Nearby Carmel-by-the-Sea beach – Image by Travel Notes & Beyond via Trover

Central and trendy Hotel Pacific

One of Monterey’s most popular options, Hotel Pacific scores high for style and location. The bright designer rooms come with a fireplace, large sitting area, and their own balcony or patio, while the hotel grounds are centered around a beautifully-landscaped courtyard. The hotel’s downtown setting means that Monterey’s main curiosities, including the Bay Aquarium and lively Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row, are right on your doorstep.

Affordable luxury at Mariposa Inn & Suites

A little further out of town, the Mariposa Inn & Suites delivers premium amenities and services at an attractive price. The large, inviting rooms are equipped with practical comforts and pampering extras, while the pool, hot tub, spa, and terraced restaurant provide further opportunities to relax and treat yourself. The hotel is a great getaway for all sorts of outdoor activities, and the Dennis the Menace Park and Del Monte Shopping Area are within close reach.


This article is brought to you by my partnership with Hipmunk, the travel website designed to make your planning fast and easy! Follow the links above and let Hipmunk’s cutesy little mascot get you the best deals on flights and accommodation.

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Hey, I'm Camille! I quit my life to travel the world in 2013 – and I haven’t stopped since! I have visited 40+ countries as a location-independent travel/lifestyle writer and digital marketer. I like hammocks, scooters, eating, and scaring my mother trying adventure sports! I was chosen as a top travel influencer by Influence.co, and have co-founded Helipad Marketing to help travel & lifestyle brands soar with killer online marketing.

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