Best Luxury Hotels in Monterey

Best Luxury Hotels in Monterey

On California’s Monterey Peninsula, luxury means something a little bit different — upscale amenities and attentive service, for sure, but also a sense of serenity, relaxation and retreat. With its chiseled rocks, towering bluffs, thundering waves and quirky beach towns, the stretch of coast from Monterey through rugged Big Sur is all about nature, whether hiking through redwood groves or picnicking in an isolated cove. These 6 high-luxe getaways that will treat you to a wealth of natural beauty along with a heaping dose of pampering are our picks for Monterey’s best luxury hotels.

Featured photo of The Lodge at Pebble Beach by Kodiak Greenwood. 

Hotel room with bed, couch, fireplace and balcony overlooking the bay at The Lodge at Pebble Beach in Monterey, California.
Photo: Courtesy of Kodiak Greenwood

The Lodge at Pebble Beach

Home to world-renowned 17-Mile Drive and Pebble Beach Golf Links, the gated enclave of Pebble Beach also boasts several resorts that capitalize on the stunning ocean and fairway views. The oldest and most renowned, the Lodge at Pebble Beach, opened in 1919, the same year as the eponymous golf course, but it’s been expanded and modernized several times since then, including the 2017 addition of the modern Fairway One cottages. Spacious rooms and suites feature patios and balconies to bring the views even closer (making the Lodge among our favorite waterfront hotels in Monterey), with contemporary decor that has a classic, clubby feel; many offer gas-burning fireplaces, perfect for foggy days.

HIGHLIGHT: Besides the stunning ocean views, it’s all about access: Guests staying in a Pebble Beach resort can book a tee time at Pebble Beach Golf Links — often hailed as the top public golf course in the country — up to 18 months in advance, compared with 24 hours in advance for everyone else. You gain admission to the equally impressive but private Beach and Tennis Club, with its heated 25-meter lap pool perched just above the chilly Pacific.

Two chairs arranged with brunch and orange juice at the Inn at Spanish Bay in Monterey, California.
Photo: Courtesy of Noah Webb

The Inn at Spanish Bay

Hidden coves and beaches lie just below the boardwalk outside the Inn at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach, where a bagpiper plays daily as the setting sun illuminates the Scottish-style Links at Spanish Bay. As with the resort’s Lodge at Pebble Beach and Casa Palmero, it’s among our choices for top luxury hotels in the region. Guests of the 269 rooms and suites get advance tee time reservations to the famed Pebble Beach golf course plus country club access, including the nearby private Spanish Bay Club and Tennis Pavilion as well as the Beach and Tennis Club some 5 miles south. The Inn at Spanish Bay also makes our list of best waterfront hotels in Monterey

HIGHLIGHT: All of the roomy lodgings include fireplaces and most have balconies or patios. Foodies won’t have to walk far for fun. After listening to the bagpiper outside Sticks restaurant, check out Stave Wine Cellar for small bites, cheese and charcuterie paired with some of the 50 wines or eight craft beers by the glass. Then head to Peppoli at Pebble Beach for some of Monterey’s best Italian fare, or Roy’s at Pebble Beach for Hawaiian-fusion cuisine.

Casa Palmero_Guest Room_monterey peninsula luxry_800x450_Credit Noah Webb
Photo: Courtesy of Noah Webb

Casa Palmero

Like the much larger Lodge at Pebble Beach, with which it shares a spot on our best luxury hotels list, the more intimate, Mediterranean-style Casa Palmero gives guests preferred access to Pebble Beach tee times and a pass to use Pebble Beach’s exclusive Beach and Tennis Club. But the vibe is more sensual, thanks to the highly lauded Spa at Pebble Beach, yoga and other wellness classes; the sunny pool where sunbathers receive spa water, sunscreen and amuse-bouches; and gas fireplaces and soaking tubs in the 24 rooms. Casa Palmero fits the bill as a hotel for romance too. 

HIGHLIGHT: The breakfast basket delivered to your door provides a good reason to cocoon in the morning. Even if you don’t have golf plans to get you out of bed later, you’ll want to take advantage of the divine spa, pool and Lexus sedan car service waiting to take you to Carmel. 

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