People sometimes ask us why we travel from a beach city like San Diego to other beach cities like Santa Barbara, Loreto or Mendocino. The reality is that we just love being by the ocean – doesn’t matter if the water is cold, or the beach covered in soft, white sand. Both kids and parents are just more relaxed near the ocean. So when we were invited to visit Monterey Bay by The Cannery Row Company, we immediately said yes! On our recent trip there, we had the distinct privilege of being hosted by the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa. It really is one of the best hotels for families in Monterey.

Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa main entrance

The Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa main entrance.

Best Hotels for Families in Monterey

One of the things that makes the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa one of the best hotels for families in Monterey is its stunning location. Positioned on the former site of a wealthy family’s mansion, the Monterey Plaza is situated right on the water’s edge. The hotel overlooks the expanse of Monterey Bay looking north, with easy views east towards the marinas and west along the coastline. Just steps away from all the interesting activities along Cannery Row, the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is centrally located in town as well.

lobby entrance at Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa

Stepping into the lobby at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is impressive from the get go.

Gorgeous Grounds/Great Spaces

One of the things we loved most about the Monterey Plaza is the grounds. There are so many great spaces in and around this hotel, it was fun to explore and discover one after the other. For one thing, there is the enormous plaza fronting the bay that separates the main hotel buildings from each other. A fantastic fire pit is located here, surrounded by comfortable seating. We saw many a family cuddle next to the warm flames as they watched the waves.

Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa fire pit, Monterey, California

This fancy fire pit was a great gathering spot, day or night.

Inside the hotel, the lobby is enormous and full of different places to hang out, sit and read or people watch. Of course, everything is situated to maximize the tremendous views from this hotel. When we first checked in and were waiting for our luggage, we sat in the lobby and just stared out at the vast ocean, punctuated with waves and sail boats.

Monterey Bay Marina

If you look really close, you can see two sea otters playing in the water of the Monterey Bay Marina.

Spacious Guest Rooms

Our rooms were enormous, and we were fortunate to be given a suite with a giant living room area. It was so giant, in fact, that there was a living room, dining room, two balconies with outdoor seating and a grand piano! Yes, you heard that right – a grand piano in our living room. And even with all that, there was still a ton of space to move around.

I wish one of us knew how to play the grand piano in our hotel room!

The living room faced Monterey Bay, so our view was overlooking the plaza and the ocean beyond. It was a great place to sit and drink my morning coffee, I will tell you that.

Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa main building

Looking back at our room, corner with balconies situated far right on top floor. Sweet!

Our separate bedroom contained a king bed, dresser, writing desk, and comfy chairs. There were two more balconies off of this room as well. The bed was super comfortable too.

king bedroom at Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa at Cannery Row

Spacious rooms are a hallmark of the Monterey Plaza Hotel, and that bed was soooo comfy.

The girls were given an adjoining room with two queen beds, large bathroom and yes, another balcony. Together our family occupied more footage than one entire floor of our home back in San Diego. It was – impressive.

World Class Spa

Sometimes hotels have spas, and sometimes hotels have great spas. But if you are going to put the word spa in your hotel’s name, you better deliver. And Monterey Plaza Hotel & SPA definitely delivers. The Vista Blue Spa is not enormous, but it is extremely well appointed. There is an outdoor deck with two hot tubs that overlook the bay through glass walls. Nearby, there is a fireplace where flames warm guests as they towel off from exiting the tubs. Honestly, it was so peaceful out here we could have stayed all day.

rooftop hot tubs with ocean views at Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, Monterey, California

Sitting in one of the rooftop hot tubs is a great way to unwind at the Vista Blue Spa.

Inside, the treatment rooms are comfortable and welcoming. They smell like that special spa scent that relaxes me as soon as I breathe it in. I really needed a good massage, and my therapist delivered. She just the right amount of pressure and relaxation to coax my muscles into the zen mode. It was so good, I may or may not have fallen asleep for a second. I know I’m having a great massage when I wake myself up with a loud snore!

Monterey Bay at sunrise with cruise ship

A cruise ship comes into port at Monterey Bay during early morning sunrise.

Nearby Activities at Cannery Row

Because the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is located right at the entrance to Cannery Row, there is a ton of cool things to do a few steps away. Kayaking on Monterey Bay, fun shops and delicious restaurants and the Monterey Bay Aquarium are all just down the street.

For more info, here’s my recent blog post on things to do at Cannery Row in Monterey.

Room view of plaza, fountain and Monterey Bay at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa

The view from our room at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa look over it’s enormous plaza and ocean beyond.