During our stay in California in 2018, we had no plans to stay at the Portola Hotel & Spa. Indeed, we were to arrive one night later and stay at the Intercontinental The Clement Monterey. Yes, but … our Sequoia Airbnb was absolutely unlivable (like 40 celsius degrees at night …) so we fled a day early. And that was a good idea!

As we were unable to book an extra night at the Intercontinental, we chose the Portola Hotel & Spa. Clearly, this is a very “big” hotel, nevertheless we were pleasantly surprised by a rather nice decoration, a room with a view and a warm welcome. In short, we were REALLY happy to have left our “oven” for an extra day in Monterey.

From the moment we arrived, we loved that the receptionist offered us cookies. Too bad they weren’t vegan, but we appreciated the gesture. Our room was relatively spacious and the princess had an extra bed by the window. The decoration was colorful, and for one night, frankly, we were in heaven after the sweltering heat of our Airbnb.

Our family experience

Lili-Fleur dans la chambre

Which room with a child?

We recommend that you book at least an Executive King Room: located high up, it is a sufficiently large room for a family of three, and it’s very quiet. The bathroom is relatively spacious, and we loved the lovely harbor view.

The princess loved

She loved the colorful decoration of the room, the fact that she was given cookies on arrival and … of course, the swimming pool!

On the plus side …

What about breakfast?

Breakfast is served at The Club Room restaurant, but honestly, as a vegan, we recommend that you look for a place that will allow you to enjoy a more suitable breakfast. You probably won’t have a hard time finding a protein smoothie nearby. The restaurant at the Portola Hotel & Spa is very dark and not really cosy as it’s pretty noisy with lots of kids running around everywhere.

On reviendra pour…

We probably won’t be back, but it was a good back-up idea. It is too big for us, it is probably better designed for conventions (a bit like in Las Vegas …) therefore not at all adapted to our longings for cozy stays in exceptional places.


At the hotel

The Portola Hotel & Spa has an outdoor swimming pool, which is relatively large, but also extremely cold! The gym is pretty cool, because you can go for a run while watching people go by on the street, it’s a mirror glass. Large and well equipped, that’s a real plus.

Close to your hotel

There are plenty of things to do in the surrounding area. You can first (like us) go for a walk on the pier. You will find nice little shops there (but don’t expect to find a vegan restaurant in this area …). The city also hosts the Monterey Bay Aquarium that inspired Dory, the second Nemo. Finally, if you are looking for a vegan friendly restaurant, we recommend Hula’s.


Practical Information


Around $ 300 a night for an Executive King room. Once again, we advise you to have your breakfast somewhere else in the city, especially in summer when it is sunny!


Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay

Two Portola Plaza, Monterey, California