Checking In: The Portola Hotel & Spa - With Love Rochelle

Checking In: The Portola Hotel & Spa

Recently, my family and I stayed in Monterey at the lovely Portola Hotel & Spa.  At least twice a year we head over to Monterey to go to the aquarium or The Festa Italia which was the reason for our visit.  The Portola Hotel was the perfect choice and they went above and beyond our expectations. The Festival was located right outside the hotel in the plaza and conveniently located close to the wharf, Cannery Row, and plenty of restaurants.  

Upon arrival, the kids received the yummiest cookies and Portola Pirate Program which included Free Child Admission to the Museum.

The staff was so friendly.  When we checked in I had been upgraded to a King Suite which made me happy especially when traveling with kids you want to make sure there's enough space!  As soon as we walked into the room Miss Valentina had claimed her spot !  She thought the King bed was all hers.  The rooms decor had a nautical touch and felt like I was staying right at home.  A calm feeling came over me during our stay.  The room was so peaceful and relaxing.

One of the fabulous features of the room was the secluded patio that looked out into a courtyard of the hotel.  The kids made great use of this space.  The outdoor patio furniture was a hit they played on their tablets while eating their cookies and Valentina practiced her Ballet moves.  

Of course my favorite area was the coffee bar.  My own person Keurig that featured a variety of coffee and tea services.  I was in heaven!  Below was a refrigerator which is a great amenity to have because when traveling with kids you'll want to have snacks and drinks on hand.

I'm always for a kid friendly hotel that offers high quality amenities because no one like to pack their whole house and have to unpack it when you get home.  And just in case you did forget something you could always call the front desk to get necessities like a shaving kit, toiletries, or a pack in play.

Santino loved seeing all the ships the hotel had on display.  

The Old Fisherman's Wharf is a short walk from the hotel.  Walking over to the wharf there are many dining, entertainment and shopping opportunities.  On our way over, we stopped off at the Festival to get our fingers on some Cannolis, Sausage & Steak Sandwiches & a basket of freshly fried calamari.   There's an area at the wharf where we like to eat and watch the seals and boats go by.

The kids had a blast being adventurous on the pier.  They had a chance to see some seals up close and take a look at some really cool boats passing by.

Upon returning back to our room for a quick change there was a note with a platter of fresh fruit that the kids didn't wait to dive into.  

I do have to say that the kids were so surprised when they seen these sitting on the desk waiting for them.  I thought this was the cutest thing any hotel has ever done during our stay.  We travel a lot as a family and they kids have never received a gift and addressed to them individually!  They received the softest sleeping bags for each of them and still use them at home.

In Monterey, there are many adventurous things to do.  Portola Hotel is a short drive to 17-Mile Drive, Carmel-by-the-Sea, the wineries of Carmel and World Class Golf Courses.  In addition, you can find many outdoor activities like kayaking, whale watching or bike riding down the coastline that are all family friendly.

Walking out of the hotel we stopped over at a few of the shops and seen a bike rental shop called Adventures by the Sea.  The kids have been dying to rent one of these surreys.  We had a blast riding the trail all the way to Lover's Point and the laughs we had will last a lifetime.  The scenery was gorgeous about 75% of the ride was on the coastline with the serene view and sounds of the ocean, seals and aquatic birds.  

The coastal views are always so refreshing.  It's so relaxing and gives us the opportunity to reset.  Spending quality time with the kids amongst the hustle and bustle is never easy.

Outside of our room was a courtyard that led down to the festival in the plaza making it convenient to walk back and forth to the room in case we forgot something.  

I loved the ambiance in the Hotel's lower lobby.  The trees gave it a fresh feeling and lights through out gave it a romantic feeling and ample seating to sit and chat or relax and have a drink at the bar.  

The boys definitely made use of the Free Wifi and seating area while my husband and I enjoyed a drink.  Located in the lobby,  Jack's Lounge had Happy Hour from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. !  We sipped on wine and had a lovely conversation while the kids enjoyed themselves.  The kids even had a few small bites off Jack's Happy Hour Menu .  

In the morning I ran out to the patio to enjoy a fresh cup of coffee and watched the sun come up while the kids were still asleep.  Of course I had to wear this lovely robe that was calling my name.  

Getting ready in the morning with miss Valentina was a challenge.  She wanted to take over and use this makeup mirror in the bathroom all to herself.   

Valentina was one happy camper in the morning.  She was energized and ready to go.  Maybe it was the good night sleep she had!!!

If your looking for the best breakfast in town Jack's Restaurant is it.  On Sunday, we started off the morning right with an appetizing breakfast with bottomless mimosas for mama.  The European Style buffet featured made-to-order omelets, a decadent selection of pastries, eggs cooked any style, applewood bacon and fresh fruit just to name a few.   The service was impeccable and the food was delicious. 

Walking out of the hotel we found plenty of on-site shopping and eateries.  We had stumbled upon a garden area that we took the opportunity to do a little photoshoot.  

The weather was gorgeous in Monterey.  You could already see signs of Fall.

On the other side of the plaza was an area called The Pacific House which was constructed back in 1847.  Over the years this adobe has been used for storage for the US Army, a hotel, a courthouse, a tavern and in the later years as offices.  The kids enjoyed exploring the area.

The Portola Hotel & Spa is Monterey's #1 Spa.  If your looking to revitalize your body I highly recommend this spa.  The entire experience is so serene and relaxing.  The spa menu contain more than 40 amazing treatments and Valentina walked in like she was getting every treatment.

Portola offered so many amenities we were very pleased with the whole experience.  This will definitely be an annual ritual for us.  Unfortunately, this time around there were a number of amenities we did not get the pleasure to experience like the heated pool and cabanas, jacuzzi, and the 24 hour fitness center.  These will be on our to-do list for our next visit including bring our family pet, Gabana.  I mean does it get any better?  A pet friendly hotel and use can even request a dog bed and bone for your pup.  

At the end of our stay, we were refreshed and had the chance to spend quality time with each other.  This stay will be a memorable one.  Thank you to Portola Hotel & Spa for an unbelievable getaway.  The service and thoughtfulness did not go unnoticed.  

Travel Must Haves 


  1. We recently stayed at the Portola also - such a beautiful hotel! I can't wait to go back!

    1. Yes, I absolutely enjoyed our stay. We will be back soon!

  2. Wow - I am so impressed by all of the great amenities and special treats that the hotel does for families who stay there! I am definitely marking this in my travel book for the next time we visit there. Looks like a great place for families!

  3. Looks like a beautiful hotel! Nice that they have so many amenities.

    1. It's always nice to stay somewhere with children and not have to run to the store everyday. Everything was in walking distance or at the hotel.

  4. This hotel looks incredible. I love all the special touches they added to your visit. And those surreys look like so much fun!

    1. The surreys were a blast. The last time we rode one my oldest was 1!

  5. looks so fun! Beautiful hotel & the monterey peninsula is gorgeous!

    1. I love Monterey. We don't stay the night very ofter so it was a great experience to not have to drive home.

  6. We love Monterey with kids in tow. Such a fun and beautiful town to explore. I have never stayed at the Portola so we will have to check into it next time!

    1. Definitely recommend it. Everything is in walking distance or close enough to explore!


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