Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa

Wow. This was possibly the most amazingly high-class place we've ever been.

When I looked for accommodation donations, I asked everybody. And of course I had a range of responses. One of the most friendly I had was from Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa. When I told them I wasn't interviewing in Monterey, but that it was a bit of a break between interviews for us, they were even more enthusiastic, and encouraged us to relax, to visit the aquarium, down the road, and the local shops and restaurants, and to enjoy our stay.

We arrived exhausted, after a long interview in the San Francisco area, and then the afternoon drive to Monterey. After the long road trip, so far, our car is filled to the brim: The back is packed solid with our luggage, camping gear, etc, the ceiling hung with collected leaves and flowers, the floor paved with our rock-collections, the seats hung with drying clothes from beach-excursions, and the seats and every nook and cranny littered with the remnants of our dinner-on-the-road, various snacks, vehicle-entertainments, and other bits that came unpacked. We drove up to the hotel, passed the valet parking, and assumed there must be some better-for-us way of checking in. Nope! Valet was the only way. So we parked the car around the corner, feeling rather unfit for such obviously high-class accommodations, pulled out the bags we'd need for our time in Monterey, tidied up what we could of the mess, and then the kids and I followed Markus on foot, as he drove up to the Hotel Entrance. I checked us in as our car was swarmed by valets and attendants of various descriptions, and our luggage whisked up to our room. The woman at the front desk said "I am very pleased to assist you", and we wandered a little bewildered up to our room.

There was a vanity outside the spacious bathroom, there were 3 telephones (desk, bed, and toilet?!) the beds were clad in down, the balcony doors opened to a cool night view of Monterey Bay, kelp beds, and sealions grunting their evening conversations. Email was free. (Rhiannon emailed her friends.)

Before we'd even finished looking around our luggage arrived, and then a basket of fruit, water, cookies, milk in wine-glasses for the kids, and a totally unexpected card from the manager, saying he was delighted to host us.

Needless to say, we fell into a swoon of happy exhaustion, sitting on the balcony enjoying our gifts, with the distinct feeling that there had been some mistake. We are not the Queen. But we lived it anyway, and joyously spent two nights in this fabulous hotel.

The kids have 2 beloved animals and a baby with them, so we have a little housekeeping-test going: If we leave them in the room when housekeeping comes to make the beds, how will they be treated? They've never been treated badly, although once Fwog (above) appeared to have had a rather vigorous massage. But the Monterey Hotel housekeeping passed our test, too:

Meme seemed to be enjoying her view of the water.  :--)

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