Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa Rating: 4.0 Pearls
The centrally located Hyatt Regency Monterey is one of the largest properties in the area, which also makes it a great price for the value. The 550 rooms are spacious, attractive and modern with sleek design touches -- such as behind-the-headboard uplights, backlit bathroom mirrors, and stylish contemporary art. Most rooms have balconies or patios with views of the on-site golf course. However, in a not-so-modern twist, the rooms are not air-conditioned, and even though the climate is temperate, heat waves can make rooms uncomfortably warm. Luckily, the two on-site pools and nearby beach can help with any warmer-than-usual weather. And the on-site amenities are endless; a spa, tennis courts, a basketball court, a spacious fitness center, a popular sports bar, the list goes on and on.
Casa Munras Hotel & Spa Rating: 3.5 Pearls
This upper-middle-range hacienda-style hotel in Old Town Monterey may look like a traditional chain hotel, but the ivy and flower-covered exterior is pretty, as is the modern lobby with a stone fireplace and cozy leather chairs. The rooms are spacious and feature modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and some have cozy fireplaces. But the real pleasure of this hotel lies in its social outdoor spaces. Candles, fire pits and cozy seating invite guests to gather outside -- and most do in the evenings. For a mid-range hotel, the spa here is fantastic -- that, along with the tapas restaurant, outdoor pool, and convenient location -- make this hotel a great pick, especially at its affordable price. It's rates are often a bit higher than those at Hotel Abrego, but the latter doesn't have the long list of amenities. Still, the Hyatt Rengency's rates can occassionally be on par with or lower than those at the Casa Munras, so be sure to compare.
Hotel Abrego Rating: 3.5 Pearls
The 93-room Hotel Abrego's style lies in the nice middle ground between "family casual" and "acceptably business chic." The spacious guest rooms are painted in muted earth tones and come complete with flat-screen TVs, fireplaces, iPod docks and comfortable bedding. Like the Hyatt, it lacks air-conditioning, but has numerous on-site amenities -- including a heated outdoor pool. But the hotel's fantastic location within walking distance of the beach, downtown, and Fisherman's Wharf is probably the biggest perk.
Hotel 1110 Rating: 3.5 Pearls
The 18-room Inn at Del Monte Beach doesn't look like much upon arrival -- located on a busy street between a McDonald's and a tattoo parlor, the hotel appears a bit run-down, and the hodge-podge of vintage furniture in the lobby may take some getting used to. But if you can look past the surface, the hotel has a warm feel with a cozy lobby bar, a delicious free breakfast, and an ocean-view rooftop deck where the free cocktail hour sometimes takes place. All rooms have a slightly differently look, and feature flat-screen TVs and fireplaces. And while there's no pool at this hotel, the rates are extremely affordable and include free Wi-Fi and parking.
Svendsgaard's Inn Rating: 2.5 Pearls
The tiny Svendsgaard's Inn is located on the northern edge of Downtown Carmel, within easy walking distance to restaurants and shops. It has 35 spacious and bright rooms with iPod docks -- but decor is a bit outdated (think flower bedspreads and worn carpets), and some feature tube TVs. However, most have fireplaces and big jetted tubs, and there a number of great freebies, including Wi-Fi, a hearty breakfast delivered to your room, off-street parking, and homemade cookies in the lobby every day, making the hotel a good value. Plus, there's an on-site outdoor pool.
Hofsas House Hotel Rating: 2.5 Pearls
This 38-room German-chalet-style boutique hotel is unique for multiple reasons. First, it actually has a few on-site facilities, including a well-kept (and attractive) heated pool and two saunas. Although rooms are rather bland and dated, with empty walls and old tube TVs, they're clean, large, and have plenty of natural light; some even have private balconies and fireplaces. While there aren't any dining options on-site, the hotel's location is perfect for parking the car and walking to the downtown Carmel area. Being that the hotel was built on a hill and stands four stories tall (most in Carmel are no more than two), the viewing deck, balconies, and even some rooms, offer glimpses of the beautiful Pacific. Overall, it's a good value.