Intercontinental The Clement Monterey: Bottom Line Review


On a recent trip to Big Sur, my wife and I needed to do a one-night stay in the Monterey Bay area, ideally using an expiring IHG 40K free night certificate at the same time. Thanks to an IHG 20%-off sale(similar to the one happening right now), the price of the Intercontinental Clement dipped briefly down to 39,000 points, just within the grasp of our modest $49 cert. I’d wanted to check out this property for awhile, so we jumped at the chance…and were glad that we did.

a patio with chairs and a fire pit

Intercontinental Monterey Bottom Line Review

Simply put, the Intercontinental Clement Monterey is a lovely property. While it’s a behemoth that spans two buildings, it manages to feel both elegant and intimate. The rooms are spacious and well-appointed, many with balconies and (gas) fireplaces. The outdoor and indoor common spaces are plentiful and inviting, while the in-house restaurant combines excellent quality with even better views. My only knock is that they don’t honor the IHG program’s official rules for elite upgrades, but they certainly aren’t alone in doing so. All-in-all, one of the best points options in the area and a very good value. Thumb’s Up

  • Price: Seems to move between 40,000-60,000 IHG points/night. I was able to book during an IHG 20% off sale, which took the price down to 39,000 points per night, allowing us to use a 40K free night certificate from the old IHG Select Card.
  • Value: Often an excellent points value, even though the points price is moderate-to-high. We used a 40K free night certificate and the nightly cash rate was ~$400. The undiscounted points rate would have been 48,000 points, above our Reasonable Redemption Value for IHG points of .63 cents each.
  • Location: About as good as it gets for Monterey proper, directly on the waterfront in Cannery Row, adjacent to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
  • Room: I was upgraded to a 450 sq ft King Classic Ocean View Room with a balcony and a gas fireplace. The regular ocean view rooms are located on the side of the building, so are more of a partial ocean view, as opposed to the oceanfront rooms that are are directly on the bay side of the property that have panoramic views. The room was well-sized and quite comfortable.
  • Parking: Valet parking is $45+tax/night; self-parking is $40+tax. There is some garage parking within walking distance for ~$20-30/night.
  • Resort/Destination Fee: None.
  • Internet: Very good, able to stream throughout the hotel.
  • Service: Overall, quite good, both at the front desk and restaurant. No one went out of their way, but everything was smooth and efficient.
  • Turndown service: Nightly.
  • Dining:
    • C Restaurant: Beautiful restaurant on the ocean-side with an outdoor patio and floor-to-ceiling windows with a panoramic ocean view. Open for breakfast weekdays from 7-11am and weekends from 7-11:30. Dinner is served weekdays from 5-9pm and weekends from 5-10. There is currently no lunch service.
  • Spa: There is a small, but full-service spa that was closed when we were there. It seemed to be appointment only.
  • Fitness Room:There is a modest fitness area located across from the spa with a smattering of weights and cardio equipment. There is also access to a small, outdoor lap pool.
  • IHG Diamond Benefits: 
    • Room Upgrade: I booked a standard room and was proactively upgraded to an ocean view room with a balcony and a fireplace. There were both suites and oceanfront rooms available, but I was told that these room types are not available for complimentary upgrades.
    • Free Breakfast: Served in C Restaurant. We were able to each choose, one entrée, one side, juice, coffee and espresso beverages. The breakfast was excellent, one of the better ones I’ve had in a US hotel restaurant.
    • Late Checkout: Automatically given 1pm. Was told that a later checkout was not possible.
  • Would I stay again?  Yes. Even though I’m not a huge fan of Cannery Row, this is an excellent property that manages to project elegance instead of kitsch.

Pros and Cons


  • Elegant property in the heart of Cannery Row.
  • Good-sized rooms, many with balconies and fireplaces.
  • Great restaurant with an excellent breakfast.
  • Terrific ocean views throughout the property.
  • Attractive common areas, both inside and outside.


  • Cannery Row isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. While the property does a good job of insulating itself from the zoo, you’re still in the middle of it all. Some folks will love that, some won’t.
  • Property definitely doesn’t follow IHG’s stated rules regarding Diamond upgrades (something that’s not uncommon in US IC’s, in my experience).
  • Pool is very small (and cold) and not really family-friendly. This might not be what some are expecting from a self-labeled “resort.”

Image Gallery

Intercontinental Monterey Ocean View Fireplace King Room

a bathroom with a mirror and a shower
Bathroom with walk-in shower.
a box with a box of coffee and tea
Coffee service and rock garden. I’m not gonna lie, I did play around with the rake for a bit.

a tv on a counter

a view of a body of water from a balcony
“Ocean View” Balcony

a balcony with a view of a city and water

Intercontinental Monterey C Restaurant and Lounge

a bar with a row of stools and a row of lights a restaurant with tables and chairs a room with a view of the ocean

a patio with tables and chairs on a deck
Outdoor Seating Area

Intercontinental Monterey Fitness Area and Spa

a pool with a wall and a stone wall
Outdoor Lap Pool

Intercontinental Monterey Common Areas

a room with a fireplace and couches
Indoor Seating Around Woodburning Fireplace
a patio with tables and chairs and a building with a body of water in the background
I loved this huge outdoor patio in between the two buildings with multiple fireplaces. Unfortunately, none of them were lit!

a room with chairs and tables a patio with chairs and a grill on a deck a patio with chairs and a fire pit a building next to the water


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Tim, your upgrade experience is actually better than mine. I’ve stayed here twice as a Plat and they wouldn’t even upgrade me to a fireplace room even though they were available both times.


Nice review, Tim, “elegant” is a very accurate descriptor. The soft color palette thruout is nice & soothing. The 1st fl is well-designed to keep heavy foot traffic out of the quiet sitting areas with fireplaces/outdoor fire pits.

Cannery Row, however, is quite congested, especially the front area/valet of the IC (who designed this?!). We disliked driving in/out of the throngs of pedestrians (plus valet service is very slow having to navigate down Cannery Row to/from the garage parallel) so we really made use of the free trolley. There is a stop just outside the property. It was an easy way to get around – stopped probably 10x all the way down the row to the 2 wharves, clean & fun!

On the far side of the property (adjoins the aquarium) is still the backyard of Ed Ricketts’s (Steinbeck’s best friend) lab, Pacific Biological
Laboratories. He lived/worked there & collected and preserved tide pool plants and animals. Interesting to see a preserved piece of history and a quiet area by the water.

If you need warming up from the cool ocean breezes, go thru the hotel catwalk from Bldg A thru Bldg B. Wave Street Studios is on the other side of the pool fence with a heated curved bench – feels awesome!! It Is a recording studio & private event venue. There is a nice gurgling water feature & a pretty well-maintained & curated garden. Last visit we listened to a guitar player there, a nice surprise for a public area.

The C-bar on-propery has an excellent bar menu & happy hour – easy to use the $20 Ambassador voucher. Other standout restaurants are The Sardine Factory (bar featured on Play Misty for Me), gotta go thru the entire place to believe how cool it all is on the inside. Shadowbrook Restaurant is about 30 min north but another truly unique experience,


I stayed here a few time during the last few years. Great timing with the 39k redemption of your capped 40k FNC. I’m not a huge fan of Cannery Row either, but this hotel is perfect if you go to the aquarium. My other go to hotel in Monterey is the Hyatt Regency Monterey, which is usually in the 15k-20k range, per night. That has free parking and no resort fee.


We used CLEAR to immediately access the aquarium. Huge timesaver with the busloads of kids seemingly always waiting to get in. Without CLEAR, though, the IC also offered 2 consecutive days of admission (instead of 1) & preferred entry w no waiting in line that you can charge to your room.


That’s pretty cool. I haven’t been to the aquarium for 2 years, do they have he feeding and shows back? When we went, we had to follow a specific route through the aquarium and they didn’t have any shows running.

Last edited 1 year ago by Grant

Everything seemed to be back on track when I was last there late last summer – it was a madhouse!!


Great review! Alila Ventana review coming out next? We’re headed there Sunday.


When I stayed there for a few nights recently, we parked on the street. Meters are enforced during the day (9am – 8pm maybe?) and some you can park at for 4 hours.

We’d usually be out during the day and would return to a metered spot in the evening which only cost a few dollars. After 8pm or so, the entire area becomes deserted so you can park on the street right in front of the hotel for free. If we needed to stay parked past 9am, I would feed the meter.

It’s a cheaper alternative to valet.


If you go up past Lighthouse Avenue, there’s unrestricted street parking. It’s about 6 blocks to the hotel, max.