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.
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.
- 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.”
Intercontinental Monterey Ocean View Fireplace King Room
Intercontinental Monterey C Restaurant and Lounge
Intercontinental Monterey Fitness Area and Spa
Intercontinental Monterey Common Areas