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Intercontinental The Clement Monterey v. Hyatt Carmel Highlands

Intercontinental The Clement Monterey v. Hyatt Carmel Highlands

Old Aug 11, 16, 7:08 pm
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Intercontinental The Clement Monterey v. Hyatt Carmel Highlands

Flying into SJC for 4 nights over Labor Day weekend (Wed morning to Sunday mid-day) and we are planning on driving down to Monterrey and having it as our basecamp to explore the peninsula area and down the coast. Right now I have nights booked at both the Intercontinental Cannery Row and also the Hyatt in Carmel. My thought was to do the first night in Monterrey and the other 3 in Carmel as the Hyatt will likely offer better views and a more relaxing experience. Is there any reason to split it into 2 nights at each property even though they are only 20 minutes apart? A little background - early 30s couple, looking for some relaxation and we both love exploring nature (biking, hiking, etc). Good food from local establishments is also important, but it doesn't look like that will be an issue in either Carmel or Monterrey.
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Old Aug 11, 16, 10:26 pm
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Originally Posted by bmrisko View Post
Flying into SJC for 4 nights over Labor Day weekend (Wed morning to Sunday mid-day) and we are planning on driving down to Monterrey and having it as our basecamp to explore the peninsula area and down the coast. Right now I have nights booked at both the Intercontinental Cannery Row and also the Hyatt in Carmel. My thought was to do the first night in Monterrey and the other 3 in Carmel as the Hyatt will likely offer better views and a more relaxing experience. Is there any reason to split it into 2 nights at each property even though they are only 20 minutes apart? A little background - early 30s couple, looking for some relaxation and we both love exploring nature (biking, hiking, etc). Good food from local establishments is also important, but it doesn't look like that will be an issue in either Carmel or Monterrey.
With the fire just down the road (see http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/calif...ey-county.html) neither hotel is a great place for nature lovers right now or for at least the next few weeks.

Last edited by darthbimmer; Aug 12, 16 at 7:50 pm Reason: fixed link after thread split
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Old Aug 11, 16, 10:48 pm
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Highway 1 has been open, for the most part. The big problem is the smoke. Depending on the direction of the wind, areas as far north as Santa Cruz and San Jose or as far south as Paso Robles have been quite uncomfortable at times. However, full containment should be reached by the end of August and Labor Day should be OK. The biggest problem, I think, will be the crowds.

Both hotels should be fine. One personal opinion - the main dining room at the Hyatt (Highlands Inn) - Pacific Edge - used to be one of the best restaurants in the country. However, we have eaten there twice in the past couple of years and both times it was a big disappointment compared to our numerous visits previously. The prices are still very high and the view is still spectacular, but the food and service were at best mediocre. This is no longer a world class restaurant, IMHO.

However, the lounge is a great place for drinks and appetizers, and there is frequently an excellent small combo that makes it a very enjoyable way to spend an hour or two.

Last edited by JerryFF; Aug 11, 16 at 10:54 pm
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Old Aug 12, 16, 5:07 am
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Thanks for the feedback...fwiw, I have Diamond at Hyatt and no real status other than Plat at IHG, so I was leaning towards more time at the Hyatt. I have been keeping an eye on the fire situation and am hoping 2 weeks makes a positive difference with the current situation.
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Old Aug 12, 16, 7:58 pm
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I don't really think of the Hyatt as having an awesome view. It's in the woods, not on the coastal bluffs. But the location is relaxing, and it's easy access to Hwy 1 to visit parks in the area.

To clarify my remark above about the wildfire burning nearby: neither of the hotels you're considering are in direct danger from the fire. But the fire's close enough that you will suffer poor air quality from the smoke. And many nearby parklands to the south are closed. Finally, understand that a fire "contained" is not the same as "out". Fire crews hope to have the Soberanes Fire contained by the end of August. That merely means they aim to have stopped it from growing larger by then. It may burn a few more weeks before extinguishing. And natural areas that are closed due to fire damage may remain closed for safety for months or even years.
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Old Aug 12, 16, 8:57 pm
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Originally Posted by bmrisko View Post
fwiw, I have Diamond at Hyatt and no real status other than Plat at IHG, so I was leaning towards more time at the Hyatt.
Given this, I would spend more time at the Hyatt. I have stayed at both several times. If you are an ambassador, which you can buy on checking in, the IC is very good about giving ocean view rooms. I saw a report on another board where someone came in on her 30th wedding anniversary (which the hotel knew), she had no status, it was well into the evening, and the hotel staff put her in a room on the building across the road. She was devastated.

The Hyatt has always treated me very well. They routinely upgrade diamonds to their two floor townhouses and sometimes even better. If you have Diamond upgrade coupons and use one here, you assure yourself of this level room. Labor Day weekend will be busy and I would be inclined to do that. You can see the Big Sur coast from these rooms. They have a kitchen, living room with working fireplace, and downstairs bedroom.

Here is a thread on dining in Carmel/Monterey.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/calif...ey-carmel.html

It's a great getaway destination for us that we like very much.
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Old Aug 13, 16, 8:05 am
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
Given this, I would spend more time at the Hyatt. I have stayed at both several times. If you are an ambassador, which you can buy on checking in, the IC is very good about giving ocean view rooms. I saw a report on another board where someone came in on her 30th wedding anniversary (which the hotel knew), she had no status, it was well into the evening, and the hotel staff put her in a room on the building across the road. She was devastated.

The Hyatt has always treated me very well. They routinely upgrade diamonds to their two floor townhouses and sometimes even better. If you have Diamond upgrade coupons and use one here, you assure yourself of this level room. Labor Day weekend will be busy and I would be inclined to do that. You can see the Big Sur coast from these rooms. They have a kitchen, living room with working fireplace, and downstairs bedroom.

Here is a thread on dining in Carmel/Monterey.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/calif...ey-carmel.html

It's a great getaway destination for us that we like very much.
That's terrible about the IC...I think we'll just do the 1 night there to get a taste of the Monterey area as I really have no use for Ambassador in the upcoming year.

We just have a King ocean room booked at the Hyatt on points, although I understand"ocean view" will be subjective. I do have some DSUs left, but am saving them for some possible upcoming International trips. If we get upgraded, great, if not, that is fine as well...

As far as the fires, as long as the properties aren't directly threatened, we will still go and make the best of it. I already have flights booked at a great rate (~$200 each from the east coast) and my wife and I need these miles to complete some challenges.

Thanks as well for the link regarding restaurants...
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Old Aug 14, 16, 12:23 pm
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I wouldn't select one property over another based on perks/benefits...I would select based on the hotel's immediate location and its location relative to other activities/interest.

I would flip the reservations and stay 3 nights at the IC and a night at the Hyatt. The IC is more conveniently located and assessible but the Monterey scene is not for everyone. One can spend a few days there without a car. A car will be required to do anything off property at the Hyatt...expect lots of traffic and tough parking everywhere.

Scooting out of town on Sunday is a good idea.

ETA: rent a kayak in Monterey. Totally worth it!
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Old Aug 25, 16, 11:46 am
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Originally Posted by JerryFF View Post
One personal opinion - the main dining room at the Hyatt (Highlands Inn) - Pacific Edge - used to be one of the best restaurants in the country. However, we have eaten there twice in the past couple of years and both times it was a big disappointment compared to our numerous visits previously. The prices are still very high and the view is still spectacular, but the food and service were at best mediocre. This is no longer a world class restaurant, IMHO.
I agree with this so wholeheartedly that I just had to chime in!
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Old Aug 30, 16, 5:04 pm
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A few food thoughts for the file:

Breakfast
Katy's in Carmel
Holly's in Pacific Grove
Deetjen's in Big Sur

Lunch
Nepenthe in Big Sur
Cindy's at the Aquarium
Phil's Fish Market in Moss Landing

Dinner
La Balena in Carmel
Flying Fish in Carmel
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