How Much Did It Cost?
36,000 Hilton points for 1 night
How Did We Do It?
Tran and I fly back to California often, mostly to visit my parents. However, in recent years, we usually take a road trip either in the summer or early fall to explore a new place. We’ve previously been to Napa/Sonoma, Lake Tahoe, Solvang, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and Yosemite National Park. This year, we decided to use our points to cover Monterey, Sequoia National Park, and Anaheim.
We spent the first three days of our vacation with my family. After bidding them adieu, we drove north to the airport to pick up my free rental car. One of the perks of my job is that I accumulate free rental days fairly easily. I have executive elite (EE) status with National, which was attained after 85 paid rental days in a calendar year. Fortunately, the rentals were paid by my employer. I get a free day for every five rentals. Currently, National is running a promotion where I earn a free day after two rentals. To save a few for my upcoming Providence and our annual Christmas trip, I only redeemed four days.
As an EE member, I was able to choose whatever car my heart desired. We settled on a Nissan SUV then drove several hours south to Monterey.
We checked into the Hampton Inn Monterey. In the lobby is a complimentary coffee and tea station.
The room is similar to other Hamptons that we’ve been to. To the left is the fridge, coffee/tea, and some storage space.
To the right is the bathroom.
Straight ahead is the king bed with a sofa bed.
After a short break, we drove to Carmel Beach. The weather was nice for a stroll along the beach. We didn’t realize that the famous Pebble Beach Golf Course is literally right there along Carmel Beach.
For dinner, we went to Vivolo’s Chowder House.
It was my first time eating clam chowder. This chowder was really good because it had a lot of clams and didn’t use potatoes as a filler. I was hooked. I cannot believe I never tried clam chowder when I lived in Providence. I must rectify this mistake on my next trip to New England.
I wanted to try the scallops but they didn’t have any that day. Tran and I both had the cioppino.
All in, it was about $60.
The next morning, we had complimentary hot breakfast at the hotel.
There were many seating areas.
I really liked the yellow and teal color scheme.
After checking out, we drove to the Fisherman’s Wharf before heading south for Sequoia National Park. The wharf was pretty uneventful.
Overall, we thought the hotel offered good value and we liked the quiet feel of Monterey. We think this is a great hotel if you are looking for a comfortable base to explore the Monterey / Carmel area.
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