Resort Review: Northern California is one of my favorite retreats. The region's crimson waves that smash rocky coastlines backed by majestic woods and grape wines so differ from Southern California's sandy shores and lofty palm trees. One particular stretch of land not to miss is the Monterey Peninsula, lined by the famed 17-Mile Drive, and speckled with some of the nation's best resorts and golf courses under the Pebble Beach Resorts' name.
Three resorts and four golf courses, all with international distinctions and countless accolades, rest serenely within the Del Monte Forest. I was delighted to stay at the Inn at Spanish Bay, one of the three Pebble Beach resorts, and an impeccable 269-guestroom property. Despite its size and generous offerings (six distinct restaurants and an impressive tennis pavilion, for instance), the Inn at Spanish Bay indeed creates the intimacy and delight of an inn, which few large properties execute well.
I found it hard enough to leave the lobby of the Inn at Spanish Bay, a spacious area boasting a huge fireplace overlooking the rolling hills of the resort's golf course and the Pacific Ocean. Our room entreated me not to leave it as well -- a private balcony showcased such a perfect portrait of the sea, forests, and greens. Around dusk, I watched the resort's special treat -- a bagpiper who strolled down the green's fairways, a tradition from Scotland. Another must do treat: dinner at Peppoli, the Inn's rustic Italian staple. The restaurant's tiramisu, made table side by our thoughtful server who chatted about the area and its people, was fluffy and divine -- frankly, the best I've ever had.
The next day, I wandered over to the Spa at Pebble Beach, a 22,000-square-foot hacienda style haven for massages, wraps, facials, hair and more. I always like to survey the waiting area, as it sets the mood of a treatment and the pace of your enjoyment. A massive conservatory that allowed rays of light and ocean breeze in served as the spa's waiting area, and I knew I was in for a mega treat while I plopped onto a cushy arm chair. My signature treatment, the Pebble Massage, was a blissful massage, incorporating the LaStone massage techniques.
I spoke with a number of charming guest services staff during my stay. I didn't swing a golf club my entire trip, but alas, I was told, a whole array of guests come to the Pebble Beach resorts not to golf, but just to savor the luxury and scenery. Far enough. There's no limit to enjoying the Pebble Beach Resorts' unending natural and indulgent offerings.