Action & Adventure
The 29th Presentation of the Big Sur Marathon – This Weekend!

April 22nd, 2014
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Running across Bixby Bridge

A marathon with a view!  Runners from around the globe are gearing up for the Monterey Peninsula’s annual Big Sur Marathon this weekend.  Going strong since 1986, the Big Sur Marathon attracts the likes of approximately 9,000 event finishers, and promises 26.2 miles of the most beautiful coastline in the world.  One of the most challenging competitions for runners set before one of the most breathtaking backdrops in the world, it’s no wonder that The Ultimate Guide to Marathons named it the “Best Marathon in North America.”

Comprised of several events, the Big Sur Marathon includes an International Marathon spanning 26.2 miles along the Pacific coastline and through majestic redwoods, as well as a 21-Miler, a 10.6-Miler, 9-Miler and 5K taking place on race day and a JUST RUN! 3K, the day before on Saturday, April 26th along the Coastal Recreation Trail in Pacific Grove.  For shorter distances there still may be spaces available, visit www.bsim.org for the most up-to-date info.

Providing a beyond inspiring landscape for runners to exert through the difficult patches and camaraderie to make the run an unforgettable experience, the Big Sur Marathon is a Monterey Bay fixture that promises a good time for all who participate.  With events for people of every age and ability, the Big Sur Marathon attracts competitive runners and bonding families alike and sells out earlier and earlier each year, so be sure to register today!

 

Running along Highway 1

Come be part of something bigger than you – start that training for 2015, trust me – having walked the race in 1998 – it’s an experience I will never forget!  Run, jog, or even walk alongside nature and your fellow man.  A great way to connect with friends and family, there’s nothing better than accomplishing something together to build bonds that last, or if you’re a lone wolf, there’s no better goal to set for yourself than an actual finish line.  By the end, I promise you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment unique to crossing a finish line you’ve worked hard to reach.

Who’s ready to lace up those running shoes and train for next year???

 

Local Events
Easter Eggs, Brunch & Bunnies, Oh My!

April 17th, 2014
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Hop on over to the Monterey Peninsula for an Easter weekend you won’t ever forget.  With enchanting activities for the whole family, the Easter bunny is sure to make an appearance, and won’t even be the most exciting part of your visit.

Serving gourmet options for the adults boasting refined palates and yummy kid-friendly options for your little ones, Jacks Restaurant at the Portola Hotel & Spa has something to tickle any taste bud and is perfect for the whole family this Easter Sunday. Enjoy classic Easter Brunch favorites including, made-to-order omelets, traditional eggs benedict, cinnamon swirl French toast, assorted cheeses, gourmet salads, Mimosas and more!  A meal to satisfy the savviest of Easter Bunnies – just sit back and let Jacks do all the work.  All that’s left for you to do is bask in the love of family, enjoy the bliss of the season, and explore the sights and activities all around town!

Scattered about the Monterey Bay you will find activities for young and old, all celebrating Easter with egg hunts, prizes, and good cheer.  Stop by the Monterey County Youth Museum (MY Museum) on Saturday, April 19thth and have a visit with the one and only Easter Bunny from 1pm-2:30pm. The kiddos can decorate eggs, get their face painted and play at one of the coolest places on the Peninsula!

 

For the big kids, that is the 21 and over crowd, come to the Portola’s own Peter B’s Brewpub for some special Easter fun of your own on Thursday, April 17th from 5pm – 7pm.  The 101.7 The Beach EGGSTRAVAGANGA is a free event to all those carrying a 21+ ID, you can sign up the day of the event to participate in the festivities for a chance to win great prizes.  Anything and everything from gift cards, CDs, and concert tickets lie hidden in brightly collared little Easter eggs, just waiting for you to enjoy!  Stop by Peter B’s Brewpub’s Facebook page to peruse pictures from last year and the latest and greatest on this year’s event!

We promise that spending your Easter weekend in Monterey is sure to put an extra spring in your step and is bound to have you hopping back again soon!

 

Local Events
Sea Otter Classic

April 11th, 2014
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Sea Otter Classic Credit Julie Braunstein

Since the advent of the bicycle, outdoor enthusiasts from far and wide have enjoyed the beautiful scenery and differing terrain of the Central Coast. From a leisurely ride along the coast to a heart-pounding off road trek, it is no surprise that the Monterey Peninsula is home to the world’s largest cycling festival, the beloved annual Sea Otter Classic. With a twenty-four year history, participants anticipate this four-day “Celebration of Cycling” all year long.

A true family-friendly event, the Sea Otter Classic is equal parts recreational biking, competitive events, festival, expo, and all around excitement!  A cherished Monterey tradition, the Sea Otter Classic offers amateur and pro cycling events along with fun activities for all ages.  The Gran Fondo, Saturday April 12, and the mountain bike Gran Fondo on Sunday April 13, both follow routes showcasing the Peninsula’s natural beauty, and conclude with a celebratory lunch.  With special activities for children, including specially-designed races, a Bike Play Zone and a carnival and seasonal egg hunt, these events for kids will keep your little ones occupied all day while teaching them confidence and improving their budding biking skills.

For the older crowd, the Sea Otter Classic also plays host to one of the largest consumer bike expos in the world.  With more than 400 exhibitors showing off the latest and greatest in biking technology, the Sea Otter Classic is the prime location to get your hands on top of the line biking equipment.  To top it all off, this four-day extravaganza includes a beer and barbecue garden as well as an all-ages international food court.

Join the two-wheeled thrills this weekend for excitement you won’t want to miss.  Visit www.seaotterclassic.com to register for your event and for more scheduling and ticketing information.

Food & Wine
Pebble Beach Food & Wine

April 8th, 2014
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Spring is in the air and that means breaking out of the winter doldrums and getting outside to enjoy what the world has to offer. If your world is food and wine, then you had better be at the center of the epicurean universe, the Pebble Beach Food & Wine, April 10-13, 2014. If you are not, then you might just miss out on the most comprehensive gathering of celebrity chefs, restaurateurs and industry brands of the year.

In a gluttonous four day whirlwind, over 250 acclaimed wineries, 75 famous chefs and 55 events will converge on Pebble Beach, California for the 7th annual be all to end all in food festivals. Events are divided into categories from Lunch and Dinner to Cooking Demonstrations and Wine Seminars. If you want to take a break and get in a little “exercise” there is even a Celebrity Chef and Winemaker’s Golf Tournament at the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links.  Let’s not forget the Marquee Events and the official After Hours gatherings that will only serve to send any attendee over the edge. There is of course the Lexus Grand Tasting Tent that let you experience sips and bites from over 30 chefs and 200 wineries.

Fine beer makes an appearance at this year’s festival with the Best of Belgium Beer Lunch and a beer pairing seminar aptly titled, Brewed for Food in addition to cooking demonstrations from Celebrity Chefs Tyler Florence, Jon Shook, Carla Hall, Donatella Arpaia, Guy Fieri, Robert Irvine, Linton Hopkins, Duff Goldman and Andrew Zimmerman. In addition, there will be a special Tribute Dinner to industry legend Charlie Trotter.

So if you are in the mood to dive head first in for an entire weekend or just nibble around the edges with an event or two, the PBF&W website will give you the info you need to plan your culinary escape with info and tickets: www.pbfw.com. This is a weekend of monumental indulgence not to me missed!

Portola Hotel & Spa
Guest Blog by Phillip Pennington, Director of Event Technology at the Portola Hotel & Spa

March 31st, 2014
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 Barco Projector HDX-W20-FLEX

 

In today’s interconnected world, technology is everywhere. From our smartphones and tablets to our doctor’s offices to our schools, high-tech is simply part of our everyday life. The Portola Hotel & Spa is no different. Guests, groups and organizations that are staying at and holding events at our hotel are requiring the latest in event technology and integration. It was only a few years ago that simply having video and audio capability were huge leaps forward. Today, however, our guest’s choices have definitely expanded.

The Portola Hotel & Spa is the leader in High Definition Video Conferencing and Internet Streaming. As a leader in green event technology, our hotel offers a state-of-the art menu of the latest high-tech offerings, so much so that we have an experienced Event Technology Department and full service professional technicians available 24-hours a day to help make your conference or event a success. Not only do we offer high speed wireless and wired internet access, but we also offer 100 Mbps of dedicated internet connection.

In addition, event planners and conference organizers can also enjoy HD video conferencing, Digital Signage, Shure Conference One and Countryman over ear microphones, Bose L1 Model II’s speakers and a full complement of LED lighting for the smallest breakout sessions to large full scale events. Names like Klipsch and JBL, synonymous with high-end sound systems can also be found here at the Portola. One of the other fantastic points of connectivity our conference attendees enjoy in addition to Wi-Fi capable meeting space are public IP addresses that can accommodate up to 1775 simultaneous users/devices and VPN friendly facilities with no servers or firewalls, things that make a conference run smooth and your attendees very happy.

To make our conference capabilities even better and continue to promote Green Technology and Event services, we recently invested in HDX-W20 Flex Barco Projectors. These projectors feature programmable light output, onboard image processing for unlimited and flexible scaling and quick view.

The Portola Hotel is committed to reducing our carbon footprint and our Event Technology Department is a big part of that. From recycling our batteries and state of the art house sound removing the need for extra cabling and taping to LED stage lighting and uplighting, our team actively pursues the most environmentally responsible path to your event’s success.

So if you want your group or organization’s next event to be the one that is remembered for all the right reasons, visit our Event Technology webpage or email us at eventtechnologies@portolahotel.com.

We look forward to helping connect you to your guests.