Archive for the ‘Portola Hotel & Spa’ Category

Live to Run – Jair’s Story

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014
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Jair Sanchez, Elite Master Runner  2014 Bay Area Race

Many of the topics we cover on our Central Coast Living Blog are any number of the wonderful sights, events or activities to experience here on the Monterey Bay. Occasionally, we are lucky enough to welcome a Guest Blogger to bring an element of unique insight, but we are truly honored to have the opportunity to tell the story of one the Portola Hotel & Spa’s very special employees.

Jair Sanchez has been working at the Portola Hotel & Spa for over seven years and is currently the Kitchen Supervisor, but his journey has taken this elite runner on a much greater path. Jair began running when he was in the 6th grade. His natural talent for the sport shone through during a 1200 meter race where he took first place, but it was not until he was 19, when he ran a blistering 49-second 400 meters.

Jair took 3rd place in the 400 meters State Morelos, 1992

Soon, Jair immigrated to the United States, but because of work he put aside his pursuit of a competitive running career and concentrated on making a better life for himself. As Jair began to establish himself in this country, he was hired at the Portola Hotel & Spa in 2006 which provided a springboard to return to running at an elite level. Two years ago, Jair made a commitment to return to the rigourous training required of a competitive athlete.

Jair in 2010 over weight at 190 pounds

He has excelled for someone who was way from the sport for such a long time, but through hours of training, sacrifice, discipline and the support of the Portola, Jair has quickly become a fixture in many of the races throughout the Central Coast of California, crediting his friend and trainer Ulises Fernandez for much of his success.

While reaching  a masters level of elite running is a goal well within his sight as evidenced by a 1:15:13 time at the Half Marathon of Modesto, Jair is most proud of being able to influence his friends to live healthier lifestyles. His message to anyone who wants to improve their overall health and feel better about themselves, “It is never too late to change!”

The Portola Hotel & Spa is extremely proud to support Jair and all he has achieved and with his drive and passion, we are sure to see much more from this very special part of the Portola family!

Pet Friendly Portola Hotel

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014
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I don’t know about you, but our pup is considered a member of our family and we hate to leave him behind! Well… you will never have to suffer with the guilt of leaving your furry family member home alone again when planning your next Monterey Bay getaway at the Portola Hotel & Spa!

There’s no need to call up the doggie daycare or find a pet-sitter when you stay at our pet friendly Monterey Hotel.  Home to you and your little doggie too, the Portola wants you to feel comfortable during your stay.  Offering such ready to order room amenities as dog beds, dog bones and dog bowls, your canine will surely feel as pampered as you in one of our luxurious, nautical themed rooms.  Your furry friend will love your vacation in Monterey almost as much as you will.

Visit dog-friendly Carmel by the Sea, and your precious pup will enjoy the Fountain of Woof awaiting him at the Carmel Plaza. In addition, many pet friendly boutiques, restaurants and parks all throughout the Monterey Peninsula often times offering treats and dog dishes to ensure your pet is comfortable and happy!  Maybe a spa day or play date is in order – check out Doggie Day Care in Pacific Grove, Happy Pets in Monterey or Signature Paw Spa in Carmel.

 

Get in a workout with your pup on the Coastal Recreation Trail or the many beaches in Pacific Grove, Monterey, Carmel and Marina. Zoom Room in Pacific Grove even offers doggie workout classes, as well as meet and greets for pups of all sizes and breeds – and if you’re celebrating your pup’s birthday, you can even rent out the facility for a VIP party!

So pack up the family and Fido too and make your next vacation one to remember!

Staycations are the Best!

Friday, May 16th, 2014
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Calling all exhausted parents, worn out families, and couples in need of a romantic rendezvous in the 831; this post is for you!

Just because there’s no time for an actual vacation doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve a break.  Monterey’s Portola Hotel and Spa is here to provide the perfect solution!  Why not skip the hassle of booking flights and hotel rooms out of the area, and take a staycation instead.  You don’t have to leave the country to get out of the house.  All you need to achieve the relaxing staycation you so well deserve is a small bag and a quick drive to downtown Monterey.

Reserve a luxurious room and enjoy all of the lavish amenities that Portola has to offer.  Spend your days in rejuvenation at Spa on the Plaza.  Drop in for a facial or a heavenly massage, after, take a relaxing steam or kick back in the sauna. Perhaps taking a dip in the pool is more your style, cozy up in one of the private cabanas on the pool deck and read that book you’ve been meaning to finish for the past few months! After, stop by the concierge desk and play tourist for a day.  Explore the town you live in through a fresh set of eyes and try out new attractions you’ve been too busy to investigate.

You don’t have to go far to experience the bliss of being pampered.  Take a the day off from cooking and experience the Portola’s very own Jacks Restaurant & Lounge or Monterey’s first craft brewery, Peter B’s Brewpub.   After dinner, spend your evening on a moonlight walk along Old Fisherman’s Wharf or stroll nearby beaches and listen to the peaceful sounds of the tide going in and out.

You may not have time to be a full-blown jetsetter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze in a local weekend getaway.  Make the Portola Hotel and Spa your next staycation destination.

Happy travels!

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

Monday, 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.

Venue Ideas for Your Perfect Monterey Bay Wedding

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014
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Memory Garden behind the Portola Hotel & Spa

World famous for its natural beauty, iconic history and incredible events, the Monterey Peninsula has amazed visitors for decades. More recently, however, wedding fever has caught on in this area and not just by the residents. As destination weddings have become as much of an option as more traditional ceremonies, couples are continually looking for something different. Places such as Hawaii and Las Vegas will always be popular, as will other tropical locations, but where else can two lovebirds and their families find such a wide variety of locations for their perfect day?

Whether big or small, simple or ornate, the Monterey Peninsula offers a venue for every type of wedding. If you are looking for a natural setting many of the local, regional and state parks offer locations that are beautiful and practical at the same time. Lovers Point Park in Pacific Grove is continually voted as best wedding venue by local publications. It offers a grassy park overlooking the Monterey Bay and who can beat a place with Lovers in the name. But, if a true beach wedding is your desire, the Carmel State Beach or Asilomar State Beach are great choices that are serviced my many of the local event companies.

Meadow and forested themes are also gaining in popularity. Facebook founder Sean Parker went all out in Big Sur and there are several great locations at Pfeiffer State Park, as well as the Santa Lucia Chapel owned by All Saints Church. The outdoor chapel which is nestled in a grove of redwoods overlooks the Big Sur River offers a truly rustic experience. Breathtaking views are the hallmark of the Wedding Rock in Carmel, which sits high upon a bluff overlooking Monastery Beach. Simple yet unique, this site is managed by the California State Parks system.

One of the most popular wedding themes over the past decade is the Rustic or Shabby Chic event. While these weddings can be held at a traditional hotel or event space, their reliance on the thematic location has allowed many local historical landmarks to become something more, housing many couple’s special day. Chautauqua Hall in Pacific Grove, built in the late 1800’s, was once a place for religious events and artistic gatherings. Now, it sports a modern kitchen and a flowered garden outside.

If, however, you seek the best of everything, look no further than the Memory Garden located next to the Historic Custom House Plaza in Monterey (just steps from the Portola Hotel & Spa). The adobe walled garden offers a fountain amid Southern Magnolia trees and a lush flower garden.  This California State Park venue, is attached to the garden is the Historic Custom House which offers 19th century Spanish Maritime architecture and authentic Monterey Bay charm. Continue the celebration converting the ceremony space into your reception or change it up a bit and head on over the Portola (just steps from the garden), dance the night away in one of their ballrooms or outdoor courtyard and let their amazing event staff take care of all the details.

From the beauty of the Monterey Bay and the history of Old California to the serenity of the coastal California Redwood forests, the Monterey Peninsula offers so much for regular visitors, but it offers the ultimate in destination wedding experiences.