Renovation Update: Guest Blog Post by Janine Chicourrat, General Manager, Portola Hotel & Spa
As the Monterey Conference Center renovation continues to make great progress, we are thrilled to announce the start of the construction on the Portola Plaza. The Portola Plaza is home to Gasper de Portola, a Spanish soldier and administrator in New Spain and became the founder and first governor of Alta California. As commander of the Spanish colonizing expedition on land and sea, he established San Diego and Monterey. The King of Spain, Juan Carlos I, personally visited Monterey and dedicated a bronze statue of Gasper de Portola for the center of the Portola Plaza. In the new design, the statue will remain as an integral part of the plaza and will give you a better opportunity to capture a fantastic photo with a piece of Monterey history.
On April 25, 2016, The City of Monterey will be replacing the Portola Plaza driveway at the main entrances to the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center with an extensive remodel slated for completion in early September 2016. Designed by the world renowned architects at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), the sleek design of the driveway will complement the modern architectural elements being incorporated into the Monterey Conference Center renovation.
While the driveway is in the process of being replaced, the Portola’s front entrance will be temporarily closed. Access to the Portola Hotel and Spa will be through the hotel’s parking garage located on the right hand side of Del Monte Avenue. Our guests experience throughout this renovation is very important to us and we have taken extra steps to ensure a smooth arrival process for each and every guest. A check-in valet will be stationed to greet and direct all arriving guests, along with a garage attendant to answer any questions.
For years our guests have told us that they love the centrality of the Portola Hotel’s location and how convenient it is to walk to Fisherman’s Wharf or the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It is the City of Monterey’s overall goal to create a more walk-able neighborhood that improves the quality of the pedestrian’s experience in turn reducing automobile trips and complementing the existing design of this jewel in our City’s center – and as the only Central Coast’s LEED® Certified hotel, we are excited to be a part of making Monterey a more pedestrian and bike friendly destination that encourages alternative and eco-friendly modes of transportation.