By: Melanie Warner

On the West Coast, the Monterey Peninsula is located between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It’s a welcome oasis between the long stretch of roadway that connects the two cities.  If you are looking for respite, to be pampered, spoiled rotten before you return to reality – then the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is the perfect stop. With impeccable service, they have been rated AAA Four Diamond for 24 consecutive years in a row. TripAdvisor named it one of the “Top 25 Hotels in the United States”, and it is also a recipient of the 2012 Forbes Four-Star Award. The entire hotel places you directly on the water, literally overhanging the Pacific where the aquatic life will inspire you. Watch sea lions at play, flirt with seagulls and wake to the sound of the waves lapping in the tranquil Monterey Bay.

Guests rave about the state-of-the-art Vista Blue Spa, which is on the top floor of the Hotel and has stunning panoramic views of the Bay. Travel & Leisure listed it in the “Top 25 Spas in the Country”. Soak in the shimmering Jacuzzi of the rooftop deck as you look out over the ocean, or relax with a flute of champagne by the fire and view the sunset. They offer packages for men and woman, including body treatments, oxygen-infused facials, nail services and soothing massages.

Inside the hotel is Schooners Coastal Kitchen and Bar. Chef James Waller has combined a fresh seafood menu with California Cuisine in a relaxed and romantic atmosphere. With a restaurant on the premises, plus a café, day spa, and fitness center, you have a choice of many activities. You can also walk to nearby attractions like the Monterey Bay Aquarium or shop and dine on Cannery Row. This magical area of California is a great stop and offers much to see and do. It’s certainly worth the trip.