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Free waterfront music, amazing talent, plus a new wine list featuring local varietals

Monterey, CA – (May 7, 2014) Make the most of beautiful summer evenings and Monterey Bay sunsets with the Live Music at Schooners at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, every Thursday in May and June, from 6 to 8 p.m. Join us for cocktails or dinner in a fun, casual, bay side setting and enjoy great music featuring Sierra Jean Blanton accompanied by Brent Smith; Casey Frazier, Dylan Aiello and Vincent Randazzo with Kenny Chung.

The lineup includes:

May 8: Singer/songwriter Casey Frazier
May 15: Sierra Jean Blanton, accompanied by Brent Smith
May 22: Singer/songwriter Casey Frazier
May 29: The unstoppable duo of Vincent Randazzo and Kenny Chung
June 5: Pop/rock musician Dylan Aiello
June 12: Sierra Jean Blanton, accompanied by Brent Smith
June 19: Singer/songwriter Casey Frazier
June 26: Sierra Jean Blanton, accompanied by Brent Smith


Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa Receives  2013 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor


Monterey, CA – (June 11, 2013)  Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, a five-time Forbes Four-Star rated hotel in Monterey, CA for both business and leisure travel, has received the sought after 2013 Certificate of Excellence award from TripAdvisor. Now in its third year, the award celebrates hospitality excellence and is only given to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor. Winners of the Certificate of Excellence are located all over the world and represent the upper echelon of businesses listed on the website, with only the top 10 percent receiving the prestigious award.

"We're thrilled to receive this prestigious award in celebration with the success of other hospitality businesses around the world,” said John Narigi, Vice President and General Manager of the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa.  "This Certificate of Excellence award provides top performing establishments superior recognition for Customer Service and we’re pleased to be selected.”

The Certificate of Excellence award is given to outstanding hospitality businesses that have received praise and recognition in reviews by TripAdvisor travelers. Winners of the award range from one-room bed and breakfasts to 6,000-room hotels, from bakeries to Michelin star restaurants and hidden attractions to world-renowned parks and museums.

To qualify for the Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor.

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Designated as a five-time Forbes Four-Star rated hotel and rated by TripAdvisor as the #1 hotel in Monterey for both business and leisure travel, the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is home to 290 spacious guest rooms and suites.  It’s Vista Blue Spa, which features breath-taking views of the ocean, earned a 28th place ranking in the 2013 Condé Nast Top 75 U.S. Hotel Spas. Guests can also savor two distinctive dining options, Schooner’s Coastal Kitchen & Bar or Café La Strada.

The hotel’s ideal location provides easy access to the area’s most vibrant attractions, including the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and recreational activities such as world-class golfing, sailing, scuba diving and whale watching.  The Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is located at 400 Cannery Row in Monterey. 

For more information or reservations, please call the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa at 1-800-334-3999 or visit, and for Schooner’s Coastal Kitchen & Bar please call 1-831-646-1700 or visit


Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar Goes Locally Overboard

Property partners with Salinas Valley purveyors to bring the freshest

produce available to all aspects of the hotel


Monterey, CA (May 2013) – Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar, located at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, is going Locally Overboard! From farm to fork and sea to table, the hotel is forging partnerships with companies like The Nunes Company and Blazer Wilkinson LP to integrate the freshest, local products into every aspect of the guest experience.

“Locally Overboard is a celebration of fresh, local products,” said Executive Chef James Waller. “By working with small batch farmers, ranchers, fisherman and vintners alike, we are able to provide the most local, sustainable and fresh ingredients found in Monterey County.”

This season, the property will highlight locally-grown produce through The Nunes Company, a fifth generation family-owned and operated grower out of Salinas, offering premium quality fresh vegetables like romaine lettuce, kale and sweet baby broccoli under the “Foxy” brand name. The strawberries are grown, packed and distributed through Blazer Wilkinson LP from the Salinas Valley, with over 30 years of experience in the produce industry, specializing in strawberries. “Foxy Strawberries” big, red and delicious. Perfect every time.

Having been grown in intimate micro pockets that trap cool air along the Central Coast, the strawberries are harvested by trained crews who hand select each strawberry. The crews are paid hourly, as opposed to just by quantity, ensuring only the best strawberries make their way from field to plate. The strawberries are then cooled and transported to Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar in less than a day, where they will be incorporated into cocktails, entrees, desserts and even spa treatments at the Vista Blue Spa!

Selections from the “Foxy Brand” promotion include:


Kale, Romaine Lettuce and Baby Broccoli

incorporated throughout various dishes

“Foxy Strawberries”

Sharon’s classic strawberry shortcake

Strawberry salad with warm barbecue shrimp

with garden variety cheese, balsamic syrup and micro greens

Strawberry buttermilk tart with Foxy strawberries and whipped cream


Foxy Lady Fizz

2 Foxy Strawberries muddled

2oz Hendricks Gin

1oz St Germain

75 oz lemon juice

.5 oz simple syrup

float of rose sparkling wine

 Strawberry Peach on the Beach

2oz white rum

1oz sweet and sour

.5oz peach stirrings

1 muddled Foxy Strawberry

float of sparkling wine


Strawberry smoothie

Strawberry tres leches

Chocolate covered strawberries

Strawberry crumble bar


Strawberries do more than just please the palate. They are packed with skin pleasing ingredients like vitamin C, alpha-hydroxy and salicylic acid that do wonders for skin and hair.  These strawberry-specific items will be available in addition to the regular spa treatments found at the Vista Blue Spa.

 Strawberries-n-Cream Facial Mask

Strawberries, creamy yogurt and honey are combined to remove impurities

and moisturize your skin, leaving it radiant and supple

Strawberry Foot & Hand Scrub

Strawberries, olive oil and organic sugar make an excellent

exfoliation to slough off dead cells revealing soft and youthful looking skin

Strawberry Hair Conditioner

 This sweet mask is applied to your scalp and hair, followed by a relaxing scalp

 massage and a warm wrap for ultimate moisture, leaving your hair glossy and silk




Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa's Vista Blue Spa Rated #28 Best U.S. Hotel Spa by Condé Nast Traveler Magazine

This marks the third year in a row the Vista Blue Spa has received this prestigious award

Monterey, CA— March 2013 – The Vista Blue Spa, located at Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, is pleased to announce its inclusion in Condé Nast Traveler Magazine 2013 Readers’ Poll of Top 75 U.S. Hotel Spas. The Vista Blue Spa was rated #28 by the magazine’s readers, making it the third year in a row the spa has received this prestigious award.

Each year, Conde Nast Traveler polls its readers for their favorite spas in North America, the Caribbean and at sea. From a combined list of 46,352 spa visits, the tops spas are selected based off several categories including spa staff, treatments, facilities and services available. The list is then broken down into more specific categories such as Top Resort Spas, Top Cruise Ship Spas, Top Hotel Spas, as well as by region.

“This award is particularly exciting for us because it is based off of travelers’ candid feedback about their experiences,” said Vista Blue Spa Director Sue Ushakoff. “To continue to be recognized as one of the best of the best is a huge honor for our spa and our wonderful staff who work so hard to make it a memorable experience for our guests.”

Perched over the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary, the Vista Blue Spa boasts dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean and offers more than 40 specialty treatments to relax and rejuvenate guests. Ranging from massage to facials to yoga, each treatment is customized for the ultimate experience. For more information and reservations please visit


Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar Opens January 28, 2012
At the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa

Monterey, CA— January 2012 – Due to its overwhelming popularity, on January 28, 2012, Schooners Bistro on the Bay will reopen as the newly expanded Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar.  The restaurant will replace the former Duck Club Grill at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, and will feature an exciting new menu by Executive Chef James Waller.  Following an extensive renovation, the restaurant will give guests a new way to experience the Schooners they have come to love.

Following 18 years of providing an exceptional experience for its guests, the doors were shut to the Duck Club Grill in November 2011 to make way for the fresh and expanded Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar.  Fully redesigned to carry the same cheerful resonance of its namesake, Schooners Bistro on the Bay, the restaurant will focus on approachable, contemporary American coastal cuisine.   A creative menu using local ingredients and sustainable seafood will feature many dishes to share, while the beautiful exhibition kitchen will give guests a direct line of sight into the lively action.  A specialty drink menu offering cocktails and after dinner drinks will be available, alongside an impressive wine list featuring Monterey County vintners, California wines and international vintages.

The inviting atmosphere, incredible coastal views and new menu will make the restaurant a natural gathering point for locals and guests alike. Live music will create an added buzz to the bar, while the newly refurbished restaurant will further the Schooners experience.

The Menu
With this exciting venture, Chef Waller will present an approachable new menu showcasing contemporary American cooking with pristine local ingredients.  Divided into categories such as ‘In the Raw’, ‘Chowders & Stews’, ‘Fish Stories’, and ‘Tails to Share’,  many plates are portioned to be shared for two or more, creating a sense of camaraderie among guests.  Dishes are given whimsical, light-hearted names, such as Cast a Big Net seafood platter or Go Fish!, both specially designed for two.   Chef Waller has perfected a signature Clam Chowder as well as a classic twist on Spaghetti with Clams served in a deliciously spicy chili broth.  Other signature items will include Fisherman’s Cioppino with Shrimp, Scallops, Crab, Clam and Fish in a Fennel Tomato Broth, as well as the Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes and Mushrooms.

Next door, the Schooners bar will offer a new lunch and bar menu independent from the restaurant to provide approachable cuisine in a casual setting.  The bar menu will offer selections of bites and shared dishes, including items such as ‘Flight of 3 Chowder Shots’ featuring Coastal, Roasted Tomato and Artichoke shots, a selection of raw and cooked seafood dishes, pizza, and meatballs.  Nightly promotions will include Kamakazi Tuesdays, showcasing $5 sushi rolls paired with $5 SakeKazi Cocktails, while Friday’s Thank God It’s Fry-Day will serve $5 Fish & Chips; $5 Fried Calamari; and $5 English Ale.  ‘Sailor’s Special’ featuring Schooners Sliders, Whiskey Shot and Draft Beer for $25 is sure to become a fast favorite.

Chef Waller, who has served as the executive chef at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa since 1997, has a strong commitment to fresh, high quality, sustainable seafood which is reflected on the menu.  As an early follower of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, Chef Waller demonstrates his responsibility towards serving sustainably caught seafood by indicating the origin and catching method on the menu.

Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar will be open for breakfast from 6:30am – 11:00am Monday through Friday, 6:30am – 12:00pm Saturday and Sunday, and dinner from 5:00pm-9:30pm daily.  Lunch will be served in the bar area offering patio dining daily from 11:30am-5pm. 

The Feel
Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar offers an aesthetically pleasing experience for families, friends, groups, and couples alike. The multi-dimensional restaurant includes a bar, main dining room, and outdoor seating over Monterey Bay.

The main dining room’s subtle nautical atmosphere complements the restaurant’s coastal location with dramatic ocean views.  Distinctive murals complement the wood flooring and newly re-stained walls and beams.  Navy blue and natural leather fabrics, in conjunction with nautical accessories, reinforce the seaside location.  A beautiful exposed kitchen featuring white tile and a stainless steel countertop opens up the space and creates a warm and inviting ambience. Elevated booth seats provide guests with optimal ocean views, while a bustling open kitchen provides guests with a view of the chefs preparing the dishes.

Glass doors open to a deck built over Monterey Bay providing views of beautiful coastal surroundings and the perfect location to dine and entertain. Lively groups gather on the outdoor patio and in the bar. Live music is featured in the bar Tuesday through Thursday, 6:00pm – 9:00pm.


Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar, residing in the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa overlooking Monterey Bay, is a stunning restaurant featuring approachable, contemporary American coastal cuisine and sustainable seafood.  Suspended over the waters of Monterey Bay, Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar is in the ideal location for celebrating the Central Coast and the spectacular ocean front region.   Executive Chef Waller’s commitment to fresh, high quality, sustainable seafood is reflected in the creative menu which features a variety of seafood options, both raw and cooked, as well as appetizers, soups, salads, large platters meant for sharing, entrees, wood-fired dishes, and selection of decadent desserts.    A creative cocktail menu is served alongside an impressive wine list featuring Monterey County vintners, California wines and international vintages.  The high-energy bar, bustling open kitchen, and crowded outdoor patio personifies a relaxed, fun and joyous atmosphere. 

Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar
400 Cannery Row
Monterey, CA 93940


Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa Awarded One of the Top 25 Hotels in the United States by Travelers' Choice

Monterey, CA (February, 2012) - The Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is delighted to have received the 2012 Travelers' Choice Award for the Top 25 Hotels in the U.S. The award is based on millions of reviews and opinions written by TripAdvisor travelers around the world. One of only four California properties featured, The Monterey Plaza has established itself as a national destination. Located in the heart of the city, the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa offers guests a chance to experience the stunning natural beauty of Monterey County and the first class amenities exclusive to a four-star resort.

This February, after months of dramatic renovation, the hotel has also expanded its dining options and re-launched Schooners Bistro on the Bay as Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar. The restaurant showcases Chef James Waller's exciting new menu of approachable, contemporary cuisine, while the bar features small bites along with an array of cocktails, beer and wine.


Dramatically perched over the Monterey Bay and located on historic Cannery Row, the Plaza is the perfect place to enjoy the gentle sounds of the surf, the fresh scent of sea air and all of the activities that the Monterey Peninsula has to offer. The only Forbes Four Star rated hotel in Monterey, the Plaza welcomes guests with its warm Mediterranean ambiance and its legendary personalized service. While here, guests can enjoy the roof-top Vista Blue Spa, the European-style Café La Strada, and the waterfront restaurant, Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar.

Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa
400 Cannery Row
Monterey, CA 93940
(800) 334-3999

Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa Announces Local Jazz Musician

Pianist, Singer and Songwriter Angelica Hayden Performs Saturday Nights


Monterey, CA--(December, 2010) - Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is excited to announce the addition of Jazz Musician Angelica Hayden. Ms. Hayden will perform in the hotel Lobby Bar every Saturday night from 5:00pm to 9:00pm.

 "We are thrilled to have Angelica performing for our guests' enjoyment. After a successful summer offering free Concerts on the Bay, we found our guests really enjoyed the addition of live entertainment. It is our pleasure to bring the beautiful sound of jazz to the Monterey Plaza," stated John Narigi, Vice President and General Manager of Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa.

Angelica Hayden is a Pianist, Singer, Songwriter and Film Composer. In a tribute to jazz, she performs hits from Bobby Darin, Sade, Frank Sinatra, Norah Jones, Dean Martin, Sting, Etta James and Alicia Keys. Angelica's repertoire is a reflection of her love of all the best jazz, contemporary hits and standards performed by the greatest artists of our time. Angelica was born in Sonoma, California and currently lives in Monterey, California.

 The Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa ( is located at 400 Cannery Row, Monterey, California, 93940. For reservations or event bookings, please call (831) 646-1700.

The Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is a proud member of Woodside Hotels & Resorts Group.

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Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is Awarded 2012 Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Rating

Monterey Bay Hotel Ranks as one of the Finest Establishments in the Country


Monterey, CA--(November, 2011) - Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa was honored with the 2012 Forbes Four-Star Award by Forbes Travel Guide. Forbes Travel Guide uses stars to represent levels of quality. Unlike other travel sites, which can vary wildly in their consistency and their assessment of service and value, the Forbes Travel Guide inspectors make unannounced visits to every rated property. The Guide has rated hotels and restaurants since 1958—longer than any other site or company. 

"Our goal at the Monterey Plaza has always been to focus on providing our guests with the best service and facilities that our industry has to offer. This award validates what we attempt to do on a daily basis, strive to meet and exceed every guest's expectation," stated John Narigi, Vice President and General Manager of Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa. "I am so proud of our staff's hard work and dedication to again achieve this great honor and remain the only hotel in Monterey to have earned this award."

Forbes Travel Guide, formerly Mobil Travel Guide, originator of the prestigious Forbes Star rating and certification program, has provided the most comprehensive ratings and reviews of hotels, restaurants and spas in the North America for over fifty years. Awards given to distinguished Five Star winners include 54 hotels and resorts, 23 restaurants and 20 spas, while outstanding Four Star winners span 167 hotels and resorts, 152 restaurants and 108 spas. The goal at Forbes Travel Guide is to be the leading global source of objective travel content and star ratings and to provide consumers with reliable travel information via printed and online products.

The Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa ( is located at 400 Cannery Row, Monterey, California, 93940. For reservations or event bookings, please call (831) 646-1700.

The Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is a proud member of Woodside Hotels & Resorts Group.

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Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa Named to Travel + Leisure's 2010 World's Best Awards

Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa - 2010 List of Top 25 Hotel Spas Voted
on by Travel + Leisure Readers


Monterey, CA--(September 27, 2010) - Travel + Leisure has revealed its Top 25 Hotel Spas in U.S. and Canada and the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is thrilled to announce it has received this highly coveted honor. The "World's Best Awards" are voted on by the readers of Travel + Leisure to honor the top hotels, destinations, airlines, cruises, spas and transportation companies in the world. "We couldn't be happier to see our property listed in the World's Best Awards by the well-traveled readers of Travel + Leisure," said John Narigi, Vice President and General Manager of the Monterey Plaza. "This recognition reflects Vista Blue Spa's continued dedication to creating an atmosphere of relaxation and tranquility for all of our guests."

About Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa
Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is a proud recipient of the 2010 Forbes Four-Star Award. Only 160 hotels in the Unites States and Canada have been honored with this distinction, establishing the waterfront resort as one of the finest in the country. The Hotel is dramatically perched over the Monterey Bay, and offers the perfect vantage point to enjoy the gentle sounds of the surf, fresh scent of sea air and the sight of otters at play. With its Mediterranean ambience and architecture, the Hotel's relaxing surroundings, coupled with its dedicated staff, ensures that our accommodations, dining and spa services will represent the best that the Monterey Peninsula has to offer for both the leisure and business traveler. Located over the tranquil Monterey Bay, the state-of-the-art Vista Blue Spa is on the top floor of the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa. The Spa reflects both comfort and relaxed refinement with treatments geared toward rejuvenating the body, renewing the spirit and reviving the senses.

2010 World's Best Awards Survey Methodology
A questionnaire developed by the editors of Travel + Leisure, in association with ROI Research Inc., was made available to Travel + Leisure readers at from December 15, 2009, to March 31, 2010. Readers were invited to participate through Travel + Leisure magazine (January, February, and March issues), and online at To protect the integrity of the data, after March 31, 2010, respondents were screened by Travel + Leisure and responses from any identified travel-industry professionals who completed the survey were eliminated from the final tally. The survey website,, was maintained, monitored, and kept secure by ROI Research Inc., which collected and tabulated the responses and kept them confidential. The scores are indexed averages of responses concerning applicable characteristics. Respondents were asked to rate hotels, islands, destination spas, golf resorts, and rental-car agencies on five characteristics; cities, cruise lines, and tour operators and safari outfitters on six characteristics; and airlines and hotel spas on four characteristics (ambience, treatments, service and value). In the hotel, cruise line, tour operator, airline, and golf resort categories, respondents could also rate additional optional characteristics; these ratings were not included in the final score.

For each characteristic, respondents were asked to rate a candidate on a scale of 1 to 5, where "5" means excellent and "1" means poor. Required component ratings were then averaged, creating an overall score. A minimum number of responses were necessary for a candidate to be eligible for inclusion in the World's Best Awards listings. Some companies were rated in both the cruise line and tour operator and safari outfitter categories, and some properties were rated in both the destination spa and hotel spa categories. In both cases, companies and properties have different scores for each category.

The Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa ( is located at 400 Cannery Row, Monterey, California, 93940. For reservations or event bookings, please call (831) 646-1700.

The Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is a proud member of Woodside Hotels & Resorts Group.

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