Season two of the popular HBO series Big Little Lies came to a close this past weekend and we’re not ready to let it go. The series uses Monterey, California, as the backdrop while it portrays the lives of wealthy and complicated mothers who all share, you guessed it, a big secret. While not all of us can live like Madeline or Renata in multi-million-dollar homes on the Monterey coast, we can all experience the natural beauty and wonderful atmosphere that Monterey has to offer (which makes the show so aesthetically beautiful). The beautiful ocean views and relaxed, yet luxurious vibe that the town offers television viewers and lends itself to dramatic meeting locations.
For large groups, Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa offers more than 30,000 sq. ft. of event space from ballrooms to board rooms. The outdoor Plaza is situated over Monterey Bay and offers 180-degree views of the ocean. With 290 rooms, this hotel can accommodate some of your biggest events.
Adjacent to the Monterey Conference Center, this newly redesigned property offers 60,000 sq. ft. of outdoor space and the same amount of indoor event space. Not only is it large enough for all of your guests, this nautical-inspired hotel captures the natural beauty of Monterey and is located within walking distance of local shops, cafes, beaches and trails. It is also LEED Certified by the U.S. Green Council and the first truly ‘green’ hotel in central California.
Located in downtown Monterey, this boutique hotel is the affordable, convenient Victorian guesthouse of your dreams. It offers 69 guest rooms and two elegant meeting rooms behind the doors of a beautiful Victorian facade. It is located only minutes from the Monterey Convention Center and the aquarium.
For an experience that is a bit more luxurious, take your small group and fill up the 60 guest cottages at The Sanctuary Beach Resort. Located on the beach, these cottages and common spaces, including board-rooms with ocean views, games on the beach and oysters in the Salt Wood Kitchen, create a little, well, sanctuary for you and your attendees to meet, relax and escape.
Just a short drive away from Monterey lies the sun-filled Carmel Valley, and sitting on 500-acres in this picturesque setting lies Carmel Valley Ranch. This all-suite property boasts in-room fireplaces and outdoor soaking tubs. Meeting spaces include board rooms, terraces and a courtyard. While the intimate rooms and luxurious suites are perfect for small meetings, the property is large enough to accommodate your bigger events while maintaining an intimate, small meeting atmosphere. This really is an all-inclusive property with restaurants, activities (outdoor adventures, beekeeping, arts and crafts, tennis and fitness classes) and even a special cocktail, the ‘Monterey 5’ (if you know, you know) to celebrate Big Little Lies.
Follow in the steps of Celeste, Madeline and Jane
Whether they are discussing their kids, their “lie” or each other, the characters in ‘Big Little Lies’ seem to do so in the perfect setting. It is either during a long walk on a picturesque beach, over a latte in a local cafe or wine in an atmospheric bar and the characters (or more realistically, the producers) really do know how to take advantage of their surroundings. We suggest you do the same, so here are a few suggestions of attendee activities so your attendees can experience the true spirit of Monterey.
Chances are you’ve heard of this famous aquarium nestled into the California coast. With opportunities to rent out the aquarium for events, it would be the perfect Monterey-inspired dinner venue. Alternatively, invite guests for a few hours to look at the more than 550 species of marine life!
You can hardly have a California based event and not include wine in some way. Located in the Carmel Valley neighboring Monterey, why not treat your attendees to wine tasting in this French Chateau inspired winery surrounded by 16 acres of vineyards.
For a fresh view of Monterey, take to the high seas and book a private charter around the bay for an afternoon of sailing, sun and sensational views.