When you visit Monterey, you probably have a certain list of places to visit and things to try. Monterey Bay Aquarium is probably on that list, as well as Monterey Fisherman's Wharf, followed by downtown. Monterey Hotel is conveniently located within walking distance from all the places of interest in Monterey, and since it's right downtown, getting a cup of coffee in the morning or having a quick bite generally means crossing the street.
The hotel is historic, having been built in 1904. However, it has very nice interior, and none of the weird smells or unsanitary conditions you'd expect from old buildings. The staff is quite friendly and helpful the newcomers to Monterey to figure out their way around. The hotel lobby contains the list of all the takeout menus available in Monterey (not that you'd want a pizza delivery, having come to the seafood capital of NorCal).
The cons of being a historic hotel include the lack of elevators (not a problem for most of the people in the 3-story building) and horrendously squeaky floors. We were on the 2nd floor, and were going to bed early, due to overdose of walks on the fresh air, and I swear they held the walking competition the floor above. The room was also smaller than what you'd expect to get for similar money at a chain hotel.
There's continental breakfast served downstairs every morning 7-10 am, which includes bagels, yoghurt, cereal and a selection of fresh fruit. The hotel is within 20-30 minute walk from Monterey Bay Aquarium, and it's definitely a very nice walk on the trail by the ocean. It's realtively easy to get to from the highway.
There's no onsite parking, an the valet parking at the hotel is $16 a day. We were there for the Memorial Day weekend, and the downtown streets and parking lots are open to the public for free on weekends and holidays, so we managed to get a spot on the street right outside the hotel. If you positively cannot find any parking in the street, drive to the very end of Alvarado, and right behind the Washington Mutual building there's a public parking garage.
Hotel's advertised WiFi hotspot was not secured, but did not want to associate with my laptop even at 100% signal strength. I got Internet for maybe 10 minutes (which was manifested by all instant messengers popping windows like crazy and Yahoo! Messenger making those gun sounds notifying me of new mail) and could not get online after that, even though the wireless connection displayed 100% quality all along, which makes me think it wasn't my laptop that was the problem.