Magical Monterey Lodging and Food

I am considering the Magical Monterey trip. This will be my first trip with Road Scholar. There are several negative comments about the food and lodging on Trip Advisor. If you have been on this trip, I would appreciate your opinion on the lodging and meals. Thanks...

  • I'm going Aug 27-Sept 1st !! :) Chose to stay in the "dorm"- Wright Hall of the Hidden Valley Music institute. It's right next door to the pricier Bed & Breakfast. All of the meals and classes, however, take place in Wright Hall, so I couldn't see paying more just for a fancier room. I'll take my chances...going for the scenery, not so much the food- so I hope it's good. Sorry to hijack your thread- no advice cause I haven't gone yet of course, but hope you sign up, too:)
  • I am thinking of going in November. It would be great to hear about your trip! If I go, I will also stay in Wright Hall.
  • I'll be the guinea pig LOL !!      Hope we both have a wonderful time.   The photos looks so beautiful.

  • Pretty sure I will do the Monterey trip in November... Will be good to hear how you liked it... Maybe I'll catch up with you on another Road Scholar trip!
  • Sounds like a plan:) - hope this trip is as great as it sounds ! Will let you know....
  • I am not finding photos...where did you find them on the Road Scholar site?
  • Actually I've just been Googling for months....You can look up the Hidden Valley Institute in Carmel to see the building -Wright Hall. Also Google Cannery Row, Monterey Aquarium. Even just Monterey CA looks so pretty on Google photos. The RS site doesn't really have photos. Are you going next weekend???? :)
  • Hi !!! Just came home from the August2017 Magical Monterey trip !! They have their own chef at Hidden Valley in Carmel; he was AMAZING. Fresh, different, delicious food from breakfast through dinner. The trip was wonderful; the field trip/hike at Point Lobos is not to be missed !!! Loved this- my very first RS trip.
  • You will love it !!! Great food, great setting, great info and trips. Loved the whole week.
  • Thank you, carobooks, for posting your feedback. Sounds great! I did decide to go on the Magical Monterey trip next month. My first RS trip as well...
  • I was at the Hidden Valley Music Institute in November 2016 for a birding trip at the same time that there was a group there to do the Magical Monterey trip. I really enjoyed the facility. Wright Hall is not a hotel - it is more like a camp setting with 2 twin beds and your own bathroom with shower. The walls between rooms are not real thick so you might hear sounds from adjoining rooms. There may be other groups there that are not Road Scholar trips as it is primarily a music "camp". A local orchestra practices in the performance hall and we were invited to attend several evening musical performances including a great pianist from the area. I found the food was varied and good but you do not get multiple choices to pick from as you would in a restaurant. Many Road Scholar road trips visit many places and stay in hotels and eat in restaurants. This is a totally different experience. Our birding trips did visit some of the same sights you will see on the Magical Monterey field trips. This is a wonderful, beautiful area of California. The village of Carmel Valley is a charming small town to explore on your free evening. Hidden Valley Music Institute hosts many Road Scholar programs at this facility through out the year and has been doing it for many years so I would say there must be a lots of folks who have enjoyed their time there. So to all of you considering going, hope you have a great trip!
  • I wish more RS trips used college dorms, the way Elderhostel did (when I was too young for Elderhostel!) College rooms with a cafeteria is just my speed-- I don't need a fancy hotel, and there is likely to be a common room with a TV and wi-fi. We've used college dorms when we've traveled before-- when the dates line up (school breaks and the timing of our non-RS trip), we always look there first.
  • I went on this trip in Jan 2019 and had a bad experience. So bad that I left early because of severe approaching storms. It took me 24 hours to get back to New Mexico.The events were good. Big Sur had to be cancelled because of weather--I had already left. The John Steinbeck impersonator was very good. I didn't visit the Aquarium, alas. I left early because of impending storms and the poor rooms. It had been raining for weeks in northern California. The entire facility, built in the 1970's and not improved, I think,--was cold and damp. The mattresses were bad, the bouncy kind. Theere is a little radiator that's either ON or OFF, ie, you turn it on, the room overheats and you have to turn it off. All night. The food was very mediocre, comparable to a camp in the 1950's, something that's hard to do in California. There were storms while I was there and strees actually fell on the property. I know that it's hard to find good affordable facilities in this area , but I think that RS should either find better facilities or move the event. With climage change, weather is going to get even more unpredictable and I think RS should focus on adequate facilities in any weather.
  • Addendum. I was 78 when I took the trip (now I'm 79). Being old, I think that I require a better facility. Some could adapt to a dorm-like room (actually and old-dorm like room)--and food (even this maybe below par). I thought that I would enjoy a sort of camp like atmosphere, but, especially in view of the weather (cold and damp)--I did not.
  • I will note that for younger Scholars and especially for Birders, this facility may be entirely adequate.