Time for the way-back machine
Rumsen natives lived here for a long time, but Monterey was discovered by Spanish explorers in 1540. We first discovered it, as we set foot in the Monterey, here in the (formerly) Golden State, some 26 years ago. At that time there were few reliable books we could use to determine the best hotels and resorts. The Mobil Guide, now the Forbes Travel Guide, an annual publication, was one of the few. It was a regional book, and we were nestled in the Southwest edition.
At that time the closest Marriott hotel was the one about 65 miles to the north near (what was then Marriott's) Great America Amusement Park, the Santa Clara Property. In 1987 Marriott was not a major CA player - the Santa Clara hotel was pretty much the most northerly of all the Marriott hotels on the West Coast.
Mobil ranked five places (hotels or dining) within the state of CA as being five star, an overused term but one that for them signified the best of the best, a unique place to stay. In all there were less than 30 five star resorts and dining spots in their 1987 survey. One of the five star places and the only "motel" to be so ranked, was Quail Lodge, near us in Carmel Valley CA.
For a number of economic reasons the hotel, the Quail Lodge, has been shuttered for a decade, Now, next weekend it will reopen, according to their website and they are offering lodging specials through April.
I never stayed there as a guest but dined there several times. The scenery is wonderful, the staff were wonderful, and the experience definitely worth five stars (subjective I know, but you've gotta start somewhere). I might check out their open house next weekend and then let everyone know if the stars are aligned.