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Apr 13, 2008 02:53 PM


Anyone ever eaten at Asilomar?


Thinking about it for my wedding.

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  1. I have eaten there when I attended conferences, but never for a wedding. So I don't know how they do for wedding receptions.

    8 Replies
    1. re: PeterL

      I also have eaten there when I attended week long conferences, but not for a wedding. It has been a while but I would describe the food as adequate, not particularly tasty. Very filling.

      1. re: wally

        I'd agree with this assessment, or perhaps rank it just a bit better than adequate....OTOH, I might consider it for a wedding thanks to the location!

      2. re: PeterL

        I've was there in November for their rather extensive Thanksgiving Dinner, which they do annually for several thousand people. They did a very adequate job of it. Nothing was great, but nothing was awful, and everyone had a good time. Some of the people we talked with have been coming back for years. We will consider doing it again. In addition to Turkey they had roast beef and salmon Wellington, plus numerous salads and desserts.

        1. re: jaweino

          Hmmm...have you been to any similar places with awesome food?

          1. re: SarahKC

            Have you been there? Given its views, location, low-key/rustic ambiance and the fact that it was designed by Julia Morgan, there really is no place I can think of that is like Asilomar, unless by similar you are just referring to the fact that it is a retreat/conference Center...

            I wouldn't want to choose it as a wedding site without visiting, probably in part because it is so unique (stunningly gorgeous setting but the facilities wouldn't be for everyone).

            1. re: susancinsf

              i meant similar like retreat/conference. And thanks for the tip. We wouldn't sign on without visiting but we'd like to do as much planning as possible before getting in the car.

              1. re: SarahKC

                UCLA has a conference center in the mountains east of L.A. at Lake Arrowhead - http://www.uclaconferencecenter.com/l...

                I don't know that it would be right for a wedding, but for a retreat or conference it's quite nice. It's been a few years since I was last there, but the food was better than adequate at that time.

                1. re: SarahKC

                  Hi: I know of nothing in the Monterey area that is even remotely comparable to Asilomar. There are many hotels of course, but the ones that are (sort of) comparable in terms of view and location would be very, very expensive, though food would be fancier, more refined. There may be something at UC Santa Cruz but even that wouldn't be oceanfront like Asilomar, I don't think. Another possibility is a retreat facility at Big Sur, but that is more difficult to get to for your guests.

                  When I say the hotels are sort of comparable, I mean sort of. This is one instance where you really can't get a good sense of it without visiting. (and if you do, be sure to have dinner at Passionfish nearby :-))

        2. Depending on the size of your wedding, Pine Inn in Carmel is lovely and quaint, though I haven't been there lately enough to comment on the current decor or food.

          Got married at the Chaple of the Wayfarer (beautiful stone chapel) in Carmel, and we stayed in and had the cake/champagne reception (~80 people) at the Pine Inn. Afterwards, Dad hosted an improtu dinner for 15 there and reported it was very good.

          This was some years ago, but perhaps worth investigating if you are set on the Monterey Pennisula for the ambiance and downright romance.

          I agree that the chapel at Asilomar is beautiful; the other accomodations may not be what you need. Would they allow a caterer?

          3 Replies
          1. re: toodie jane

            Isn't the Chapel of the Wayfarer in Rancho Palos Verde down in the Los Angeles area?

            1. re: PeterL

              Yes, you're right!. It is a chapel, but the correct name is ChurchOTW.


            2. re: toodie jane

              They don't allow outside catering..
              I've stayed at Asilomar in the past but I set up a room block at an inn across the street and that's where most of my wedding guests stayed. I loved staying at Asilomar, but I knew it probably wouldn't be a good fit for most of my guests.

            3. I was actually married at Asilomar last year (4/14/07) and I thought our food was great! We chose one of their BBQ's (with chicken quarters and ribs) and everyone loved it! One thing that I thought was slightly negative was that only beer and wine are served, no hard alcohol.

              4 Replies
              1. re: sailingtothemoon

                This is all so helpful. So the inn across the street from Asilomar was nicer? It'd be great to have a wide range of accommodations for budgets, needs.

                Or can you think of someplace similar further north?

                1. re: SarahKC

                  You might want to check out Costanoa. It's on the coast between Santa Cruz and San Francisco and they do weddings, have onsite accomodations and catering options.

                  1. re: spiltinky

                    Thanks. I hear that now they've been taken over by KOA the staff isn't as good, the tents are freezing and the food's gone downhill. Have you experienced otherwise?

                    1. re: spiltinky

                      guest accomodations at Costanoa are in no way comparable to Asilomar. shared bathrooms. won't meet your needs for wide range of accomodations. can't speak to the food, although I have heard nothing good. My advice to go there and stay there and eat there before even seriously thinking about it applies triple to Castanoa. Like Asilomar, it is one of those places you have to experience to know if it is right for you, and the website won't help you. (I've driven through and looked at it, haven't stayed there)

                      In my experience, if food is the primary criteria for the wedding, a conference venue probably won't work if you can't choose your own caterer.

                      There is more than one 'inn' across the street from Asilomar btw, some might be 'nicer' but some won't be.

                2. The new lodge at Cavallo Point in the Marin Headlands, across the GG bridge from SF might be worth looking into. It's pricey, but there is also a hostel in the headlands, and the Headlands Center for the Arts is an awesome venue for weddings; I think you can provide your own caterer.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sfbecky

                    sadly we're too large a party for Headlands Center for the Arts. I guess it's not sad; we have a lot of people we love!

                    Any other suggestions are most appreciated.