IMG_3783My daughter and I enjoyed a wonderful Mother-Daughter getaway recently at the beautiful Casa Munras Hotel & Spa. It was a memorable and meaningful getaway because my mom and I had enjoyed many leisurely luncheons together there in the 60’s and 70’s, so it was like revisiting my childhood but a generation later. The renovations are astounding.

Truly catering to family vacations, this hacienda style hotel with spacious and luxurious accommodations is perfectly situated within minutes of the Monterey Peninsula’s most famous highlights and treasures.

Plush and lavish feather bedding ensured a thoroughly peaceful slumber for us both and provided the rest we needed for all our planned activities during our stay. Our blissful slumber was undoubtedly enhanced by our impeccable spa experience at the Casa Munras’ Sano Spa.

This gorgeous and utterly tranquil spa provided us with outstanding massages by well-trained and competent therapists. Their Signature Aromatherapy Massage was heavenly. Afterward we luxuriated in our own private outdoor spa with a soothing waterfall as the coastal breezes kissed our pampered and rejuvenated skin and muscles. I was a massage therapist for 11 years in college so if anyone scrutinizes massages, it’s me. These were truly flawless.


IMG_3886We loved our dinner at Esteban Restaurant where we sampled delightful Tapa style dishes in a lovely outdoor heated patio and courtyard setting. Local and seasonal ingredients are prepared in an exhibition style kitchen. House made cheese served with pickled onion and watercress was fabulous. We both loved the Spanish meatballs in red pepper sauce. My daughter loved the Pulpit Confit,  a small dish of octopus served with cherry tomatoes, garlic and potatoes. We both relished the Pulled Pork Empanadas.  We should have ordered two to enjoy the flaky crust and delightful flavors even more.

Adding to the wonderful amenities we enjoyed were the outdoor heated swimming pool, fitness room, and of course for my teen, the complimentary wireless Internet.

The complimentary fresh baked cookies, daily newspapers, DVD library, and refreshing aqua fresca only added to the inclusive luxuries and hospitality.

The Casa Munras even has a family movie night on Saturdays, complete with popcorn and blankets. Bike rentals are also available for a nominal fee.

Everything a vacationing family needs for comfort and convenience and even pampering is offered and well done at the beautiful Casa Munras.

New Family Fun Activities in Monterey

Cannery Row now offers not only the Mirror Maze where families can immerse themselves in a 1933 Cannery Row bank heist as they solve the mysteries of this still unsolved crime amidst a labyrinth of glass and lights while wearing kaleidoscope glasses. A lazer maze is also available. Adding to the fun, and brand-spanking-new next door, is Highway 1 Golf, Games & Grub where fun-seeking families can play 3D Black Light Mini Golf with moving obstacles on a course depicting California’s most scenic byway.


DestinationReviewAs working media with media credentials, I was hosted on a press trip for my review. The views expressed here are entirely my own but ought to be yours too.

Carmel L. Mooney is the editor of, an online travel magazine. Carmel’s been on local talk radio for 17 years and now co-hosts THE GOOD LIFE with Mike the Wine Guy on KMYC 1410AM. Her family travel column can be read in California Kids Magazine at: You can follow her on Twitter: @CarmelLeeMooney or Facebook. Carmel is also the Executive Director of Pawsitive Service Dog Solutions, a non-profit that trains and places Autism Service Dogs.