The Inn at Spanish Bay During The Holidays


After graduating from UCLA, JIll traveled the world looking for unique destinations. She’s been writing about her travels for almost 30 years in various publications.

She writes a weekly restaurant review for the Beverly Press and Park LaBrea News. It’s inserted into the Los Angeles Times every Thursday and delivered to subscribers from Hancock Park to Beverly Hills, Hollywood Hills to the Wilshire Corridor.

The Inn at Spanish Bay During The Holidays




Last month I was invited to a wine harvest at Talbott Vineyards at their Sleepy Hallow Vineyard in the rolling hills of Carmel Valley. We spent three days with female winemaker Kamee Knutson, and enologist Ben Hernandez, learning about their award-winning Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines.

The vineyard was founded by apparel entrepreneurs Robert and Audrey Talbott in 1982. With the help of their son Robb Talbott, they built a boutique winery making some of the best estate wines in the region. A few years ago the winery was purchased by the family-owned E. & J. Gallo.

Kamee Knutson is a charismatic winemaker with over 20 years of winemaking. She told me she aspired to become an architect when she was a little girl. “I actually wanted to design homes in vineyards and at wineries,” she shared with me.

After two years at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design, she took an elective class ‘Intro into Winemaking’ and soon changed her major. “I realized I wanted to become an architect in winemaking!”

She oversees two estate vineyards – Sleepy Hallow Vineyard and Diamond T. She manages the crushing, pressing, fermentation, clarification, aging and bottling.

Ben Hernandez has years of experience working in viniculture in Lubbock, Texas. Together Kamee and Ben are quite a dynamic winemaking team.

After a day of touring the winery and tasting a variety of wines, I was eager to return to my guest room at The Inn at Spanish Bay. The downy soft king size bed and flickering fireplace promotes a comfortable slumber. Most rooms include a private patio or balcony overlooking the verdant landscaped grounds, towering pine forests, rolling golf fairways or the blue Pacific Ocean.

The modern bathroom had a large marble soaking tub and separate shower. Plush robes and slippers provide comfort in the evening and mornings before another day of wine tasting and culinary experiences.

My mornings started with a cup of coffee overlooking majestic Monterey pines as I stretched my legs walking to the resort lobby. A complimentary coffee station is set up in the spacious seating area for guests. Golfers come in to take a cup along with them before a round of golf on the Scottish style links course.

Other resort activities include tennis, walks down to the beach, swimming in the heated pool, and biking.

One afternoon I rented a bicycle at the Spanish Bay tennis clubhouse to explore 17-Mile Drive. The first day I rode along towards Carmel-by-the-Sea and saw sea otters swimming on their backs near the surf. Coming back to the resort I saw deer grazing on long grass near a fairway.

The next day, I rode a bike along the coastline to Pacific Grove and Monterey. As the waves crashed towards the shore, I noticed more sea otters, some pelicans and a sea lion, while riding on a smooth bike path.

Admission along 17-Mile Drive is complimentary for overnight guests at The Inn at Spanish Bay, The Lodge at Pebble Beach and Casa Palmero. Those staying at other resorts or hotels will have to pay $11.75 per vehicle. The gate fee is reimbursed with a purchase of $35 or more at all Pebble Beach Resort restaurants, excluding Pebble Beach Market. The gates are open to the public from sunrise to sunset.

Sunset at The Inn at Spanish Bay is spectacular because of the The Spanish Bay bagpiper. He begins around thirty minutes before sunset at the first tee at The Links at Spanish Bay. While tuning his bagpipe, he walks along the paved golf path playing ‘Amazing Grace’ and other recognizable tunes for 45 minutes. Traversing along the greens with the Pacific Ocean in the background, he finally stops at the second green and Spanish Bay’s outdoor fire pits. Guests await with a cocktail and camera in hand to witness and appreciate this nightly event.

Diners sitting outside at Roy’s at Pebble Beach can see the show too. James Beard Award winning chef Roy Yamaguchi, along with Chef de Cuisine Pablo Mellin prepare an eclectic Hawaiian fusion menu of signature dishes such as Misoyaki Butterfish and ‘Dynamite’ Crab Crusted Scallops. The fresh pineapple infused Mai Tai is a guest favorite. This all-day restaurant offers a breakfast, lunch, happy hour and dinner menu.

Another dinner spot we gathered at one evening was The Pocket in Carmel-by-the-Sea. This newer restaurant is located right next to the Talbott Tasting Room, and is known for its creative culinary food pairings with local wines. They open for Happy Hour at 3:30 p.m., and dinner nightly at 5 p.m.

Before dinner, we entered the Talbott Wine Tasting Room for a Signature Flight. We sipped a floral Rose of Pinot Noir, two delicious Chardonnay wines and two ‘warm the soul’ Pinot Noirs. For non-club members, the tasting price is $40. This signature tasting is complimentary for Estate & Grand Cru members and Winemaker’s Circle members. Purchase a total of $100 in wines and one tasting fee is waived.

There is also the ‘Best-of-the-Best’ Legacy Flight for $50 for nonmembers. It’s $25 for Estate & Grand Cru members and complimentary for Winemaker’s Circle members.

On the last day before leaving The Inn at Spanish Bay, I learned the resort is already getting ready for the holidays. They have families return year after year to celebrate the festive season.

This year Pebble Beach Resorts’ Pastry Chef Nicole Salazar is making a one-of-a-kind ˜Mini Golf’ gingerbread display showcased in the lobby of The Inn at Spanish Bay. The team has already started working on this 2023 edible masterpiece. Salazar said she will be using more than 200 pounds of powdered sugar just for the icing. This holiday display is set to debut on December 1.

Both The Lodge at Pebble Beach and The Inn at Spanish Bay are having a special 20% off accommodations in December and January for guests staying three nights or longer. Those who enjoy playing golf will also receive a complimentary round of golf at The Links at Spanish Bay.

During February and March, guests staying three-nights at either The Inn at Spanish Bay or The Lodge at Pebble Beach will receive three complimentary rounds of golf. Stay longer and receive 25% off the fourth night and 50% off the fifth night.

These offers are valid for specific date ranges and some blackout dates and restrictions apply.  Go to The Inn at Spanish Bay is located at 2700 17 Mile Dr, Pebble Beach, CA 93953. Call (831)574-5605.

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