Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar Opens January 28, 2012
At the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa

Monterey, CA— January 2012 – Due to its overwhelming popularity, on January 28, 2012, Schooners Bistro on the Bay will reopen as the newly expanded Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar.  The restaurant will replace the former Duck Club Grill at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, and will feature an exciting new menu by Executive Chef James Waller.  Following an extensive renovation, the restaurant will give guests a new way to experience the Schooners they have come to love.

Following 18 years of providing an exceptional experience for its guests, the doors were shut to the Duck Club Grill in November 2011 to make way for the fresh and expanded Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar.  Fully redesigned to carry the same cheerful resonance of its namesake, Schooners Bistro on the Bay, the restaurant will focus on approachable, contemporary American coastal cuisine.   A creative menu using local ingredients and sustainable seafood will feature many dishes to share, while the beautiful exhibition kitchen will give guests a direct line of sight into the lively action.  A specialty drink menu offering cocktails and after dinner drinks will be available, alongside an impressive wine list featuring Monterey County vintners, California wines and international vintages.

The inviting atmosphere, incredible coastal views and new menu will make the restaurant a natural gathering point for locals and guests alike. Live music will create an added buzz to the bar, while the newly refurbished restaurant will further the Schooners experience.

The Menu
With this exciting venture, Chef Waller will present an approachable new menu showcasing contemporary American cooking with pristine local ingredients.  Divided into categories such as ‘In the Raw’, ‘Chowders & Stews’, ‘Fish Stories’, and ‘Tails to Share’,  many plates are portioned to be shared for two or more, creating a sense of camaraderie among guests.  Dishes are given whimsical, light-hearted names, such as Cast a Big Net seafood platter or Go Fish!, both specially designed for two.   Chef Waller has perfected a signature Clam Chowder as well as a classic twist on Spaghetti with Clams served in a deliciously spicy chili broth.  Other signature items will include Fisherman’s Cioppino with Shrimp, Scallops, Crab, Clam and Fish in a Fennel Tomato Broth, as well as the Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes and Mushrooms.

Next door, the Schooners bar will offer a new lunch and bar menu independent from the restaurant to provide approachable cuisine in a casual setting.  The bar menu will offer selections of bites and shared dishes, including items such as ‘Flight of 3 Chowder Shots’ featuring Coastal, Roasted Tomato and Artichoke shots, a selection of raw and cooked seafood dishes, pizza, and meatballs.  Nightly promotions will include Kamakazi Tuesdays, showcasing $5 sushi rolls paired with $5 SakeKazi Cocktails, while Friday’s Thank God It’s Fry-Day will serve $5 Fish & Chips; $5 Fried Calamari; and $5 English Ale.  ‘Sailor’s Special’ featuring Schooners Sliders, Whiskey Shot and Draft Beer for $25 is sure to become a fast favorite.

Chef Waller, who has served as the executive chef at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa since 1997, has a strong commitment to fresh, high quality, sustainable seafood which is reflected on the menu.  As an early follower of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, Chef Waller demonstrates his responsibility towards serving sustainably caught seafood by indicating the origin and catching method on the menu.

Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar will be open for breakfast from 6:30am – 11:00am Monday through Friday, 6:30am – 12:00pm Saturday and Sunday, and dinner from 5:00pm-9:30pm daily.  Lunch will be served in the bar area offering patio dining daily from 11:30am-5pm. 

The Feel
Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar offers an aesthetically pleasing experience for families, friends, groups, and couples alike. The multi-dimensional restaurant includes a bar, main dining room, and outdoor seating over Monterey Bay.

The main dining room’s subtle nautical atmosphere complements the restaurant’s coastal location with dramatic ocean views.  Distinctive murals complement the wood flooring and newly re-stained walls and beams.  Navy blue and natural leather fabrics, in conjunction with nautical accessories, reinforce the seaside location.  A beautiful exposed kitchen featuring white tile and a stainless steel countertop opens up the space and creates a warm and inviting ambience. Elevated booth seats provide guests with optimal ocean views, while a bustling open kitchen provides guests with a view of the chefs preparing the dishes.

Glass doors open to a deck built over Monterey Bay providing views of beautiful coastal surroundings and the perfect location to dine and entertain. Lively groups gather on the outdoor patio and in the bar. Live music is featured in the bar Tuesday through Thursday, 6:00pm – 9:00pm.


Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar, residing in the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa overlooking Monterey Bay, is a stunning restaurant featuring approachable, contemporary American coastal cuisine and sustainable seafood.  Suspended over the waters of Monterey Bay, Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar is in the ideal location for celebrating the Central Coast and the spectacular ocean front region.   Executive Chef Waller’s commitment to fresh, high quality, sustainable seafood is reflected in the creative menu which features a variety of seafood options, both raw and cooked, as well as appetizers, soups, salads, large platters meant for sharing, entrees, wood-fired dishes, and selection of decadent desserts.    A creative cocktail menu is served alongside an impressive wine list featuring Monterey County vintners, California wines and international vintages.  The high-energy bar, bustling open kitchen, and crowded outdoor patio personifies a relaxed, fun and joyous atmosphere. 

Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar
400 Cannery Row
Monterey, CA 93940


Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa Awarded One of the Top 25 Hotels in the United States by Travelers' Choice

Monterey, CA (February, 2012) - The Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is delighted to have received the 2012 Travelers' Choice Award for the Top 25 Hotels in the U.S. The award is based on millions of reviews and opinions written by TripAdvisor travelers around the world. One of only four California properties featured, The Monterey Plaza has established itself as a national destination. Located in the heart of the city, the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa offers guests a chance to experience the stunning natural beauty of Monterey County and the first class amenities exclusive to a four-star resort.

This February, after months of dramatic renovation, the hotel has also expanded its dining options and re-launched Schooners Bistro on the Bay as Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar. The restaurant showcases Chef James Waller's exciting new menu of approachable, contemporary cuisine, while the bar features small bites along with an array of cocktails, beer and wine.


Dramatically perched over the Monterey Bay and located on historic Cannery Row, the Plaza is the perfect place to enjoy the gentle sounds of the surf, the fresh scent of sea air and all of the activities that the Monterey Peninsula has to offer. The only Forbes Four Star rated hotel in Monterey, the Plaza welcomes guests with its warm Mediterranean ambiance and its legendary personalized service. While here, guests can enjoy the roof-top Vista Blue Spa, the European-style Café La Strada, and the waterfront restaurant, Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar.

Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa
400 Cannery Row
Monterey, CA 93940
(800) 334-3999

Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa Announces Local Jazz Musician

Pianist, Singer and Songwriter Angelica Hayden Performs Saturday Nights


Monterey, CA--(December, 2010) - Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is excited to announce the addition of Jazz Musician Angelica Hayden. Ms. Hayden will perform in the hotel Lobby Bar every Saturday night from 5:00pm to 9:00pm.

 "We are thrilled to have Angelica performing for our guests' enjoyment. After a successful summer offering free Concerts on the Bay, we found our guests really enjoyed the addition of live entertainment. It is our pleasure to bring the beautiful sound of jazz to the Monterey Plaza," stated John Narigi, Vice President and General Manager of Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa.

Angelica Hayden is a Pianist, Singer, Songwriter and Film Composer. In a tribute to jazz, she performs hits from Bobby Darin, Sade, Frank Sinatra, Norah Jones, Dean Martin, Sting, Etta James and Alicia Keys. Angelica's repertoire is a reflection of her love of all the best jazz, contemporary hits and standards performed by the greatest artists of our time. Angelica was born in Sonoma, California and currently lives in Monterey, California.

 The Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa ( is located at 400 Cannery Row, Monterey, California, 93940. For reservations or event bookings, please call (831) 646-1700.

The Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is a proud member of Woodside Hotels & Resorts Group.

# # # #


Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is Awarded 2012 Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Rating

Monterey Bay Hotel Ranks as one of the Finest Establishments in the Country


Monterey, CA--(November, 2011) - Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa was honored with the 2012 Forbes Four-Star Award by Forbes Travel Guide. Forbes Travel Guide uses stars to represent levels of quality. Unlike other travel sites, which can vary wildly in their consistency and their assessment of service and value, the Forbes Travel Guide inspectors make unannounced visits to every rated property. The Guide has rated hotels and restaurants since 1958—longer than any other site or company. 

"Our goal at the Monterey Plaza has always been to focus on providing our guests with the best service and facilities that our industry has to offer. This award validates what we attempt to do on a daily basis, strive to meet and exceed every guest's expectation," stated John Narigi, Vice President and General Manager of Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa. "I am so proud of our staff's hard work and dedication to again achieve this great honor and remain the only hotel in Monterey to have earned this award."

Forbes Travel Guide, formerly Mobil Travel Guide, originator of the prestigious Forbes Star rating and certification program, has provided the most comprehensive ratings and reviews of hotels, restaurants and spas in the North America for over fifty years. Awards given to distinguished Five Star winners include 54 hotels and resorts, 23 restaurants and 20 spas, while outstanding Four Star winners span 167 hotels and resorts, 152 restaurants and 108 spas. The goal at Forbes Travel Guide is to be the leading global source of objective travel content and star ratings and to provide consumers with reliable travel information via printed and online products.

The Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa ( is located at 400 Cannery Row, Monterey, California, 93940. For reservations or event bookings, please call (831) 646-1700.

The Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is a proud member of Woodside Hotels & Resorts Group.

# # # #


Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa Named to Travel + Leisure's 2010 World's Best Awards

Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa - 2010 List of Top 25 Hotel Spas Voted
on by Travel + Leisure Readers


Monterey, CA--(September 27, 2010) - Travel + Leisure has revealed its Top 25 Hotel Spas in U.S. and Canada and the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is thrilled to announce it has received this highly coveted honor. The "World's Best Awards" are voted on by the readers of Travel + Leisure to honor the top hotels, destinations, airlines, cruises, spas and transportation companies in the world. "We couldn't be happier to see our property listed in the World's Best Awards by the well-traveled readers of Travel + Leisure," said John Narigi, Vice President and General Manager of the Monterey Plaza. "This recognition reflects Vista Blue Spa's continued dedication to creating an atmosphere of relaxation and tranquility for all of our guests."

About Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa
Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is a proud recipient of the 2010 Forbes Four-Star Award. Only 160 hotels in the Unites States and Canada have been honored with this distinction, establishing the waterfront resort as one of the finest in the country. The Hotel is dramatically perched over the Monterey Bay, and offers the perfect vantage point to enjoy the gentle sounds of the surf, fresh scent of sea air and the sight of otters at play. With its Mediterranean ambience and architecture, the Hotel's relaxing surroundings, coupled with its dedicated staff, ensures that our accommodations, dining and spa services will represent the best that the Monterey Peninsula has to offer for both the leisure and business traveler. Located over the tranquil Monterey Bay, the state-of-the-art Vista Blue Spa is on the top floor of the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa. The Spa reflects both comfort and relaxed refinement with treatments geared toward rejuvenating the body, renewing the spirit and reviving the senses.

2010 World's Best Awards Survey Methodology
A questionnaire developed by the editors of Travel + Leisure, in association with ROI Research Inc., was made available to Travel + Leisure readers at from December 15, 2009, to March 31, 2010. Readers were invited to participate through Travel + Leisure magazine (January, February, and March issues), and online at To protect the integrity of the data, after March 31, 2010, respondents were screened by Travel + Leisure and responses from any identified travel-industry professionals who completed the survey were eliminated from the final tally. The survey website,, was maintained, monitored, and kept secure by ROI Research Inc., which collected and tabulated the responses and kept them confidential. The scores are indexed averages of responses concerning applicable characteristics. Respondents were asked to rate hotels, islands, destination spas, golf resorts, and rental-car agencies on five characteristics; cities, cruise lines, and tour operators and safari outfitters on six characteristics; and airlines and hotel spas on four characteristics (ambience, treatments, service and value). In the hotel, cruise line, tour operator, airline, and golf resort categories, respondents could also rate additional optional characteristics; these ratings were not included in the final score.

For each characteristic, respondents were asked to rate a candidate on a scale of 1 to 5, where "5" means excellent and "1" means poor. Required component ratings were then averaged, creating an overall score. A minimum number of responses were necessary for a candidate to be eligible for inclusion in the World's Best Awards listings. Some companies were rated in both the cruise line and tour operator and safari outfitter categories, and some properties were rated in both the destination spa and hotel spa categories. In both cases, companies and properties have different scores for each category.

The Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa ( is located at 400 Cannery Row, Monterey, California, 93940. For reservations or event bookings, please call (831) 646-1700.

The Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is a proud member of Woodside Hotels & Resorts Group.

# # # #