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And the luxury Inn at Pebble Beach hotel post-Preferred

View from room 2518

View from room 2518

The Inn at Spanish Bay is named for Spanish merchant Sebastian Vizcaino, who discovered Monterey Bay while searching for a safe harbour – he named it for the Conde de Monterey. Today, the area along its 17-Mile Drive is home to such famous residents as Clint Eastwood, Condoleezza Rice and eponymous stockbroker Charles Schwab. These are among those who appreciate looking out at natural beauty: the photo shows the view from the hotel’s room 2518, the gal’s home during the recent Preferred two-yearly meeting (and, to add details, the room, like all the others at the hotel, has a working log-look fire and French windows opening on to a balcony).

The gorgeous seashore, at low tide

The gorgeous seashore, at low tide

As always with such conferences, the Preferred meeting was a unique occasion. People gathered from all over the world, formed a cohesive unit, in this case for three days, and then afterwards left, never again all to meet together, in exact entirety. That is why meetings are so special. Make the most of them while they last. After this one was over, some delegates left on the earliest flights out of Monterey airport, 15 minutes’ drive away. I stayed around for the day, exploring the beach at the foot of the dunes, the far side of the hotel’s links golf course. It was so peaceful down there. The sun, by the way, had shone nonstop since the Preferred group arrived three days ago.

Salmon salad, with an avocado fry

Salmon salad, with an avocado fry

Just as I returned from the beach the infamous Monterey Bay mist rolled in, quickly and decidedly, covering everyone as if in an ambient steam room. There were a few worries about whether the airport would be open. I headed for Roy’s, which so far I had only experienced at breakfast (when servers Marquis and James seemed to know exactly what I wanted, day after day). At lunch I had just ordered a salmon salad when I saw avocado fries as a listed side to another main course. I added a side of them, honestly one of the most gorgeous new tastes for a long time. Try them, tempura-ed avocado strips. Gorgeous and addictive.

Rod Schinnerer

Rod Schinnerer

Had I felt like it, I could have tried a local cocktail, say a Spanish Bay Bloody Mary, with Absolut Pepper vodka and chilled prawns, or a Pebbletini, Ketel One with blue cheese-stuff olives. Anyway, by post lunch, this luxury hotel had already cleared up after Preferred and was checking in dozens of new arrivals with golf gear. This is non-stop. Impressively, Rod Schinnerer, the long-time Hyatt hotelier who is now GM of this luxury hotel, was standing by the line of arrivals, ready to talk to whomever.