Marina Dunes Resort offers introductory rates through May

MARINA -- The Marina Dunes Resort, the first luxury property built on Monterey Bay in decades, opened in December with introductory rates of $119 per room, per night through May.

The property rests on 19 acres between the cities of Monterey and Santa Cruz and in the large expanse of sand dunes between the Pacific Ocean and state Highway 1.

The property is located 10 miles from Cannery Row in Monterey, home of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

It is the first hotel in the seaside town of Marina and the first oceanfront development approved by the California Coastal Commission since the 1976 passage of the California Coastal Act, which sets rigid controls on development along the oceanfront.

Built on the site of a former sand quarry that processed sand from the bay, the resort is funding a permanent restoration program in the dunes.

"In locations where we manage properties, it is part of our operating philosophy to be sensitive to the surrounding environment," said Helmut Horn, president of Chicago-based Coastal Hotel Group, which manages the resort.

"We were one of the first management companies in the U.S. to make this part of our standard operating practices."

Horn described the 60-unit Marina Dunes Resort as "an upscale boutique property" and said its key markets will be business and family travel.

The architecture of the hotel is "California bungalow," according to the company, with low-rise structures that blend with the surrounding landscape. The two-story main lodge contains two spa and massage treatment rooms, a fitness facility and 1,000 square feet of meeting space.

Behind the main lodge and surrounding the swimming pool area are 33 units that will be managed as time-shares. The units are located in five one- and two-story buildings.

Adjacent to the beach are the hotel accommodations, which are in 20 one- and two-story bungalows containing four units per building.

The resort's 120-seat restaurant is a two-story building with decor of the Old West and a menu of beef, chicken and seafood.

Rooms have oceanview decks with spa tubs, granite bathrooms with slate and tile finishes, gas fireplaces, wet bars, king-size beds and telephones with data ports for computers and faxes.

Suites offer separate sitting areas with leather loveseats and chairs, two TVs, granite-topped desks and double sink vanities.

Maureen Doran, former room division manager at the Highlands Inn, now a Park Hyatt, in nearby Carmel, was hired as general manager. Bobbi DeMore was named director of sales. She was also with the Highlands Inn, serving as director of sales and marketing.

For more information, visit the property's Web site at www.marinadunes.com or call (877) 944-3863.

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