When planning a Monterey meeting or gathering, it’s essential to ensure that everyone can enjoy the event to its fullest. Whether you’re hosting a wedding, family reunion, or business retreat, you want the experience to be as inclusive for everyone in attendance. Here’s how to plan such an event, along with some top accessibility-friendly locations to consider. 

Dos-and-Don'ts of Accessible Planning for Group Events

Whether you’re hosting people with mobility, hearing, or other disabilities, you can ensure that everyone is comfortable and able to participate in your event. 

Do: Create an Event Accessibility Checklist

Before you start planning, create a checklist for making your gathering fully inclusive. This might mean hiring an ASL interpreter or determining the number of accessible rooms a hotel offers. 

Don’t: Be Afraid to Ask the Venue for Help

Many venues will happily help accommodate your guests’ needs. They may also have resources available like accessible vans, lifts, armless chairs, or other helpful tools for you to use.

Do: Walk Through the Space to Address Accessibility Concerns

Before your Monterey event, troubleshoot anything that could make it inaccessible for guests. For example, if guests use wheelchairs, ensure the route they take is wide enough and provides direct access.

Don’t: Forget to Make Key Event Elements Accessible

For instance, if you are hosting someone in a wheelchair, make sure that your registration table is the proper height for them to reach. Restrooms are another important consideration to ensure that everyone is comfortable. 

Best Accessible Event and Meeting Spaces in Monterey County

The following accessibility-friendly venues are ideal for an inclusive gathering, as they all strive to accommodate people of different abilities. 

Asilomar Hotel and Conference Grounds

Asilomar Conference Grounds

This rustic locale offers various wheelchair-accessible meeting room options, renovated public restrooms, a pool lift, and stage lifts in two event spaces. It also boasts an accessible picnic and campfire area. To help people get around, the hotel offers a beach wheelchair, a van with a ramp, and a 24-hour shuttle to transport people and luggage throughout the property.

Casa Munras Garden Hotel and Spa

Casa Munras in Downtown Monterey has five meeting spaces and additional breakout rooms for meetings and conferences. It also provides 10 accessible parking spots, one van-accessible parking spot, accessible guest rooms, an accessible business center, and accessible paths to all public spaces, from the front desk to the pool. Large lettering on public signage throughout the property is another accessibility-friendly feature. 

Holman Ranch Estate Vineyard and Winery

Holman Ranch Estate VineyardsA sprawling estate popular for weddings, Holman Ranch provides an ADA-accessible ceremony, two on-site accessible parking spaces, an accessible restaurant and registration desk, and a well-lit path to its main entrance. Its guest rooms also have hardwood flooring to make wheelchair accessibility easier.

Monterey Conference Center

Monterey Conference Center is located between Portola Hotel & Spa and the Monterey Marriott. The facility has over 50,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting space and is ADA compliant offering accommodations such as wheelchair lifts, elevator standards, door width standards, and restroom accessibility. 

Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa

Monterey Plaza HotelThis historic hotel in Cannery Row provides accessible guest rooms, an exercise facility, a restaurant, a bar, and meeting rooms. It also provides accessible routes from its entrance to the restaurant, exercise facility, spa, and hot tubs. In addition, the hotel offers a swimming pool hoist, assistive listening devices for meetings, and closed captioning on televisions. 

Portola Hotel & Spa

Portola Hotel & Spa is located in the heart of downtown Monterey and only steps away from the Fisherman’s Wharf. This hotel offers accessible parking, 14 accessible guest rooms, braille on meeting room signs, ramp access from the garage to the spa, an accessible business center and more

Sanctuary Beach Resort 

Sanctuary Beach Resort Pearl Meeting SpaceThis luxury beach resort is idyllic for a Monterey meeting, wedding, or business retreat. Its ADA-compliant rooms feature wider doorways, additional grab bars, and roll-in showers. The resort's main gathering areas, including the entrance, meeting rooms, pool, public bathrooms, outdoor patio area, and restaurant, are fully accessible.

Hosting your next meeting or event in an accessibility-friendly venue can make all the difference to those with varying abilities. It’s always a good idea to be as inclusive as possible so that everyone can truly enjoy their experience.