Monterey Marriott, an accessible review for blind and low vision travelers

The curtains are drawn and it is bright outside in this photo of a king bed room at the Monterey Marriott. The room looks spacious with lots of space to move around.

Monterey Marriott, Monterey Ca. 

Hotel: Monterey Marriott

Location: Monterey Ca.

Accessibility: 2/5


On a recent photo excursion creating tactile and accessible photographs for the amazing folks at Flight For Sight @FlightForSight we had the opportunity to stay at the Monterey Marriott in Monterey Ca. The hotel is pet friendly and located a short walk from the old Fisherman’s Wharf. How was the accessibility for blind and low vision guests? Let’s talk about it.

Property Overview

The Monterey Marriott is located a short 7-minute walk from the old Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey Ca. Visiting the wharf is the main attraction for this hotel and it was easy to get to the water. The route to get to the wharf is flat and relatively clear of obstructions and had a ton of places to sit along the way, making it easily navigable for vision impaired and mobility impaired guests alike. There is plenty of shopping to be found along the walk to the Wharf and there are loads of great places to eat once you reach the Wharf.

Checking in

The check-in desk is located directly in front of you as you enter the lobby of the property. Elevators are located directly to the left as you enter the property, and a large staircase heads up to the second floor where the pet relieving area is located (more on that in a minute).  

Check in was straightforward but the staff were not as engaging compared to most other Mariott properties. They weren’t mean or rude, but they weren’t overly friendly either. I don’t know if this is because I had my guide dog Fauna with me, but overall, the staff was lackluster in the way they treated us compared to other Marriott properties.

Navigating the hotel

Navigation is where the Monterey Marriott loses some if it’s rating potential. In most hotels, there can be a little turn or a jog when you exit the elevators and head to your room. We all expect that and it is easy to navigate. The Monterey Marriott has an odd layout when it comes to getting to your room. As you exit the elevators, there is a series of fire doors (my wife had to explain this to me) that create a small square “roundabout” which can easily turn someone who cannot see around and get you heading down the wrong hallway away from your room. I did this several times when navigating solo. I assume it is due to fire code and the hotel has to have a certain number of fire doors to make sure the property is up to code, but they just end up causing navigation confusion.

Once you are on the right path toward your room however, finding the rooms was straightforward and the room numbers were marked in braille as you would expect. I am sure it is one of those things that you can get used to but we were only in the hotel one night, so confusion lingered for me.    

The Rooms

As with most Marriott properties, the rooms were spacious. We stayed in a king room and there was plenty of space to navigate the room and my guide dog had lots of floor space to stretch out on. There was plenty of room to move around, even for a guest with mobility aids. As is commonplace with most hotels, the shower gel and shampoo were poorly marked, and I would suggest bringing an AI app to identify which is which. To be fair, they did follow the shampoo on the left, conditioner in the middle and shower gel on the right convention.  

Fauna the black lab guide dog stands in the tiny relieving area at the Monterey Marriott.

Pet friendly?

The Monterey Marriott advertises itself as pet friendly. We did see a couple of other dogs while at the property but their amenities for the dogs were lacking to say the least. The relieving area for service dogs was located on the mezzanine level – which I thought was odd. The relieving area was a four by two foot raised planter box with some astroturf type grass. The easiest way to get to the relieving area is to exit the elevators and head straight ahead to the doors. There are a few benches so watch your shin. Once you exit the doors, they will lock behind you if it is after 7pm or before 6am, forcing you to walk down a rounded staircase with uneven sized stairs to reenter through the front door. When it was time to relieve before bed, we solved this problem by having my wife Carrie wait for my guide Fauna and I just inside the door to open it when we were done.

Fauna was not at all happy about the cramped quarters, even though she is well versed in relieving in adverse conditions like parking lots and in alleys. For the morning relief we took a walk to the dog relief area located a couple blocks away. To get there, exit the front door and follow the sidewalk to the left until you get to the corner with the walk signal. All of the signals in the area have walk and street announcements. Once you cross head right for a short distance then turn sharply left and walk down the outside shopping mall. The navigation was clear and straightforward to get to the dog relieving area which was on the right side of the path. Overall, it was not super convenient, but it was close to the hotel.

Navigating the area

As mentioned earlier, all of the streets around the hotel have crossing klaxons and announce which street signal is active. If you exit the hotel and head left to the corner, and cross right there is a Starbucks straight ahead of you. If you turn right once you cross the street, there is a British style pub a very short way down the street.

Getting to the Wharf is straightforward, head left to the corner out of the property and cross straight ahead, turn right and walk straight for about 4 blocks. A second option to get to the wharf area is to work your way through the shopping area to get to the wharf. Its easy to get lost in the shopping area, so I suggest heading straight from the crossing by the hotel to the water even though it is a little longer walk.

Cloudy skies cover this photo of flowers in from of the old fisherman's wharf in Monterey Ca. A building stands over th water on pilings and boats docked can be seen in the distance.


When I review the accessibility of a property, I take many variables into consideration when deciding on a final score. Even a mostly inaccessible property can yield a middle score if the staff is willing to help and available to answer questions about navigating the area or property.  I don’t even ding a property on shampoo bottles not being well marked because that is common among most of the properties we visit. Where a property will get points off is difficulty in navigating the area. If tables and other obstructions are strewn around the lobby, or in the case of the Monterey Marriott if navigating to your room is difficult. Because of the layout of the floors, and the placement of the fire doors confusing paths are created which can hinder easily finding your room. Lack of relief areas for service animals will also cost a property points. In this case the relief area was accessible but the locking doors, having to traverse uneven stairs to get back into the hotel and the incomprehensibly small relief area makes the property only good for small “service” dogs.

I did like the comfort of the rooms, and the area around the hotel was very navigable. I had no problems finding food, the wharf and coffee in the morning. But difficulty in navigation of the halls to get to the rooms and the strange relief area made it difficult for me to recommend this property.

What do you think? Have you stayed at the Monterey Marriott? What was your experience? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this property or ideas about where we should head next. Drop us a message on social media at the links below or on the contact page from the menu above.

Safe travels, fellow wanderers!

“Traveling, without sight, is an extraordinary journey of exploration. In the quiet footsteps and whispered winds, you discover a world painted in sensations—the warmth of sun-kissed stones, the rhythm of bustling streets, and the symphony of unfamiliar voices. Each tactile map, each shared laughter, becomes a constellation of memories etched upon your soul. In the vastness of the unknown, you find not darkness, but a canvas waiting for your touch—a masterpiece woven from courage, resilience, and the sheer wonder of exploration.” – Ted Tahquechi

About the author

Ted Tahquechi is a blind photographer, travel influencer, disability advocate and photo educator based in Denver, Colorado. You can see more of Ted’s work at

Ted operates Blind Travels, a travel blog designed specifically to empower blind and visually impaired travelers.

Ted’s body-positive Landscapes of the Body project has been shown all over the world, learn more about this intriguing collection of photographic work at:

 Questions or comments? Feel free to email Ted at: 

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