This map was published in an 1889 Hotel Del Monte Souvenir Book (Courtesy of the Charette Collection).
Hotel Del Monte, created by railroad pioneer Charles Crocker, opened in June 1880. Skeptics called the project “Crocker’s Folly” and predicted that the resort would quickly fail. But in the first month of operation, Hotel Del Monte made a net profit of $11,300. With a capacity of just over 100 suites and guest rooms, the Del Monte manager had to turn down more than 3,000 reservation requests in the first six weeks.
Del Monte became a favorite for the leisure and recreation of America's presidents as well as leaders in business, industry and government. It gained international prominence, and received frequent visits by royalty, heads of states, and the upper class of the world and quickly earned a reputation as the “Queen of American Watering Places,” “The Most Elegant Seaside Resort in the World” and "California's Best Loved Resort."
Hotel Del Monte was the crown jewel in Crocker's 7,000-acre resort, with a 125-acre botanical garden surrounding the hotel. Guests enjoyed leisurely strolls through the landscaped grounds and carriage excursions into the Hotel Del Monte Park Reservation, better known today as Pebble Beach.
The carriage excursions were part of a cultural and scenic tour that lasted for several hours. Initially 18 miles long, the tour route was shortened and called the 17-Mile Drive. Contemporary roads take today's visitors along a portion of this original route in Pebble Beach,
Rutherford B. Hayes became America's first sitting president to visit California when his express train arrived at Hotel Del Monte in September 1880. He later wrote: "We shall always remember our visit to Monterey as one of the most agreeable episodes of our lives. We shall never forget that lovely hotel among the trees and flowers."
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Charles Crocker built the original Hotel Del Monte and sponsored the first military encampment there in 1880. This detail of Joseph Strong's painting, Camp Crocker - G Company, is courtesy of the Monterey Museum of Art and David and Jeanne Carlson. The painting depicts Crocker and family with the Second Artillery and Eighth Infantry Band.