This was a weekend at the beach for us, and that was what we found just across the street. The sea was not warm enough for immersion above the knees, but there was a pool at the hotel which was maybe 2 or 3 degrees warmer, just bearable to keep the kids happy. The spa was my retreat to soak away 400 miles of "are we there yet?"
Santa Cruz is less than hour away, and is great entertainment for everyone, but it's nice to get back to a more peaceful Monterey.
We got the family suite, as it was comparable in price to 2 queen rooms at other locations; I believe the best way to maintain sanity on a trip with 2 small kids is to have a door between them and you at the end of the day.
Within easy walking distance is Denace the Menace Playground, definitely worth an hour or two of your kids' time, especially if you want to get them tired for the return trip.
We did not venture beyond the attached diner for breakfast; it serves a good menu at a reasonable price.More