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Martine Inn

Martine Inn exterior

Pacific Grove, California, USA
Still searching for that perfect romantic getaway? Matt Short does the hard work so you don't have to – and falls head over heels in love with Monterey.

first impressions
Perched high above Monterey Bay and the stunning coastline beyond, the Martine Inn is guaranteed to melt the hearts of all but the most jaded traveller. This luxurious B&B offers unparalleled views of the region's beaches, and out across the deep blue Pacific.

As one of the region's oldest buildings, it's no surprise that the Inn is steeped in history and style. The original building was built in 1899 before undergoing a Mediterranean-style revamp in the 1920s. Luckily, many of its Victorian roots remain. The Inn is full to the brim with antique furnishings, silverware and other traditional artefacts. In fact, the whole guesthouse is packed with an eclectic assortment of weird and wonderful curios, including a selection of vintage cars out front.

The sweeping coastal views can be enjoyed from the authentic Victorian dining parlour or lounge – while listening to the 1920s grand piano. But this is no museum piece – the Martine is as bright and inviting as it is old.

What's more, it's only 20 minutes from the town's quaint harbour, and less than 15 from historic downtown.

Martine Inn bedroom

Whatever your taste, and your budget, you'll find it here. All 28 rooms are outfitted in the way you'd expect – Victorian fixtures and fittings blended with modern amenities.

Ocean View rooms come, as the name implies, with outstanding vistas of Monterey Bay. Each of the Ocean View rooms are cosy, light and spacious. Many have wood-burning fireplaces, while all have a myriad of traditional wooden furniture. The Parke suite even boasts a four-poster bed.

If you're looking for something a little more romantic, ask for a Romance Room – again with working fireplace and a deluxe king-sized bed.

Fireside Rooms are quaint, simple ... and quite small. But what they lack in size and splendour, they make up in original Victorian fittings and flamboyant wallpaper! The same can be said for the Intimate Rooms, except these are slightly smaller again.

But if size really does matter (which to many, it does) head for the Family Suite. This boasts its own private patio, sun terrace and two bedrooms – one king-sized, the other a twin.

All rooms come with a private bath and washroom. The Master suite boasts an original 1895 china and nickel ring shower!

Each room also boasts on-demand wireless internet access and TVs.

Here's a tip: during colder nights, it's an idea to light the fires an hour or two before sleeping – Victorian-style bedding isn't as thick as it might be!

food and drink
In true American style, expect a lavish selection of hot and cold entrees served in the dining room every evening from 5.30pm – accompanied by lashings of Monterey's own red and white wine. But be sure to head out for dinner – Monterey is famed for its eclectic assortment of seafood restaurants.

Breakfast at the Inn is served in the Victorian-style dining room, complete with period cutlery. The chef prepares a different entree daily alongside the usual pastries and juice. The menu is simple but honest. Fresh fruit, juices, and tea and coffee are also available.

service with a smile?
Owner Don Martine is proud of the Inn and his collection of antiques and oddities. If he happens to be in, he'll gladly give you a tour. If not, innkeeper Patricia is always on hand to offer assistance.

Coffee, tea and hot chocolate is available in the lobby from early morning until 9:00 pm. Afternoon snacks are also available in the foyer along with a large selection of fresh fruit. The lobby also features a collection of brochures and information on local attractions. You can buy tickets to the local aquarium and whale watching tours direct from the innkeepers. Or if it's a quiet evening in you're after, take a look at the wine list and have it delivered to your room on a silver tray (antique no doubt!).

But if it's modern luxuries you're expecting, then you've come to the wrong place. Nevertheless, it does give you time to relax in the peaceful surroundings. It also gives you time to explore the building itself. Keep an eye out for the 1890 white oak pool table and antique 1930's Jennings dime slot machine in the games room.

Owner Don also boasts a collection of vintage MG's including a 1950 MG TD Von Neuman Special Race car, all of which are on permanent display. If you ask nicely, he may even take you for a spin.

Martine Inn beach

local attractions
The Inn is conveniently located just minutes away from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The aquarium is host to a plethora of weird and wonderful creatures including the spectacular Giant Octopus and over fifteen species of Seahorse. But remember: much of Monterey's own marine life can be seen by gazing across the ocean from the aquarium's viewing decks. The Bay itself is home to more than 30 species of marine mammal which live in or pass through the region. These range from the sea otter to the mighty Blue Whale.

If you want to get up close and personal with a whale, contact the experts at Monterey Whale Watching. Tours starts from as little as $39.95, with a 99 per cent chance of spotting a whale. Landlubbers won't be disappointed either. Monterey is home to some spectacular walks and places of interest.

It was also the setting for John Steinbeck's 1945 classic novel, Cannery Row.

will it break the bank?
Unlikely. Rooms start at a mere $169. The grand Ocean View suite is available for $369 per night, while the Family Suite starts at just $359.

The Martine Inn
255 Oceanview Boulevard
Pacific Grove, CA 93950

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