Steps from Monterey Bay in the charming town of Pacific Grove, the Martine Inn speaks the language of comfortable luxury. This historic Monterey Bay hotel bed and breakfast is in a prime position from which to enjoy the many activities of this stunningly beautiful area of the California coast.
Built in 1902 and originally owned by James Parke of Parke-Davis Pharmaceuticals, the Parke Mansion over the years was home to famous guests such as Edith Head, renowned costume designer to Hollywood’s most prominent celebrities of her time.
In the 1970s, current owner Don Martine purchased the then-abandoned mansion, initially dividing the home into several apartments. A decade later he took on the much larger task of restoring the mansion to its former glory and transforming it into a fashionable Monterey Bay Hotel. The Martine Inn was born.
Magnificent Rooms and Furnishings
Period antique furnishings and décor adorn the guest rooms and common areas of this Monterey Bay hotel bed and breakfast, with thoughtful details hinting at its elegant past while still retaining an unassuming warmth and inviting ambience.
Guest rooms and suites are individually decorated, offering ocean or garden views, some with fireplaces and others with romantic canopy beds. Adding to the inn’s charm and connecting to its history, each guest room is named rather than numbered. I had the pleasure of staying in Marie’s Room, named after the Parke’s niece who occupied this room for over 20 years.
Graced with large windows on two sides and furnished with elegant antiques, my second-floor corner room provided a fabulous ocean view that continues down the Ocean Trail. Strategically placed chairs offered a comfortable corner for a cup of tea or glass of wine while enjoying the passing sailboats and playful sea otters. A comfy pillow-top King bed provided a good night’s rest, and the romantic clawfoot tub was perfect for a relaxing soak after a full day of exploring the area.
Hotel Near Monterey Bay Aquarium
The world famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, a must-see for anyone traveling near the area, is a 10 minute walk from the Martine Inn. You won’t find a better hotel near Monterey Bay Aquarium – just a half mile.
The city of Monterey and Pacific Grove are next door neighbors. With its famous Cannery Row, immortalized by John Steinbeck’ novel, there’s much more to see and do in Monterey Bay than just the aquarium. Martine Inn’s hotel near Monterey Bay Aquarium location allows you to explore all of it on foot.
Dive into some Monterey Clam Chowder at Old Fisherman’s Wharf and enjoy its touristy, but fun vibe at the local bars and restaurants lining the pier.
Whale watching boat trips depart daily right from Fisherman’s Wharf and are a not-to-be-missed. This is where you can spot humpbacks and grey or blue whales depending on the season. This was my top bucket-list activity during my stay, and I must admit that it far exceeded my expectations.
The Monterey region also has a fascinating wine history with its 42,000 acres of vineyards rivaling Napa Valley. Visitors can experience the region’s wines firsthand with a tour and tasting from one of the 150+ wineries within Monterey County.
In nearby Carmel-By-The-Sea, beautiful beaches along with notable hotels and restaurants frequented by celebrities give this town a mix of Old-World elegance and modern flair, punctuated by an artistic vibe.
Just outside of downtown Carmel, the Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmel was built in 1771 as the second of 21 California missions. As the ecclesiastical capital of California, it’s one of the most authentically restored Catholic mission churches in California.
All of this at your fingertips when staying at the Martine Inn hotel Monterey Bay.
Savor the Impressive VIP Breakfast
Breakfast is a special experience at the Martine Inn. Chef-prepared and served on beautiful silver platters and bone china, each morning revealed a different and delicious surprise. My favorite during my three-night stay at this Monterey Bay hotel was the Eggs Florentine, a creative twist on Eggs Benedict. Every vintage table in the Breakfast Room is focused on the ocean views, and you may even spot some dolphins before you finish your first cup of coffee. Binoculars are set on the windowsills for that very purpose.
The Breakfast Room doubles as the Happy Hour spot each evening. Wine and appetizers accompany romantic sunsets. Even though my room had a private corner view of the ocean, I still enjoyed going down to share the magnificent sunsets with the other guests.
One evening I missed Happy Hour after a full day of exploring. Our lovely innkeeper Amanda couldn’t have been more accommodating, offering to make a plate for me along with a glass of wine. Thoughtful gestures like this reflect Mr. Martine’s mission to provide each guest with the utmost in personalized service, from the time of arrival to checkout.
You’ll Love This Hotel in Monterey on the Beach
If you want a hotel in Monterey on the beach, the Martine Inn is about as close as you can get. Directly across the street from the Martine Inn is the Ocean Trail, frequented by cyclists, runners and walkers. This was my early morning walking route to Lovers Point Park, Pacific Grove’s most popular shoreline recreational area for surfers, kayakers, and those looking to just explore the park and beach while taking in the fresh, salty ocean air.
A short walk in the opposite direction is the Hopkins Marine Station, where your new-found friends, the harbor seals, hang out beach side and teach their young pups to swim. It’s a fascinating tradition to watch.
There is also direct access to charming downtown Pacific Grove, a short and pleasant stroll away where visitors can browse local shops and galleries housed in pretty-as-a-picture Victorian buildings.
Tempt your tastebuds at one of the town’s two dozen restaurants and cafes known for their fresh regional cuisine. Taking organic to the next level, Wild Fish on Lighthouse Avenue offers entrees with a focus on the freshest seafood, naming the fishermen, fishing boats, and location for their wild-sourced catches.
The Great Outdoors and the 17-Mile Drive
The spectacular 17-Mile Drive is one of the most scenic drives in California. Visitors can start at the Pacific Grove Gate, but should allow time for stops to enjoy dramatic coastal cliffs, ancient forests, breathtaking ocean vistas, white-sandy rugged beaches, and countless photo ops including the infamous Lone Cypress. This area is great for hiking, cycling, bird watching and many more outdoor activities.
If you stop before sunset at Spanish Bay, you can hear the haunting sounds of the bagpipes playing at The Links at Spanish Bay. And if you have a spare $575, you can even stop to play the world-famous Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Looping back to Pacific Grove, I would highly recommend a visit to the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary, an over-wintering destination for some 14,000 monarchs. The Point Pinos Lighthouse here is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the West Coast.
The Owner’s Fascinating Hobbies on Display
Along with his passion for providing guests the best experience possible, Don Martine has some other very interesting passions, one of which is a love for collecting, restoring and racing classic cars – specifically MGs. He has competed in over 400 races including Pebble Beach and won 25 of them. For vintage car enthusiasts, several of his cars are on display next to the courtyard for viewing.
A Game Room is also located in the courtyard, complete with an 1890s antique pool and ping pong table.
There’s so much more to this hotel near Monterey Bay Aquarium than meets the eye!
Highly Recommend the Martine Inn
My three-night solo stay at Martine Inn Monterey Bay hotel left me wanting to return to share this fabulous experience as an annual getaway with my husband. To taste more fabulous food and wine, to learn more about the history and local culture of the area, and to experience more of the natural surroundings in this heavenly part of California.
As I checked out of Martine Inn on my last morning, I couldn’t help but ask myself, “What delicious breakfast surprise am I missing on Day Four?”beachfrontBoutiquecalifornia vacation rentalhistoricMonterey