We were taking advantage of a Travelzoo promotion; king room, bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. All this for what seemed a reasonable price for Pacific Grove, well under $200.00/night. Even in booking the package I couldn't help but wonder about its rating as the 6th worst out of 10. Or from their perspective, the 6th best in Pacific Grove.
I reasoned that the worst inn in Pacific Grove would probably be the best option in many towns. With an open mind we checked in about 4:30 pm on a Wednesday. We were greeted by the innkeeper and her trainee. After a few minutes of the innkeeper correcting the trainee I was reminded of a tough school teacher about to wrap the knuckles of the trainee with a ruler. Frankly it was making me uncomfortable as nearly everything the young lady did was repeated, and corrected by the innkeeper. Not a nice way to start out stay.
I knew the backstory. The Martine family purchased the Parke Mansion (of Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical fame) in 1972. They invested heavily in the estate to bring it up to current standards and thereafter starting renting the rooms. They rightly take pride in viewing the inn as almost a museum laden as it is with collections of antiques, silver and Don Martine's MG cars. For some people that would be great. For me it was a little weird.
I appreciate a good historic hotel. This inn, however, reminded me of grandma's musty old house. Mind you it wasn't musty, and was very clean, but the floral print of the drapes matching the floral print of the wallpaper was a little too old fashioned for me. I enjoyed the antiques but thought the mismatched pieces was more like a holistic vegetarian restaurant trying to be hip in a hippy, dippy way. The clawfoot bathtub was a nice feature, but of course a little difficult to take a shower in.
The property as a whole was not what I would call well laid out. Many of the rooms were in the main house but others were hidden around the property. We took a look main house rooms the next day after the guests had left. There is one room in particular that looks out over the ocean and has nice features. But many of the other rooms were rather small with the sink in the room and only a bathtub or shower in a separate room with the toilet.
Our room, The Captain's Room, appeared to be in what was formerly a garage. It faced onto the courtyard which made it kinda of dark. There was a room above us (yes, we could hear those guests quite easily but it was never a problem) but no one on either side.
Scattered around the mansion's various spaces were, not one, not two but seven of Don Martine's antique MG cars. Again, I appreciate a good classic car with the best of them but how this adds value to an inn is beyond me. Are they nice, yes, but do they make sense being here...I don't think so. A car museum which is also an inn?
Finally, the food was very good. They have a house chef. They freshly cut the fruit, vegetables and cheese before each wine hour. The morning's breakfast offered three options; oatmeal or granola, a regular egg dish or whatever the special of the day was. The chef made a wonderful blueberry French toast one day. A crab Benedict the next. Preceded by a fruit bowl, accompanied by fruit juice, the breakfast was a highlight of the visit.
In conclusion I can see where some people would absolutely love this place, and rightfully so. It is a unique place with some great features. I suspect there are some folks who return to this inn year after year because it is well located, reasonably priced and sits nearly on the water. For me, however, starting with the severe innkeeper, including the ghostly specter of Mr. Martine and ending with the overly proud display of cars and antiques, it was just kinda weird.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Imagine walking out the front door of your beautifully appointed room and gazing at a beachfront paradise. Take a few steps and smell the ocean and hear the baby seals as they sun themselves. The Martine Inn, a Pacific Grove hotel, provides the perfect romantic getaway for people who love nature and beachfront activities. The Martine Inn overlooks Monterey Bay and provides pristine views of the coastline. The hotel features amenities including:- Romantic Ideal Location- Stroll to Monterey Bay Aquarium and Cannery Row- Complimentary Gourmet Breakfast- Complimentary Evening Wine & Hors d'oeuvres. Complimentaty Wi-Fi. Library, Conference Room, Game Room with Billiards and Ping Pong Tables. Vintage MG Car disply. Escape to the Martine Inn for an unparalleled experience! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Martine Hotel Pacific Grove
- Martine Inn Pacific Grove