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Old Monterey Inn, Monterey 

500 Martin Street
Monterey , California
Tel: 831 375 8284
Tel: 800 350 2344
Fax: 831 375 6730
view web site ›'s insider take:

The best place to stay in Monterey is—surprise!—not the Monterey Plaza. In fact, it's this ten-bedroom Scottish Tudor mansion, built in 1929 for Monterey's first mayor. The inn sits in a residential neighborhood, shaded by century-old oaks and surrounded by gorgeous, meandering gardens. The interiors are done in classic English country manor style, with Oriental rugs, wide-plank floors, and beamed wood and plaster ceilings. Fabrics lean toward the floral, but they're not overly frilly. All ten have fireplaces (most wood-burning) and rich color schemes, from sunny yellow to navy blue. We have a few minor quibbles with the decor (think Renoir lithographs), but the new owner is slowly upgrading all rooms, with an eye toward simple elegance. Privacy is respected here: Though there's a wine-and–hors d'oeuvres hour, there's no pressure to join—nobody is going to make you pet the cat. And if you want to avoid other guests entirely, take the lavish breakfast in your room instead of in the formal dining room.

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