Unique Amenities, Perks and
Boutique hotels and B&B inns are known for providing an escape from the cookie-cutter hotel chain experience with one-of-a-kind properties and personalized guest services. But some inns in California go a step further, offering unique amenities, perks and packages travelers won’t find anywhere else.
Overlooking the Monterey Bay in Pacific Grove, the historic Martine Inn also offers views of another sort: that of innkeeper Don Martine’s vintage MG sports car collection. Martine restores and races MGs and displays them at the inn. His collection ranges from a 1932 MG D to a 1967 MG B Roadster and includes the MGTD Von Neumann Special Race Car that won the first Pebble Beach Road Race in 1950. In addition to the MGs, the gallery also features vintage automotive art and equipment, racing trophies, and nearly 100 model cars. The inn itself is furnished with museum-quality American antiques. Many of the rooms have fireplaces, claw foot tubs, or views of the waves crashing against the rocky coastline.
Benbow Historic Inn in Garberville has two popular, long-standing guest perks: complimentary tea and scones served each afternoon in the lobby and the complimentary cream sherry that awaits each guest in their rooms. Since it first opened in 1926, the inn has served complimentary tea and scones daily in the English tradition. Guests have strongly resisted changes to the original scone recipe, so the recipe has remained unchanged for over 80 years. The complimentary in-room cream sherry is another long-standing tradition at the inn. The sweet, dark after-dinner spirit can be served over ice or on the side with a cup of the inn’s special blended coffee or tea. The inn features an award-winning restaurant and wine cellar, outdoor summer music series, golf, driving range, pool, Jacuzzi, sport court and more.
On the Mendocino coast, a popular guest perk at the Elk Cove Inn & Spa is the “Happy Two Hours.” Every afternoon between 4:00 and 6:00, the inn sets out an assortment of spirits, mixers, and garnishes for guests to make their own cocktails. Cocktail recipe books are provided, along with wine and snacks. Guests enjoy coming up with fun martinis as well as making classic cocktails. The inn offers spectacular ocean views, private steps to the beach, and a newly-renovated day spa. All accommodations feature fireplaces, private baths, cozy bathrobes, luxurious linens, and fresh flowers from the garden.
Milk and cookies is a standard nightcap for many inns, but at the Chanric Inn in Calistoga, the nightcap features complimentary Schramsberg bubbles “Méthode Champenoise” served with decadent French desserts. Other complimentary turn-down perks include Nespresso coffees and cappuccinos, fine teas from around the world, and chocolate truffles. The inn is a contemporary, upscale inn with an inviting pool, hot tub, garden patio, and massage room. Each of the guest rooms feature original art, modern furnishings, and private baths with marble showers, stone floors, and stone vessel sinks.
After dinner or a day of hiking in Pinnacles National Park, guests at the Joshua Inn Bed & Breakfast in Hollister enjoy unwinding beside the inn’s large outdoor fireplace. The cozy brick hearth provides an ideal spot to roast s’mores or sip wine beneath the stars. Fireside seating can accommodate up to eight people comfortably. The five-room Victorian inn is close to local wineries, restaurants, spas, golf courses and numerous parks; it also provides a base for exploring Santa Cruz, Monterey and Carmel.
In California’s Gold Country, the Eden Vale Inn offers discounted packages for rafting the most popular white water river in California: the American River. Guests can save 10% off their rafting adventures when they stay two or more nights at the inn (48 hours advance notice is required). Based on guests’ experience level and interests, the inn will coordinate the trip with one of the many reputable rafting companies in the Coloma Valley. Options include half-day and full-day trips on the splashy Class II and III sections of the South Fork of the American River or the more challenging Class IV rapids of the Middle Fork. The rafting packages include an experienced rafting guide and equipment rental. The cost typically ranges between $91 and $120 per person. Back at the inn, guests can enjoy s’mores around the firepit. The inn features contemporary guest rooms with private baths, acres of Sierra Foothills gardens and a beautiful swimming pond.
As a tribute to a favorite summer pastime for many Northern California Coast locals, Brewery Gulch Inn in Mendocino has created the “Light Up The Night” beach bonfire package. The package, a $125 add-on to any regular room rate, allows inn guests to experience the romance of the secluded Big River Beach, where innkeepers will set the scene for a magical evening under the stars. The package includes two luxury beach recliner chairs dressed with warm, cozy throws, a bonfire with extra wood for fueling the flame, a bottle of wine, all the fixings for s’mores, and a constellation map for stargazing. The contemporary Arts and Crafts-style inn features dramatic use of eco-salvaged redwood timber. All of the rooms offer fireplaces, Italian linens and leather chairs; many also have ocean views. The “Light Up The Night” package must be booked 72-hours in advance and is based on availability.
North of San Diego, the Balinese-themed Pantai Inn offers an Ultimate Family Vacation package for families to enjoy an unforgettable stay in La Jolla. The package include a two-hour yacht tour of San Diego from the water, stand up paddle board lessons for the family, a professional photographer to capture special moments and a personal concierge to cater to every dining whim. The total package price is $1800 per group of 4-20 people, plus $215 per person. Children 12 and under are $95 per person. Price excludes the cost of overnight accommodations, alcoholic beverages, taxes and service charge. May not be combined with other packages or offers; some conditions apply. The package is available to guests staying in two to three bedroom suites. A three-night minimum stay is required. Package must be reserved at least seven days in advance. Activities are subject to availability. The inn is a collection of oceanfront cottages, bungalows and townhouses blending Bali’s old-world charm with modern amenities.