Martine Inn

Putting the Room in Vrroom

Host: Don Martine, owner of the Martine Inn

Talent: Vintage-car restorer and racer



“Transported back in time” sounds cliché, but sometimes it fits. Every room in Don Martine’s namesake Monterey Bay inn has antique Victorian flourishes — think Queen Anne couches, floral wallpaper, four-poster beds and a vintage billiards table. And the mesmerizing 50-mile views across the water seem to stop the clock..

Besides running a high-end inn, Martine is a lover, restorer and racer of vintage MGs, the iconic British car brand. He’s been competing for decades, and guests love seeing Martine’s four-wheel stunners on display, gleaming like the sun off the bay. He didn’t initially think they’d get revved up over them, but after a journalist wrote to “ask Don about his cars,” the dome light went on. Martine’s enthusiasm for speed started early; a photo shows a young boy holding a grease gun in front of his dad’s gas station. He was trying to make his pedal car go faster. Like the constant tinkering required to get the most out of each car, Martine says he likes the B&B business because it’s always a work in progress. Tweak here, update there, and you’ve improved the menu or check-in process.




Holiday Music Motel

If These Walls Could Sing

Host: pat mAcdonald

Talent: Grammy-nominated musician


Fortunately, “The Future's So Bright (I Gotta Wear Shades),” Timbuk3’s jaunty ’80s hit about impending nuclear holocaust, continues to refer to the future. We’re still here, so we get to enjoy co-writer pat mAcdonald and his musician friends’ noteworthy digs in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

This historic waterfront city is home to the Steel Bridge Songfest, a renowned annual songwriting workshop/musician’s showcase co-founded by mAcdonald and friend Jackson Browne. There’s also an impressive year-round local band scene and an eclectic downtown.

The Holiday Music Motel (HMM) is like a classic 1950s Les Paul with some digital-age updates. Mid-century Modern decor that was just modern when the original neon sign switched on in ’52 is balanced by 21st-century amenities like hypoallergenic pillows and energy-efficient green tech. Rooms and common areas boast original 1950s Simmons furnishings complemented by paintings and glass fixtures from local artists. A retro-diner-styled space hosts the daily Continental breakfast.

The music-first ethos literally runs through the joint; all rooms are wired for potential hookup to the onsite recording studio, manned by a Grammy-nominated sound engineer, and the lobby offers axes for guest noodling.

It’s hard to understate how integral HMM is to the local music scene. It hosts open mics, “house” concerts, live recordings for public television, an onsite radio station and songwriting events. All told, the tunes recorded on-premise exceed 1,200.




Bethel Hill Bed and Breakfast

Snow Way But Down

Host: Scott Gould, co-owner of the Bethel Hill Bed and Breakfast

Talent: Ski instructor


A village awarded to Americans for their ancestors’ botched 1690 invasion of Canada? Reason enough to visit Western Maine’s Bethel, an idyllic 18th-century spot surrounded by ski-tastic mountains, legendary hiking and wildlife-rich national forests. Visitors who come to ski — or want to learn — should strongly consider staying at the Bethel Hill Bed and Breakfast. Co-host Scott Gould has been teaching alpine skiing for 23 years, with eight of those focused on coaching kids. Get insight on the powder trails at the nearby Sunday River Ski Resort, Maine’s winter sports center, or learn how to stay on said trails with a private lesson from the ever-accommodating Scott.

Inside the unpretentious and spotless Cape Cod–styled B&B, guests will find antique mahogany furniture; paintings from Scott’s wife and co-collaborator, Carol; and rave-worthy waffles, pancakes and egg dishes. As one reviewer put it, “It’s like your home — only better.”




Cape Cod's Lamb and Lion Inn

Don’t B&B Cruel

Host: Tommy Dotts, co-owner of the Lamb and Lion Inn

Talent: Elvis impersonator


Elvis, one of the great pelvic-thrusting talents of our time, may be gone, but he’s certainly not forgotten. Not by Tommy Dotts, at least, co-owner of Cape Cod’s upscale Lamb and Lion Inn, a 1740s charmer known for its social vibe and mouth-watering sticky buns.

Dotts, you see, has an alter ego. He side hustles as an Elvis impersonator, embodying the King to implore the chamber of commerce to don’t be cruel to local business, occasionally performing mini-shows for starstruck guests or enthusiastically delivering breakfast in sideburns, shades and sequins.

The inn is far from a heartbreak hotel. A central courtyard showcases a solar-heated saltwater pool, all suites have fireplaces and there’s yoga-slash-spa on the premises. It’s also near the beach if you’re ready for a little less conversation and a little more tanning.




Artist's Inn & Gallery - Terre Hill, PA

Pencil Us Inn

Host: Bruce Garrabrandt, co-owner of the Artist’s Inn

Talent: Colored-pencil artist


Marriage is the art of the compromise. Jan Garrabrandt’s vision was to run a B&B. Her husband, Bruce, an ironically inclined colored-pencil artist, wanted a gallery. (See his “Mr. Potato Head’s Worst Nightmare” about being julienned, fried and salted.) The Artist’s Inn, a 19th-century stone beauty in Lancaster County, worked out for both.

The inn is situated in the agrarian heart of Amish country, where life slows down to an amble and guests idle next to in-suite gas stoves after a lazy day of antiquing, or take in clip-clopping horse-drawn buggies from a front-porch rocker.

Dabble in art? Don’t be sheepish about asking for tips, says Bruce, who’s always happy to offer private lessons. “I enjoy seeing how other people create. Drop a still life in front of 100 different artists, you’ll get 100 different takes.”

But the real Picasso? Bruce says it’s Jan, the creative force behind breakfast crepes, muffins and French toast, as well as the cozy interior design and vivid exterior gardens. “I pour coffee and try not to spill food on guests,” says Bruce, who claims an unblemished 21-year streak of stain-free visitors.





—by Daniel Askin