This historic 1929, Tudor-style mansion (it belonged to Monterey's first mayor) is just what most people hope to find when they book a B&B stay. The welcome is wonderfully warm and personal, the house is overflowing with gorgeous antiques (many of which the former Mayor owned) and the breakfast...oh, the breakfast! A three-course feast, it changes daily but always includes home-baked goods and creative-versions of the standards crafted from the freshest of ingredients. Chow down in the grand dining room (on china that wouldn't look out of place at Downton Abbey); or in your room. Your choice. As for the rooms, each is uniquely charming. Some have fireplaces, some stained glass windows and skylights and all have lovely antiques and mattresses topped by luscious feather beds and down duvets. Those rooms that face the exquisite garden (endowed with rose bushes and a bubbling brook) have private entrances, a plus for those who prefer not to have their comings and goings monitered. In addition to the rooms in the house, an on-site cottage features a two-seater jacuzzi, wood-burning stove and a majestic king sized bed. Final perks: included hors doerves and wine every day from 4:30 to 6pm; and the use of house beach towels and blankets should you decide to spend a day at the shore. Some have called this one of the finest B&B's in the United States, and we have to concur.
- Pauline Frommer