Newly-renovated on Moonstone Beach
The Blue Whale Inn was a well known and regarded bed and breakfast with a Victorian style decor. Now with new owners, Michael and Shannon Sanders, it has become the 9 Iron Inn and is totally renovated in a contemporary Western style. The Sanders, a ranching family from Porterville, formerly owned the 9 Iron Steak House. The name reflects one of their cattle brands, as well as the nine inch cast iron skillet used in cooking. Like the brand itself, the Inn is distinctive and one of a kind.
Sanders hired their Innkeeper, Michelle, after she spent time working as assistant to the contractor, David Graves, during the Inn’s renovation. Joining Michelle at the 9 Iron Inn are her daughter Brina, who daily bakes a batch of cookies for the Inn’s guests, and her son Aidan.
“I cook every day for our guests,” Michelle said, “and serve dishes such as quiche, omelets, bacon, French toast, Danish, and seasonal fruits. Sometimes I go all out and make biscuits and gravy!” She shops for local produce and fruits at the Friday Farmer’s Market and accommodates all special diet requests like the need for gluten free food, or if someone has a specific allergy. Brina’s cookies have become a hit, with returning guests asking for special requests such as her Chipadoodle cookie.
Western décor, comfortable rooms
Michelle was in on all of the decisions about the change of décor for the Inn. “The style was previously very Laura Ashley in design,” she said, “there was wallpaper and flowery accessories; very foo-foo.” The change is dramatic and it is obvious as one enters the lobby. Guests can relax on comfortable and stylish leather sofas and chairs that reflect the new Western theme and enjoy the expansive view of the ocean from the large picture windows.
There is one suite with a living room with comfortable sofa and chair, flat screen TV, a two-sided fireplace, so that it can be enjoyed in the bedroom also, a huge bathroom with a walk-in shower and large Jacuzzi tub with a view of the ocean. The décor of the suite is upscale and contemporary.
The other six rooms have contemporary Western cabin décor with wood paneling, comfortable sofas, some of which are pull-outs for extra guests, gas fireplaces, flat screen TVs, and whirlpool tubs. All rooms have free Wi-Fi, microwaves, refrigerators, ironing board and iron, hair dryers and bathrobes.
Organic soaps & bamboo linens
“Our organic soaps and shampoos are made by William Roam Company produced in the United States,” Michelle commented. “Chocolates come from Le Belge of the Napa Valley.”
All the mattresses are pillow top for the most comfortable sleep. “We use bamboo linens,” Michelle explained, “and bamboo towels. The sheets are more comfortable than cotton and allow you to sleep under a comforter and not feel overly hot.” Bamboo linens are incredibly soft, hypoallergenic and allow the skin to breathe. “It’s not about the thread count,” Michelle added, “it’s about the fiber.”
Michelle can accommodate requests for guests’ special occasions and has excellent relationships with Cambria restaurants and businesses.
Michelle said it was a busy summer season and she has learned a lot in this her first endeavor as an innkeeper. “I most enjoyed meeting some of the former guests that stayed at the Inn before the renovation,” she said. “I love hearing their stories about the times when they previously stayed here and I am always sad when they leave. I didn’t realize when I took this position that I would get that close with the guests, but I do. It is a different kind of career for me and I didn’t expect that, but now I have a passion for it.”
For more information see www.9ironinn.com or call (805) 927-4647.
– Ruth Ann Angus