Best of 2000: Best Bed And Breakfast And Dancing

Bonni Marie's B&B
1000 Eighth Street, Coronado
(619) 435-2200

Until two years ago, the city said you had to dance. That was if you wanted to stay at Bonni Marie's B&B. For 14 years the diminutive dance teacher fought for the right to open her Coronado Victorian House as a bed and breakfast. But, for "only-in-Coronado" reasons, longtime residents and the council fought her. Finally, they arrived at a compromise: if she made guests' stays at the house officially "extended dance classes," which required their presence overnight, they could stay, and she could charge them. In other words, you stayed, you danced. By law. The odd thing is, people did. And since January 1998, when the council finally caved and designated her house a "bed and breakfast," plain and simple, 90 percent of her guests still take the dance lessons.

"Most executives have never had the time to learn dancing," she says. "Nor have newlyweds. But when I show them how easy it is, I see an emotional uplift, a light between husband and wife. I see it every time. Dancing is good for the heart in every way."

Bonni Marie, who's Armenian-Lebanese, will also give cooking lessons, and even lead you on fitness walks along the beach that wags say make local Navy SEALs sit up and take notice. Prices start at $250 a night -- including the dance lesson.

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