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No room at the inn for too-young Bakersfield honeymooners

Young_couple It was to be the perfect end to a perfect day. Hillary and Jason Martin had just gotten married. They arrived at Bakersfield's swank Padre Hotel -- the bride in her wedding dress, the groom in Marine Corps dress blues.

Martin2(2) They were 18 and in love.

They were 18 and out of luck.

The high school sweethearts and parents of twin 9-month-old boys were old enough to marry. Jason Martin, on leave after completing boot camp, was old enough to join the Marines. The Padre Hotel's age policy, however, required them to be at least 21 to rent a room.

"I was so upset," Hillary Martin said. "I planned the wedding, so I felt this was my fault. It was all just falling apart. In the car, I just broke down. I thought, 'Here I am looking for a place to stay on my honeymoon.'"

The Nov. 12 case of cubiculum interruptus found its way to the local media thanks to an angry cousin of Hillary's. The hotel's manager explained to a television reporter that employees were simply following a longstanding policy for which no exceptions are made.

And just like that, the hotel -- a newly renovated Bakersfield landmark where the "Oil Baron Suite" will set you back $649 tonight -- found itself with a sticky public relations problem.

"This is an outrage!" a reader posted on the Bakersfield Californian's website. "If a person can sign up to fight and possibly die for his country then he should be able to stay at any hotel he wants to."

On Thursday, Brett Miller, a co-owner of the Padre Hotel, apologized to Hillary Martin.

"He was very sincere," she said.

Miller explained the hotel's policy is intended to prevent underage drinking and partying. He offered the Martins a room and dinner -- on him.

"An exception should have been made. If you show up in a military uniform and a wedding gown -- sure, we'll give you a room," Miller said in an interview. "When I found out all the facts, I was sick to my stomach. This should have never happened."

While the Martins will never get their perfect wedding night back, they will at least have a story to tell their grandchildren.

After leaving the Padre Hotel, they drove around Bakersfield for a bit, looking for a room before settling in at a Doubletree hotel.

"They had a military discount," Hillary said. "They were very sweet. We even got a free breakfast."

-- Mike Anton

Photo: Hillary Martin holds her twin 9-month-old boys, Kaine, left, and Beau in front of the Padre Hotel in donwtown Bakersfield. Martin and her newlywed husband, Jason, who was wearing his U.S. Marine Corps dress blues, were unable to rent a room on their wedding night because the 18-year-olds are younger than the Padre's age policy. Credit: Michael Fagans / The Californian / Family handout

Comments () | Archives (91)

It was a huge mistake for two 18-year-olds to get married, but still, they should have been able to get a room to consummate their pre-divorce.

Arlo = total douche
The manager should be fired and I would boycott this place!

...rules are rules...who cares what you do for a living...

If they are both 18 and have 9 month old babies I'd imagine they had no trouble getting in to other hotels when they were 17 or 16 or 15 ...

Who would want to spend their honeymoon in Bakersfield? Just askin! :)

the weddind was 9 months too late. the hotel policy says 21. so 18 should be acceptable because he is a soldier? or he is a student? or a bum. why have rules, like the feds, if you don't enforce them?


does being in the military give license for poor decision making

in everyday decisions


It's good for hotel denying them the room. Anyone that is marine been brainwashed and as such should be denied a room. I hope he remembers that day for the rest of his life.

Sorry, but at 18 you are a legal adult in this state. Hotel needs th change its policy.

Bakersfield and "swank" don't belong in the same sentence,.

Parents at 17. So at 34 years of age they will have 17 year old kids. And if kids have kids at 17, then the love birds are grandparents at 34. Wow.

18 years old, married, and with two children???? THAT is what this article should be about!

the Padre's hotels website even goes further to promote themselves as:

- "casually sophisticated boutique hotel "

and I love this one -
- "New standard for 21st century adult entertainment"

I'm sure it's a "new" standard for 21st century AE - cuz if you go to B-field for AE - that certainly is a "new" standard

Great investigative reporting LAT! I'll sleep better knowing you're on top of this story.

That is cold. At 18 you are old enough to get married, have kids and even join the military to die for your country. But you can't get a room in the hotel with your wife. Because what? You are not old enough. (That is deep!!)

Well said Yuck. 18 year old newlyweds with 9-month old twins? Isn't that the larger issue here?. They are having to grow up awful fast.

Swank hotel? No such thing in Bakersfield. Posing for the story suggests a law suit in he making. An adult would of told the hotel to shove it and left for a better place and been grateful they found out about the idiots at this hotel.

javier, it seems you're the only one with the insight to see the mistake these kids made. but the babies are here and they need to try to make a decent life for them. there's only a 1% chance their marriage will make it, but who knows? maybe they'll be lucky. for the babies' sake, I hope they are.

Hmmm, it looks like they bypassed the wedding and went straight to the "wedding night" about 18 months ago. ;-)

If the hotel personnel are not able to decide on the spot, they should at least contact top management to see what can be done. I am not saying that people who are in uniform should be given special treatment, but sometimes common sense dictates that an exception should be made once in a while.

Boycott, red-neck Riverside! People there are so narrow-minded they are cross eyed. May the Martins and their family live happily ever after!!

More people should have children at that age. The longer you put it off, the greater the chances are that you'll end up a crazy old single woman heavily involved in leftist politics and living in a crappy apartment with 100 cats.

My son and his friend went to San Francisco to pick up a car they had wanted to buy via craigslist. It got late and they had no place to stay. Same thing happened as they were only 18. It did not matter that they were good kids who never threw an illegal party in their life, never had been in trouble, had no plans to do anything but sleep. I had to get on the phone with the only motel that would even discuss it, give them my personal credit card and personally guarantee that they would not hurt the room before they could stay the night. I felt it was completely outrageous. Now 18 year olds can't travel? Because of few bad apples? Unbelievable.

Glad the owner made things right in the long run. God speed to the Marine and his beautiful family. Thanks for your service!

hmm... I don't know. The person making the reservation should have asked ahead of time. Rules are rules. Hotels can make exceptions but you have to discuss it with them too. The front desk clerks don't want to get into trouble for breaking the rules either.

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