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Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Mission Inn and Spa






Last weekend, Victor and I stayed at the Mission Inn and Spa in Riverside, CA.  The hotel is listed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's website.   Looking through the website, I realize I have actually now stayed at four historic hotels:

  • The Mission Inn and Spa (Riverside, CA)
  • Mohonk Mountain House (New Platz, NY)
  • The Queen Mary (Long Beach, CA)
  • The Fairmont Hotel (San Francisco)

We also had drinks at The Driskill Hotel (Austin, TX) where I ended up accidentally setting myself on fire...but that's a different story for a different day.

Back to the Mission Inn and Spa....we were going to a birthday party out near Riverside, so rather than make the 70 mile journey back to Los Angeles that night, we figured we would take the opportunity to make it a mini-vacation. We checked in about 9 pm on Saturday...the room was lovely, bigger than we expected with a four poster bed and flat screen TV.  Our room was on the second floor, facing the front of hotel, overlooking Las Campanas' (the hotel's Mexican restaurant) patio. We were a little concerned about the potential noise factor of the patio, but since the restaurant closes at 10 pm, we figured it wouldn't be an issue.   Frankly, pretty much every room in the hotel overlooks some noisy something:  the pool, the interior courtyard, the street or like us, the Mexican restaurant. We quickly found out the restaurant patio was not going to be the only potential noise issue as we heard high heels click, clicking to and fro above our heads on what sounded like either hardwood or tile...

Since it was still pretty early, we decided to explore the hotel grounds....it is a really interesting place with lots of nooks and crannies to explore.  I was pretty surprised at the level of access guests have to pretty much all areas of the hotel the only exception being the chapels.   What we did realize in our travels is that The Mission Inn is an event hotel....sure, all hotels hold events, but it seemed like this hotel, due to it's unique decor, specialized in events. This means lots of inebriated folks running around everywhere in formal wear celebrating, lots of staff setting up and breaking down tables, decor, etc in unused areas for the next event and wedding DJ music pumping out of an event room on the first floor (so glad our room wasn't above that!).    Thanks to front desk graciously supplying us with complimentary ear plugs (just give them a call and ask), we were able to get a fairly decent night sleep (only woken up once!).

The next morning was Easter (hence the Easter Bunny shot above), so the hotel was having a special Easter Brunch for $59 a person.   While we love the variety of an all you can eat brunch, $59 is a bit excessive, so we ordered room service.  We both got the "blueberry pancakes" which were just regular pancakes with a serving of blueberries on the side (huh?).   I should also mention, the pancakes tasted like they use a mix and just average blueberries (I had better tasting blueberries in my fridge at home).  I did enjoy my coffee though....

The tall and short of the whole experience was, the hotel is beautiful and cool to explore but don't come here for a restful, relaxing weekend...and if you want a great Sunday morning breakfast,  go elsewhere.