The Mission Inn Hotel And Spa
The property began as a quaint adobe boarding house called The Glenwood Cottage, built by engineer/surveyor Christopher Columbus Miller and on November 22, 1876, the Millers took their first paying guest. In February 1880, Miller’s son Frank Augustus Miller purchased the hotel and land from his father. It became into a full-service hotel in the early 1900s due to California’s economic citrus boom and warm weather, attracting wealthy travelers and investors from East Coast and Europe. In 1902, Frank changed the name to the “Glenwood Mission Inn” and started building, in a variety of styles, until he died in 1935. Miller’s vision for the eclectic structure was drawn from many historical design periods, revivals, influences, and styles. Some are Spanish Gothic architecture, Mission Revival Style architecture, Moorish Revival architecture, Spanish Colonial style architecture, Spanish Colonial Revival Style architecture, Renaissance Revival architecture, and Mediterranean Revival Style architecture. With one section over another, addition upon addition, the result is a complicated and intricately built structure. It contains narrow passageways, exterior arcades, a medieval-style clock, a five-story rotunda, numerous patios and windows, castle towers, minarets, a Cloister Wing (with catacombs), flying buttresses, Mediterranean domes and a pedestrian sky bridge among many other features. During the 30-year construction period, Miller traveled the world, collecting treasures to bring back to the hotel for display. The St. Francis Chapel houses four large, stained-glass windows and two original mosaics by Louis Comfort Tiffany in 1906. The windows were salvaged from the Madison Square Presbyterian Church and the chapel purpose built to house them. The Mexican-Baroque styled “Rayas Altar” is 25 feet tall by 16 feet across, carved from cedar and completely covered in gold leaf. For his “Garden of Bells,” Miller collected over 800 bells, including one dating from the year 1247 described as the “oldest bell in Christendom.” Don’t forget to check out this place in Riverside too.
In 1932, Frank Miller opened the St. Francis Atrio. The “Famous Fliers’ Wall”, added by Miller’s son-in-law DeWitt Hutchings, was used to recognize notable aviators, including Amelia Earhart. On March 20, 1942, World War I ace Eddie Rickenbacker was honored at the inn, becoming the fifty-seventh flier added to the monument. Today, 151 fliers or groups of fliers are honored by having their signatures etched onto 10-inch-wide (250 mm) copper wings attached to the wall. Frank Miller died in 1935 and the inn continued under the management of his daughter and son-in-law, Allis and DeWitt Hutchings, who died in 1956. The inn then went through a series of ownership changes and some of its older rooms were converted to apartments and used as dorms for UC Riverside. In the early 1960s, St. John’s College considered buying it as a location for its western campus but abandoned negotiations when John Gaw Meem donated land in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 1992, Owner Duane Roberts rescued The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa from the brink of demolition, resurrecting the property’s iconic Spanish Mission-style opulence while modernizing the hotel with comfort, technology, culinary, shopping, wedding, and spa amenities. His wife, Owner, Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer Kelly Roberts, oversees the AAA Four Diamond-rated Mission Inn and maintains its lofty hospitality standards. The couple brings to life annual events such as the Festival of Lights, Feste dell’Amore, the Pumpkin Stroll, as well as immersive additions like Conde Nast Kelly’s Spa and Boutique and dynamic culinary venues. The Mission Inn, now known as The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, is a historic landmark hotel in downtown Riverside, California. Although a composite of many architectural styles, it is generally considered the largest Mission Revival Style building in the United States. Mission Inn Hotel & Spa is a member of Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
If you are looking to spoil yourself and spend some time forgetting about everything you have on your to-do list, then a trip to Mission Inn Hotel and Spa will do just that. In 1876 this building started off as a modest 12 room boarding house and throughout the decades it has expanded and adapted to become one of the finest hotels in the country. There are now 238 bedrooms, full of breath-taking architecture and stunning designs. At one point Riverside was the richest city per capita in the country and so the need for a grand resort hotel was high. Book a night here and you will see what drew 10 previous presidents through the doors and into this work of art. If you are ever in need of home renovation, click here.