Recently recognized as the “Best Historic Hotel” in the country by USA TODAY’s 10BEST.com, The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa is celebrating this esteemed award with a curated guide to the “10 Best” experiences at the iconic Southern California hotel. The hotel is also offering an exclusive room rate throughout August and September as a special gift to guests, visitors, and readers for their loyal support.
“We are delighted that The Inn has once again been recognized on a national scale,” said Duane and Kelly Roberts, owners of The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa. “We are incredibly grateful for the support of our loyal guests and readers that have helped make The Inn one of the best, and it brings us great joy to share the best experiences at The Inn for everyone to enjoy during their visit.”
Guests can enjoy special starting room rates at $110 during the months of August and September, 2016. Details can be found on The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa Facebook page at Facebook.com/TheMissionInn.
1. Festival of Lights: Southern California’s Iconic Winter Wonderland
Why wait to book a memorable holiday experience? A Southern California tradition now celebrating its 24th year, Festival of Lights at The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa is a free, five-week-long Disney-like holiday extravaganza featuring one of the nation’s largest holiday light collections of its kind. Attracting more than 250,000 visitors from all over the world, Festival of Lights is an annual gift to the community from owners Duane and Kelly Roberts and commences every year with the famous “Switch-On Ceremony,” a spectacular event in which the castle-like hotel is instantly illuminated with more than 4 million holiday lights followed by a full fireworks display. With highlights including 400 animatronic characters, appearances by Santa Claus, the world’s largest manmade mistletoe measuring 12’ x 8’, falling snow, elves, horse-drawn carriage rides, and an elaborately decorated Christmas tree in the hotel’s lobby, the merriment of Festival of Lights is a not-to-be-missed experience.
2. Travel Through History with a Docent-Led Tour of Priceless Fine Art and Historical Treasures
The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa is a true living piece of history. In addition to having two dedicated spaces for artwork within the hotel – The Spanish Art Gallery and The Galleria – precious treasures can be found all throughout the property. From a mid-eighteenth century 18-karat gold leaf Rayas Altar from Mexico, to vintage Tiffany stained glass windows purchased from Louis Comfort Tiffany himself in the historic St. Francis of Assisi Chapel, to antique furniture and sculptures in public spaces, among other items, guests can learn more about these relics on one of the hotel’s free daily tours led by knowledgeable docents.
3. Imbibe Like a President
The Presidential Lounge – formerly a presidential suite where Teddy Roosevelt once stayed – features hand-crafted cocktails and bites fit for the leader of the free world. Guests can sip on original cocktails inspired by the famed presidents that have visited The Inn, all while sitting in the same place where Pat and Richard Nixon said their wedding vows.
4. Take a Photo in President Taft’s Larger-than-Life Chair
Displayed in The Inn’s stately lobby is President Taft’s Chair, which was custom-built to accommodate his large stature before one of his stays at the hotel. Though the hotel offered the chair to Taft as a gift to take with him after his stay at The Inn, the former president elected to leave that piece of history at the hotel. Guests and visitors alike are welcome to sit in the famous chair, which is a perfect place to take a snap shot with history.
5. Luxuriate at the Award-Winning Kelly’s Spa
Owner and Chief Operating Officer Kelly Roberts is the creative force behind the castle-like Kelly’s Spa, ranked among the top 10 on Condé Nast Traveler’s “Top 50 Hotel Spas in the United States.” Taking cues from The Inn’s grand European architecture, Kelly’s Spa, which recently unveiled its new Fountain of Youth Signature Skin Care Collection, offers the serene ambiance of an ancient Tuscan wellness oasis. The lavish 7,000-square-foot space features 12 treatment rooms, including two beautifully appointed private villas that can be used for couples, brides-to-be, and groups of friends, as well as two rooms specifically for therapeutic baths, a nail salon, gender separated retreats with Eucalyptus Steam Rooms, two relaxation rooms and outdoor pool and Jacuzzi.
6. Dine the Night Away at Duane’s Prime Steaks & Seafood
Recently awarded Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence for 2016, and a AAA-Four Diamond Restaurant for 20 years, Duane’s Prime Steaks & Seafood features the finest Wet-Aged USDA Prime Steaks and the freshest seafood prepared to perfection. Enhanced by a carefully curated selection of wines from around the world, the restaurant is the signature fine dining concept at the hotel. An evening at Duane’s completes the luxurious Mission Inn Hotel & Spa experience.
7. Experience the Artist in Residence Program
Launched in April 2016, the Artist in Residence Program is a quarterly series in which the hotel welcomes a local Southern California artist to showcase their artwork in the hotel for two months. The program was started to highlight the hotel’s extensive fine art collection while also embracing the next generation of artists; bringing together the timeless with the contemporary, a reflection of the hotel today. Currently, renowned L.A. artist Colette Miller, who is behind the “Global Angel Wings Project” – a collection of colorful angel wings painted on walls in major cities across the world – is featured in the program, and her #MissionInnWings are on display at the hotel through September 2016. Art lovers and visitors alike can enjoy the Artist in Residence program as it continues.
8. Indulge in Cupcake-Infused Ice Cream at Casey’s Cupcakes
For those seeking the ultimate indulgence, Casey’s Cupcakes at The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa – winner of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars – has a sweet fix. The whimsical cupcake shop is now selling its craveable creation, Cupcake-Infused Ice Cream. Combining signature Casey’s Cupcakes with a creamy artisan ice cream, the cupcakes are first soaked in cream for two days before being blended and passed through a Danish gelato machine. The infusion of the cupcake and frosting creates a light, fluffy, and silky texture, perfect for a sunny day in Southern California.
9. Enjoy a Lavish Sunday Champagne Brunch at Award-Winning Mission Inn Restaurant
What better way to dine like the Hollywood stars that have stayed at the hotel over the years than the award-winning Sunday Champagne Brunch at The Mission Inn Restaurant. Featuring a selection of gourmet carved meats, fresh seafood, assorted sweets and a mimosa bar, and more, the brunch can be enjoyed inside with a view of the state-of-the-art display kitchen, as well as al fresco dining on the Spanish Patio, which was recently named one of the top 100 outdoor dining restaurants in America by OpenTable. Set at the heart of The Inn, the Spanish Patio is surrounded by a grand bell tower, Anton’s Clock and Glockenspiel, a collection of historic bells from missions throughout the United States, and a circular tiled fountain.
10. Be the Keeper of the Inn for the Night
At the top of the stunning International Rotunda at the hotel is The Keeper of the Inn Suite – built for the owners, Duane and Kelly Roberts – whose grandeur and elegance offer the ultimate overnight experience. The 1,765 square-foot space features richness around every corner, including accents of mahogany and granite throughout the suite, wet bar and dining area, spacious living area, and the hotel’s only working fireplace, among other luxurious amenities. The private patio offers stunning views of the hotel and San Bernardino Mountains, further elevating the majestic experience.