We just returned from a stay at the Mission Inn and mostly loved it. We went for the Festival of Lights, which is as magnificent as it sounds, over 3.5 million lights covering the property. We also learned the best time to take Christmas light photos is at dusk, and for registered guests, use your room key to enter the pool area to get excellent pictures of the front of the property without any crowds around.
Back to the Mission Inn: it's a wonderful historical property that will remind you of a Spanish/Moorish palace, the Alhambra meets modern high desert California. We stayed in a Deluxe king and the bathroom was clean but small, service was outstanding and the amenities were as well appointed as any mid-upper end hotel. The property is older, so expect some nuances and older fixtures. From the valet onwards, the staff were incredibly friendly and helpful (the front desk check-in clerk could have been more welcoming) and we especially loved the "bouncers" at the stairs and the elevators after 5pm, restricting the hotel's access to registered guests only. The lobby is open to everyone at all times.
A huge downside was the crowd - in the lobby, in the restaurants, in the bar - but that was to be expected with the lights. From around 4pm - 8pm, the lobby was so crowded you could barely move, which was a huge nuisance. There was only one bar in the hotel which was completely overrun with tourists, definitely not enough seating to handle the holiday crowd, and a very limited bar food menu. We never got into any of the walk-in restaurants for dinner, the wait was over two hours all night long, and had to resort to room service, which was actually good. It would have been nice if the hotel prioritized dinner seating for guests. We did eat in the Inn's main restaurant for breakfast, which was very good - try the waffles. Later at night and in the mornings, it was very pleasant with just guests milling about.
We booked a package that included valet parking, but the valet gets busy and it would have been easy enough to park in the hotel's lot at the back. There is a back entryway into the lobby, just across the street from the parking lot.
All in all, this is a must-do at least once in life during the holidays, but we would recommend it for one night as it's simply too crowded to really enjoy the hotel. The best time was morning, it was so quiet and serene and you could still enjoy the interior decorations lit up all day long.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This castle-like hotel is next door to the Main Street Pedestrian Mall and a half-mile from the Riverside Convention Center. This historic hotel occupies a city block in downtown Riverside. Guests have included presidents and Pulitzer Prize winners. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Priceline, Odigeo, Ctrip TA, Traveltool, S.L.U. and Cancelon so you can book your The Mission Inn Hotel and Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- The Mission Hotel Riverside
- Mission Hotel Riverside
- Mission Resort Riverside
- Inn Mission Riverside Ca
- Mission Inn Hotel Riverside