Riverside Travel Guide
The world is officially in "Countdown to Christmas" mode and now, so are we. Every day until Christmas we'll be featuring a hotel that's in a holiday mood--whether it be with gigantic gingerbread houses, over-the-top Christmas decorations, thrilling lighting displays and best of all, Santa appearances. But of course, any hotel can assemble a fake tree, put on some lights and declare themselves "festive." Which is why we're looking at hotels that are really going ALL OUT. Know of a hotel that's super excited for Christmas? Let us know!
If you were near the The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside, Calif. (an hour east of LA) on the day after Thanksgiving, then you probably noticed things were a little "brighter" in the area.
That's because the hotel switched on approximately four million Christmas lights that illuminate the hotel as part of their annual Festival of Lights celebration.
The light show draws in about 300,000 visitors and includes over 400 animated characters in addition to the four million lights. It takes 10 weeks of round-the-clock preparations by a crew of 30 to get it all ready. And it's been happening for 21 years now. We can't help but be curious about where they store these lights when Christmas is over. But it's probably way neater than our tangled stash in the garage.
Not too long ago, we visited one of California’s iconic historical hotels (it’s even listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is a California State Historic Landmark), the Mission Inn Hotel and Spa in Riverside.
Now, Riverside might seem like an unlikely place for a 239-room luxury retreat with four gourmet restaurants on-site, and a full day spa. And it’s true, the Mission Inn does stand out from its more…drab…surroundings. But the hotel has a storied past running back nearly 110 years, and has seen no fewer than ten U.S. Presidents walk its halls, not to mention Richard Nixon got married and the Reagans honeymooned there before their arrival would have been announced by a rousing refrain from “Hail to the Chief.”
Hotel Cupcakes / Hotel Sweets / California Hotels / Rivierside Hotels / Casey Reinhardt / → All Tags
We think cupcakes might just be the newest hotel trend. And we're happy about that!
We've seen more and more of these tasty treats popping up front and center at hotels-- Fashion26 had 'em upon opening--but over at the Mission Inn Hotel and Spa in Riverside, Calif, there's an entire shop dedicated to cupcakes.
Casey’s Cupcakes and Cappuccinos was opened by Casey Reinhardt (you might recognize her from MTV’s Laguna Beach, "Casey-dilla" anyone?) who is the daughter of Mission Inn owners Kelly and Duane Roberts and her over-the-top pink shop (literally, everything in it is pink) is kind of like a cross between a 50’s diner and a Willy Wonka-ish gumball factory.
If you aren't up to speed on Doll Warz '08, here's a quick summary: the Barbie-making people (Mattel) are trying to nail the Bratz-making people (MGA) in court.
Mattel is claiming MGA essentially stole the idea for Bratz dolls from them. Bratz, if you haven't had the pleasure, are female dolls with big heads, nasty attitudes, liberally-applied eyeliner and sorta scandalously skanky clothes.
Since a former Mattel employee may or may not have thought of the idea for Bratz while still at Mattel, things are all messy and are even messier since the Bratz people are all like, "no way, and in fact, Barbie has been dressing like a hoochie lately because she is copying Bratz dolls so now we're gonna sue YOU." Okay.
According to the WSJ, things came to a head a couple weeks ago when the two opposing legal teams arrived in Riverside to duke out the whole thing -- and the Barbie people weren't allowed to stay in the Mission Inn with the Bratz team.