Mission Inn Hotel & Spa began as a quaint adobe boarding house in 1876, becoming a full-service hotel in the early 1900s. Opened by Frank Miller, it expanded in 1903 with over 200 guestrooms and the addition of the Mission Wing, built in Mission-Revival style while incorporating architectural features from more than 20 different California missions. Three more wings materialized as demand grew, including the Cloister, Spanish Wing and the Rotunda Wing, completed in 1931. Miller filled the hotel with valuable items from across the globe, including artwork, furniture and religious relics. Mission Inn still houses the oldest bell in Christendom, dating back to 1247.
Keepers of The Inn - Duane Roberts & Kelly Roberts
The hotel has played host to U.S. Presidents and celebrities and was the setting for Hollywood productions including 1915ʼs “The Vampire”, 1938ʼs “Idiotʼs Delight” and 1997ʼs “Man in the Iron Mask”. Presidents Roosevelt, Taft, Hoover, Nixon, Reagan and Bush Jr; social leaders such as Booker T. Washington, Susan B. Anthony, Amelia Earhart, Albert Einstein, Helen Keller and John Muir; and entertainers including Judy Garland, Bette Davis, Clark Gable, Tom Hanks, Barbra Streisand and James Brolin have all stayed, dined and relaxed at Mission Inn throughout its storied, nearly 150- year history.
Frank Miller successfully ran Mission Inn Hotel until his death in 1935. His family managed the hotel until the mid-1950s, when it changed hands multiple times and risked demolition until Duane and Kelly Roberts purchased the iconic property in the late ‘80s, establishing The Historic Mission Inn Corporation with headquarters in Newport Beach, CA. After a seven-year, $55 million renovation, the Roberts opened the hotel 1992. Kelly Roberts became Vice Chairman and COO to maintain Mission Innʼs reputation as a premier luxury California destination, and she went on to develop the annual Festival of Lights, her Tuscan-inspired award-winning Kellyʼs Spa and more.