Tag Archives: california

Southern Hotel

Southern Hotel in Perris, California was built in 1886. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. It is located at 445 S. D Street in the center of the city. Along with the Perris Depot, this is one of the two significant 19th century buildings still standing in the city

Southern Hotel is the oldest surviving commercial building in Perris, built by Swiss immigrant couple, Bernardo and Marcellina Bernasconi. Bernardo Bernasconi was a rancher, and the family had six children. It was used as a hotel serving the San Jacinto – Perris stage line until approximately 1919, when it was converted into Bernasconi family residence. Matilda Bernasconi, the oldest child of the original builders, lived in the building until her death, after which the structure fell into a state of disrepair. In 1987, there were two arson fires, and the building was close to being demolished. In 1990, it was bought by the Motte brothers, restored, and converted into a museum (Motte Historical Museum).

Before 1885, the area was known as Pinacate, now in the southern part of the city of Perris. Perris received a railway station in 1886 and soon after the Southern Hotel became one of the first buildings in the area.

The hotel is a Victorian Era style building, two-storey wooden and rectangular. It bears a number of Italianate features and decorative elements. Proviously, the building was adjecent to other commercial structures, but currently it stands alone.

The front of the building faces west (S. D Street) and is made in horisontal sidings. It features a door, two windows with decorative crowns, and an open wooden porch with four support posts.

Southern Hotel in Perris, California

The Millhouse

The Inn follows a Victorian style, and most rooms have different and unique decor. The main lobby features a wooden checkerboard, with small wooden red and yellow apples serving as the checkers. Many decorative objects and knickknacks displayed in the inn’s hallways are actually on sale and can be purchased by guests for home use.

Restaurant & Food

The Apple Farm Restaurant, across the parking lot from the Inn building,follows a traditional American style, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner and holding a Two Diamond restaurant rating from AAA. A bakery is also attached to the restaurant.A widely popular facet of the hotel is its nightly distribution of fresh baked cookies and hot apple cider in the main lobby. Guest receptions are also held in the afternoon, featuring light appetizers and wines from local wineries.


The red-shingled Millhouse operates a working watermill, harnessing the power of San Luis Creek in order to make such products as apple cider and ice cream. A small gift shop is included inside the Millhouse, which, as of April 2011, is open Thursday through Sunday  and offers samples of cold apple cider and bags of freshly popped popcorn, both free of charge, to guests.The millhouse also includes a few rooms on the upper level that are available for guests to stay in.

City Hotel in Sonora

City Hotel in Sonora, California is a former hotel in downtown Sonora, California at 145 South Washington Street. The building, constructed circa 1852, is associated with Alonzo Green, Sonora’s mayor in 1852 and 1853, and James Lane. It includes a sitting room, bar and restaurant with rooms upstairs. It is built of slate, adobe, and red brick, and is one of Sonora’s oldest buildings.

It belonged to Olivier Bemis in the 1860s. In the early 1900s, the hotel ran a daily horse-pulled-bus service to meet trains.It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places for Tuolumne County, California in 1983

Disneyland Hotel

The Disneyland Hotel is a resort hotel located at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, owned by the Walt Disney Company and operated through its Parks and Resorts division. Opened on October 5, 1955 as a motor inn owned and operated by Jack Wrather under an agreement with Walt Disney, the hotel was the first to officially bear the Disney name. Under Wrather’s ownership, the hotel underwent several expansions and renovations over the years before being acquired by Disney in 1988. The hotel was downsized to its present capacity in 1999 as part of the Disneyland Resort expansion.

At the time of its construction in the early 1950s, Disneyland was in a remote area outside Anaheim, California. Walt Disney wanted to build a hotel for Disneyland visitors to stay overnight, since Disneyland was quite a drive from the established population centers of Southern California at the time. But Disney’s financial resources were significantly depleted by the construction of the park. Initially he tried to interest his friend Art Linkletter in building the hotel but Linkletter declined, at the time hesitant about the prospects of the park (only ruefully years later to walk along the sidewalk in front of the property while telling himself with each step “And that’s another million I missed out on”).So Disney then sought out and negotiated a deal with Jack Wrather and his business partner Maria Helen Alvarez under which Wrather-Alvarez Productions would own and operate a hotel called the Disneyland Hotel across the street from Disneyland.Wrather was a Texas oil millionaire turned film producer who already owned hotels in Las Vegas and Palm Springs, and co-owned television stations in Tulsa and San Diego with Alvarez.

The original Disneyland Hotel was designed by the firm of Pereira & Luckman and opened on October 5, 1955, nearly 3 months after Disneyland. Various strikes caused the opening to be postponed from the August date advertised in pre-opening promotional materials, and the hotel only had limited capacity when it initially opened. The hotel originally consisted of just over 100 rooms in 5 two-story guest room complexes (later known as the South Garden Rooms and even later as the Oriental Gardens) that rented for $15 a night with shopping, dining and recreational facilities added in early 1956.

Additionally, it had a doctor and dentist on site as well as a barber and beauty shop. On August 25, 1956, the hotel celebrated its “official” grand opening with many Hollywood stars and celebrities attending the festivities.It was quickly expanded in 1956 with three North Garden guest room structures, one more North Garden structure in 1958 and lastly, two more North garden structures in 1960. The hotel now boasted over 300 guest rooms and suites. It was one of the first hotels in the region to offer accommodations for four persons per room.

Guests traveled between the hotel and the Disneyland Park main entrance via a tram. When the Wrather-Alvarez partnership ended acrimoniously in 1958, Wrather bought Alvarez’ share of Wrather-Alvarez Hotels, making him sole owner of the Disneyland Hotel. Over the years, the hotel was expanded to include three guest room towers: Sierra (1962; expanded 1966), Marina (1970), and Bonita (1978).

The Disneyland Monorail was extended from its original 1959 configuration and a station opened at the hotel in 1961 (pictured). Recreational areas, attractions, and a convention center (1972) were also added over the years. June 15, 1970an adjacent recreation vehicle park called Vacationland opened (which had its own pool and clubhouse)which can be seen as a precusor to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground which opened at Walt Disney World in 1971. The hotel also featured a Richfield service station for several years as part of Richfield’s sponsorship of several Disneyland attractions, including the Autopia.

When Michael Eisner became chairman and CEO of Walt Disney Productions in 1984, he wanted to get out of Disney’s agreement with the Wrather Corporation and bring the Disneyland Hotel under the Walt Disney Company’s umbrella. Wrather refused to sell, just as he had refused Walt Disney many years before. Wrather died two months after Eisner took over at Disney, and five years later, in 1989, Disney bought the entire Wrather company. At the time Wrather’s company also owned the RMS Queen Mary and Hughes H-4 Hercules (the “Spruce Goose”) in Long Beach, as well as the rights to The Lone Ranger and the Lassie TV series. Though Disney kept the hotel, it has since sold the other assets that came with the purchase.

In early 1997 Vacationland was closed and demolished.Then in 1999 a significant portion of the hotel was also demolished, all to make way for Downtown Disney and parking areas for the newly expanding Disneyland Resort. Most buildings east of the Sierra Tower and north of the Marina Tower were demolished, including the original hotel buildings from 1955. The only buildings remaining in these areas are the convention center and parking garage. Recreational facilities were built in the quad between the three towers, previously site of the Water Wonderland, to replace those that were previously located east of the Sierra Tower.

Streets previously used to access the hotel by car were regraded and/or outright eliminated, and a new street was built to access the hotel. Tram service from the hotel was also discontinued, leaving the Monorail as the only vehicular mode of transportation from park to hotel. The loss of hotel rooms was offset with the opening of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel in 2001, but many of the restaurants and amenities that existed prior to 1999 were never replaced.

Today none of the original hotel buildings from 1955 remain standing. Very little of the hotel other than parking areas and service facilities sit outside of the perimeter created by the three remaining guest room towers. Original signs and other artifacts from several of the stores and restaurants demolished with the Plaza are on display in the hotel’s employee cafeteria.

ESPN Zone, Rainforest Café, and AMC Theatres—all Downtown Disney venues—now occupy much of the former hotel space east of the Sierra Tower. Mickey Mouse theming is employed in many interior furnishings and details. In 2007 the Marina, Sierra, and Bonita Towers were renamed Magic, Dreams, and Wonder, respectively. Other buildings in the sprawling hotel complex house restaurants, stores, offices, recreational facilities and convention and banquet facilities. The complex also features gazebo and garden areas that are used for Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons.

A new Downtown Disney Monorail Station was built on the same site as the old Disneyland Hotel station,and still takes guests to Tomorrowland inside Disneyland Park along the same beamway that existed prior to the 1999–2001 expansion.

The Disneyland Hotel started a major renovation in 2009, beginning with the Dreams tower. Renovation of the hotel included new windows, wallpaper, carpeting, and decor. The Dreams Tower, completed in 2010, became the Adventure Tower. The Wonder Tower became the Frontier Tower after its completion in 2011, and the Magic Tower became the Fantasy Tower in 2012.

The Never Land Pool area also received a redesign which was completed in 2012. This transformation includes six new cabanas and two new water slides featuring the iconic original park signage at the top along with replicas of Mark I Monorails encasing both slides. A new four foot pool was built between the former Never Land Pool and water play area.

On May 25, 2011, the two new dining locations at the Disneyland Hotel opened replacing the former Hook’s Pointe, Croc’s Bites and Birs, The Wine Cellar, and The Lost Bar locations. Tangaroa Terrace is the new location that serves casual dining in a new innovative way. There are touch screens to place an order & select your side. Tangaroa terrace is a casual dining experience with Tahitian architecture based on Adventureland, most specifically the Jungle Cruise and The Enchanted Tiki Room. The new bar, Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar, is based on the Jungle Cruise’s head salesman, Trader Sam. These two new locations are rather small inside, but there is plenty of outdoor seating, including seating by a giant fireplace by the pool entrance. The new pool area is also now open as of May 25, when the Neverland Pool closed for renovations. There is a new pool, located between the monorail inspired slides and the closed Neverland Pool, which is called the ‘D’-Ticket Pool inspired by the D-ticket admission.


Carlton Hotel in Atascadero

The Carlton Hotel is a luxury hotel located in he Central Coast of California city, Atascadero. Construction began in 1928, with the hotel officially opening its doors in 1929. After several decades of local popularity and notoriety, by the early 1980s the hotel had fallen into deep disrepair. During this time, the dilapidation had degenerated into such extent that several local bands would play in the dark and abandoned lobby, and the gold-plated hands of the tower clock were stolen – sometime in the late 1970s.

In 1999, a joint-venture was formed between David Weyrich, David Crabtree and Steve Landaker purchased hotel and was reopened in 2004.

Carlton Hotel in Atascadero, California

Hotel Charlotte in Groveland

The Hotel Charlotte in Groveland, California, also known as Hotel Charlotte & Cafe or Hotel Charlotte & Restaurant, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.

Opened in 1921, the Hotel Charlotte is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Charlotte DeFerrari, the hotels name sake and builder, was born in Genoa, Italy in 1881. Her family migrated to the California gold fields, when Charlotte was sixteen. During this era, the Groveland area went from boom to bust and back again. The gold rush and then the San Francisco Hetch-Hetchy water project brought prosperity and notoriety to the Groveland and Big Oak Flat settlements.

Shortly after arriving in Groveland, Charlotte’s father was killed in a mining accident at Hardin Flat, and young Charlotte took it upon herself to support and hold the family together. She began cooking for work crews, ranch hands and several local settlers. She then opened a restaurant in the building which is now the Iron Door Saloon, claimed by its proprietors to be the oldest continuously operating saloon in California.

In 1918, Charlotte built the hotel on the site of an old livery stable, and in 1921, she purchased the Gem Saloon, next door, annexing it to the Hotel Charlotte as a restaurant.