Casa Cody Inn 175 S. Cahuilla Rd., 2 blocks to downtown, (800) 231-2639, (760) 320-9346. 27 units, including 5 cottages. Some fireplaces and private patios. 1 solar-heated pool; 1 unheated pool; tree-shaded hot tub. Continental breakfast. Pets ok.
Opened in 1920 by Harold Cody, who is believed to be a nephew of Buffalo Bill, this small inn is the town’s oldest lodging. Located in the desirable area known as the historic Tennis Club district, which was once upon a time the playground of the stars, it snuggles up against the San Jacinto Mountains and sprawls out over almost an entire block.
After passing through decorative black-iron gates into a quiet courtyard, my husband and I stepped into the lobby inside one of the property’s single-story, adobe-style structures painted pinkish with a deep-turquoise trim. To help pass the short wait, I nibbled from a bowl of tiny jelly beans and contentedly petted one of the property’s three friendly cats.
Our very spacious room had a rustic décor featuring lovely Mexican saltillo paver-tile floors and hand-painted accent stencils above doorways as well as some funky faux plastic and ceramic cacti. We preferred the cooling ceiling fan to air conditioning and did not light the wood-burning fireplace. We made use of the full kitchen for cutting up fruit we harvested from the property’s various citrus trees, and gorged on the sweetest grapefruit imaginable. The bed was made simply but adequately with cotton sheets and a quilted down blanket. Though the bathroom was dated--with vintage tiles in a yellow and orange combination of times gone by, it was clean and functional and had an extra vanity conveniently outside near a large walk-in closet. Nights were quiet, and we awoke to birdsong. Should I be so fortunate as to return, I would book Casa Cody’s best--the two-bedroom, authentic adobe home where long ago Charlie Chaplin slept and frolicked. It is a surprisingly well-priced option and boasts a formal raised dining room that doubled as a stage for Chaplin plus a large stone-tiled bathtub.
For the bountiful continental breakfast served outside in the garden, I positioned us so that we could gaze at the adjacent mountains. Our afternoons were spent sunning by the pool, where we enjoyed being amid the property’s garden of colorful flowering plants and shady mature palm trees. At dusk, tiny lights strung across bushes turned the premises into a fairy land. We liked leaving then to walk the two easy blocks to downtown and dinner (some guests ordered out and enjoyed dinner by the pool).
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images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers