By Emily Glory Peters
Built in the 1880s, the Bissell House Bed and Breakfast is nearly as old as Pasadena itself. Named for that Bissell family (you probably owned one of their carpet cleaners at one point), this grand dame of San Gabriel Valley straddles much: the border of Pasadena and its southern sister; Victorian architecture and the Craftsman movement; the hem of the past and present.
That’s exactly what its current owners, the Hoyman family, love most about the Bissell House.
“This was my parents’ ‘someday’ house—the result of a long-held dream of owning a bed and breakfast,” says Janet Hoyman, whose family acquired the property after years of careful saving. The house’s historic beauty and proximity to Pasadena’s cultural riches has made it a gem worth preserving.
“They’re not building any more properties like this,” says Hoyman. “It’s the only one on Millionaire’s Row that is still standing and operated by a small local family, and is the third oldest house since the city.”
Hoyman and her family have leaned full-tilt into the Bissell House’s old-time ambiance. Along with a full breakfast, afternoon dessert tea can be enjoyed in the parlor or out on the veranda—you can even have non-guests join you for a few extra dollars. And of course all the rooms (decorated with the trappings of the era) are themed: the English Holiday room, the Prince Albert room, etc.—and Hoyman’s special favorite.
“We’re probably going to call it the ‘Anna Bissell’ room, as it was the personal morning room of the former owner,” Hoyman explains. “It’s a spacious corner overlooking the lawn and roses. I love this room most because the light through the white lace curtains is just gorgeous—it’s so soothing, uplifting and peaceful.”
That sense of ease, to Hoyman, makes the Bissell House an iconic “staycation” choice for locals looking for a hassle-free getaway. Modern touches, like a pool, hot tub, Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs keep 21st century folk appeased, while a pleasant mile-long walk in any direction will bring guests to the Rose Bowl, museums, dining, shopping or nature in the Arroyo—in short, all the area’s easily overlooked amenities. And as its guests return from a day exploring, the Bissell House beckons them to sit back and claim their moment of peace.
“The number one thing we repeatedly hear from our guests is how blown away they are by the peace,” says Hoyman. “Here, there’s a marked contrast from the hustle and bustle, technology and noise…you feel the extreme contrast. It’s definitely a wow factor.”
The Bissell House is located at 201 Orange Grove Avenue in South Pasadena. To learn more, contact the Hoyman famly at www.bissellhouse.com | 626.441.3535 and follow along on Facebook @bissellhouse and Instagram @bissellhousebedandbreakfast.