I recently had the chance to stay at Casa Cody, the oldest operating hotel in Palm Springs.
The hotel was named after pioneer and founder Harriet Cody—a cousin of Buffalo Bill. Cody arrived in Palm Springs by way of Philadelphia in 1916. Her husband Bill had came down with Tuberculosis, then Pneumonia, and they thought the California air might do him good. They first landed in Hollywood, and later headed to the desert. (In a wagon!)
When Bill did not immediately recover, his architectural projects started falling by the wayside, and Harriet decided to get entrepreneurial.
She first opened an open a livery stable, where she would rent horses to guests staying at The Desert Inn. When Bill died in 1924, she bought four cottages from the California Exposition, and opened Casa Cody.
The timing was perfect. The popularity of Palm Springs had really heated up in that era because European travel was limited during World War I. And then the bigger Hollywood got, the more people were vacationing out in Palm Springs.
I love this story…partly because of my long term and well-documented obsession with pioneers, and also because this woman took her future into her own hands and just did the damn thing. And she did it well, considering the fact that Casa Cody has been in operation now for almost 100 years.
And not just that…but it’s a lovely place to stay.
The hotel, a favorite of other legends like Charlie Chaplin and Anaïs Nin, is set against the base of the San Jacinto Mountains.
The 30 rooms range from studios to two bedroom cottages, all on a single level. As a lot happens over 100 years, each of these buildings have their own interesting history.
The Adobe House once housed a stage and the piano of opera singer Lawrence Tibbett. (It’s called being party prepared.) One of the cottages, aptly named the Olympic Cottage, also housed athletes during the 1932 Summer Olympics, which were held in Los Angeles. So romantic.
My stay at Casa Cody
My recent stay at the hotel was two nights in a poolside room, a few days before Thanksgiving. I find this time of year to be a bit chilly and enjoyed some time bundled up reading in the chair outside my door, but many of the guests were full on swimming. (It’s all about perspective, right?)
The hotel itself offers all the classic comforts, big cozy bed, extra blankets for the winter nights, very expedient room service. (Or poolside service—wherever you might happen to be.)
BTW, there are two pools and hot tub. Lots of waterside real estate. And all that water is surrounded by beautiful gardens, which include fruit trees. Upon check in I was directed towards which of those fruit trees were ripe for the picking.
The hotel is very centrally located near downtown Palm Springs. It’s just two blocks away from the main drag on Palm Canyon Drive, and about a block away from the Palm Springs Art Museum.
I walked everywhere—to Starbucks very early in the morning, to meet my uncles for dinner, and over to the museum where I took photos of the exterior exhibits.
While the hotel is walking distance from many places that you might like to go, the street that its located feels incredibly quiet with a beautiful view of the San Jacinto Mountains behind it.
Other things to know about Casa Cody
- While I was not traveling with a pet this time, I did notice that the hotel is pet friendly.
- The hotel doesn’t have its own bar or restaurant, but they offer a continental breakfast, room service, and very close proximity to other bars and restaurants.
- In addition to being just generally centrally located, the hotel is also just 9 minutes from the airport. With or without a car it’s a very convenient place to stay!