In 1899 a group of physicians bought much of the property along Strawberry Creek including what is now known as the village of Idyllwild. They built a tuberculosis sanitarium in the village and after a few years converted it to the first inn in the San Jacinto Mountains, calling it the Idyllwild Inn, it was 1904.
For many years the Idyllwild Inn was Idyllwild. The locals and frequent visitors simply referred to it as “the Inn”. While some of the very oldest buildings have burned or been replaced, you can still stay in a rustic cabin dating back to 1910, or ‘24, or ‘53. Over the decades the Inn has had many iterations and included such offerings as a dance hall, bowling alley, restaurant, golf, tennis, and horseback riding.
In 1960 the Idyllwild Inn became a part of the current family when Glenn and Nina Mae Froehlich became the owners. The elder Froehlich’s ran the Inn with their son and his family, Keith and Bonnie Froehlich. Under their ownership they refurbished many of the older cabins and added a newer section of cabins (the New Rustic Cabins) in 1986. The Froehlich’s worked hard at maintaining the character of the Inn and bringing up new guests to the little village of Idyllwild.
In 1988 the Froehlich’s brought in their cousins, Don and Joanna White and their son and his family, Joel and Chris White, as part of a long term plan to hand off ownership and maintain the integrity of this family owned and operated business for generations to come. Continuing in the tradition of adding diversity and additional lodging to the Inn, the White’s designed and built the eight Theme Rooms and opened them to guests in 1992.
After almost two decades of running the Inn, Joel and Chris decided it was time to move on and offered the Inn to their kids. Josh and Emily, and at the time their son Joel, took them up on this offer and moved from Orange County to Idyllwild to purchase the Inn and keep it in the family. Since coming to Idyllwild in 2004, the White’s, now with 3 kids, have continued the family tradition of hard work and making guests and the property a priority. They are continually updating the property with new decks, bathroom remodels, and whatever else is needed at the time.
In the 19th century, you packed your food up over the switchbacks and dirt roads in the back of a wagon. Today it’s a 30-minute drive up from Hemet or an hour from the Palm Springs/Palm Desert area. Once here guests can walk to virtually everything in town, thus our tagline, convenient yet secluded. Idyllwild offers a variety of options for visitors, from great restaurants to great hikes, amazing art and galleries to amazing mountain bike trails, and fun events to just having fun sitting on your deck feeding the squirrels.
The Idyllwild Inn is a piece of Southern California history, dating back to when getting up the mountain could take days and when adventures slept on the ground. It’s a homey place the symbolizes, in a way, the local belief that there are really only two places you can be; “on the hill” or “off the hill” – home in Idyllwild or anywhere else in the world.