The Bissell House Bed & Breakfast

201 Orange Grove Avenue , South Pasadena, California 91030
Innkeeper(s): Janet Hoyman
  • Introduction

    The Bissell House Bed & Breakfast, South Pasadena, California, frontWelcome to the Bissell House, a charming bed and breakfast Inn in beautiful and historic South Pasadena, California.

    During the late 19th century, Pasadena’s Orange Grove Avenue was lined with beautiful mansions, some still stand today. Built in 1887, this beautiful home has been the southern anchor of this famous street, which was traditionally referred to as “ Millionaires’s Row.” The South Pasadena City Council designated The Bissell House as South Pasadena Landmark No. 36 in 1993, named after the magnate Melville Bissell of Michigan, who made his fortune designing and manufacturing carpet sweepers.

    This romantic three-story Victorian mansion was constructed of quality materials, and in the architectural style only seen in the most prestigious residences of that era. The visitor is greeted by flower covered pergolas, charming sitting porches and vintage landscape. Gracious entertaining rooms, lovely cool verandas, leaded glass windows, graceful moldings and charming formal dining areas are feasts for the connoisseur of historical architecture. The bedrooms have vistas to flowering gardens, the pool, or neighboring treetops; all rooms have private baths, some with original vintage fixtures.

    The Bissell House Bed & Breakfast, South Pasadena, California, studyThe Bissell House is an elegant Victorian Bed & Breakfast offering tranquil and intimate accommodations. Located in one of Southern California's most desirable neighborhoods, our Bed & Breakfast is just a whisper's distance from Old Town Pasadena, Wrigley Mansion, Rose Bowl, Norton Simon Museum and the Huntington Library & Gardens. It was with great pleasure and excitement that we are able to open this charming and historic eight bedroom Victorian home to the public. Our love of entertaining guests creates an inviting atmosphere of hospitality.

    We want to extend an invitation for you to visit The Bissell House soon and allow us to make your next vacation or business trip comfortable and memorable. - The Hoyman Family.

    We are honored to have been selected as one of "Top Ten Best Romantic Getaway's"

  • Insider's Info

    Travelers are always looking for memorable and relaxing experiences. Let’s discover more through the words of our innkeepers. Many thanks to Janet Hoyman for sharing her secrets with!
    Why do most travelers stay at your inn?

    They prefer the unique heritage and architectural integrity of the period in which our property was built combined with modern day comfort and charm versus a "standard corporate hotel".

    What are you best known for?

    Being the former home for approximately 50 years of Anna Bissell MacKay-daughter of the vacuum magnate. Also, being one of only a few remaining "transitional Victorians with Craftsman style influence" which was later replaced with Spanish Colonial Revival and Art Deco.

    What makes your inn unique?

    We are the only Bed and Breakfast or Hotel that can literally see some of the Rose Bowl Parade Floats turn onto Orange Grove Boulevard at the corner of our property on New Year's Eve every year, ahead of the Rose Bowl Parade. Our guests love to get a "to go" cup of hot cocoa from our Inn and stroll up and down the boulevard, turned pedestrian walkway, with hundreds of other revelers, ringing in the New Year with friends and family while catching up close in detail glimpses of the floats just prior to their judging. Good clean fun for all ages.

    What do you love most about your inn?

    Meeting people from all over the world as well as locals. Also, the rare beauty, old world charm and convenient location to 200 diverse specialty boutiques and national retailers and over 100 restaurants, sidewalk cafes and bistros, as well as numerous cultural and historical attractions.

    If someone has never been to your city, what is the #1 reason to come visit?

    Aside from the Rose Bowl Parade and Football Game, definitely Tourism. We are a great jumping off point to a community rich and teeming with art, history, culture, dining and shopping.

    What’s the best compliment you have ever received about the inn?

    "Of all the B&B's we've ever stayed at, and there have been hundreds, this is our favorite."

    What’s the best kept secret about the area?

    South Pasadena's Restaurants. We have amazing dining, right here within a mile or two of our Inn.

    If a traveler is staying at your inn for 4 nights, what should he/she do in the area?

    Visit the Norton Simon Museum, Gamble House, Fenyes Mansion, Wrigley Tournament House and Huntington Library and Gardens. The first four are all within walking distance from us. Also, eat and shop in South Pasadena in addition to Old Town Pasadena. Walk, jog, bike or run in the surrounding area to see the beautifully kept and maintained homes and gardens.

    Is there anything within walking distance of your inn?

    In addition to the above mentioned, South Pasadena's Mission Street with its small town America feel with quaint shops and great eateries, Goldline Metro Station, Trader Joe's, Beautiful and Historic Homes and Neighborhoods to name a few. All within half a mile or so. You can walk along the Arroyo a couple miles up to the Rose Bowl too. It's a favorite among locals.

    What is your favorite restaurant/food in the area?

    This is really hard to answer because we have literally hundreds to choose from. Every kind of food you can imagine. It really depends on what our guests are in the mood for and we recommend from there. For example, Raymond Restaurant is within a .5 mile walk and is situated in a Craftsman House which makes it unique for its romantic fine dining. Gus' BBQ is THE BEST Barbeque. Restaurant Shiro for the more discerning food connoisseur.

    Any good area guides/websites that travelers could reference?

    Yes, and are the first two that come to mind.

    How many rooms does your inn have?


    Do you accept pets?

    Since just about every hotel in town now accepts pets, for a fee, we no longer do because of past damage. Service pets are always the exception.

  • Amenities

    Included with Rates

    Rates are all inclusive and based on double occupancy. No extra fees, taxes or service charges. They include your amenities:

    • Full ovo-lacto vegetarian breakfast
    • Afternoon dessert tea
    • Free high speed WiFi internet
    • Most rooms have flat screen dvd/premium cable channel
    • Complimentary off street parking
  • A History of The Bissell House

    The Bissell House Bed & Breakfast, South Pasadena, California, history

    The South Pasadena City Council designated The Bissell House as South Pasadena's Cultural Landmark No. 36, in 1993. South Pasadena cutltural landmark

    During the late 19th Century, Pasadena's Orange Grove Avenue was lined with beautiful mansions, some of which still stand. Built in 1887, The Bissell House has been the southern anchor of this famous street, which was traditionally referred to as "Millionaire's Row."This three-story Victorian mansion was constructed one year before South Pasadena's incorporation as a city. It was first owned by Miren S. Daniels, a businessman who came to California from Massachusetts. After his death , the house was acquired by Thaddeus Updegraff, a well-known Pasadena physician.

    The house was then acquired by William Southerland McCay, a prominent architect of Southern California. His wife, Anna Bissell McCay, lived in the house from about 1903 and into the 1950's. Mrs. McCay was the daughter of magnate Melville Bissell of Michigan, who made his fortune designing and manufacturing carpet sweepers.

    Mrs. McCay was one of Pasadena's most beloved philanthropists. She was a founding member of the Pasadena Chapter of the American Red Cross, which became her life's work. Mrs. McCay's nieces, now in their 80's, have relayed an amusing anecdote to the current Bissell House owners.

    Mrs. McCay once hosted a dinner party for guest of honor, Albert Einstein. Professor Einstein reportedly caused a stir when he preferred the company of McCays 7-year old niece to that of the adults. After spending an hour visiting with the youngster, he requested that Mrs. McCay set her a plate at the dinner table. In an era when children were seldom seated for dinner with the adults, thisrequest caused quite a stir.

  • Weddings

    The Bissell House Bed & Breakfast, South Pasadena, California, wedding coupleThe Bissell House Bed and Breakfast specializes in intimate, romantic outdoor weddings that are private and discreet. Ideally numbering 40-50 people maximum, making use of our lawn, front porch and pool area for cocktail hour receptions if desired.

    The Bissell House Bed and Breakfast offers a full service program for the wedding couple. Let our inn host this most important event for you - from start to finish.

    We cordially invite you to make an appointment for a tour 626.441.3535 Fax: 626.441.3671


    "We had a wonderful time at the Bissell House Bed and Breakfast Hotel. This lovingly restored Victorian home is surrounded by a romantic blooming garden and towering trees; the forty foot hedge makes you feel as if you are in a private world. The Bissell House has moved to the top of our list for Best Grownup getaway!" ~ Christine McMahon Burlington, Vermont

    Wedding Service

    Bissell House Bed and Breakfast Provides:

    • One wedding and reception per day with use of the meticulously tended gardens, set up and clean up
    • Entire bed and breakfast with all guest rooms available during the wedding day and night—includes full breakfasts
    • Two night minimum
    • Separate rehearsal date
    • Chairs and tables
    • Ample street parking

    Our current wedding rates are based upon the number of guests.

    Catering Services are figured per person; 7.75% California sales tax and 18% service charge will be added to catering costs.

    Rates are subject to change.

    The Bissell House Bed & Breakfast, South Pasadena, California, eventsBridal Showers

    What hostess wants to clean all day cook all night and then serve all the guests for a shower as well as clean up after the party? We will do it for you! We can serve a luncheon, a tea, a dessert buffet or a brunch for your guests. The menus are varied. The food is catered by Ron’s Catering and served by his staff.

    Rehearsal Dinners

    Accommodations are available for sit-down dinner for groups of 15 to 35. The dinners include an appetizer, salad, entree with two vegetables and a dessert as well as rolls and beverage. Menu selections are varied and special diets can be accommodated.

    Please Join Us!

    Whether a local event or a destination wedding, The Bissell House Bed and Breakfast Inn provides the ultimate location. We have the distinct opportunity to stage simple to grand events in a manner that creates lasting memories. Each event is special to us - just like you! We enjoy working with businesses, families and friends. Producing a rewarding experience is our mission... and our pleasure.

    Your Hosts – The Hoymans

  • Special Events

    The Bissell House Bed & Breakfast, South Pasadena, California, poolsThe Bissell House Bed and Breakfast Inn is proud to host special events too such as, bridal Luncheons and showers, Honeymoons, rehearsal dinners, Anniversary Celebrations, Baby Showers, Baptism Luncheons, Birthdays, Graduation Celebrations, family reunions, English afternoon teas, garden club meetings, knitting, quilting, crochet club retreats, bridge club meetings, bar mitzvahs, holiday parties and corporate holiday parties, meetings and special event packages such as Mystery Murder Weekends. A comfortable stress-free environment, good communication and unobtrusive service make for special events and productive meetings at the Bissell House Bed and Breakfast Hotel.

    Ron’s catering provides wonderfully prepared food for Bridal Luncheons, Showers, Rehearsal Dinners, Family Reunions and more.

    Family Reunions

    Let Bissell House Bed and Breakfast Hotel provide the backdrop for your next family gathering. Our innkeepers can coordinate activities for the whole family. Ron’s Catering’s also offers catered dinners in the original dining room of the property; call for more details. The gardens and pool are available year round. Families can explore historic old town Pasadena while others may enjoy a game of croquet on the lawn.

  • Business Travelers

    The Bissell House Bed & Breakfast, South Pasadena, California, study 2The Bissell House Bed and Breakfast Inn is perfect for Business Travelers, too.

    Additional Services for Business Travelers 

    Complimentary breakfasts, beverages and desserts for our business travelers. Use of a quiet meeting room during the day by appointment; Corporate Meetings, Executive Retreats, Conferences, and Other Special Events. For our business travelers, we now provide high-speed wireless access from any room! Our conference facilities couldn’t be farther from the office in tranquility yet we’re only 10 minutes from Los Angeles. That’s why for more than 13 years we have successfully provided overnight and meeting accommodations for many Los Angeles visitors.

    Our Special Events Manager will be happy to help plan your event at the Bissell House Bed and Breakfast Inn. Corporate rates are available for our guestrooms. Please contact the Bissell House Bed and Breakfast Inn Special Events Manager at for your needs in detail, so that we can create the most desirable atmosphere, possible.

  • Area Information

    The Bissell House Bed & Breakfast, South Pasadena, California, fieldsThe Bissell House is located on the border of two cities, South Pasadena and Pasadena. South Pasadena is a Norman Rockwell painting come to life. This residential town provides an impressive selection of antique and specialty shops, including unique gourmet food and wine stores. A restored 1950's soda fountain and a large 1920's movie house create a warm small town atmosphere, often used by film companies. Father of the Bride is a recent example.

    Pasadena, home to The Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl, offer a plentitude of culture, gourmet dining, shopping and entertaining. The Bissell House is located just one and ¼ mile from Old Town Pasadena. Old Town's buildings have been beautifully restored to recapture the charm of its original early 20th Century architecture. Within a four-block area guests can walk to dozens of gourmet restaurants, including Italian, Thai, French and Southwest. Two large movie complexes offer choice first-run films. Clothing stores, specialty boutiques, home stores and bookstores, which include J. Crew, Banana Republic, Crate & Barrell and Barnes & Noble provide sophisticated shopping. Guests can spend exciting evenings in Old Town dining and dancing, and Sunday mornings at a gospel brunch. They may stop for a drink at a sports bar, a pub, or a night club, or work-out in a state-of-the art gym.

    The Bissell House Bed & Breakfast, South Pasadena, California, palmsPasadena is known for its cultural riches, one being the Norton Simon Museum of Art, located in Old Town. The Pasadena Playhouse, The Huntington Library art collection and botanical gardens, the Pacific Asia Museum, and the Gamble House draw visitors from around the world. The greater Los Angeles area offers the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the J. Paul Getty Museum, as well as many specialty museums. The Bissell House is 10 miles from Downtown Los Angeles, 20 miles from Westwood and Santa Monica, 25 miles from LAX and 15 miles from the Burbank Airport.


    City of South Pasadena

    South Pasadena Chamber

    City of Pasadena

  • Guest Comments

    The California Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns (CABBI) says that The Bissell House receives the most compliments sent to them than any other B & B in Southern California.

    Here's what some of our past guests have to say:

    "This was the best experience we've had out of 100 Bed and Breakfasts. (The Bissell House) can't be topped." Gary Smith- Houston, Texas

    "A beautiful home filled with care and attention. It was a pleasure to stay where we were made to feel welcome and pampered. Our room was large, beautifully decorated, with a large closet and lovely old fashioned bath. We couldn't have been happier." Beverly DuChamps- Evanston, Illinois

    "We had a wonderful time at the Bissell House. This lovingly restored Victorian home is surrounded by a romantic blooming garden and towering trees; the forty foot hedge makes you feel as if you are in a private world. The Bissell House has moved to the top of our list for Best Grownup getaway!"Christine McMahon- Burilington, Vermont

    "You made a whirlwind trip to South Pasadena a truly happy and memorable experience. We have wonderful memories of a beautiful bedroom and waking to the aroma of delicious tasting coffee. Your hospitality as host and hostess was superb." Pamela Behrens- Easton, Maryland