Updated: Feb 26, 2021
I visited the abandoned Byron Hot Springs Hotel back in January 2020. The land the hotel sits on has been purchased since then with the ambition of building an events center. Due to this purchase happening back in February of 2020 (pre-covid), I have high hopes the building is still standing untouched. In fact the last images I saw posted of the building were in November of 2020.
The hotel is smack dab in the middle of no where. On private property of course and there isn't any parking near by. In fact the dirt road is gated off, the only vehicles out there are farmers. It is about a 15 min walk along the path that used to be the road to the hotel. Beware the multitude of cow patties along the way. When visiting I of course stayed on the road, respected the grounds, and kept a safe distance from the roaming cows.
The larger than life skeletal remains of the Byron Hotel stood tall. The hotel doesn't have any windows and much of the interior is missing or coming apart. The walls that still stand are covered in graffiti, and each of the hotels floors are covered in rubble. When I visited I was able to access the basement, the ground floor, and the 2 floors above it.
I walked through the mammoth hotel, and imagined what each room once occupied. A kitchen, the servers quarters, lobby space. The hotel rooms on the second and third floors which were only decipherable due to the indented lines on the floor and ceiling from the previous walls. On the second floor there was this room that had a carpet of overgrown grass due to the missing ceiling, and side wall.
The original hotel had burned down 2 times, until around 1912 when the architect got smart and used brick instead of flammable materials. In the 1920s this building was popular and received visits from many celebrities who could be found soaking in the natural hot tubs or playing golf on one of the West Coasts first golf course. The hotel was closed in 1938. From my research I am led to believe the resort founder was murdered. The lawsuits following his demise led to bad press for the location and it was closed soon after. In 1940 during World War 2 the U.S. government took control of the hotel and used it for interrogations. German and Japanese prisoners of war were brought here and 'interrogated'. During this time the building and its grounds were named "Camp Tracy". I can only imagine what happened in the era of Camp Tracy. When the war came to an end, the property was sold to a church, and served as a monastery until the year 1956.
Since then the property has been purchased multiple times with renovation in mind, but various financial setbacks including preservation of the horticulture has kept the building from being torn down completely.
As always travelers stay safe out there
Pack Out What You Pack In!