The Wonderfully Weird ‘Hicksville Pines’ Is Your New Must-Visit Bud and BreakfastJuliet Bennett RylahSeptember 15, 2017
In just a few months, Californians should be able to purchase recreational cannabis from their local dispensaries. Many businesses are preparing for this new industry by offering cannabis-friendly experiences, including infused meals, virtual reality, and sound baths. It seems like an obvious strategy for certain hotels to begin allowing guests to indulge freely, too, without forcing them to sneak surreptitious puffs on their balconies.
Some California operations have already explored that path, like the now-shuttered, five-room Compassion Flower Inn in Santa Cruz. Similarly, AirBNB reveals a few current options, including a vegan “bed, bud, brew & breakfast” in Tahoe. Hicksville Pines, however, offers 10 rooms, lots of communal space, and a bus that ferries guests to and from a nearby dispensary.
Hicksville Pines can be found in Idyllwild, just over 100 miles east of Los Angeles in the San Jacinto Mountains. It’s a relatively small community, with a population of fewer than 4,000 people, but its scenic setting makes it a popular tourist destination. Of note, Idyllwild’s mayor is a golden retriever named Max. (Turns out if you’re an unincorporated community, you don’t have to have a human mayor.)
Once there, guests can choose among 10 suites housed in picturesque A-frame cabins, surrounded by mountains, trees, and sometimes snow. Perhaps the 420 Room strikes your fancy. It’s a bit on the nose for Hicksville Pines, thematically speaking, and that’s perfectly fine. The sunken bed is level with the floor, blacklight posters line the slanted ceiling, and an in-room vending machine is there to satiate any munchies.
Then there’s the Dita, a retro-glam suite designed by burlesque star Dita Von Teese and her designer, Stacia Dunnam. It features a sleek black and pink bedroom, and a glittery pink soaking tub in the bathroom. Other rooms pay tribute to singer Dolly Parton, Nashville’s Third Man Records, Twin Peaks, geek culture, filmmaker John Waters, and Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion.
Owner Morgan Night already had one similar motel—Hicksville Trailer Palace in Joshua Tree—when he came up with idea for Hicksville Pines. Hicksville Trailer Palace launched in 2010, and offers guests the opportunity to stay in one of several spectacularly themed trailers in a desert setting. While on a serendipitous trip to Idyllwild in 2015, Night decided he could replicate his Joshua Tree success in a woodsy environment.
Night views both as works in progress, as he’s always contemplating new features or amenities to add. He said he was already anticipating adding a coffee shop to his Idyllwild location when he came up with another idea. “When [Proposition] 64 passed, I thought maybe we could have a place that made really great food for when you’re high, and also sold pot,” he said.
Night was also inspired by a recent trip to Colorado, where recreational cannabis has been legal since 2012 and sold in licensed stores since 2014. “Colorado is the way America should be and the way California will be,” he said. “I’m just excited that there are states out there that are on the cutting edge, and that California is one of them.”
So while Night’s on-property café and dispensary are still in the works, he decided to pull the trigger on transforming Hicksville Pines from a peculiar weekend getaway to a stoner retreat now. Starting September 15, 2017, only guests 21 and up will be allowed, ensuring everyone on property is of age for cannabis use. Additionally, a free shuttle will make daily trips to nearby dispensaries, enabling guests to pick up their sundries with ease. They’ll also begin serving a home-cooked breakfast at 10 a.m., fulfilling the “breakfast” portion of the deal.
Guests will always be allowed to bring their own stash, if they prefer, even after the on-site dispensary is up and running. Night firmly believes that cannabis just needs to be available, regardless of whether his guests source it from Hicksville affiliated dispensaries or their own preferred vendors.
Night himself has been using cannabis for the last decade or so, when he decided to pursue a medical marijuana card to see if it might help him with migraines and insomnia. “[Cannabis] helps me get a great night’s sleep, and then the rest of the week, I’m also less stressed,” he said. “Cannabis has really changed my life for the better.”
Though Hicksville is not intended to be a 5-star resort, guests do have a variety of fun amenities at their disposal, including a hot tub, a tipi with a fire pit inside, and a rec room with shuffleboard, ping pong, TV, and free arcade games—no quarters required. This is in addition, of course, to whatever oddities might be inside the individual suites, which could include a private hot tub, a shower head that’s actually a bidet mounted upside-down to the ceiling, record players, arcade games, or a king-sized waterbed.
“There’s no argument that whatever you’re doing on the property, whether it’s playing video games or having sex, it’s always better when you’re high,” Night said. “And there’s nothing safer than having a place where you can smoke pot, and then fall asleep in your own bed.”
Those wishing to book their stay at Hicksville Pines can browse the rooms (no two are the same) and book online here. Singles range from $100 to $150 per night while The Great Northern—a three-bedroom apartment with a full kitchen—rents for $250 to $300 a night.