The Cosmopolitan hotel is one of the oldest standing buildings in San Diego County. Built in 1829, this hotel was once the home of Juan Bandini and his family, whom are some of San Diego’s first pioneers.
Bandini was quite the craftsman, not only designing but also constructing his home. It was the largest home in the city during its time. His main goal was comfort for his two daughters and wife. Comfortable I am sure it was, with 7 bedrooms, an entrance hall, an enclosed courtyard, a corral, and several sheds and barns.
The home was designed with Spanish Colonial influences, with thick adobe walls and pane-glass ceilings. The Bandini’s lived here until 1859 in which the Seeley family took over (you can scope out their page on our site here).
Once the Seely’s bought the home they turned it into an inn of sorts for travelers to rest and be entertained. Most of the guests staying at the Cosmopolitan Hotel during the 1870s were passengers traveling on Seeley’s stages to and from Los Angeles.
The hotel’s main attraction was its grand balcony that wrapped around the second story. One of Bandini’s grandson’s eventually turned it into a hotel and restaurant. It was considered to be an upscale hotel in the 50’s and in the 60’s Old Town became officially known as Old Town Historic Park.
Haunted? There have been multiple witnesses who claim to have seen a woman in a long dress wandering around the upstairs balcony. She is said to move through closed doors. Whether or not there is any truth to that story, there is definitely a thick energy felt throughout Old Town. Employees also speak of lights flickering and randomly turning on and off.