If you're looking for a historic experience (and you should be if you're in Ashland for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival), this is the place. That said, the hotel was built in 1925, and like a classic automobile of that vintage, it can't hope to compare with its modern equivalents for performance, comfort or convenience. The rooms and bathrooms are indeed small and a bit difficult to maneuver around in without bumping into something, but with high ceilings and expansive views from the corner rooms, they are light and not at all claustrophobic. We were upgraded, for free, to a king bed corner view room and found it classically stylish and cosy, with a comfortable bed and quality bathroom amenities. The deep soaking tub has a very high stepover to use for the shower.
The historic lobby is also a bit smaller than it appear in photos, but the original windows, floor tiles and artifacts are fascinating. Lark's Restaurant, on the premises, offers wonderful local Northwest cuisine and wines in a 1920s bar ambience, but as in the hotel rooms, they have crushed too much furniture into a small space. The service was warm and efficient, but be prepared to spend at least two hours dining. This is not the place for squirming children, though some were there. In general, the hotel is not set up for children, though it welcomes them. The rooms are too small for families and there is really no place for children to go outside the rooms. Think of the Ashland Springs Hotel as a really tall bed and breakfast. Breakfast, by the way, is continental, not a full hot breakfast, but includes quality coffee and pastries.
We found the service to be coolly efficient. Check in and check out took far less than a minute each, but even though we were the only guests at the desk at the time, the staff members seemed to want to end the transaction as soon as possible and get back to whatever they were doing. Yet, without mentioning it, they upgraded our room. We felt the staff would have responded to any needs or requests, they just didn't project any kind of warmth, except for one young man who met us in the parking lot and told us quite a bit about Ashland and nearby restaurants. Since only front desk staff wear any kind of uniform, we weren't entirely sure if he worked for the hotel or not. Employees at Lark's were more relaxed and friendly.
The Ashland Springs Hotel is not like a modern suite-style hotel, but that is also its charm. If you are looking for a trip into the past, located steps from the Shakespeare Festival theaters and Lithia Park, with a commanding view of Ashland and the surrounding mountains, you will enjoy your stay immensely.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Elegantly restored historic landmark in the heart of downtown Ashland offers seventy tastefully appointed, non-smoking guest rooms, Waterstone Spa & Salon, English garden,banquet/conference space and Larks Restaurant. Calming colors & decorations evoke an era of relaxed comfort and elegance. Guests are pampered with superb service and luxurious surroundings. ... more less
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