We were so impressed by our first visit last fall to this historic hotel that we decided to return in the summer and catch a play during the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. We found the hotel just as clean and well-maintained as before. It's been a dozen years since the extensive restoration of this landmark, but the rooms show little visible wear. During our first visit, the front desk staff struck us as professional and polite, but rather cold. This time they seemed more welcoming. What was cold, fortunately, was the air-conditioning in Ashland's 99 degree weather. The hotel may have a 1925 ambience, but the HVAC system is up to date. We also appreciated the soft but supportive bed and bedding, a trick some expensive hotels can't seem to master.
We took advantage of the hotel's Shakespeare Festival package, only available on Sunday nights, which offers a room, play tickets for two, and a $30 credit at Lark's Restaurant in the hotel. The tickets turned out to be for good seats, but we were disappointed by the food and service at Lark's this time, and would probably only use the $30 credit on some pre-play appetizers if we were to purchase the package again. There are plenty of other good restaurants close to the hotel. In fact, there is no hotel or B & B that can match the Ashland Springs Hotel for location to shops, restaurants and the theaters. This hotel would probably be full even if it was a dump, but it is anything but. In most respects, it's better than it has to be. As I said in my last review, however, it may be Oregon's tallest B & B. As in most historic hotels, the rooms have high ceilings and tall windows, but little floor space. There is no pool or anyplace for kids to run around, so it is far more suited to the older couples that seem to make up the bulk of the customers. As for the breakfast part of B & B, the "Expanded Continental Breakfast" here is really just continental. The pastries are fresh and good, augmented by a couple of high-fiber cereals, but come on people, even the Rodeway Inn has a waffle maker now. Hotels five times more expensive should too.