On their website, the historic Columbia Hotel promotes itself as having "olde world charm and elegance," and displays a few enticing looking pictures. They also post comments of a glowing review.
My husband and I have stayed in historic hotels so we know how nice they can be; in fact we make an annual visit to Ashland to take in several plays and we've stayed at some gorgeous B&B's.
But what Columbia refers to as "olde world charm" we call run down and primitive. Clearly this hotel is doing a lot of things on the cheap and could use some restoration.
Yes, the place does have a lot of vintage touches, but our room was spartan to say the least. Two uncomfortable beds complete with rusted and peeling iron bedsteads (fiine for those who like country primitives), but the walls also had peeling paint, the carpets were badly stained, and the vintage sink permanently stained. (While I have no objection to vintage fixtures in a hotel, they should at least be re-glazed or otherwise made to look nice and clean.)
There were no real amenities of any kind; even the tissues in our room where the cheap-o scratchy variety. A friend of ours had an air conditioner and television in his room -- we did not. (And it does seem that some of the rooms are nicer than others.)
There was ONE communal bathroom in our hallway with a toilet and small shower stall (no bathtub, despite the lovely antique clawfoot depicted on the website). This bathroom was shared by SIX rooms of people! That is ridiculous, there was a queue to use the shower and it felt more like a youth hostel in that respect. As the bathroom was adjacent, we were awakened by the shower-takers who started at 6 a.m.
We were not provided bath towels . . . . well, we THOUGHT we had bath towels which were unusually small but we later realized they were supposed to be used as bath mats.
Our room was right above the main street, so it was quite noisy with traffic and young people yelling and making noise until the wee hours.
In the future we will stick with the B&Bs and we will NEVER go to the Columbia again. But if you do decide to stay here, I recommend asking for a room at the back of the hotel, away from the main street. And bring your own hair dryer and telephone.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ideally located just one block to Shakespeare theatres. An historic European-style hotel full of warmth and charm. Relax and enjoy our skylit lobby and friendly service. Free wireless internet. Listed on the national register of historic places, The Columbia is Ashland's oldest and longest operating hotel. Guests enjoy the hotel's central location in downtown Ashland. Travelers stepping inside the hotel for the first time are greeted with our warm ambiance, personable hotel staff, plush reading areas, clawfoot tubs, period furnishings and original touches. The hotel is less than two blocks away from Lithia Park, The Plaza, the Oregon Cabaret Theater, unique shops, relaxing spas and over 40 independent restaurants for which Ashland is known. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Columbia Hotel Ashland