Towering over everything else in Walla Walla, Washington, it is hard to miss this classy hotel. Built in 1928 by the community, the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center has made a comeback worth noting. After nearly three decades of disrepair in the 70s, 80s and 90s, the Marcus Whitman was bought and restored by Kyle Mussman and re-opened in 2001. Rarely will you see such a magnificent hotel restored so meticulously with seemingly acres of hardwood paneling, fine light fixtures, period flooring and murals depicting the area.
Home of friendly staff
What matters most is comfort and location. For those lucky travelers coming to Walla Walla, this is the place to stay. The Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center may not be a five star hotel, but staying in the historic tower makes you feel like you are staying in luxury.
If you are arriving by car and need help with baggage, you just need to request help at reception. The friendly staff are ready to help. At check-in, notice the old clock over the key boxes, behind the front desk still keeping time nearly perfectly. This is another reminder of the authentic design touches throughout the main tower letting you know this is a special place.
Several room choices at the Marcus Whitman Hotel
All 133 rooms at the Marcus Whitman are in excellent condition and are equipped with modern amenities. Choose from four types of rooms in the historic tower, or three types in the West Wing. The West Wing is comparable to modern mid-level class hotel and the Historic Tower is in a class of its own.
Try a Spa Suite with a large jetted tub in a spacious room, and great views of the town. An Executive Tower King Room offers ample space, or choose a Junior Suite appointed in the Renaissance style featuring hand-crafted furnishings. All room types include Gilchrist and Soames toiletries, complimentary Wi-Fi, free full breakfast, in-room coffee makers, and flat-screen TV. Water pressure in your shower is good and there is plenty of hot water. Bringing your pet? There are a few pet-friendly rooms to keep your furry friends happy.
Commitment to great food
The food at the Marcus Whitman shines like everything else. Their Hot and Healthy breakfast is an example of a commitment to great food. Offerings on the hot side might be French toast, roasted potatoes with onions and bell peppers, bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, oatmeal and more. On the cold side, try the granola, candied walnuts, fruit puree, and yogurt that are all house-made and delicious. Pastries, toast and assorted cereal are also on offer.
Fine dining at the Marc Restaurant
For dinner, try the Marc Restaurant, recently awarded Restaurant of the Year by the Washington Wine Commission! They take farm-to-table seriously here and even grow some of their own produce on site on a roof-top garden. One of the chefs grows microgreens in the basement under grow lights for use at dinner.
If you want to go all out for dinner, reserve the Chef’s Table in the kitchen and be waited on hand-and-foot for a memorable meal. For starters, indulge in a Pacific Northwest Seafood Chowder, which has succulent razor clams, salmon, bacon and potatoes in a soup that’s hard to beat. A sure winner is the Grilled Rack of Spring Lamb paired with a local Cabernet Sauvignon or Skuna Bay King Salmon paired with a red wine blend. All dinner entrees and starters have wine pairing notes to make it easy for those that don’t want to think about such decisions. For lighter fare, a wine lounge is available.
Plenty of meeting/event space
If you are in need of a meeting space, the Marcus Whitman Hotel and Conference Center caters to business needs of local and regional organizations. The conference center is a great place for a wine-themed wedding or event for groups of 10-450. It was a conference that brought me here and I can attest to the quality of the meeting space as well as the food. Lunch was delivered fast, hot and delicious both days of the event with some 150 in attendance.
Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center: A very classy hotel
Wine is a big draw for out-of-town guests and the Marcus Whitman has four on-site tasting rooms. You will also be within a ten minute walk of several more local tasting rooms to get an idea of the quality wines being produced in the Walla Walla area. Several excellent restaurants are within five minute’s walk of the hotel.
Whether you come for the wine, vacation, or a business meeting, the Marcus Whitman Hotel will make a lasting impression as one of the West’s best classic hotels.