Ashland Springs Hotel
The Ashland Springs Hotel harkens back to a simpler time. It is located in the beautiful Rogue River Valley and remains the town's most beloved landmark. The inspiration for the landmark hotel in Oregon is the town's history and its natural setting. In the late 19th Century, Ashland's Chatauqua auditorium provided visitors educational lectures and entertainment, while numerous springs and baths rejuvenated their bodies. Now, in the 21st century, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is the focus of entertainment, while the hotel's nearby spa, outdoor activities and the hotel's sister property, Lake of the Woods Resort, continue to relax the body and feed the soul.
Originally named the Lithia Hotel, the structure was built in 1925 as Ashland's first luxury nine-story hotel and for decades it was the tallest building between San Fransisco and Portland. The style of the building is a hybrid of Gothic, Beaux-Arts, and Arts and Crafts architecture. In the 1920s it was a natural stopping place for visitors travelling between California and the Northwest. Guests could enjoy the scenic views and take in the famous Lithia Springs water, reputed to be the purest and most healthful in America. In 1960, the hotel was renamed the Mark Antony, in recognition of the growing popularity of the nearby Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
By 1997, the landmark hotel in Oregon had been abandoned and was in desperate need of a renovation, which began in 1998 by new owners Doug and Becky Neuman. A design concept was created that integrated the region's past with the varied educational, artistic, and naturalist interests of a highly literate and vital contemporary community. A complete "basement to parapet," a two-year, ten million dollar restoration followed and the hotel reopened December 2000.
Entering the hotel, guests are welcomed into a grand two-story lobby, featuring the restored original terrazzo floor and massive fireplace. Custom axminster area rugs inspired by an exotic 1930s design were created to cover the floors, and towering speciman palms were placed in the room for drama. Eclectic chairs and sofas were upholstered in natural colored coach cloths and tickings, while local interest in ornithology and entomology are captured in French "cabinets de curiosite," displaying collections of taxidermy birds, eggs, nests and insects. A natural light conservatory was added to the grand ballroom, an adjacent courtyard was created and an English garden planted around a stunning wrought iron gazebo. The signature stained-glass crest over the front entrance was returned to prominence and it once again welcomes guests to a historic hotel whose reputation is "equal in luxury to any hotel in Oregon."