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“No phones, no tv, no problem - amazing”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Columbia Hotel

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Columbia Hotel
Ranked #9 of 19 Hotels in Ashland
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
31 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“No phones, no tv, no problem - amazing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 December 2013

Step back in time - with great wifi connection. Who cares that there is no tv, immerse yourself in a little time travel, or open up your computer! An early December trip to Ashland, found us in the off season, and we were treated to an amazing holiday adventure. Arriving just after sunset, we found the front door in the middle of downtown. It is very discreet, no big hotel front, just a door and awning in the middle of the block. Opening the door was a little like stepping through to "the Lion, the Witch,and the Wardrobe". Of the same era, we opened the door to a cascade of wooden stairs adorned with poinsettias, and crowned by a 100-year plus hotel desk. Luckily, the back of the hotel has parking, and a shorter set of stairs.

We opted for a room with a bathroom, complete with a claw-foot tub. Most of the rooms have a sink, but the commode and shower require a little trip down the hall - you may want to bring your bathrobe. Our room had a comfortable queen size bed, a day bed, a large bathroom, and a beautiful view of the street below and the mountains beyond.(room 6). The lobby was decorated for the holidays, comfortable and a wonderful place to sit, work on your computer, drink tea, visit, snoop through the unoccupied rooms, or read.

The wifi experience is very welcoming and easy to bring up, though if you're not active on it, it times out fairly quickly. Just log back in. It tells you who is at the front desk. Staff at the front desk were marvelous, accomodating and they love working there - imagine that. They knew the area, and were good at suggesting local eateries, gave us directions and were charming.

I am sure that staying there is great any time, but we were there during an unusual snowstorm, and this event marked our trip with an extra kind of magic.

Room Tip: If you are good with shared bathrooms, you can save a peso or two, and enjoy very nice experience...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank rvr2mtn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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276 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (96)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Burney,Ca
Level Contributor
91 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 November 2013

First off, Ashland is one of our favorite places to visit. I just wish it wasn't so expensive during the busy season, Shakespeare season. We've gone to a play before, but it's hard to believe that so many people are willing to pay the crazy high room rates. We enjoy the great food and shopping more than the plays, so we usually go during the winter. This trip was planned aroung the Christmas parade and downtown lighting ceremony. Both of which are great. Sorry for the rant, back to the review.
I gave the Columbia a 4 not because it's a 4 star hotel, it definitely is not. It's an old historic hotel with a great location right on main street, close to all the action. It has very friendly people working the front desk and has a lot of charm. It was already decorated for Christmas and looked very charming.
The odd thing about the Columbia is the bathroom situation. The room we booked was the courtyard suite I believe. The main reason is that it had it's own bathroom. Traveling with a wife and daughter who both spend some time in the bathroom, I felt it was important. Here's the funny thing though, the rooms without bathrooms, especially the ones facing Main St. are beautiful. I makes you want that room instead, except that you have to share facilities with the other guests who are in the same situation.
Also, the lobby/lounge area is right outside some of the rooms (ours) and can be rather noisy. Not only could we hear peoples conversations, we could hear the person at the front desk moving in their chair. If you're a light sleeper, you may want to book a room away from that area.
There is no breakfast included, so factor that in. I just drove south a little bit to Safeway and picked up some breakfast rolls and drinks. So it wasn't a huge deal. There is also a few restaurants nearby who serve breakfast, but after a big lunch and dinner the day before, we decided to go light.
So in conclusion, if you want to stay right on Main St., you don't mind an older historic building and all that goes along with that. Give the Columbia a try. You'll also save some money over most of the other hotels in the area.

Room Tip: If you have trouble with stairs, you might want to stay elsewhere. It's not terrible coming in f...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Cory H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 November 2013

I loved this place. It's so quaint, and comfortable . .sooo Ashland! I had actually considered camping at Emmigrant Lake, (which I do often), but for November, my friend suggested we splurge and sleep indoors. Our room had two super comfortable queen beds, a huge closet, big window overlooking Main St., and a big over stuffed chair. We were down the hall from the bathroom . .and it worked out fine! Hot tea or coffee was always available in the comfy lobby.

Part of it's quaintness is, it's not perfect. For example, I arrived on a Saturday afternoon, and had to find street parking. And since I'd never been there before, I first entered from Main St., saw the huge flight of stairs . .and knew there had to be a better way, up around the corner. (I was right!)

The downtown location is incredible. Our rate went down starting Sunday night . .and I may go back during the off-season . .just because the rooms are so affordable.

Room Tip: Our room was down the hall from the bathroom . .good for not hearing the door open and close, but it...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank maureen p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 October 2013

This is not the hotel for everyone. No tv's not all rooms have private baths (they do have a sink). AND the location is great, the people lovely and there is a sense of community as people gather around the couches to talk.
Think upscale hostel for adults. Great for groups of friends.
I've been staying at the Columbia for 30 years - and am returning next year.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jmcvittie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Salem, Oregon
Level Contributor
623 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 241 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2013

The Columbia works well for a certain type of traveler. It worked well for us. It works even better for hostelers and those used to the quirkiness of B&Bs in Europe.

The down sides:

You have to ask about the various room types. Only a couple have a toilet and shower or bath in the room. In most you have to use a shared toilet and shower. We stayed in a room with a toilet and shower and paid a little more as a result. You have to recognize that there are limited amenities. There is no TV and the rooms are small enough that furnishings are minimal - no desk to work at. If you are a clothes horse, there are a couple of rooms with closets, but they mostly don't have bathrooms. Maybe a sink. Our room had no closets and only a few hooks, so we lived out of our suitcases - not bad for only 2 nights, but an inconvenience if you want some clothes hung up. No breakfast outside of tea and coffee, so factor that into the price you save. If you usually take advantage of free breakfasts, you will end up spending an extra $15 per person or so at the few restaurants in town that serve breakfast. If you have a room that opens to the common sitting area off the lobby, you will hear people talking who are using the sitting room to relax after a show, or who get up early to talk over coffee. There are many steps either front or back, so you have to be pretty able bodied to get up and down. We were there in the fall, so air conditioning was not an issue, but check for a room that has AC if you are coming in summer. Parking is very limited and you will likely have to park in the street. It can be difficult to find unrestricted street parking. There is a lot less than 2 blocks away that costs $3 a day.

The good points:

The rooms are clean, the bed fairly comfortable, the staff are very friendly and helpful, and you can strike up nice conversations with other people staying at the hotel. We found the other people who enjoy staying in a place like this to also be the type of people who are friendly and who want to share thoughts about the area and the events. The price is reasonable and you are just a couple blocks away from the theaters. Overall, we would stay here again.

Room Tip: Ask about all the details of the room: shower? bath? sink? closets? toilet? AC? then make up your mi...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank pkrissel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Folsom, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 October 2013

I've stayed at the Columbia 3 times over the past 2 years when attending the Oregon Shakespeare Festival - as recently as last weekend. I have only stayed in mid-spring and early fall, so have not experienced a heat wave w/o air conditioning. Inexpensive lovely, charming rooms. Toilet, shower down the hall; sink in the room. Bring a robe + slippers. Comfortable front room/sitting room with complimentary coffee + tea. Great location near the theaters. Easy walking throughout downtown. Need to take stairs entering from either front or back (I've never looked for an elevator). I like this place - will always go back.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jennifer914914
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Palo Alto, California
Level Contributor
118 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2013

Over the years, we've stayed in five different Ashland hotels. When my favorite, Ashland Springs Hotel (ASH), was unavailable, I opted to try the Columbia. Booked a small, no-view room with private bath for $159+ tax per night, total was $350 for two nights. While the people staffing the desk are extremely nice and helpful, I can't help comparing the value to ASH. For the same price you can get a very small room at ASH with the following amenities: free breakfast, TV, clock, quality down comforter and pillows, nice sheets, discount at the nearby Waterstone Spa, late night treats, hair dryer in room, phone, bathrobes, climate control in room, comfortable arm chair with reading lamp, closet, packet of bathroom products, night tables with reading lamps on both sides of the bed, ample private parking lot, on-site restaurant, etc. All of these amenities were missing at Columbia. I should note here that this hotel offers less expensive rooms with shared hall bathrooms, which perhaps are good value, but I prefer to compare apples to apples. I found it impossible to sleep past 6:30 a.m. because of the noise created by people moving about the corridor. The location is almost as good as ASH, but at the same price, it fails to deliver the same quality. The pillows are like thin, foam bricks, the only chair in the room was a dining side chair and lacked a lamp so was useless as a reading chair. A room for two people should have night tables and lamps on BOTH sides of the bed. Some of the missing amenities would be easy and inexpensive to add and some would be costly, such as in-room climate control, adequate parking. Failure to adequately furnish inexpensive amenities shows a lack of concern about the guests' experience.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank califbikegal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Columbia Hotel

Property: Columbia Hotel
Address: 262 1/2 E Main St, Ashland, OR 97520-1894
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Oregon > Ashland
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites
Hotel Style:
#3 Green Hotel in Ashland
#7 Romantic Hotel in Ashland
#7 Family Hotel in Ashland
#8 Business Hotel in Ashland
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 22
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

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