Our Stay at the Marcus Whitman Hotel in Walla Walla (Full Review!)

Last Updated on October 4, 2022 by admin

Walla Walla is one of Washington State’s best destinations. Located on the “sunny side” of the state, the city is known for its agriculture, particularly its wine. There are over 120 wineries in Walla Walla! Wine enthusiasts travel from all over the world to go wine tasting at its numerous award-winning wineries. One of the best places to stay in Walla Walla is the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center. In this post, we’re sharing about our recent stay at the Marcus Whitman Hotel.

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About Walla Walla

Walla Walla Valley is Washington’s second American Viticultural Area (AVA). The Walla Walla Valley is comprised of 6 different wine districts: Westside, Downtown, Airport, Eastside, Southside, and Oregon. 

Walla Walla Valley covers over 3,000 acres in Washington and Oregon. We learned that 44 different varietals of grape can grow in Walla Walla, which means that there’s plenty of options for winemakers to create amazing wines! The region is especially famous for its syrah and cabernet sauvignon production.


We recommend booking a wine tour of Walla Walla wineries. You’ll be able to visit multiple wineries in the same day, and you won’t have to worry about driving between them all!

(Booking information linked here.)


best wineries in Walla Walla: Castillo de Feliciana

About the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center

Address: 6 W Rose St, Walla Walla, WA 99362

Phone: (509) 525-2200

The Marcus Whitman Hotel is a historic hotel located in downtown Walla Walla. Like many of the buildings downtown, it was built nearly 100 years ago. The hotel was constructed in 1928 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

To see current prices for a stay at the Marcus Whitman, click here.

The hotel has housed famous celebrities such as actress Shirley Temple, musician Louis Armstrong, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower. (To name just a few!)

The Marcus Whitman Hotel in Walla Walla

The Marcus Whitman Hotel has also received numerous accolades, including the 2015 Hotel of the Year Award from the Annual Washington State Wine Awards.

The Marcus Whitman Hotel is the tallest building in Walla Walla. The hotel is 11 stories tall. Floors 8 through 11 are considered “the tower.” There’s also a smaller 2-story penthouse with a pyramidal roof. It includes many elements of the Italian Renaissance style, such as brick facing, belt courses, and columns. In 1969, a new 3-story wing was added to the hotel for additional rooms. 

The Marcus Whitman Hotel in Walla Walla

The lobby is styled with an urn and plant theme. The three large chandeliers are original from the hotel’s first opening. Inside the lobby, you’ll also find three telephone booths with working phones. If you’re feeling nostalgic, feel free to make a call from the phone booth!

things to do in Walla Walla: Marcus Whitman

The Georgian Room, located on the west end of the lobby, used to be the hotel’s primary entrance. On the hotel’s second floor, you’ll find an art gallery with 35 paintings by Dave Manuel. The paintings depict the life history of Marcus Whitman and his family.

Finally, in true Walla Walla fashion, you’ll find multiple wine tasting rooms accessible from the lobby. These include Lodmell CellarsMansion Creek CellarsL’Ecole Heritage Wine Bar, and Locati Cellars(Tip: The L’Ecole Heritage Wine Bar is open later than most tasting rooms in Walla Walla, so it’s a great place to stop by after an early dinner!)

How to Get to the Marcus Whitman Hotel


The Marcus Whitman Hotel is located in the north end of the downtown business district in Walla Walla. 

Walla Walla is about 261 miles east from Seattle. (It’s about a 4 to 4.5-hour drive depending on traffic.)

Walla Walla is about 153 miles south of Spokane. (That’s about a 2.5 to 3-hour drive.)

If you’re flying, you can fly into Walla Walla Regional Airport (ALW). The flight from Seattle to Walla Walla is just a little over an hour long.  

Our Experience at the Marcus Whitman Hotel

Walking into the Marcus Whitman Hotel, it truly felt like were back in time at a luxurious hotel. The lobby was very elegant, and I enjoyed paying attention to the architectural elements and the decor.

We were assigned a room in the new wing on the north end of the property. The room was large and clean. We had a view of the parking lot, and a non-descript bathroom. I was a bit disappointed staying in the new wing, because it felt more like a chain hotel experience. (In contrast to the historical feel of the main building.) 

The Marcus Whitman Hotel in Walla Walla
This was our room in the new wing of the hotel


That night, however, we didn’t sleep that well because our room was right next to the ice machine. Our air conditioning unit also tuned on-and-off loudly throughout the night. Between those two things, we didn’t get the best sleep. The next morning we asked if there were any rooms in the historic tower available, and for a slightly higher price, we were able to spend the second night on the 8th floor of the tower.

The Marcus Whitman Hotel in Walla Walla
This was our room in the tower


We definitely preferred the tower room in comparison to our room in the newer wing. The tower room had central air, so it was much more quiet throughout the night. We also had a really pretty view of downtown Walla Walla. Finally, the room just felt more “historic”, which added to its charm. We would recommend booking a room in the tower if at all possible.

One thing we really enjoyed about the Marcus Whitman Hotel was the complimentary breakfast buffet. There were lots of options, including scrambled eggs, sausage, pastries, yogurt, cereals, toast, potatoes, fruit, biscuits and gravy, and more. 

The Marcus Whitman Hotel in Walla Walla
Breakfast at the Marcus Whitman Hotel


Finally, one of the best things about the hotel is its location. We were within an easy walking distance to the downtown wineries, restaurants, and stores. We went for a walk downtown each evening and it was the perfect way to cap off a day wine tasting at some of our favorite wineries in Walla Walla

The Marc Restaurant

On the first night of our trip, we made dinner reservations at The Marc Restaurant. The formal dining room is located within the Marcus Whitman Hotel. If you’re looking for a fine dining option in Walla Walla, definitely check out the Marc. It has been awarded Restaurant of the Year by the Washington Wine Commission.

We started off our meal with the complimentary garlic rolls, which were served warm. It took a lot of self-restraint not to eat the entire basket.

The Marc Restaurant in Walla Walla

We then ordered a bowl of soup (made with melted cheese and beer). 

The Marc Restaurant in Walla Walla

We ordered a burger and sliders, both of which were very good.

After dinner, we grabbed a glass of wine in the lounge. It was the perfect way to cap off a day of wine tasting in Walla Walla!

Other Places to Stay in Walla Walla

There are lots of unique places to stay in Walla Walla. Here are some ideas:


  • The Finch: This hotel is centrally located downtown. This new hotel has fresh rooms and lots of outdoor gathering areas.
  • Eritage Resort: This luxurious resort has countryside views, a fine dining restaurant, and beautiful guest rooms. 
  • Cameo Heights Mansion: This luxurious bed and breakfast is located in the nearby town of Touchet. The mansion is adults-only and features uniquely-styled rooms, a pool, and a fine dining restaurant. This location would be perfect for a romantic getaway!
  • The Inn at Abeja: If you want to stay at a winery, check out the Inn at Abeja. This winery has cute cottages and suites.

For a full list of accommodations in Walla Walla, click here. (There are dozens of properties to choose from!)

We also wrote an article going into more depth about places to stay in Walla Walla. Click here to read the full article.



What to Pack for a Trip to Walla Walla

Here are a few things we recommend that you bring with you:

  • Comfortable walking shoes: Don’t plan on wearing heels or anything uncomfortable. Many of the wineries have gravel or dirt paths, so you’ll want to wear something comfortable. If you’re visiting during the summer months, I recommend a good pair of sandals.
  • Power Bank: We always keep a fully-charged power bank with us while we’re out exploring. That way, if our phone battery is running low, we can easily plug it in and re-charge on the go. We rely on our phones heavily for navigation and photography, so this product is a must for us.
  • Notebook: During our last trip to Walla Walla, we brought a notebook to take notes of the different wines we tried. We wrote down the different labels, types of wine, and our impressions. It was really fun to compare notes! (And it also helped us to remember our favorite wines to look for at home!)
  • Sun Hat: Don’t forget sun protection while you’re visiting the different wineries! 
  • Small crossbody purse: To easily carry your identification and credit cards. (This is the purse I have, and I really like it a lot!)


(Click on any of the above images for shipping and pricing information.)

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Marcus Whitman Hotel have a pool?

The Marcus Whitman Hotel does not have a pool. If you’re staying at the Marcus Whitman Hotel and would like to go swimming, we recommend that you purchase a day pass at the nearby Veterans Memorial Swimming Pool. The pool is about 1.2 miles away from the hotel.

Is the Marcus Whitman Hotel haunted?

To our knowledge, we could not find any sources stating that the Marcus Whitman Hotel was haunted.

Who owns the Marcus Whitman Hotel?

The Marcus Whitman Hotel is owned by Kyle Mussman.

When was the Marcus Whitman Hotel built?

The Marcus Whitman Hotel was built in 1928. 

How tall is the Marcus Whitman Hotel?

The Marcus Whitman Hotel is 162 feet high. It is the tallest building in the city of Walla Walla. 

Summary: Our Adventure at the Marcus Whitman Hotel

We really enjoyed our stay at the Marcus Whitman Hotel. If you’re looking for a place to stay in downtown Walla Walla, it’s definitely one of the best hotels. We were able to easily walk around downtown, plus there were wine tasting rooms right in the hotel’s lobby.

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Disclaimer: We always strive for content accuracy. Since the time of publishing, travel-related information regarding pricing, schedules, and hours may have changed. Please see individual websites embedded in this post for the most current trip-planning information.

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