things to do in Walla Walla: Marcus Whitman Hotel
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Our Stay at the Marcus Whitman Hotel in Walla Walla (Full Review!)

Last Updated on January 20, 2024 by Kelly

One of the best hotels in Walla Walla is the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center. It’s a historic building with views of the downtown area. It also has one of the most grand lobbies you will see! We recently stayed at the Marcus Whitman Hotel. In this post, we’re sharing our full review of the Marcus Whitman Hotel. We’re including photos, dining information, and what part of the hotel we recommend staying in.

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About the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center

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

Phone: (509) 525-2200

Reservations: To make a reservation for the Marcus Whitman Hotel on Booking.com, click here

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.

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.

At 11 stories tall, the Marcus Whitman Hotel is the tallest building in Walla Walla. 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. In 1969, a 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!

The lobby of the Marcus Whitman Hotel

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 Cellars, Mansion Creek Cellars, L’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 Stay at the Marcus Whitman Hotel

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

We were assigned a room in the newer wing on the north end of the property. The room was large and clean. We didn’t have much of a view (just the parking lot) and a basic bathroom. I was a bit disappointed staying in the new wing, because it felt more like a chain hotel experience. (This was 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.

Tower Room of 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.

Verdict: We would recommend booking a room in the tower at the Marcus Whitman Hotel 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. 

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

 

Finally, one of the best things about staying at the Marcus Whitman Hotel is its location. We were within 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 which was made with melted cheese and beer. 

Dinner at The Marc Restaurant in Walla Walla

We ordered a burger and sliders, both of which were also 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 Hotels to Consider 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.

We also wrote an entire article about our recommendations for places to stay in Walla Walla if you’d like to learn more!

 


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 Marcus Whitman Hotel.

Who owns the Marcus Whitman Hotel?

The Marcus Whitman Hotel is owned by Kyle Mussman.

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 Review of 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 to downtown Walla Walla, plus there were wine tasting rooms right in the hotel’s lobby. We recommend staying in the historic tower, as opposed to the newer wing.

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DisclaimerWe always strive for content accuracy. Since the time of publishing, travel-related information regarding pricing, schedules, and hours may have changed. Please look up such information directly from each vendor or institution for the most current information.

Hi, I’m Kelly!

After studying abroad in Spain, I became passionate about international travel. Since then, I’ve traveled to 6 continents and 36 states within the United States. When I’m not travel blogging, you can find me hiking, reading books in Spanish, or playing cribbage. I hope my blog inspires you to see the world!