The lobby at The Grand Hotel in Salem, Oregon, makes me feel like I've stepped into a mansion in The Great Gatsby. Circular blue and gold sofas, plush amber-colored couches and oversized antique chairs beckon for revelers to enjoy gossip and conversation. The tall, elegant vases and dimly lit chandeliers hanging from the ceiling give the room an air of refinement and glamour.
While attending the Travel & Words Conference, I had the pleasure of being hosted at The Grand Hotel. After a two-day stay, I discovered that while it is a modern building with amenities travelers appreciate, it also retains an old-school charm that one could easily describe as grand.
A Little Bit of History
Located in downtown Salem, The Grand Hotel sits in the former location of The Marion Hotel. Built in 1870, the hotel was touted as “the finest and largest in Oregon” and the “finest North of San Francisco, with all the modern improvements.” Since Salem is the state capital, it also had the honor of hosting government and state officials. Tragedy struck in 1971 when a fire consumed the property. Out of the ashes, over thirty years later, came The Grand Hotel.
Spacious Rooms at The Grand Hotel
I arrived in Salem a little sooner than I had expected from my travels touring Eugene. Surprisingly, my deluxe king room was ready, and after a quick check-in, I found myself relaxing in my spacious guest room. Like the lobby, the room had amber and gold accents with dark wood furniture. It featured a cozy king bed with soft white linens, a sitting area with a leather loveseat, and a large desk with an executive chair.
Since I planned to be at the hotel for a couple of nights, I had time to enjoy the well-appointed room and its features. I'm the sort of traveler that doesn't like cramped quarters, even if I'm traveling alone. I thoroughly enjoyed the extra living space. And, the working area and complimentary WiFi also proved to be very handy throughout my stay.
The Grand Hotel Amenities
In total, the hotel offers 193 oversized rooms and suites, and there are eight room options including standard deluxe rooms, the grand Jacuzzi and family suites, a senator suite and a presidential suite. Some suites have a wet bar, a separate living area, gas fireplace, and the larger suites have an apartment style layout with a kitchen and a refrigerator. Another perk is that all guests receive a complimentary parking and a hot breakfast buffet.
The conference kept me too busy to enjoy the leisure amenities, such as the pool and spa, or the fitness center. I would have loved to soak in the hot tub!
The hotel is also connected to the Salem Convention Center. Hotel guests attending a conference will find it super easy to get to and from the hotel without leaving the building.
Dine at Bentley's Grill
One of the hotel features I did experience a couple of times was the Northwest-inspired fare at Bentley's Grill. Located in the hotel, the restaurant and bar feature tall ceilings, lots of wood tones and a roaring fireplace in the center which has built-in “wow” appeal.
The first night, I enjoyed some the sliders and found them to be very tasty and the perfect size for a late night snack.
The following evening, I joined friends for a late dinner. We were lucky enough to get to sit next to the fireplace!
Wanting to eat a light meal again, I ordered the grilled shrimp Ceasar salad.
Must-See Attractions Near The Grand Hotel
I didn't get to explore Salem as much as I would have liked. If you have time during your travels, I have a few suggestions all within walking distance of The Grand Hotel. A mere eight minutes from the hotel, the 26-acre Riverfront City Park is the perfect place for a stroll along the Willamette River and a ride on Salem's popular Riverfront Carousel.
One block from the hotel is The Elsinore. They show movies and have regular live entertainment at this historic theater.
Ten minutes by foot, the Capitol Building offers guided weekday tours (you can also do a self-guided tour as well), and during the summer you can tour the tower.
When You Visit Salem
After spending a couple of days at the hotel, I found The Grand Hotel to feature everything I needed, for both leisure and business travel. With so many nearby attractions, it also made an excellent home base. Book your stay at The Grand Hotel.
Note: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with accommodations and car rental for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.