If you are making a family road trip through Oregon’s Rogue Valley and need a family-friendly place to stay, consider the Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites in Ashland, and Inn at the Commons in Medford. Both properties are locally owned and operated by the Neuman Hotel Group and I’ve had the opportunity to stay at the Inn at the Commons in August and Ashland Hills Hotel this past weekend.
While there are some benefits to chain hotels and loyalty and reward programs, staying at a locally-owned business keeps money in a community and gives you the opportunity to experience “little extras” you oftentimes won’t find in the cookie-cutter model. Ninety percent of the time I travel with my three kids and I’m always looking for places that are safe, clean, and quiet. And if I had to choose between a continental breakfast and a swimming pool, I’d pick the pool every time.
Let’s start with Inn at the Commons. We stayed here on our three-day trip to find the most kid-friendly attractions in Medford and Ashland (read the full story in this post). Temperatures in the Rogue Valley are generally warmer than the rest of the state, and we appreciated the outdoor pool. Larks Restaurant was undergoing renovations during our visit, but take a look the restaurant website for a description of the quality of the locally-sourced food and types of meals featured on the expansive menu.
A motel, room doors lead directly to the parking lot and back patio/garden and this was a much quieter experience than I anticipated. I felt totally safe and enjoyed chatting with our patio neighbors as the kids swam together in the pool. Breakfast is complimentary and includes higher-quality food than you might encounter at a traditional continental breakfast (egg bake and biscuits and gravy, for example).
Inn at the Commons is located within walking distance of downtown Medford and is a great stopping off point for anyone visiting Crater Lake National Park. Decorated in a 1970s retro-modern fashion, both lobbies are super groovy if you are into art and architecture. Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites features an airy, open, two-story main lobby leading up to the dining room.
Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites also has an outdoor pool in addition to a hot tub (Inn at the Commons just has the pool). If you stay at this property, also note the tennis courts and bicycles available for guests to check out and borrow. What this property lacks in “closeness” to downtown businesses, it makes up in sweeping and panoramic mountain views.
This property is more like a traditional hotel, with hallways leading to rooms and outdoor patios or porches. The rooms are clean and modern and remind me of staying in a Scandinavian country (the breakfast selection is also lighter and has a more European feel; yogurt with berries and honey or egg salad on toast).
If you decide to stay in Ashland, consider taking advantage of the Pacific Crest Trail package that plays on the movie Wild and Reese Witherspoon’s visit to town. The package runs through the end of October and includes lodging, breakfast, a map of the Pacific Crest Trail, hiker-themed snacks, a foot soak at the Waterstone Spa, and 40% off Danner Boots (among other things).
Ashland draws visitors from near and far to its Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The downtown business district is lined with niche stores and restaurants ranging from funky breakfast cafes to five-star restaurants. If you go, leave time for a walk through Lithia Park, a 90-acre city park that winds along Ashland Creek through native gardens, fountains, ponds, playgrounds, tennis courts, and pavilions with grand lawns. The true expert on what to do in Rogue Valley is Amy at Pitstops for Kids. Read her recent review of the Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites in this story.
Thanks to Neuman Hotel Group for sponsoring our stay at both properties. As always, we would never recommend a place we would not gladly reserve for our own family vacation. Happy trails!