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Historic hotels
Five unique hotels where you re-live the past
There's nothing like the charm of a historic hotel to create a certain ambience for that special getaway with your Significant Other. The stately, often ornate architecture and just the sense of history separate these hotels from the rest of the pack.

Washington state and the Pacific Northwest are blessed with a number of historic hotels, each unique in its own way. Whether it's a mountain retreat or an excursion to the coast, chances are you can find a historic hotel to enjoy for at least part of your trip. They can be great for couples and often are fun family getaways as well.

Here are a few examples of historic hotels in Washington.

Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center

Walla Walla is a popular wine region  1in Washington that also happens to have one of the state's most luxurious historic hotels -- The Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center.

It's a landmark in Walla Walla and features 133 luxurious guest rooms and suites that are just ideal for that special getaway. The hotel also has an award-winning restaurant as well as six wine-tasting rooms.

The Marcus Whitman was built in the late 1920's and was considered the finest hotel for hundreds of miles. The hotel drew presidents, celebrities and dignitaries with its elegant rooms, friendly service and famous restaurant.

Eventually it fell into a state of disrepair but, in 1999, the hotel was completely restored to the opulence of its early days. This fit perfectly with the burgeoning wine industry in Walla Walla. Today, wine-lovers can enjoy visiting this unique hotel while touring the many wineries in the region.

For more information, please visit www.marcuswhitmanhotel.com or phone 866- 826-9422.

Paradise Inn

The Paradise Inn at Mount Rainier was built in 1916. If you've seen the pictures of this place, it is an amazing building in one of the most beautiful locations in Washington. The inn offers traditional mountain lodge-style accommodations.

The Paradise Inn is located in Mount Rainier National Park and has 121 guest rooms altogether. There's a restaurant, cafe and gift shop on the premises.

The views of Mount Rainier and the Nisqually Glacier are incredible. In spring and summer, the wildflower meadows and the mountain scenery are colorful and awe-inspiring. There are miles of walking trails and, nearby, you can visit the Longmire Museum and other park visitor centers.

For more information, please visit www.mtrainierguestservices.com or phone 360-569-2275.

Ann Starrett Mansion

You'll get a big dose of history if you head for the Olympic Peninsula and Port Townsend, where you'll find the Ann Starrett Mansion. This stately building is an 11-room Victorian hotel that was built in a city known as Washington's Victorian Seaport.

The Ann Starrett Mansion dates back to 1889 and the architecture from that period is well preserved. There's a three -tiered spiral staircase that winds its way up a 70-foot tower and you'll even find a unique solar calendar in the dome.

The hotel was actually built on a bluff, so it has panoramic views of Puget Sound.

When you step inside you notice the period decor right away. It's been furished with luxurious period antiques that remind you of the 19th Century. As you might expect, the rooms are very nice indeed and each has a private bathroom.

It's easy to walk from the mansion to many of the town's tourist attractions -- and there are many. There are lots of galleries, museums as well as historic bars and restaurants.

For more information, please visit www.starrettmansion.com or phone 1-800-321-0644.

Davenport Hotel

Next time you're in Spokane, be sure to carve out some time to at least visit the Davenport Hotel.

The Davenport is a luxury riverside hotel that is a regional landmark. It was built in 1914 and has distinctive architecture that sets it apart from all other buildings in Spokane. Big events are often held at the hotel with guests arriving in the grand Spanish Renaissance lobby and proceeding to the city's oldest and most magnificent ballroom.

This is one of those places you go if you really want to impress your Significant Other. The architectural touches include lots of marble, hand-painted frescoes and gold leaf detailing.

The Davenport Hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has a location that is ideal for taking advantage of Spokane's downtown shops and restaurants. And Riverside Park is just a short distance away.

For more information, please visit www.davenporthotelcollection.com or phone 800-899-1482.

Roche Harbor Resort

The San Juan Islands are incredibly beautiful and easy to visit via the Washington State Ferries. Just take the ferry to Friday Harbor and you'll find Roche Harbor Resort just a short drive from town. Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor are both located on San Juan Island.

People who visit Roche Harbor Resort are absolutely charmed with the unique historic architecture, the gorgeous and colorful grounds and the location right on one of the islands' most beautiful harbors.

In summer, the pleasure boats nearly fill the harbor as it's one of the most popular boater's destinations in the San Juans. Roche Harbor has its own marina, but it's also a full-service resort with lots of fun shops and places to eat.

Roche Harbor's Hotel de Haro is also the oldest operating hotel in the state of Washington -- it actually opened for business in 1886. Today there is a wide range of accommodations including historic cottages, hotel rooms and waterfront condos. You'll find the best views of the ocean in the Harborview rooms.

For more information, please visit www.rocheharbor.com or phone 800-451-8910.
PHOTOS: Marcus Whitman Hotel
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