A sense of place is a common thread with wine. If your desire is to hit the mark as a Willamette Valley hotelier, having the vision to create that concept in a lodging experience is a bullseye.
On my visit to the recently opened Atticus Hotel, they had me at: “Would you care for a welcome glass of sparkling wine?” Seriously, who would decline that offer? Of course, those bubbles are locally sourced from R. Stuart & Co., pouring just down the street in walkable downtown McMinnville, Oregon. If you are a teetotaler or underaged, there’s also an espresso or nonalcoholic cold beverage option. I wanted to move in when they asked me if I’d like a refill!
The lobby itself is full of local lore like their replica of Jacob Calvin Cooper cracking a walnut which was a display at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle in 1909. It’s the Atticus nod to the fact that McMinnville was formerly known as “Walnut City” before the Columbus Day storm of 1962 decimated the trees. The walnut and hazelnut theme is carried from the lobby into all the guest rooms but Cooper’s lobby display is a selfie must.
You’d be hard-pressed not to notice the whimsical portrait behind the Welcome Bar, painted by local artist (by way of Costa Rica) Carmen Borrasé but you’ll have to inquire about the secret room yourself because it is quite special and worthy of the effort.
Portland restaurateur John Gorman’s Bless Your Heart Burger, attached to but not affiliated with The Atticus, completes the lobby scene.
Put it on your check list, ladies, the Luxury Bunkhouse down the hall on the first floor is a girlfriend’s getaway magnified. A wall of bunkbeds surrounds an ample sitting room that encircles a fireplace and a king-sized bed offers extra sleeping accommodations. Each bunk has its own lighting and USB charging station for a cozy nook when you do decide to doze off. Of course, this room is also amazing for families and the bathroom is set up to accommodate at least four people with ample privacy.
Every one of the 36 rooms has a one-of-a-kind door knocker, a feat that co-owner Erin Stephenson said took several trips to an antique store to accomplish. From JuJu Papers wallpaper throughout the boutique property to a collection of books in each room curated by McMinnville citizens to a “Perfect Day in McMinnville” written by multiple locals, it’s all in the details at Atticus.
Have you ever been to a hotel where the plants were locally sourced? Those come from Red Ridge Farms in nearby Dayton. How about the couch? The chairs? A wood pedestal table? The mattress? Fireplace mantles? Stephenson says it became a game to see how much could be sourced from McMinnville, and then Oregon. The Atticus Hotel is the poster child for comfort, personalized service and locally sourced soft goods as well as some building material. Even the decorative pillows in each room were designed and sewn by a local seamstress and shower tiles were painted by a local artist.
At the Atticus, guest comfort is paramount. From the dual temperature in-room refrigerators to an abbreviated selection of kitchen ware, coffee from Flag & Wire, teas from Velvet Monkey, loaner bicycles and a fitness facility, the Atticus Hotel is a curated boutique property from check-in to “See you again soon.”