Conde Nast Traveler mentions Atticus Hotel

January 15, 2019


Atticus Hotel

What’s the vibe here?

Located in the heart of old McMinnville, a small country town with agricultural roots steeped in pioneer history, the brand-new Atticus Hotel stands like a beacon of grown-up sophistication. It’s at once classic but modern, with clean lines and warm personal touches thanks to Dutch cruiser bikes at the entry, rich walnut trim, and jewel-toned fabrics. Framed silhouettes of local residents and a custom-made recreation of an artfully arranged nutcracker/walnut exhibit from the 1909 Pacific Exhibition add irreverent touches.

Nice. And what are the guests like?

Creative young professionals who eschew cookie-cutter hotels; overseas wine collectors looking for a taste of Oregon; tasteful empty-nesters enjoying a romantic weekend; and squads of girlfriends chatting away.

Tell us about your check-in experience, how was it getting to your room?

With just one or two people behind the desk, check in and check out is as warm and personal you might find at a small, family-owned B&B. You’re greeted with a glass of bubbly from R. Stuart Co. winery, or an espresso if you’d rather. The hotel is small, with just one elevator and four floors, making it easy to find your room. You don’t even have to remember your room number because each door is adorned with a different gilded knocker in the shape of a different creature—sometimes a squirrel, sometimes a fox. The rooms are more about art and creature comforts, not tech, so they feel familiar and comfortable.

Now about the room itself—tell us everything.

Our 734-square-foot Luxe Balcony Suite was as well-appointed and comfortable a small apartment, with a small dining table overlooking the flower boxes and balcony, a marble-topped bar adjoining the kitchenette, a glass-front mini fridge, and all the tools you need to mix up a cocktail, a cup of coffee, or even a charcuterie plate. The adjacent seating area features two custom, locally made loveseats, a gas fireplace, and a flat-screen TV. Rooms have pillowy beds with headboards clad in hand-painted wallpaper (each different) and bathrooms are minimalist and spa-like, with deep porcelain tubs, tons of counter space, and thick Pendleton robes.

How about the little things, like the mini bar, or shower goodies, or wifi?

Sure, there’s free wifi, but that’s a drop in the bucket. Everything about the Atticus feels intentional and well-thought out. There are hooks near the door to hang your coat and bag. Forget Keurigs; there’s an actual teapot, as well as a French press and local coffee and tea. Utensils—a cutting board and cheese knife, actual plates, and even a pitcher—mean you can make a nice spread of local cheeses and meats or maybe a pitcher of G&Ts, without scrounging for disposables at the corner deli. A guide book in each room tells you about the art on the walls, all of which came from local artists. And every room is different, from the upholstery on the custom-made couches to the hand-painted wallpaper, so you feel like you’re getting a truly unique experience.

Sounds great! What’s the deal with in-room dining?

Make a pot of French-press coffee or tea in your room, or head downstairs for a cappuccino from the front desk. Your best bet for breakfast is to walk a block or two to nearby restaurants like Community Plate, Valley Commissary, or Red Fox Bakery. If you want room service, though, the front desk will deliver pancakes from a nearby food cart. In-room lunch and dinner options come from Bless Your Heart Burgers, a fast-casual restaurant attached to the hotel that’s owned by famed Portland chef John Gorham. Juicy smashed burgers, dirty fries, and frozen Negronis are just a few of the options.

Staff: If you could award one a trophy, who gets it, and why?

Ben Perle, an alum of the Cornell School of Hospitality in Paris, does triple duty as general manager and frequent desk attendant, and he’s one of the three partners in the hotel, too. The staff is trained in his mold: to provide warm, personalized service.

Anything stand out about other services and features?

A renovated building across the parking lot houses a well-outfitted fitness room and a conference room. But the imported Dutch cruiser bikes are our preferred method for getting in some exercise; each comes with a basket for holding goodies—like, say, a bottle of wine.

Sum it all up for us—why should we stay here?

The Atticus has somehow managed to find the sweet spot between everyday comforts and unique elegance. It’s aspirational, yet familiar, and it’s perfectly positioned off McMinnville’s popular Third Street shops, so you can take advantage of the tasting rooms, antique stores, restaurants, bars, and galleries all within a couple blocks of your room.