by, Kelly Logie
As you’re driving through downtown Spokane, you don’t expect to find anything too glamorous. Spokane is beautiful in its own way, but let’s face it. It isn’t a Paris, London, or New York.
You see the big buildings out of your car window, along with the river and evergreen trees surrounding the city. Just your average Pacific Northwest town, right? Wrong.
Historic. Lusso. Tower. Grand.
Four little words that describe the luxurious side of Spokane, the Davenport Hotel Collection. Washington’s grandest hotel chain. Even from the outside of each of the four buildings, you can tell that these hotels are something worth checking out.
The Historic Davenport was built in 1914, designed and executed by Kirtland Cutter and Louis Davenport. According to the city of Spokane website, both Cutter and Davenport wanted the architecture to be different than every other building in downtown Spokane, with white stucco walls and a red roof. The Historic Davenport was the first hotel in the United States to have air conditioning, a central vacuum system, pipe organ, and dividing doors in the ballroom.
After multiple owners and poor leadership, the Davenport Hotel was closed in 1985, and remained closed for 17 years. There was little hope in bringing the hotel back to life. Then, Walt and Karen Worthy came into the picture. The two developers decided to restore the hotel to make it grand again, and it was open to the public in September 2002, according to the Davenport website.
With the incredible amount of visitors with the re-opening, the Worthys decided to expand the brand. Just a couple minute walk from the Historic Davenport is the Davenport Tower, which opened in 2007. A few years later in 2009, the Worthys added Hotel Lusso to the Davenport Collection. In the summer of 2015, the Davenport Grand was the latest hotel to be added to the group.
Walking into the Historic Davenport, you can immediately feel how traditional it truly is. The wooden banisters, intricate gold detailing along the walls, and the early 20th century chairs are throughout the lobby. The Lusso goes hand in hand with the Historic, with a lot of design similarities. When walking into the Davenport Tower, it is a little different feel. A subtle safari theme including sculptures and paintings of wild animals fills your vision. The Davenport Grand, however, is extremely modern and unlike the Historic building. Sleek furniture, fancy fireplaces and contemporary light fixtures are the first things a visitor sees when walking into the lobby.
Seattle resident Jill Renee has stayed at all four hotels with her husband while visiting family in the Spokane area. Her experiences have been nothing but positive. Renee says, “A typical stay is luxurious, whether we stay at the Historic Davenport, the Lusso, the Tower or the Grand. I’ve enjoyed staying in all 4 locations, as they are all very different. They all have distinct personalities.”
After experiencing all four hotels, it was obvious that they were related. The four lobbies screamed sophistication. A term that doesn’t always associate with the city of Spokane, therefore it was clear they were all connected.
As the years pass, frequent visitors to the Davenport hotels wonder as to whether the brand has strayed away from its original design. Are the newer hotels, in particular the Grand, ignoring the history from the original Davenport?
“The four hotels compliment each other nicely. I do prefer the larger rooms in the Tower and the Grand. Overall, the collection of hotels is a winner, a relaxing and enjoyable stay, no matter which property we choose,” Renee says.
Some may doubt that the brand is going more modern, but times are changing. Even though each style is different, it doesn’t mean that one outshines the other.
Communications manager at Visit Spokane, Peyton Scheller, doesn’t think the architectural differences of the Davenport Tower and the Davenport Grand have had a significant impact on the Historic Davenport. Scheller says, “The Historic Davenport is elegant, grand and, of course, historic, and people still want to be a part of that. The fact that the Davenport Hotels brand offers different styles of properties is good as they are able to reach a wider audience. They all share the same high standard of hospitality and provide exemplary customer service.”
The recent build of the Davenport Grand has made a major impact on tourism in the Spokane area due to the new Convention Center opening downtown. The completion of the Grand was a big deal for the city, specifically for the meetings and convention industry.
“Connected hotels to the Convention Center is important for meeting planners, and the completion of the Davenport Grand made it so that there were two hotels connected to the center,” Scheller says, “Plus, more hotel inventory means that more people can come to Spokane, which results in more visitor spending.”
Without the Davenport chain, Spokane’s tourism industry would not be where it is today. The four hotels provide guests with a vacation-like experience, which helps bring people back to the Lilac City. Out-of-town visitors and even Spokane residents feel as if they are “getting away” when visiting each of the properties.
Next time people say that Spokane doesn’t have much to offer, send them to the Davenport, and I’m positive they’ll change their minds.
The Davenport Hotel (all four locations: Historic, Lusso, Tower, Grand)
10 South Post St.
Spokane, WA 99201