Known for being the birthplace of Bing Crosby, Father’s Day and for providing a backdrop to a famous rap song (Macklemore’s Downtown was filmed here), Spokane – often nicknamed The Lilac City due to its many purple blooms – is Washington state’s second biggest community.
With thick forests and beautiful natural surroundings waiting to be explored, Spokane makes a great base for nature and outdoor lovers. It also makes a cool travel destination in its own right with a well-preserved historic downtown, a thriving foodie scene, world-class exhibitions on regional subjects, lively outdoor patios, and wineries galore.
There are plenty of interesting places to stay too, from boutiques to modern apartments, here are the best cool and unusual hotels in Spokane, Washinton (in no particular order)…
1. The Davenport Grand, Autograph Collection – an upscale, contemporary and stylish hotel that is one of the most cutting-edge places to stay in Spokane
There are several hotels and buildings in Spokane bearing the name Davenport. The Davenport Grand Hotel is the newest, occupying an entire block in Downtown.
Right across the street is the scenic Riverfront Park, alongside the First Interstate Center for the Arts and Convention Center. Guest rooms and suites are designed in simple, neat corporate tones with a red and grey theme, and the public areas are a little more glitzy but still awash with plenty of red.
There are three in-house restaurants, a speciality whiskey bar and a good outside terrace bar with panoramic views of the river. It’s pretty much everything you’d expect from a big convention-type hotel; no surprises, no disappointments, and a perfect location for the centre of Spokane.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Davenport Grand, Autograph Collection
2. Ruby River Hotel, Spokane – a quiet, relaxing and sleek hotel surrounded by eight acres on the Spokane river
Perched on the riverbank just across from Downtown Spokane the Ruby River Hotel appears at first glance like a conglomeration of industrial units ranged along a car park.
The river side, however, is much nicer with two pretty outdoor swimming pools and restful views across the Spokane River. Only the Centennial Trail walking route separates you from the water and it’s a lovely route to walk to the nearby parks, sporting venues, arts centre and neighbouring Gonzaga University.
The Ruby River Hotel is simple, unfussy accommodation comprising the usual selection of rooms and suites. It’s worth paying a little extra for a poolside or river view if you don’t want to wake up staring at a car park, although you’ll easily get a peaceful night away from the centre hubbub everywhere in this hotel.
- To book, check prices or availability for Ruby River Hotel, Spokane
3. Centennial Hotel, Spokane – a chic, modern and cool hotel where guests can experience a memorable stay
Still in Downtown Spokane, but on the north bank of Spokane River overlooking the beautiful Riverfront Park, is the Centennial Hotel.
Promoted as more of a resort than a city hotel, but close enough to the city centre to give you the choice of exploring or lounging about.
Externally its functional architecture focuses on the dramatic river frontage with the famed waterfalls. Internally it has an industrial quality decorated by someone who loves grey; really loves grey.
There’s a very good choice of rooms and suites, some with pool access or riverside balconies, which are comfortable, practical and grey.
A decent grey restaurant with outdoor terrace for when the sun shines, nice 24-hour gym, business centre and really good pool which somehow managed to escape the grey.
The Centennial Hotel location is frankly superb. It’s on the riverfront just a short walk across footbridges to all the best that Spokane has to offer in terms of restaurants, bars, theatres and entertainment, and less than a 10-minute walk to the Spokane Arena for hockey, football and concerts.
- To book, check prices or availability for Centennial Hotel, Spokane
Located on the north bank of the Spokane River, right across the bridge from the Exhibition Halls and Convention Center is Oxford Suites.
A slightly dour building from the street, surrounded on three sides by car parking, the fourth side fronts the beautiful river with the Centennial Trail running along its banks.
Inside the building, any notions of dour entirely evaporate. It’s very warmly furnished with clean lines and subtle modern colours creating a lovely atmosphere.
All rooms are suites with sitting areas, minifridges, microwaves and coffeemakers. Some suites add granite soaking tubs, river views and balconies – if you can get a balcony overlooking the river, grab it!
Amenities include a bar and a restaurant serving American fare. There’s a spa, a sauna and a steam room, as well as an indoor pool and a fitness centre. Free perks include parking, a hot breakfast buffet, and an evening reception with drinks and appetizers.
- To book, check prices or availability for Oxford Suites Spokane, Downtown
5. Hotel Indigo Spokane Downtown, an IHG Hotel – a historic inspired, modern and pet-friendly hotel located in the heart of the entertainment and arts district
On the edge of the historic district, not far from Spokane Falls, is Hotel Indigo. From the outside, this austere red-brick building hides a recently refurbished interior of big, modern rooms cleverly styled to maximise space and comfort.
Public areas continue the quality styling and combine it with references to the building’s heritage.
There’s a good American restaurant and bar on-site with plenty of alternatives in the surrounding streets with the best of Spokane’s bars, theatres and eateries just a short walk.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Inigo Spokane Downtown, an IHG Hotel
6. Montvale Hotel – a charming, instagrammable and vibrant boutique hotel steps away from Spokane’s most popular attractions
A charming, tastefully styled hotel with a central atrium that allows natural light to pour through. The Montvale Hotel is a historic art nouveau building in Downtown Spokane that embraces its legacy with clever interiors that nod to the past – rather than try to mimic it.
Extensively restored in 2005, it has the neat, cosy atmosphere of a boutique hotel, but with the restaurants and services you might expect to find in one of its grander neighbours.
It is in a magnificent location at the vibrant heart of the Spokane entertainment district. Rooms and suites are polished, yet comfortable and homely, the public areas feel friendly and welcoming.
Some original features of the building have been lovingly preserved and coupled with modern furnishings to create a totally delightful atmosphere throughout.
- To book, check prices or availability for Montvale Hotel
7. The Davenport Tower, Autograph Collection – a contemporary, stylish and lavish hotel featuring safari inspired décor
Another hotel bearing the Davenport moniker in Downtown Spokane is the Davenport Tower. A white slab of a building from the outside; on the inside Marriott has attempted to inject character and pizzazz with themes of African safari and wildlife designs and textures – it, sort of, works and, sort of doesn’t at the same time.
This is Washington State after all. The rooms and suites are big and comfortable, yet a fake leopard-skin bolster and artwork of grazing rhinoceros feel slightly unnecessary.
Public areas are similarly dressed with animal-skin fabrics, paintings of cantering giraffes and even a stuffed tiger (which you can only hope is a fake too).
Luckily there was no herd of wildebeest grazing the remarkably good restaurant and no crocodiles in the very lovely indoor pool. There’s no doubt this bland building has been given a strong, quirky identity. It was a risk and, I guess, better than non-descript corporate beige everywhere.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Davenport Tower, Autograph Collection
A few paces from Downtown Spokane on the edge of the Peaceful Valley district is the Spokane Club. Inside this impressively grand building dating from 1901 and new extension linked by a footbridge are a private members’ club and riverfront hotel.
It’s across the street from the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes, just a few minutes walk from Riverfront Park and all the eateries, bars and entertainment in Downtown.
There are just 37 rooms and suites furnished in the rich, comfortable tones of a classic American style with many original features of the building retained.
There’s an excellent gym with huge windows overlooking the Spokane River, a lovely, bright indoor swimming pool and even an indoor running track and sports court.
Food from the restaurant is first class and the on-site delicatessen serves quality snacks throughout the day to takeout or sit on the lovely terrace overlooking the river. A historic, refined, yet elegantly understated place to stay.
- To book, check prices or availability for Spokane Club Hotel
9. The Davenport Lusso, Autograph Collection – a historic and trendy boutique hotel offering guests complimentary coffee and cake
The good-looking Davenport Lusso, often simply called the Hotel Lusso to avoid confusion with the other Davenport hotels in Downtown Spokane, follows a simple Greco-Roman theme with plenty of faux stone, pilasters, lion heads and urns.
The public spaces, rooms and suites are comfortable, comforting and solid-feeling with plenty of deep gold and brown creating a surprisingly warm atmosphere well-lit from big windows to the street.
It is nicely located for the Riverfront Park and best of Downtown shopping, dining and entertainment, with a decent craft ale house on site serving local beers and food if you don’t feel like hauling yourself into the world outside.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Davenport Lusso, Autograph Collection
10. The Historic Davenport, Autograph Collection – an elegant, upscale and unique hotel is Spokane’s most iconic place to stay
Opened in 1914, in the heart of Spokane, The Historic Davenport Hotel (not to be confused with other hotels of similar name) is the traditional centrepiece of the Downtown.
This stately, grande hotel still presents elegant poise; attractive because of its exceptional American architecture and eccentric interior design somewhere between a French château and Venetian palace.
Located a stone’s throw from the Knitting Factory Concert House, Downtown restaurants and bars and just a short walk from the Riverfront Park, the location is perfect to experience the particular urban cultures of the Spokane.
The lobby ushers guests into ornate, over-the-top classical surroundings with luxurious guest rooms and suites in aristocratic shades of brown and gold décor – everywhere is a visual feast of grandiose that somehow works perfectly.
In addition to a full-service spa, salon, beautiful indoor pool and state-of-the-art gym, are three lounge bars, one on a pleasant summer terrace looking over the cityscape. There are a variety of restaurants on-site and plenty of choices within strolling distance.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Historic Davenport, Autograph Collection
11. SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Spokane Airport – a trendy, design hotel offering a complimentary buffet breakfast every morning
Spokane is a small city, it’s only 15 minutes from the International Airport to Downtown, but sometimes it’s good to be next to the airport and not miss an important flight.
SpringHill Suites are within walking distance of the terminal building. Great quality, well-equipped, small suites tastefully styled with bright, modern furnishings.
There’s a 24-hour mini-market, a casual restaurant/bar, a free breakfast buffet as well as a gym and a small indoor pool. Airport hotels are never going to have the best locations outside, but here Marriott has cleverly focussed on the time spent inside keeping it practical, functional and comfortable. An excellent stopover to begin or end your time in Spokane.
- To book, check prices or availability for SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Spokane Airport
12. Mirabeau Park Hotel, Spokane Valley – a traditional and tranquil hotel overlooking beautiful gardens featuring an outdoor pool
Thirteen miles to the east midway between Downtown Spokane and Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, is the Mirabeau Park Hotel & Convention Center.
A low-rise resort-type hotel with balconied guest rooms overlooking central gardens and a heated outdoor pool. It’s an older hotel but well maintained.
The guest rooms, suites and public areas look a little dated but are good value for money with the pool, hot tub, fitness centre and a good restaurant on site.
An excellent location with a car within an easy drive of 76 lakes, 5 major ski areas and 49 golf courses, and only minutes away from downtown Spokane, Industrial Park, Liberty Lake Technology Park, Spokane Valley Mall, HUB Sports Center, Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, Plantes Ferry Park, Riverfront Park, Post Falls & Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and Spokane International Airport.
Not somewhere to get excited about, but an honest affordable place to stay.
- To book, check prices or availability for Mirabeau Park Hotel, Spokane Valley
Located in the heart of Downtown Spokane, Hotel Ruby is just steps from the city’s most popular destinations: the beautiful Riverfront Park and Spokane Falls, shopping at River Park Square Mall; across the street from the historic Bing Crosby Theater, the Fox Theater and the Knitting Factory Concert House.
Near Spokane’s finest restaurants, bars and coffee houses and a short walk to the Spokane Arena, First Interstate Center for the Arts and the Spokane Convention Center. This funky hotel stands apart as a genuinely cool and vibrant place to stay at affordable rates. Hotel Ruby is a 1960s, renovated motor inn-turned-boutique hotel.
The rooms and suites are artsy, bold and colourful; inviting, rather than instructing, you to enjoy the surroundings. There’s a nice bar on-site, free breakfast and free cycle hire to help you explore.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Ruby
14. Riverfront Park Travel Apartments – a newly renovated and chic accommodation well equipped for a perfect vacation
Riverfront Park Travel Apartments aren’t actually on the river or next to the park, but that’s the only disappointment because they’re only a few hundred yards away.
This collection of 27 self-catering one and two-bedroom apartments is beautifully presented inside and out with tasteful, comfortable, modern furnishings complementing the historic building. The apartments are listed as fully-equipped, and they really are; there’s even a washing machine and dryer in each.
The building is nestled between fantastic restaurants, wine bars, the Spokane Convention Center, First Interstate Center for the Arts, and the Riverfront Park; so there’s no shortage of things to do on your doorstep. Many aparthotels fail to deliver, but this place gets it exactly right.
- To book, check prices or availability for Riverfront Park Travel Apartments
15. Turning Leaf Furnished Townhomes – a charming, cute and quiet accommodation where guests can experience sport activities
Six miles due north of the city centre, in the Nevada-Lidgerwood district, is the restful Turning Leaf Furnished Townhouses, a collection of modern 1 and 2-bedroom bungalows with kitchenettes and separate living areas set in gardens.
An excellent venue for families or for longer stays. The bungalow-type accommodation is slightly dated but practical and comfortable with separate sitting areas and bedrooms, ceiling fans, fully equipped kitchens and jetted bathtubs. All accommodation comes with free access to the athletic club with a lap pool, saunas, sports courts, aerobics centre, and weights.
There are a few shops within walking distance, Whitworth University and Ace’s Casino are just over a mile away and the magnificent lakes and scenery of east Washington and north Idaho just a short drive – it’s only 2 hours’ drive to Canada, so bring your passport in case you take a wrong turn.
- To book, check prices or availability for Turning Leaf Furnished Townhomes
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Gary is an award winning full time professional photographer and videographer with too much wanderlust for his own good. Fuelled by strong coffee, you’ll often find him wandering well off hiking trails in search of interesting photographic subjects or scenery to video. Self taught and with the use of pioneering digital techniques, he quickly built up a strong client base and has worked with many prestigious organisations, including GQ, BBC, London Fashion Week, Grazia, Sky, Metro, Vogue Italia. He specialising in evocative images of people, places and cinematic videography and his goal is to make the viewer look twice and engage. As well as a penchant for good design, the ketogenic diet and Hungarian Vizslas, he also has a huge affection for Chicago, Bucharest, Scandinavia, Croatia and absolutely everywhere in Italy. Find him on Instagram @garynansome, Twitter @garynansome and his website https://garynunn.co.uk/