On a whim, Tim and I decided to spend a weekend in Port Townsend. We didn’t even plan ahead, including booking a place to stay. As we drove into town and spotted different hotels, we started looking them up on in the internet (thank you smart phones). After reading a bunch of reviews, we kept coming back to the Palace Hotel.
When I called to see if there were any rooms available, the guy on the other end just told us to swing by and check out the rooms for ourselves. Since the hotel didn’t tell us a price point, Tim wanted to keep looking around. I was intrigued and finally convinced him to at least check the hotel out (thinking we could always say no if we weren’t interested). I’m so glad we did because the Palace Hotel in Port Townsend is the most unique hotel I’ve ever experienced.
When we arrived at the lobby, the guy at the front desk gave us a list of about seven or eight rooms that were available for the next two nights. He instructed us to go upstairs and find the room we liked the best. Before we went on our search, we told him that we’d read rave reviews about the Palace Hotel. He smiled and said, “You’ll understand why once you go upstairs.” Tim and I were pleasantly surprised (and slightly shocked) by what we found.
To give you a little background, the Palace Hotel is located in downtown Port Townsend. It was built in 1889 and has quite a history. The three-story brick building has housed a number of businesses on the first floor including a billiards parlor, a newspaper, a theater and even a grocery store. The second and third floors were always rooms for rent. Between 1925-1933, the top two floors were known as the Palace Hotel and were operated as a brothel. The madam of the house, Marie, and the rest of the girls left town in the mid-1930s after the sheriff raided the brothel and shut it down.
In the late 1970s, the building was restored. In 1984, it opened again under the name of the Palace Hotel and has been welcoming visitors ever since. There are a total of 19 rooms in the hotel. Each room is named after one of the girls that worked in the brothel. The rooms are each very unique, decorated in antiques and collectibles. The windows are big and the ceilings are tall (they were 14-feet high in the room we selected). Most of the rooms have a private bath and some have mini-kitchens.
When Tim and I looked at each room, it was like stepping back in time. While the hotel takes you back 100 years, the rooms are beautiful and also so rare. It is not often you see century-old quality and character these days. It was a little tough picking out what room to stay in, but we eventually settled on Marie’s Suite (as I mentioned earlier, she was the madam of the house). It’s a corner room located on the second floor, overlooking Port Townsend and the Puget Sound. The room has red wallpaper and dark green woodwork. We’re told this is similar to what the suite looked like with Marie lived in the Palace Hotel.
The room ended up being a little less than $100 per night (this was in late March). We’re told that price jumps to more than $270 per night during the summer months, when the town is flooded with tourists for the weekly festivals in Port Townsend. The worker at the front desk said there’s no way we would have been able to stroll into town and get a room at the Palace Hotel that night if it was during the busy season. The hotel is typically booked months in advanced during the summer.
Tim and I are already planning another trip to Port Townsend. We can’t wait to go back. There’s not doubt we’ll stay at the Palace Hotel again. It was a fabulous experience that we did not anticipate. I am so thankful we listened to all of those online reviews, and hopefully our review leads you there as well! We’ve even made it easy for you to book a room through TripAdvisor — simply click here!
Have you ever stayed at the Palace Hotel in Port Townsend? What did you think? We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out Seattle Bloggers for more on great weekend getaways.