Inn at the 5th: A 4-diamond gem in Eugene

OIMG_2099ur guest post come from Lynn Armitage, the editor-in-chief for Boutique Lodging & Lifestyle Magazine.

To pull your car up at the valet-attended entrance to Inn at the 5th in Eugene, Oregon, you’d never suspect that this space was once a chicken processing plant. Seems fitting, though, for a college town where ducks rule.

I knew I was in for a real treat at Eugene’s showcase boutique hotel when I was offered a glass of wine at the check-in table. Yes, I said “table,” a brilliant first impression of a darling hotel where you pull up a chair and sit down to check in while sipping some soothing vino.

Who needed a room? I was already relaxed.

Since Inn at the 5th opened in February 2012, the 70-room, four-story hotel has racked up some impressive awards, including the American Automobile Association Four Diamond Award, the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association Hospitality Excellence Award (a mouthful!) and Oregon Bride Magazine editor’s pick for the Best New Boutique Hotel in 2012.

From the street, it really doesn’t impress much. You have to step inside the hotel and walk the hallways and pass through doors that lead out to verandahs and beckoning walkways to the Fifth Street Public Market, with all its dining options and shopping stops to which the hotel is practically connected to truly appreciate what this boutique hotel is all about.

Every room feels like a suite, with a spacious entryway, gas fireplace, pillowtop mattresses, either a balcony or window seat, a 42-inch flat-screen TV, a Keurig coffeemaker (my favorite touch!), a horizontal sliding door on the bathroom, which offers double sinks — the secret to a long and happy relationships. He can leave shaved whiskers in his sink, and you can spill make-up in yours.

Other fun features of the hotel include a butler pantry in each room where room service is delivered and picked up, so you aren’t tripping over disgusting dirty dishes discarded in the hallway. Throughout the Inn, you’re drawn in by the creative works of Oregon artists – from a tree-trunk coffee table and glass sconces to vibrant wall art, including a piece commemorating the hotel mascot named Swifty, the rooster – a real lucky ducky that ran away from the former poultry plant to escape a terrible fate.

IMG_2021Nearby amenities include the LaVelle Vineyards tasting room, the 4,200-square-foot Gervais Spa, an International Café serving up five different eateries that span the globe in culinary offerings, a flower market, Marche Provisions – a tres-cool European-style deli that I wish I had discovered sooner; and of course, Marche, the French restaurant that cooks up delicious, farm-to-fork fare and partners with the Inn for its in-room food service. (Read my dining review here.)

 So if you ever find yourself in Eugene, Oregon, better known as “Track Town USA,” run, don’t walk, to Inn at the 5th.

*Room rates range from $189 to $589. For reservations, call 1.800.547.5445. (Just make sure it’s not on a weekend when the Oregon Ducks have a home game. Rooms disappear quickly then.)