Checking into the easy-going Stratford Inn in Ashland means staying with a really happy, hospitable family.
Consider these homey features. First, the large patio with shaded seating and a barbecue ready to grill the meats or veggies you picked up at the nearby growers market or grocery store. Second, the cheerful café onsite, in which guests refresh with a cremoso or glass of Southern Oregon wine and munch on homemade gluten-free apple cake. And, just like at home, everyone has free use of the laundry room.
But the most telling fact that the Stratford Inn is, as the staff says, “a home away from home,” is that most people resting in the 53 rooms are repeat visitors. Trudy and Elliot Mazer have been driving from Sacramento to stay here three or four times a year since 1984. “Doing the math, that means we’ve stayed at the Stratford more than 100 times,” says Trudy Mazer, who plans their stays around theater, the Fourth of July parade and other Ashland events. “They should name a wing after us.”
Mazer says she and her husband return because the staff, which has stayed pretty consistent over the years, remembers them and reserves their favorite room on the top floor, overlooking the mountains. The Inn’s location, says Mazer, “is close enough to participate with the crowds of downtown Ashland and far enough away to provide some space.”
The family that owns the Stratford Inn has been hearing compliments like this since they opened the doors 30 years ago. Like their guests, the Tumpanes came to Ashland as frequent visitors and then settled in. Proving that family closeness and Ashland are part of the Tumpane DNA, patriarch Jim Tumpane honeymooned years ago in the arts-oriented city with his wife, Becky, her parents and his parents.
In 1980, Jim Tumpane, who lives in Vancouver, Washington, listened to his mother-in-law when she suggested he build a hotel in Ashland. He and a group of investors erected the three-level Stratford Inn on a corner lot that once held a car dealership. By 1984, Tumpane was the sole owner.
In a situation that could only be called a “trust business,” not a trust fund, Tumpane wanted to help each of his children build a business. Fifteen years ago, his daughter Allison and her husband Josh Hamik agreed to manage the Stratford Inn. The young couple now have three children and three new businesses: a professional cleaning service that employs the Inn’s equipment; a Website business that produces the online insider guide Passport2Ashland.com and offers full-service Website creation, marketing and social media; and Boulevard Coffee, the Inn’s café that serves baked goods and light meals created by Tumpane’s son, Chef Geoff Shaffer.
Tumpane’s daughter Sarah Tumpane, a University of Oregon and Ashland Institute of Massage graduate, has a massage business here and volunteers for the Farm to School program. Another daughter Elizabeth, and her husband, Jason Rowan, own The Beetanical Apiary, a bee farm in Creswell.
Even with all of their endeavors, the family is never too busy to greet a guest or find new ways to improve their stay. Repeat guest Trudy Mazer appreciates the Inn’s new contemporary decor. “It’s more sophisticated, but not stuffy,” says Mazer. “It’s like coming home.”
555 Siskiyou Boulevard, Ashland
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