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A History of the Black Walnut Hotel: A Willamette Valley Luxury Icon

A Black Walnut Hotel

Set along the Willamette Valley, a lush and picturesque landscape known for its rolling hills, orchards, and vineyards, stands a regal icon of luxury and leisure; The Black Walnut Hotel. For over 80 years this grand establishment has welcomed guests with an inviting grace which has made it one of the region’s foremost destinations for business travelers, families, weddings, conferences, and special occasions alike. 

Travelers from all parts of Oregon and beyond have experienced firsthand why the Black Walnut offers more than just luxurious amenities–it provides a truly must-experience journey into history rooted in hospitality excellence. Let’s take a look at what makes this distinguished hotel so unique!

The Founding of the Black Walnut Hotel

The Black Walnut Hotel was founded in 1945 by two of the Valley’s most prominent businessmen, Charles and William Smith. Having grown up in the area, they were familiar with the area and its potential for providing a luxurious hospitality experience. 

To realize their dream, the Smith brothers purchased five acres of land which provided the perfect backdrop for The Black Walnut Hotel. They then hired local architect, Thomas B. Webb, to design and build a classic structure that incorporated traditional Victorian elements into its façade and included a beautiful courtyard shaped like an octagon the brothers from their vision of creating a destination hotel for travelers in the region. 

The Smiths began construction with a commitment to quality and attention to detail, intending to create an atmosphere that was both inviting and luxurious. And so, after two years of hard work, the Black Walnut Hotel opened on June 4, 1947, offering guests a peaceful refuge in the heart of the Valley. 

It was an immediate success and soon became a popular destination for travelers from near and far who sought out its grandeur, elegance, and impeccable service. The hotel has become a beloved Willamette Valley landmark over the years, known for its timeless beauty and unmatched commitment to hospitality excellence.

The Lasting Legacy of the Black Walnut Hotel on Willamette Valley Tourism

The Black Walnut Hotel has had an immense impact on the Willamette Valley and its tourism industry. Over the years, word of mouth has spread about this luxury icon of the Valley, and hotels like the Black Walnut have helped to create an inviting atmosphere that has increased tourism in the region. 

The hotel has been a steadfast partner in promoting Willamette Valley travel, sponsoring events like wine tastings, art shows, and culinary exhibitions to draw attention to the area’s attractions and promote its unique hospitality offerings. Additionally, The Black Walnut has developed strong partnerships with local businesses and organizations to help boost the economy of the area. 

The Black Walnut Hotel is a beloved icon of Willamette Valley luxury and hospitality, offering guests a truly unique experience like no other. Whether for business, pleasure, weddings, or special occasions, travelers have come to rely on this distinguished establishment as their destination of choice in the Valley. 

Black Walnut Inn & Vineyard: A serene retreat nestled in the heart of Oregon’s wine country, offering luxurious accommodations and breathtaking views of vineyards and rolling hills. Image Source

Unique Features of the Black Walnut Hotel That Made it a Premier Destination

From luxurious amenities to exceptional service, this distinguished hotel offers guests a truly unique experience that has made it one of the region’s premier destinations. Here are some of the reasons The Black Walnut Hotel is so special: 


The Black Walnut provides guests with luxurious amenities designed to make their stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. The hotel offers a range of suites, from standard accommodations to deluxe rooms with their own balconies overlooking beautiful gardens and courtyards. Guests can also enjoy access to an onsite spa, fitness center, restaurant, bar, library lounge area, outdoor pool, and hot tubs – all designed around creating an atmosphere of relaxation and luxury. 


At The Black Walnut Hotel, nothing is left up to chance when it comes to guest satisfaction; each detail has been carefully considered by staff members who are passionate about providing impeccable service with genuine warmth. Whether they’re helping plan a wedding or conference event or simply ensuring that your stay is memorable in every way.


The Black Walnut is situated in the wonderful Willamette Valley, which is known for its vineyards and rolling hills. The hotel offers guests breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape from its hilltop perch, making it the perfect spot to relax and take in the beauty of the Valley.


At The Black Walnut Hotel, guests don’t just stay – they experience something truly unique. From its commitment to quality and attention to detail, every aspect of this distinguished hotel has been designed to provide travelers with a truly luxurious and unforgettable retreat. Whether you’re planning a business trip, a romantic getaway, or a family vacation, The Black Walnut is the perfect destination for an unforgettable experience. 

Recent Developments at the Black Walnut Hotel and Its New Life as a Luxury Icon in Willamette Valley

Black Walnut Inn & Vineyard
Finest wines from Oregon’s renowned vineyards while enjoying a cozy and elegant atmosphere with stunning vineyard views at Black Walnut Inn & Vineyard. Image Source

In recent years, the Black Walnut Hotel has undergone tremendous changes to keep up with modern trends in hospitality while still maintaining its classic charm. To ensure that the hotel provides an unforgettable experience for each guest, the management team has made sweeping renovations to the facility and its services. 

The hotel’s most noteworthy updates include a new spa and fitness center, a modern restaurant featuring farm-to-table cuisine, and state-of-the-art conference facilities. In addition to these physical updates, The Black Walnut has also invested heavily in its staff training program, ensuring that each employee is highly knowledgeable and dedicated to providing guests with the best possible experience. 

With its timeless charm and commitment to excellence, The Black Walnut Hotel is a luxury icon in the Willamette Valley and continues to be one of the area’s most popular destinations. Whether you’re looking for a place to relax or planning a special event, The Black Walnut offers guests an unbeatable experience that they won’t soon forget.

Wine lovers will be delighted to know that the Black Walnut Hotel is home to a world-class wine program. The hotel takes pride in its collection of local wines produced by some of the top wineries in the Willamette Valley, as well as exclusive wines from renowned vineyards throughout the world.

From private tastings and dinners with winemakers to educational classes and seminars, the Black Walnut offers its guests an amazing array of opportunities to explore and discover the world of wine. The knowledgeable sommeliers at the hotel curate a unique menu of wines tailored to each guest’s individual preferences, ensuring that every experience is truly unforgettable.

Famous Guests Who Have Enjoyed Staying at the Black Walnut Hotel

The Black Walnut Hotel has been a popular destination for travelers and celebrities alike. Over the years, many notable figures have enjoyed the hotel’s luxurious amenities and impeccable service. Notable guests include actors like Pierce Brosnan and Richard Gere, who stayed at the hotel while filming in the area; musicians like Carlos Santana, who played a special concert for guests; and politicians like Bill Clinton, who visited the hotel on a campaign stop.

Final Thoughts

The Black Walnut Hotel is loved in the Willamette Valley for its commitment to hospitality excellence and dedication to providing guests with an unforgettable experience. Offering its patrons something truly unique, making it one of the region’s premier destinations. 

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