Lithia Springs Resort
2165 W. Jackson Road
Use Exit 19 on Interstate 5, head south on South Valley View Road to West Jackson Road.
By Carla Shryock
You come for the mineral water and a quiet escape. You end up discovering a personal oasis at Lithia Springs Resort in Ashland.
Lithia Springs Resort, located on Ashland’s north side, is quickly becoming a popular place to stay for those taking in shows at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It’s also a great place to relax no matter what brings you to Southern Oregon.
“We were built with couples in mind. This is a couples getaway,” says resort associate Alder Bishop. “People tell us they like the resort for a staycation, anniversaries and romantic getaways.
“We’re a natural stopping point for people driving on I-5,” Bishop says. “We have so many people here because of the (Oregon) Shakespeare Festival. People choose Lithia Springs because we’re out of the hustle and bustle of downtown.”
Lithia Springs Resort offers a unique blend of room comfort and warm, comforting mineral springs. There are 28 bungalows and suites featuring king beds and jetted soaking tubs. The attractive gardens and the high-end complimentary breakfasts make Lithia Springs a warm experience in and out of the water.
“We welcome guests with beautifully manicured grounds, the modern and fresh design in our lobby, library and the tea room, and most importantly with comfortably appointed bungalows and suites,” says the resort spokeswoman Karolina Wyszynska Lavagnino.
The main attraction at Lithia Springs is the mineral springs below ground. No matter the daytime activity, a relaxing bath and other resort offerings await you when you get back.
Lithia Springs recently remodeled and expanded their on-site spa. Massage therapists from the Waterstone Spa in downtown Ashland staff the Lithia Springs facility on Fridays and Saturdays. Looking for a spa treatment on other days? The Lithia Springs staff can help make arrangements for you at Waterstone.
Interesting detail: The original Waterstone Spa was located at the current Lithia Springs location.
The Lithia Springs spa also includes a two-person massage room. “Couples can have side0by-side massages,” Alder Bishop says. “We also can provide in-room services in downstairs units if you prefer a private room.
“Now we have the ability to include the mineral water in body treatments, which is really wonderful,” she says. “This is a perfect fit with our ability to highlight the water, healthy living and being able to relax in this beautiful oasis.”
It’s all about the water
The warm mineral springs tapped from deep below Lithia Springs Resort have been enjoyed for thousands of years. These waters, originally discovered by Native Americans, are said to have unique healing qualities, according to the resort website.
The springs are rich in sulfur and minerals and have a high density of “positive ions,” the website states. Soaking in this naturally soft water is said to relieve stress, rejuvenate and “bring a sense of calmness into your whole system.”
Lithia Springs Resorts draws water from the springs and processes it to remove most of the sulfur smell.
Cookies … yes, cookies
There are fresh-baked peanut butter cookies waiting for everyone in the resort lobby. These cookies are a long-standing Lithia Springs tradition, Bishop says.
Complimentary afternoon tea takes place in the tea room from 3 to 5 p.m. each day. You’ll find fresh-baked scones, homemade lemon curd, a cookie or sweetbread of the day, fresh fruit and, of course, tea.
What’s for breakfast?
Expect more than cold pastries and coffee. Cheryl Aynes, Lithia Springs Resort’s chef for the past 14 years, puts together hot breakfasts you actually look forward to each morning.
“Everything is made fresh here,” Bishop says. “There’s always a hot dish and several sides. She’ll have homemade granola, orange pecan French toast, eggs benedict, fruit. It’s much more than continental but it’s all still complimentary. People are really happy with this.”
The coffee is very good, too.
How often do you pick your lodging based on the gardens? The goal here is to relax while enjoying the gardens, the trumpet vines, wisteria and a koi pond. Fresh herbs and produce are grown on the grounds for use in breakfasts. Edible blackberries and raspberries in summer are there for the picking and eating.
“We will grow vegetables and fruit and serve them with our breakfast in the morning as well as at tea,” Bishop says. “If you see fresh tomatoes at breakfast in the morning, they were grown in our garden.”
Carla Shryock is a free-lance writer and photographer based in Salem, Oregon.