Imagine being perched 30 feet above the ground amongst Douglas Fir trees, cozy in a king-sized bed, surrounded by quilts and birdsong.
Open since 1993, Skamania Lodge—the grand lodge of the Columbia River Gorge—has been trying a few new things lately, aimed at attracting younger crowds to its ridgeline campus. In fall 2016, the lodge unveiled two "tree houses" nestled on the property's forested perimeter; this October, the lodge unveiled two more, each with a king-sized bed, a large deck featuring an indoor-outdoor fireplace, and a spacious private bathroom with heated flooring.
Skamania's two new tree houses stand nearly twice as high—30 feet—as the first pair, and also sleep up to four, thanks to a window nook with a queen bed.
“The original idea of building them was harkening back to childhood and the whimsy of childhood, but elevating that experience,” says Skamania Lodge spokesperson Kyle Mallory. “The first pair was so popular, [the lodge] wanted to build on that consumer demand and also give a new wrinkle with the extra nook and sleeping unit.”
The tree houses expand Skamania's already extensive amenities, including several dining options within the main lodge, room service, an onsite spa, an 18-hole championship golf course, a zip-line tour with views of the Columbia River, and a newly opened aerial park.
According to Ken Daugherty, general manager of Skamania Lodge, the tree houses are intended to appeal to a younger generation of guests.
“Generation X is really looking for a different experience versus just having a hotel option,” says Daugherty. “[They're] just so comfortable. You feel like you have your own place in the woods.”
And a fancy place, at that: the two new tree houses cost about $550 per night, while the original pair average $450. (Childhood whimsy, meet pretty penny.)