Beyond the Bridges

Forget Paris

A weekend escape with your honey is just a short road trip away.

By Stacey Wilson May 19, 2009 Published in the February 2009 issue of Portland Monthly


After ascending the white marble stairs from the street, you’ll be here: Hotel de Luxe’s glamorous lobby.

Hotel de Luxe

If the video image of Donna Reed and Jimmy Stewart in the lobby doesn’t put you in the mood for love, then the expertly made martinis, best taken inside this stylish boutique hotel’s dimly lit Driftwood Room, will. A winner of Condé Nast Traveler ’s 2008 readers’ choice award, downtown Portland’s Hotel deLuxe has managed to re-create the Golden Age of Hollywood while avoiding any hint of Hollywood kitsch. Consider Gracie’s restaurant, where crystal chandeliers and comfy supper club-style booths infuse the pale yellow dining room with glamour, and where American favorites like grilled pork chops are classed up with sides like rosemary dumplings. Spring for the hotel’s romance package, “All You Need Is Love,” and you may skip dinner altogether: who really needs food when you can sustain yourselves on a massage for two, a bottle of bubbly, and a sparkling view of the city? (From $149 per night; $459 for the weekend package; 503-219-2094;

Suncadia Resort

Winter is definitely not the season for hibernation. Case in point: Suncadia, the sister property of Central Oregon’s Sunriver Resort. Located eighty miles east of Seattle along the Cle Elum River, the 6,400-acre playground boasts cross-country ski trails, snowmobile adventures, an ice skating rink, and shuttle service to nearby Snoqualmie Summit (should you prefer carving to schussing). No matter your daytime pleasure, your evenings will be equally memorable—especially if you partake in the resort’s “Night to Remember” package, which includes a main lodge suite with a fireplace, dinner for two at the lodge’s restaurant, and long-stemmed roses and chocolate-covered strawberries. By the time you’re ready to pack up the Subaru for the return trip south, you’ll wish winter would never end. (From $169 per night; $319 for the weekend package; 866-904-6300;

Columbia Gorge Hotel

This grand 1921 Mediterranean-style villa—nestled in the Columbia River Gorge just outside Hood River—has the feel of a country inn. Indulge in the thirty-nine-room hotel’s “Romancing the Gorge” package and you’ll be treated to breakfast for two at the restaurant. On Sundays, the morning meal is particularly unforgettable: the “farm breakfast” features apple fritters and freshly baked pastries, followed by entrées like the pastrami-spiced smoked salmon frittata, and, if you choose, a finale of lemon soufflé pancakes. Top off your meal with a glass of the hotel’s own Columbia Gorge Signature Champagne and raise a glass to love.
(From $199 per night; $444 for the weekend package; 800-345-1921;

Hotel Elliott

You could retreat to a rustic cabin for a weekend at the Oregon Coast, but wouldn’t it be nicer to snuggle into a bed adorned with goose-down pillows and 440-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets? Astoria’s Hotel Elliott has every detail in place to make a stay in one of its thirty-two recently renovated rooms a luxurious one, including heated stone floors in the bathrooms and marble fireplaces. Opt for the hotel’s romance package, “Love at First Sight,” and you and your honey will stay in a suite—and arrive at your room to find the champagne already chilled, the bed festooned with rose petals and chocolate, and the Jacuzzi ready to bubble. (From $109 per night; $299 for the weekend package; 877-378-1924;

Wine Country Farm

Wake to the smell of crêpes warming on the griddle and the sight of Oregon’s wine country just outside your bedroom window, and you might—just for a moment—think you’ve become a character in a romance novel. It’s not all bodice-ripping and lace, though, at this nine-room bed-and-breakfast located five minutes west of Dundee. The 1906 country house is also a boutique winery that produces such sumptuous white wines as Müller-Thurgau and a pinot noir bursting with dark cherry and blackberry flavors—the ideal accompaniment to pre-dinner Brie and crackers. Try these wines (and others) every Saturday and Sunday in the on-site tasting room before driving into town for an intimate meal or retreating to your suite with a bottle of your own and a “Do Not Disturb” sign hung on the doorknob. (From $150 for a room; $225 for a suite; 503-864-3446;

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