Tired of staring at the same four walls and in serious need of a getaway? With summer nearly upon us, many resorts and lodges in Portland-adjacent locales like the Willamette Valley’s wine country, the Oregon Coast, Mount Hood, and the Columbia River Gorge are open, with deals to lure wary travelers but somewhat limited activities.
Like any business, hotels must follow the state guidelines appropriate for their county’s phase of reopening, with the usual physical distancing and sanitation protocols. When there are pools, spas, gyms, bars, restaurants, and event spaces on the premises, things can get complicated. We checked in with a few spots to see what guests can expect.
The Allison Inn and Spa
Luxe wine country oasis the Allison Inn and Spa in Newberg reopened earlier this month. “Let us pamper you, period!” says managing director Pierre Zreik, who is excited to welcome guests back. For now, though, that pampering won’t include the Allison’s usual valet and bellhop service, and daily housekeeping is by request only. The spa is set to reopen June 19 with limited services, and the pool and sauna are still closed. Jory restaurant and bar are reservation-only with spaced seating. The inn is offering discounts in June, and says that rooms will remain unoccupied for 24 hours between guests "whenever possible."
On the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge, the Skamania Lodge’s 175 acres offer plenty of well-distanced outdoors opportunities. (Skamania County is now in Washington’s Phase 3, which translates roughly to Oregon’s Phase 2.) Guests can still schedule zip-line tours and ax-throwing sessions for small groups, go on a hike (trails have been designated as one-way, with limited entry points), and check out bikes, soccer balls, corn hole games, and other outdoor equipment, with items sanitized after each use. The indoor pool, hot tubs, and fitness center are open with limited capacity and distancing requirements, while the Waterleaf Spa remains closed.
Stephanie Inn and Surfsand Resort
While some coastal communities discouraged Portlanders from traveling there during the pandemic in the spring, hotels there are ready for a wave of summer traffic. In Cannon Beach, Columbia Hospitality’s Stephanie Inn and sister spot Surfsand Resort are both locks for well-distanced walks and sandcastle building on the beach or sunset view. Their restaurants are offering spaced-out seating and picnic takeout, and the Surfsand’s pool and fitness center are open and getting hourly cleanings, while the Stephanie Inn spa is closed at this time.
Up the coast in Seaside, the boutique Seaside Inn has been welcoming guests back since late May with a few changes in place, like hand-sanitizer stations, helpful signage, behind-the-scenes sanitation, and detailed checklists for cleaners involving the use of UV lights for room cleaning. Each of the hotel’s 14 rooms can be booked, and meals can be enjoyed in the hotel restaurant or on the patio with social distancing measures in place. “It’s exciting to see things opening up,” says hotel owner Andy Mercer, who adds he is confident they’re doing everything they can and notes the hotel is now operating at nearly 100 percent capacity.