written by Cathy Carroll
Any journey—be it epic or overnight—can be profoundly influenced by the places where we choose to sleep. Here is a look at some of the best places for this around Oregon.
From converted silos and a one-room schoolhouse to working ranches and vineyards—we explore twenty-four cool B&Bs that offer atypical style and comfort. With these lodgings, it’s all about the beds, the breakfasts and swapping stories at the table.
Cannon Beach Hotel – Cannon Beach
This 1914 retreat blends the ambiance of a boutique hotel with the B&B personal touch. All guest rooms are suites, offering small-hotel privacy and a full-service front desk with highly personalized service. “It is easy to get to know us,” says owner and innkeeper Claudia Toutain-Dorbec. Freshly baked cookies at check-in and the lobby’s roaring fireplace, deep armchairs and shelves of books presage a soothing stay.
Never seriously ruminated on comfort? You may when you sink into your four-poster bed with custom-made mattresses. Take a deep breath and consider these mattress specs—bamboo-knit, softquilted topping, multiple layers of foam and 884 individually wrapped pocket coils. You may ponder whether to doze on it or launch it on the Pacific for an overnight trans-oceanic cruise.
The comfort of the bed goes further still, with satin-strip combed cotton 310-thread-count linens atop EcoPure mattress pads for additional comfort, if you can fathom that.
Perhaps the only thing to lure you from between the sheets is the expansive morning buffet in the Cannon Beach Café, served indoors or on the patio—or take a tray back to that bed.
$$ – $$$
Heceta Head Lighthouse – Yachats
Dreams of high seas adventure (and a seven-course breakfast) may fill your head at one of the last light-keeper’s cottages on the Pacific Coast. Innkeeper Steven Bursey encourages guests to walk up to the adjacent lighthouse at night. “Eight beams rotate above your head and shine out to the horizon,” he says. “It’s like you are in the center of a wheel of light. It’s an amazing sight.”
The lighthouse was built in 1893 and reopened this June after a two-year, $1.6-million renovation by state and federal entities.
Owner and chef Michelle Korgan, along with her parents, Carol and Mike Korgan— longtime Portland restaurateurs—change the breakfast menu daily, focusing on local, seasonal ingredients including herbs and vegetables from Bursey’s garden at the lighthouse. Think fresh farm eggs, local jams, honey and fruit, and Dungeness crab right from the sea.
At its annual Victorian Christmas Open House, December 7, 8, 14 and 15, the lighthouse is free and open to the public from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The B&B is bedecked with two Christmas trees, gingerbread houses, nutcrackers and lights. Local organizations host refreshments and live music, and Santa pays a visit. “I always look forward to it,” says Bursey. “It is a wonderful community gathering in the true spirit of Christmas.”
10+ kids ok | $$
The Craftsman – Pacific City
“No lace, no doilies” is the motto of owner-innkeeper Mike Rech at this renovated 1921 Craftsman-era home.
Four guest rooms feature period-inspired design and décor and have views of Cape Kiwanda, Haystack Rock, Pacific City and, of course, the Pacific Ocean. In keeping with the spirit of 1921, the inn has no televisions or radios. Rech encourages guests to relax and unplug in this town where it’s easy to get around on foot or cruiser bike.
The Bigfoot Lodge – Hood River
Even if you’re not in search of Sasquatch, this custom-built log lodge is the place for enjoying mountain views and more than 1,000 acres of surrounding pristine forest in the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area. Vistas of Mt. Hood and a wood fire stoked by owners-innkeepers Nilsa and Mike Zeman welcome you to the 5,000-square-foot lodge.
After a hearty organic breakfast, explore the inn’s 64-acre grounds by foot or horse-drawn wagon, powered by Ike and Tina, a Percheron draft horse team. There’s also a large Sioux teepee.
The Surveyors Ridge trail, a favorite among hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders is accessible from the property. The lodge is also near ski areas, the Hood River County Fruit Loop, breweries, vineyards, wineries, museums and farms of every flavor—blueberry, lavender, flowers, nuts, apples and pears.
Old Parkdale Inn – Parkdale
This inn assures visitors that it is “not your lace and claw-foot tub kind of B&B.” The emphasis is on relaxation and taking advantage of the area’s outdoor activities, not worrying about knocking over knickknacks.
Innkeepers Steve and Mary Pellegrini offer breakfast made with locally grown fruits and vegetables, and organic ingredients whenever possible at their property on the northern slope of Mt. Hood.
They note that the area is great for geocaching. “We’ve hosted geocachers, and it is always fun when, at breakfast the next morning, they share their adventures with us,” says Mary.
Inn at the Gorge – Hood River
This Queen Anne-style home was built in 1908, and typifies that bygone era, with its wraparound porch. It is walking distance to downtown shops and restaurants. Rooms have antique wrought-iron queen or mahogany king beds, claw-foot tubs and a hidden passageway to the attic.
Innkeepers Frank and Michele Bouche start breakfast with fresh fruit and homemade tarts, muffins or breads, and items such as omelets, crepes or eggs benedict.
As is the case with its many other properties in The Gorge, the inn offers guests discounted ski lift tickets for Mt. Hood Meadows.
Portland’s White House – Portland
Ever dreamed of spending a night in the White House? Well, you don’t even have to leave our beloved state. You’ll feel quite presidential when you arrive at Portland’s White House, with its fourteen massive white columns, and a circular drive and fountain. The Greek Revival mansion was built in 1911 as a summer home for a lumber baron. Owner and innkeeper Lanning Blanks restored it with European chandeliers, a sweeping staircase, leaded glass windows, gilded ceilings, a formal dining room, a parlor with grand piano, a grand ballroom and extensive collections of European and Continental porcelains, 18th- and 19th-century oil paintings and Persian rugs.
The look may be one of a commander-in-chief’s residence, but with five guest rooms in the main house and three guest rooms in the carriage house, the feel is decidedly more Camp David. The service is attentive and the mood is relaxed. It’s not unusual for guests to come down to breakfast in their robes to a candlelit feast of fried chicken and waffles, bread pudding and eggs benedict. The inn even welcomes children “with well-behaved parents,” says Blanks.
all ages kids ok | $$
Heron House – Portland
This 10,000-square-foot English Tudor home was designed by noted Portland architect Joseph Jacobberger in 1904 and is on the National Historic Register. With original oak parquet floors, a sun room and a mahogany library stocked with books, movies and games, the ambiance suits romantic travelers as well as families. Six guest suites include fireplaces and sitting areas.
Wake to a breakfast prepared by Pam Walker, a formally trained chef who owns and operates the inn with her husband, Carl Walker.
Rest easy knowing the luxury linens, hypoallergenic pillows and rooms are cleaned with scent- and dye-free products.
all ages kids ok | $$
The Georgian House – Portland
One of just a few true Georgian Colonials in Portland, this 1922 home in the stately Irvington neighborhood was restored by Willie and Dick Canning, who have operated it since 1987. In the process, they learned that George Schneider, the man who built it, put a few gold coins in the foundation for good luck. Leaded glass windows, a commanding winding staircase, oak floors, a sun porch, and fireplace evoke Old World charm and reflect the heritage of the neighborhood. The B&B’s Captain Irving Suite, for example, is named after the neighborhood’s founder, Capt. William Irving, a steamboat captain from Scotland.
all ages kids ok | $$
Youngberg Hill – McMinnville
Explore this twenty-two-year-old organic vineyard, taste wines with the winemaker, sleep in luxury and awaken to a gourmet breakfast. What’s missing from this picture? We can’t think of a thing.
Owner Nicolette Bailey asks guests to do the following: drink wine, leave work behind and get unplugged. “Spend time with your partner, be present and reconnect without multitasking,” she says.
In the morning, savor dishes such as Cornish baked eggs and honey with bacon, eggs Florentine, salmon hash, Pinotpoached pears, pancetta tarts, homemade granola and white chocolate muffins.
Still not satisfied? Fix that with one of the inn’s winemaker dinners, or the food and wine pairings at the Thanksgiving weekend open house.
all ages kids ok | $$ – $$$$
Abbey Road Farm “Silo Suites” – Carlton
If sleeping in a grain silo is on your travel check list, then this is the place for you, even if luxury is a requirement. Owner John Stuart says he came up with the idea to convert the three silos on the farm. “It seemed to be the kind of thing that a real farmer might do—use the existing assets in a creative and innovative way versus bulldozing them and building something completely new,” he says.
The farm offers serenity and high-end amenities. The five guest rooms have radiant floor heat, jacuzzi tubs, electric towel warmers and 600-plus-count Egyptian cotton sheets. “Not exactly roughing it,” Stuart says.
Breakfast is served in the Ranch House, a short walk from the guest rooms, on the patio, or by the warmth of the fireplace. In fall, pumpkin bread, pumpkin waffles, baked apples and other farm-fresh autumn fare are on the menu. In the evening, gather at the fire pit, along with guests who have come around the globe—from CEOs and Hollywood types to farmers on a busman’s holiday of sorts, says Stuart. Or, take in one of several winemaker dinners featuring the farm’s Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef, Mary Ellen Rice. Expect great fruits of viticulture, with more than 200 wineries within a half hour drive.
The Black Walnut Inn – Dundee
Visions of chardonnay and Pinot noir may dance in your head while sleeping at this inn and vineyard which grows those varietals. Taste the Pinots here, and explore the surrounding world-class wineries. The inn’s nine suites offer views across the Willamette Valley to Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson. The Italian linens, spa towels and soaking tubs are also soothing.
Innkeepers Karen and Neal Utz, and their son, Kris Utz, own the property, where the pervasive philosophy is to serve local products such as mushrooms, house-made sausages, smoked meats, house-baked breads and pastries.
12+ kids ok | $$ – $$$$
Campbell House – Eugene
The Campbell House, a Victorian estate built in 1892, offers thirteen rooms in its main building. Its carriage house has six suites with gas fireplaces, whirlpool tubs, wet bars with refrigerators and private patios.
Guests are served a glass of wine upon arrival as well as at breakfast. Chef and owner Brett Rauber changes the breakfast menu of sweet and savory dishes daily. Scones are a guest favorite.
The inn’s restaurant, open Wednesdays through Saturday, offers small plates such as empanadas, Spanish meatballs, and vegetable tartlets, as well as a full menu and monthly winemaker dinners.
“You are only a few blocks from what downtown Eugene has to offer, but once you get to our inn, you feel you are a million miles away,” says the inn’s Danette Randall.
all ages kids ok | $$ – $$$
C’est la Vie Inn – Eugene
This Queen Anne home on the National Register of Historic Places and its carriage house was renovated in 2007 and decorated in a 1930s Art Déco style. It has attracted visitors ranging from an opera singer and concert pianist to track stars and rock stars, says owner-innkeepers Anne-Marie and Jack Feldman.
Favorite breakfast items are the smoked salmon casserole and the strawberry clafoutis, a traditional French dessert. “Each afternoon, we bake and serve fresh chocolate chip cookies, which tend to disappear during the wee hours,” says Jack.
all ages kids ok | $$ – $$$
Excelsior Inn – Eugene
Just a block from the University of Oregon, the Excelsior Inn’s owner and chef Maurizio Paparo welcomes guests to his inn and restaurant—a blend of Continental atmosphere with contemporary comforts.
Built in 1912 as a sorority house, Excelsior Inn has custom stained glass, wrought iron work and more than 100 watercolors by Oregon artists. Its fourteen guest rooms, with hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, arched windows and cherry furniture are named for classical composers. Some rooms include whirlpool tubs.
The inn’s five-acre farm in southeast Eugene is its source for organic produce and other breakfast ingredients such as fresh eggs for brioche French toast and eggs benedict, served with house-baked breads. Ristorante Italiano’s dinner menu includes dishes such as smoked pork ravioli with a thyme cream sauce and slowly braised boar with creamy polenta. In winter, the restaurant features four-course dinners of “comfort food” from Northern Italian regions, with wine pairings and an informational slide show presented by the chef.
Innkeepers Michele Wilson and Dove Greenwood say the small staff strives to create memorable guest experiences. “We love to share our love of our city and the people in it,” says Wilson.
pets ok | all ages kids ok | $$ – $$$$
Long Hollow Ranch – Sisters
Ride with ranch hands on this century-old working ranch. There is a buzz of daily tasks such as fixing fences, harvesting hay, and working with cattle and caring for horses. After a day of hard work, you can fly-fish on the ranch’s reservoirs, explore nearby trails or retire to the porch to soak in Cascade mountain views. Five guest rooms are in the renovated 1905 building that were the Black Butte Land and Livestock Company offices. Guests can also stay at the Ranch Cottage—formerly a stage stop, post office and commissary for cowboys.
Breakfast is “down home with class” and served family style, says Dick Bloomfeldt, who manages the ranch with his wife, Shirley. It’s a great time to get to know fellow guests, who come to the ranch from across the country and abroad.
all ages kids ok | $$
Juniper Acres – Bend
With views of seven Cascade peaks, this log home on ten wooded acres is a peaceful country retreat that is a ten-minute drive from downtown Bend.. Della and Vern Bjerk built the home in 1991, designed as a B&B with two guest rooms—each with private baths and sitting areas.
“After all these years, there’s one thing we know for sure,” says Vern. “We cater to the cream of the crop of travelers. We get to meet people from all over the world, and enjoy hearing about their lives and their countries.”
For breakfast, Della prepares freshly baked muffins, fruit, granola and stuffed French toast, or egg dishes served with thick-sliced pepper bacon.
all ages kids ok | $$
Hillside Inn – Bend
This custom Craftsman home built in 1999 offers pampered, modern lodging within walking distance to downtown Bend. The rooms have an outside patio or balcony and are near the hot tub and a fish pond.
Fall breakfasts include polenta with pumpkin and poached eggs. “Guests rave about my steel cut oatmeal served with cinnamon, pecans, and dried and fresh fruit,” says owner-innkeeper Annie Goldner. “I pick fresh sage from my garden and mince it for a frittata made with sweet potatoes and fresh corn, served with butternut squash sauce.”
Rooms come with robes, slippers, soaps and lotions, heated towel bars and phone chargers. “The phrase repeated over and over by my guests is, ‘You’ve thought of everything,’” Goldner says.
pets ok | 4+ kids ok | $$
Touvelle House – Jacksonville
This 1916 Craftsman home, set back from the sidewalk and street, is quiet and serene, yet just three blocks from shopping, dining and wine tasting in Jacksonville, a National Historic Landmark gold rush town.
In the six guest rooms and suites, you can slip into a luxurious waffleweave robe and savor the chocolate truffles before hitting the feather beds with Egyptian cotton sheets. In the morning, as well as evenings, you’ll find fires crackling in the foyer and living room. At breakfast, expect such goodies as freshly baked scones or muffins, berries, yogurt, eggs with smoked salmon; vegetable-and-feta frittata and spinach-and-mushroom quiche with hash browns or roasted asparagus. In the afternoon, nibble homemade chocolate chip cookies, sip tea and pick a place to get cozy in the great room, library or sun room.
“People who enjoy a beautiful and well-appointed Vintage home, with lots of attention paid to the little things that make a stay comfortable will prefer our B&B over a traditional hotel,” says innkeeper Tim Balfour, who owns and operates the inn with his partner, Gary Renninger Balfour. The couple strives to create a casual, yet gracious, environment. “Our home is designed to make people feel comfortable and cared for … and then we get out of the way for them to enjoy themselves,” says Tim.
12+ kids ok | $$
The Winchester Inn – Ashland
Just two blocks from the theaters and shopping, this quiet inn is rich in character and home to Alchemy Restaurant and Bar, one of this town’s best. Owner-innkeepers Laurie and Michael Gibbs greet you just past the English garden. Afternoon pastries are delivered to your room. Breakfast is a magnum opus with items such as poached eggs on duck confit hash with parmesan cream sauce; black-pepper waffles with chicken, fried bacon and bourbon maple syrup; or pork belly omelet with green bell pepper chimichurri, blackened leeks and mustard-seed-ale cheddar.
all ages kids ok | $$ – $$$
Riverside Schoolhouse – Prairie City
This century-old, converted one-room schoolhouse is on a working cattle ranch near the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness area, prime country for fishing, Nordic skiing, snowmobiling and soaking in the local hot springs.
The inn is reserved for one party at a time—ideal for a family or to share with friends, says ownerinnkeeper Judy Jacobs. The schoolhouse has two suites separated by French doors, and the headboards are made from the school’s original chalkboards. The leather sofa beside the wood stove is a perfect spot for reading a good book or an afternoon nap after trekking up to Strawberry Lake. The kitchen is fully equipped. The bathroom and shower room were converted from the original boys’ and girls’ bathrooms.
The porch off the back suite is a private spot for viewing the ranch horses and cattle, bird watching or just relaxing.
Jacobs serves breakfast in the schoolhouse at whatever time you choose. Items vary from homemade granola, berries from her garden and yogurt, to croissant French toast with fresh fruit, sausage and juice.
pets ok | all ages kids ok | $$