written by Julie Lee | photography by Kathleen Nyberg
The Danes call it ‘hygge’ (pronounced hue-gah,), and we call it the Grand Lodge in Forest Grove. The ritual of combining and appreciating life’s simple pleasures in a comfortable setting, creating a sense of well-being and contentment, is the backbone of this restorative and renovated McMenamins hotel. Wizardry meets artistry here, with secret stairwells, riddles on walls and museum-worthy art on walls, headboards and ceilings. Recently celebrating a 95-year anniversary, the former Masonic and Eastern Star property offers history inside and green scenery outside, with trees, trails and thrills beckoning a unification with nature. Nearby Hagg Lake offers water fun, and for the thrill-seeker looking to take simple pleasures to new heights, there is a zipline park adjacent to the lake. Be sure to print the walking guide before your stay—fifteen pages of “not-to-miss details” throughout the hotel and room-to-room historical facts.
A 102-degree soaking pool nestled amongst outdoor greenery invites relaxation punctuated by a restorative foot treatment or hot stone massage at Ruby’s Spa following the dip. The oddly named Doctor’s Office Bar features pool tables, board games and a dentist office in case you want to lay down or get your teeth checked after all the wine-tasting. The Billy Scott Bar was included in the recent facelift and offers a nesting corner with fireplace, books and vinyl record music. An on-site movie theater plays first-run films.
Disregard the vintage notion of shared bathrooms at this McMenamins property—of the ninety rooms on property, twenty-two newly renovated rooms offer a private bathroom and, for the summer months ahead, vital air conditioning. Rooms are all different and honor a book author with hand-painted headboards, bringing the book to life through art.
Two restaurants and plenty of bars on site mean you never really have to leave: Adding to the aforementioned Doctor’s Office Bar and Billy Scott Bar, the Ironwork Grill offers all three square meals starting at 7 a.m. for the early birds, great happy hour specials and family-pleasing pub fare. Pat’s Corner is a great late-afternoon option for soaking up suds after soaking in the tub, with the latest McMenamins brews on tap daily and vegetables grown and fermented on-site. 3505 Pacific Ave. FOREST GROVE McMenamins.com