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Travel Blogs from Timberline Lodge
Today was our two-year anniversary and we left Bend and headed to Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood to celebrate. We had a very nice breakfast at the hotel and then checked out and started making our way north. From Bend, we took US-97 north and then US-26 W into Mount Hood National Forest. Ironically, we had great views of the mountain for most of …
Linda had the day off so we set off on time to follow the Columbia River. West of Portland it resembled a classical painting: a wide gorge with blue green mountains in the distance. The road hugged the river, parallel to the old Oregon Trail of old days. The twisty road brought us to some wonderful views, especially from Vista House, a beautiful …
... Oregon. We turn our backs on the ocean for now and head towards Portland, drive around it and camp in McIver State Park, very neat and tranquil. A short walk before dinner along a path thick with juicy blackberries leads us to a fish hatchery where huge salmon leap against the current in their struggle to continue on their ...
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TravelPod Member ReviewsTimberline Lodge
Beautifully furnished with chunk furniture and lots of places to explore.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
My wife and I stayed at the Timberline Lodge for our two-year anniversary and had a very nice stay. It was in September and the weather was warm, so the ski area was closed, so we hiked around in Mount Hood National Forest looking for waterfalls. The staff at the hotel were very friendly and helpful. I had notified them via email before arriving that it was our anniversary, and the front desk wished us a happy anniversary, upgraded us to a fireplace room, and gave us a bottle of wine in our room. The rooms are very nice, although the walls are very thin. It is a historical hotel, after all. They were doing construction, so the elevators were out, but after hiking on Mount Hood, one flight of stairs didn't seem too bad. We stayed during a weekday in the off-season, and got a complimentary dinner at Cascade Dining Room. The food and wine was great and the service was very good. They have a pool and hot tub, but they're outside, which can be an issue depending on the weather. There was near-freezing rain when we visited, so we opted against going outside for the hot tub. Before dinner, I wanted to hike on Mount Hood, so we hiked the Mountaineer Trail, a very strenuous trail that gains more than 1000 feet in under a mile. I was hoping for some great views above the tree line, but unfortunately, the weather was poor and visibility was about 10 feet. And then it started raining/snowing when we were hiking back down. Luckily, the hotel has washers and dryers and the front desk gave us tokens so we could dry our clothes. And the fireplace in our room was very nice as well. The building is beautiful (even with a little construction) and the location is one-of-a-kind, right on Mount Hood with fabulous views of the mountain and surrounding forest (depending on the weather, of course). It's also a really interesting and historical hotel. It was built in the 1930s as a Works Progress Administration project and served as the outside of the hotel in The Shining. They have a lot of exhibits about the hotel and national forest in the lobby to learn more. It's kind of expensive, but a really cool, historical hotel, and definitely worth the stay to celebrate a special occasion.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Timberline Lodge
Historic treasure in unmatched natural setting
One of the best mountain lodges in the West, Timberline retains almost all of the original artwork, furniture and fixtures from its 1937 beginnings. I've stayed at nearly every great lodge in the West, and only Crater Lake Lodge, in my mind, surpasses Timberline.
It's not a luxury hotel, so don't go in expecting to be pampered. The room rate will seem high for what you get, but it's the unique location you're paying for. Be aware that the East Wing rooms on the second floor can get overly warm, and there is no air conditioning. A friend's room on the first floor was more comfortable. Also, know that some of the rooms are very small. I know firsthand that Room 223, for example -- a "two twins" room for $145 -- was very tight. Not enough room for two people to pass by each other from the bed area to the bathroom. But where else can you lie in bed and with just a turn of your head watch the morning sun's glow light up the summit of Mount Hood?
Service was average -- the twentysomethings that make up the vast majority of the staff seem to have no clue about the stewardship that goes along with working at a place as special as Timberline. It would be nice to see a few more adults more interested in the lodge and its guests (instead of tips and snowboarding stories) as staff members.
The breakfast buffet in the Cascade Dining Room was acceptable, but for the main meals of the day we descended to Government Camp and dined at Mount Hood Brewing Co.'s brewpub. We had dinner at the lodge on a previous stay and didn't believe it was a good value.
Nice Location, but Bad Service Throughout
My husband & I stayed in a fireplace room (largest room available) in Dec. 2004. Although the view of Mt. Hood and the surrounding area was lovely, the service was dreadful.
When we first checked in, we were told it would be another hour. That was reasonable, since we arrived early. When we checked back in, we were told it would be another 30 minutes. Still understandable. When we checked in the third time, we were told it would be another 20 minutes. Checked in the fourth time and were told it would be ANOTHER 30 minutes. You guessed it...still not ready after the 30 minutes. We finally walked up to the room ourselves & saw that the employee was finished cleaning, so we went back down to the registration desk & asked for the key. Every time we returned to the registration desk, the employees seems disinterested.
Second, the lodge is known for its historical roots, yet there were no tours running, and the historical documentary was not working in the lobby, nor on the channel stated on our room TV.
The information packet on the lodge left in the room had several interesting tabs, but NO information inside. Lovely leather cover, lots of index tabs, like "restaurants", etc., but no information. Not very helpful.
The fireplace room itself was large enough, with a very nice view of Mt. Hood, but it didn't feel very clean. You have to love historical architecture to appreciate the room or else it may just feel a little grungy for the price ($250 a night).
Lastly, the restaurants....
We ate lunch at the Ram's Head (casual). The price was fine ($8 for a large bowl of soup), but both the white bean chili & the beef stew were far too thick, almost paste-like. The service (again) was poor, with long waits and very little professional enthusiam.
Dinner at the "fancy" restaurant...hmmm...the food was decent, but overpriced. Notice I didn't say the food was great, but decent. Only the Ram's Head was open when we wanted a snack at around 9:30. Not even the Boar bar (can't recall the exact name) was open.
1. Location very pretty & it's close to Portland (1 & 1/2 hour drive).
2. Service bad, bad, bad. Seemed like only youngsters who want a discounted ski ticket work there.
3. Food. Not great, but not horrible.
4. Must appreciate historical architecture or will likely feel room is underpar.
5. Historical documentary/tours unavailable. Isn't that a one of the reasons for staying at this lodge?
6. Go to Bend (Mt. Bachelor) or Whistler instead...you'll LOVE it.
What a great place. Fantastic lodge experience. This is not a modern hotel, but a 1930s/40s ski lodge which maintains those traditions well. The rooms are basic and small but the common areas & bar are grand and yet the restaurant is excellent for an intimate romantic dinner. A trully magical time machine.
Great atmosphere, Good skiing
Timberline is located about an hour from Portland. We came primarily for skiing, which was great. When you walk out of the hotel, you are only a few feet from the slopes and lifts. The lodge is rustic, don't expect a luxury hotel. The rooms were small and basic, but comfortable. The bar, restaurants, and lobby were great for just hanging out and relaxing after a day on the slopes. My only complaint about the hotel was noise from other rooms, there sound insulation is not what you would expect. Overall, I was very pleased with my experience here and plan on coming back.
Timberline Lodge is magical. A good place to write poetry during the off season, a good place to ski in the snow season. The rooms are small, but the staff is friendly and the common areas have a great atmosphere for sitting around and talking or writing letters/postcards. I like to walk the trails and meditate.
Great natural wonders-service needs upgrade
It is with a lot of hesitation that I write this review for Timberline Lodge because we have such a soft spot in our hearts for it and don't want to point out any negatives. So, because of that, I'll point out the positives first.
Our family (2 adults, 2 teens) stayed for one night in mid June. We stayed in the two adjoining Timberline rooms. Incredible views!!! Small, cozy rooms (this is a historic hotel after all) and featherbeds that our kids did not want to get out of. We enjoyed the warm outdoor pool and just exploring this incredible lodge.
But, I feel that the management is either resting on their laurels or just not training their employees properly. One young man at the front desk seemed to be more interested socializing than helping customers. The wait for our order to be taken at the Rams Head Bar was way too long and the wait for food was longer still. Is this an understaffing problem? Also, the cleaning standard leaves a lot to be desired in the room we stayed in. The toilet looked like it had not been cleaned in a month and the mildew in the shower stall made me want to stand on tip toes. Also, the bath amenities had been used by previous guests and not been replaced by the cleaning staff.
I must mention that all of this aside, we still plan to return because of what Timberline is and represents. It truly is a must see to anyone visiting this area. But the management really needs to inspire their staff to do a better job. Especially given the price level guests have to pay here.
Great Atmosphere and Location
I have stayed at the lodge 3 or 4 times and the last time was about 3 years ago so things may have improved since. Overall my experiences have been mixed. The Lodge itself is beautiful and full of atmosphere. Some might consider the rooms basic but I think they are terrific and full of character (I have not yet stayed in a room with a fireplace). The restaurent and bar staff have allways been very pleasant and helpful and the bar serves good simple food. The dinner meals I have had in the much vaunted restaurant have been dissapointing. They have been over elaborate (prententious even) large and stodgy. Definately dissapointing. Breakfast is good though (I like a stodgy breakfast!). I have not had a good experience with the reception staff either in booking or in dealing with problems while staying at the lodge. For this reason I would not rate them high on service. Overall I got the feeling that they were resting on their laurels which they can get away with because the location and atmosphere are unbeatable. I will probably stay there again but if I get bad service again next time it will be my last.
Common areas are great, private rooms are a bit claustrophobic
The lodge is very Northeast circa 1900. It's got great atmosphere. The main restaurant serves great food. The main fireplace area, the lounge and bar area has a marvelous feel. However, some things that you wish were updated aren't. For example, they seem to have no way of adjusting individual room temperture. We were staying in the 2nd floor, but as the night went on, our room kept getting hotter until it was almost unbearable. When we complained to the front desk, a guy came and pulled out an antique looking fan from the closet and installed it in front of our bed. The fact that the beds had fluffly goose down mattress AND down comforter (which would have been heavenly in a different environment) didn't help either. I'm sure it has to do with the original architecture but the walls of the lodge are also quite thin and we were able to follow the movements of those dwelling above and around us, as well as the noisy skateboarders walking around the parking lot late at night. I also need to add that the rooms are also shockingly small, althought once I get used to it, it started to feel cozy and quaint. Maybe it's that authentic turn-of-the-century mountain cabin feel, but somehow you learn to appreciate it. Finally, the ski lifts are literally right outside the front door and nothing beats that. The staff are also cordial and friendly.
What a wonderful place to spend a few nights. This is a lodge, not a hotel, so if you like a rustic but elegant environment, this is about as good as you'll find. The rooms are small and bathrooms even smaller, but the rest of the place is so great that we didn't notice. Incredible scenery, and first rate meals abound!!! We loved every minute of our stay.
The Timberline Lodge is a classic mountain lodge!! Built in the '30's as a part of Roosevelt's WPA program, it still stands as a beautiful & historic destination. The detail in the construction goes beyond anything you'd find in present day; it's a pleasure to see the care & dedication that went into its creation.There are basically 3 levels of 'common space.' Upon entering there are old chairs with raw-hide staps around a fireplace (registration is to the left of this area). The 2nd level is the "main lobby" which feels more like an enormous living room. The period furniture is placed around the 6 sided, 92 foot fireplace. It's simply stunning. The main dining room is also off this space. Dinner reservations are a must even for the lodge guests. The food was fabulous and only a bit pricey--but, if you're staying at the lodge, you're a captive audience. There are very few places you're going to find food if you leave the lodge & travel down the mountain. Their wine selection is also quite large considering their location. The 3rd level (mezzanine) overlooks the main lobby. Drinks and appetizers are served in this area for curious tourists or those just wishing to relax and take in the view. The mezzanine (also known as the Rams Head Bar) has plenty of windows & seating overlooking the mountains or the ski side of Mt. Hood.The one thing I did like is that they lock the front doors to visitors after 11pm. If you're a guest and require entrance, there's a speaker system to allow you access to the facility.The rooms are quite cozy and small but that's to be expected based on the period in which it was built. Our only complaint was a noisy water fountain in the hallway. We solved the noise by unplugging it. The toilet in the bathroom was behind a wall on the other side of the sink; it would be very difficult for a "larger person" to manuever their way to the toilet. This is probably not the case with all the rooms. We happened to be on the 3rd floor with a queen sizeIf you are in the area, do yourself a favor and stay at the Timberline Lodge at least one night. Treat yourself to a nice dinner and go about your trip. It is a lovely place with a lot of history attached to it.Enjoy!!!!