1920s-Style Rooms in Mediterranean-Style B & B Overlooking the Columbia Gorge
In the early 20th century, steamers sailing through the Columbia River would sound their whistles as soon as the Wah Gwin Gwin Hotel came into view, sounding once for each passenger aboard the ship. The sound could be heard up at the hotel, prompting the maids to action, fluffing pillows and making beds for the number of guests expected. Today, ships will no longer see the Wah Gwin Gwin (meaning “rushing water,” for a nearby 208 ft. waterfall) along the riverside, but rather the striking profile of the Columbia Gorge Hotel, a Mediterranean-style bed and breakfast with a traditional white stucco exterior, orange-tiled roofs, and a high tower with stained-glass windows. In wintertime, more than 500,000 lights line hotel and its lawn, and the spring brings blooming native Oregon flowers in the gardens.
From both the restaurant and the river-view rooms, the Columbia River’s raging waters can be seen cutting through the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. With brass or canopy beds, antique furnishings, and Victorian period artwork, each individually decorated room demonstrates the style and tastes of the 1920s. The in-house Simon’s Cliff House restaurant supplies a touch of modern-day Pacific Northwest, as dishes are crafted using locally grown ingredients from Oregon and Washington farmers, fisherman, ranchers, and cheese and winemakers. Those looking for an all-liquid diet can pop over to Valentino Lounge, the hotel’s onsite bar where guests can indulge in a cocktail, a glass of wine, or a whiskey-filled water gun. Guests also receive a wine passport that guides visitors to the wineries in the Columbia Gorge American Viticultural Area, including Cathedral Ridge Winery, Mt. Hood Winery, Phelps Creek Vineyards, and The Pines Vineyard and Winery.
Hood River, Oregon: Gorges, Waterfalls, and Skiing Opportunities
About 65 miles east of Portland and just north of Mt. Hood, Hood River is a breathtaking geologic destination. Volcanoes, lava, glaciers, the Jolly Green Giant, and ice-age floodwaters tore apart the land, carving an 80-mile canyon now known as the Columbia River Gorge. The area’s mountains, gushing waterfalls, and winding rivers attract adventurers for the hiking, fishing, and kiteboarding. Thick snow blankets the countryside in the winter, when most head to the slopes of Mt. Hood for the best skiing and snowboarding.