by Carrie Uffindell
From sleeping in a haunted lightkeeper’s house on the coast to camping in a teepee in the high desert, many inventive Northwest innkeepers, hoteliers and proprietors are offering places to stay beyond the standard hotel room. Here are some of the most unique, vintage and eclectic ways you can bed down in the region.
Lodge in a Lighthouse
For dramatic ocean views and the roar of the Pacific lulling you to sleep, head to one of these Northwest lighthouses that welcomes visitors to spend the night. Perched on a 200-foot headland between Florence and Yachats in Oregon, the lightkeeper’s house at Heceta Head Lighthouse is now a luxurious B&B with Victorian atmosphere, delicious food and a friendly ghost named “Rue.” The lighthouse itself is 56 feet tall and is the strongest light on the Oregon Coast, visible for 21 miles out to sea.
A short walk from the c. 1898 North Head Lighthouse, 187 miles north on Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula in Cape Disappointment State Park, you can rent one of three century-old keeper’s quarters. Each offers three bedrooms, a fully-equipped kitchen and a comfy living room, perfect for families. North Head is one of the windiest places on the West Coast, with winds gusts up to 120 mph.
Sleep Like a King or Queen
The royal treatment awaits at Manresa Castle, an historic mansion-turned-hotel located in the charming maritime town of Port Townsend on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. Completed in 1892 by the town’s first mayor, Charles Eisenbeis, Manresa Castle has been extensively renovated and now serves as one of the Northwest’s finest period hotels.
Overlooking the crystal clear waters of Lake Pend OreilIe and partially secluded on tree-covered Eagen Mountain, the 6,300-square-foot Idaho Castle in Hope, Idaho (15 miles east of Sandpoint) is an overnight experience fit for a king – and the entire royal family. Features include five bedrooms, a gourmet kitchen, a game room and a patio with stunning lakeside views.
Teepees, Treehouses and Huts, Oh My!>
For a Native American experience that you and the kids will never forget, head to the Village at Kah-nee-Ta Resort & Spa, located on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in Central Oregon, an area home to over 300 days of sunshine. Here you and up to ten guests can camp in one of 20 teepees, each equipped with its own fire pit. (Note: Guests are recommended to bring their own fire-making materials and camping gear/supplies.) Other amenities include its double-Olympic-size hot mineral pool, kept a comfortable 92˚F for all-day swimming, as well as two water slides and a hot spa pool.
Sleep amongst the trees at Wellspring Spa, a rustic and lovely woodland retreat situated at the base of Mt. Rainier, in the small town of Ashford, Washington. Fancy sleeping in a tiny treehouse? Clamber up a wooden ladder 15 feet above the ground to sleep in their tiny treehouse, nestled between two large firs. (Note: The treehouse is for adults only.) Or for tranquil African adventure without the lions and tigers, check out the Timbuktu cabin, Wellspring’s cozy and romantic safari “hut.”
From Tiny to Over-the-Top
The Northwest is also home to America’s first tiny house hotel, Caravan, which is comprised of six attractive, custom-made houses on wheels in the vibrant Alberta Arts District in Portland, Oregon. All range in size from 120-170 square feet and feature lots of creative design elements along with flush toilets, hot showers, electric heat, a sitting area, a well-equipped kitchen and lots of locally made art.
You’ll find the Black Swan Inn and its lavish, over-the-top themed-suites in Pocatello, a mountain town located at the foothills of the Rockies in the southeastern corner of Idaho. Each room’s theme is different, from the hand-painted murals of wild creatures and 15-foot rock waterfall in the Jungle Falls Suite to the 17th-century European-themed Black Swan Garden Suite, complete with an infra-red sauna and round king-sized gazebo-bed.