Entries in ‘Resorts’ Journal

Hotel Review: Skamania Lodge, Washington

Friday August 29, 2014 at 7:07 AM | 2 Comments

Our daughter recently accepted a job in Washington state and is living in the hip city of Portland, Oregon. As my husband and I are graduates of the University of Oregon, we are more than happy to explore our daughter’s new recreational playground. With that in mind, we put together a Pacific Northwest roadtrip beginning in central Oregon and ending in Washington’s Columbia Gorge. Our home base for Washington was Skamania Lodge.
 

"Columbia Gorge"

Sailboats float along Columbia Gorge


 
What we liked about Skamania Lodge; this 22 year old playpen – offering 254 rooms for outdoor lovers – caters to both young and old. Golfers walked by me as I exercised my dog, while a group of excited teenagers shrieked and did their best Tarzan calls from zipline platforms strung between towering trees above.
 


 

I met a coffee roaster from Seattle while I was soaking in the outdoor hot tub. Hyped up on caffeine, he was singing the praises of Skamania and the hiking trails around the area. Splashing in the pool were two millennials from Gresham, Oregon by way of Romania. They had learned that this was the place to stay when you visit Multnomah Falls.
 

"Skamania Lodge" hot tub

Soak in the hot tub


 
"Skamania Lodge" pool

Splash in the indoor pool


 
And then there were the friendly employees – the gift shop lady who steered me to a cup of gourmet instant oatmeal for my early morning departure, my server in the Cascade Dining Room who wanted to make sure that I enjoyed my diver scallops and the Waterleaf Spa Manager who took the time to explain to me why organic skin care products really are better for your body – and the earth.
 
"Cascade Dining Room" scallops

Diver scallops, Cascade Dining Room

 
Pet-friendly resort

Like many of our readers, we travel with our pet. This can be a problem at upscale resorts. Fortunately for us, Skamania Lodge is pet-friendly. $75 one time charge for pets, check the website for current rates. Room #194 welcomed dogs and had a back door that opened to plenty of dog walking trails. The golf course pro shop even had a water bowl waiting outside their front door!
 

"Skamania Lodge" pet-friendly hotel room

Pet-friendly hotel room


 
Sit back and relax
After a full day of outward bounding, pull up a rocking chair in the great room and admire the beauty that surrounds this place. There’s plenty of room to roam or sit back and relax and drink in the view of the spectacular Columbia Gorge – with a glass or two of local wine.
 
"Skamania Lodge" rockers

Sit back and relax


 
"Skamania Lodge" exterior

Take in the Columbia Gorge view


 
Insider Tip
As I live in California, I am very aware of our water shortage. I am always shocked when hotels don’t provide hotel guests the choice to opt out of daily linen and towel changes. Skamania Lodge goes one step further with their Green Choice Program. Hang a bamboo card on your door to opt out of housekeeping services. In return the lodge will deliver a $5 voucher for use on the property for each following day.
 
"Skamania Lodge" "Green Choice Program"

Green Choice Program

The lodge charges a reasonable $19 one time resort fee. My room rented for $179. Check the website for current rates and package deals. Skamania Lodge is a member of Destination Hotels & Resorts. For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter @Nancydbrown and follow @SkamaniaLodge on Twitter.

Check-In Time: 4:00pm

Check-Out Time: 12:00pm
 

If You Go:

Skamania Lodge (800) 221-7117
1131 SW Skamania Lodge Way,
Stevenson, Washington 98648

Article written by, video and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of Destination Hotels & Resorts. All opinions are my own.

Sunriver: All Season Resort in Central Oregon

Friday August 22, 2014 at 7:07 AM | 0 Comments

For those of you old enough to remember the 1978 movie Same Time, Next Year starring Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn, you’ll recall that the romantic comedy is about two lovers – married to others – who meet each year at a charming bed and breakfast located on the Northern California coast.  My husband and I share the same story in a different state – sort of. Both of us fell in love with Sunriver Resort and central Oregon in our youth. We fell in love with each other in Sunriver during our college days. Over time, we got married, had kids and eventually became empty nesters – one thing remained the same – our Sunriver vacation – same time, next year.
 

"Sunriver Marina" canoes

Float Deschutes River from Sunriver Marina


Sunriver all season resort

We have traveled to Sunriver, Oregon in winter, spring, summer and fall. However, our annual family vacation always returns us to central Oregon in late summer. This is the best time to experience high desert living, in my opinion. While Sunriver and nearby Mt. Bachelor offer plenty of winter activities, my skiing days are over due to my hip replacement.

I love Sunriver for summer sports like horseback riding, golf, biking, tennis and floating the Deschutes River in a kayak or canoe. After a full day of outdoor activities I can often be found in Sage Springs Spa. – we’re on vacation, afterall! The official name of the facility is actually Sage Springs Club Spa because there is a full fitness center above the spa, as well as an indoor pool.
 

"Sage Springs Spa"

Relax at Sage Springs Spa


 
Lodge Village rooms & suites
We’ve slept in places all around Sunriver – from private homes in Caldera Springs to lodge suites and rustic cluster cabins. Our most recent trip found us at the pet-friendly Lodge Village suites. Our two adult children stayed with the dog in the two-story suite while we enjoyed a romantic king room next door. We liked this travel arrangement because the rooms opened directly to a grassy lawn area from the wood deck. Families with young children might opt for these accommodations with two beds upstairs and a queen sleeper sofa downstairs. The kids liked that they could eat breakfast in the room as it offered a kitchen with fridge, microwave and dishwasher – wifi, too!

Sunriver Resort is a four diamond AAA award winner, carries the Green Key Eco-rating and is a member of Destination Hotels & Resorts. Our village suite rented for $316 and $221 for the king guestroom. Check the website for lodging specials and package deals.
 

"Sunriver Resort"

Pet-friendly & family-friendly lodging


 
"Sunriver Resort" room

Recently remodeled king room


 
"Sunriver Lodge" suite

Two-story suite from above


 
Insider Tip
Opened in 2012, Sunriver Homeowners Aquatic & Recreation Center (SHARC) offers 22 acres of indoor and outdoor pools, water slides, a lazy river, hot tubs, picnic and tot areas, in addition to a tubing hill. The center has a daily fee, but guests of the Lodge Village have complimentary access to the nearby outdoor swimming pool and hot tubs.
 
"Sunriver Lodge Village" pool

Lodge Village outdoor pool


 
For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter @Nancydbrown and follow @SunriverResort on Twitter.

Check-In Time: 4:00pm

Check-Out Time: 11:00am

If You Go:

Sunriver Resort (800) 801-8765
17600 Center Drive
Sunriver, OR 97707

Article written by and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of Sunriver Resort. All opinions are my own.

Historic Broadmoor: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Friday June 20, 2014 at 6:06 AM | 20 Comments

"Broadmoor" Colorado Springs

Historic Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, CO

The historic Broadmoor reins supreme as the grand dame of Colorado Springs in Colorado. The resort holds the titles of the longest running Forbes five star and AAA five diamond property in the country – they have held this distinction since The Broadmoor’s official opening on June 29, 1918. Located on 3,000 acres with three golf courses, 779 rooms, 19 restaurants, cafes & lounges and a Forbes five star spa, the historic Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado radiates luxury.

Broadmoor Wilderness Experience

Situated in Colorado Springs, The Broadmoor serves as an upscale base camp for outdoor explorers and sports enthusiasts.

While I’m not the golfer in the family, The Broadmoor offers several top-notch golf courses on property. In the summertime, complimentary golf clinics are offered certain days of the week, as are complimentary tennis round robins. While not exactly a wilderness experience, the kids (and kids at heart) might want to take a spin on Cheyenne Lake in a paddle boat. Check with the concierge for further details.
 

Golf course view from Broadmoor Spa

Golf course view from Broadmoor Spa


 
I have made a promise to myself that I will return to The Broadmoor with my husband to experience The Broadmoor’s Ranch at Emerald Valley. This exclusive ranch property is just a 30 minute drive up the mountain from The Broadmoor. Surrounded by the majestic Pike National Forest, the all-inclusive ranch offers fly-fishing, hiking, biking and horseback riding in beautiful Colorado Springs. Cloud Camp, an all-inclusive 54 guest resort that sites on the site of the original Cheyenne Mountain Lodge, is another Broadmoor Wilderness Experience I have yet to try.
 


 

"Broadmoor" "Penrose Room"

Dining at Broadmoor’s Penrose Room

 
Broadmoor restaurant dining

I mentioned in another post that dining at The Broadmoor is like one continuous progressive dinner party. If you like barbecue and enjoy hands on cooking classes, you’ll want to sign up for Barbecue University at the Broadmoor. I could be cut off from the outside world and be perfectly content living off The Broadmoor with its 19 restaurants, cafe and lounges. As long as I’m left behind with the head baker, chocolate maker and spa director, I know I’ll be in good hands.
 

"Broadmoor" Spa

The Spa at The Broadmoor

 
Spa at The Broadmoor

Speaking of good hands, my massage therapist, Deanne from Mississippi, delivered a 50 minute session of deep tissue heaven to my body. Make sure to pack a swim suit and arrive early or stay late to take advantage of the co-ed indoor and outdoor swimming pools and outdoor hot tub. Additionally, there is a steam room, sauna, aromatherapy room (recommended for acclimating to the Rocky Mountain altitude of 6000 feet above sea level) and fireplace lounge. The co-ed mountain view room and terrace, looking over the golf course, is a great place to relax and recharge before your spa treatment.
 

"Broadmoor" hotel room

Broadmoor West Premier King


Broadmoor West renovation

The Broadmoor resort is composed of several hotel buildings; Broadmoor Main, Broadmoor South and Broadmoor West. Walking to different parts of the resort is easy via the Cheyenne Lake Bridge. There is also 24/7 complimentary shuttle service available for hotel guests.

During my stay, the Broadmoor West had recently undergone a complete renovation. My lovely premier king, room #4443, with Juliet balcony and view of Cheyenne Lake, rented for $465 per night (check the website for current rates). Pets are welcome at The Broadmoor with a charge of $50 per pet, per night (maximum two dogs per room.) The pet fee includes special Broadmoor bedding and pet food bowls, as well as a treat for your four-legged friend.
 

"Broadmoor" hot tub

Soak in The Broadmoor hot tub



Broadmoor resort fee

Love them or hate them, resort fees are here to stay. The Broadmoor $32 daily resort service charge includes wireless high-speed internet access, local telephone calls, daily newspaper, Fitness Center access & two daily fitness classes, incoming faxes, Little Theater movies, in-room beverage service, daily housekeeping and nightly turndown service, bottled water and arrival gift. Being from California, where we are experiencing drought conditions, I was a little miffed to see that sheets and towels were changed on a daily basis. Housekeeping quickly fixed my environmental dilemma, replacing my hand written note requesting my bedding not be changed with a pre-printed no sheet-changing card.
 

"Cheyenne Lake"

Paddle boats on Cheyenne Lake at The Broadmoor

Insider tips

The Broadmoor is a member of Historic Hotels of America. The historic Colorado Springs property offers complimentary art and history tours on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Western art aficionados take note, as Broadmoor owner Mr. Philip Anschutz owns one of the largest collections of Western art. Horticultural tours are offered seasonally on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons at 2:00 p.m. Golf clinics are offered free to hotel guests on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 p.m.

For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter and follow @TheBroadmoor on Twitter.

If You Go:

The Broadmoor  (855) 634-7711

1 Lake Avenue, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906

Article written by, video and photos courtesy of  Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of The Broadmoor. All opinions and experiences are my own. I’d love to hear about your visit to the historic Broadmoor in Colorado Springs.