valley river inn, willamette river, eugene, oregon
Like a fine wine, Valley River Inn is aging gracefully. I fondly recall celebrating my graduation from the University of Oregon at the Inn’s restaurant Sweetwaters on the River back in the 1980’s. Afterall, this was the restaurant you dined at with your parents when they were paying for dinner during a visit to Eugene.

valley river inn, hotel, eugene, oregon

Valley River Inn lobby. Photo © 2015 Nancy D. Brown

It’s been a while since the last time I stayed here when my husband was a best man in a wedding held at Valley River Inn. The bride and groom danced the night away and stayed in the Casa Nova suite that evening. I’m told that Elvis Presley stayed here in the 1970’s thus the name of the swanky suite!

valley river inn, hotel review, eugene, oregon

Room overlooking Willamette River. Photo © 2015 Nancy D. Brown

My room tonight, #306, is a king deluxe room facing the river. There are 257 rooms at this hotel, offering river views, pool views and courtyard views. In addition to having 10 ADA rooms, there are pet-friendly rooms at Valley River Inn. This property also boasts the largest outdoor swimming pool in Eugene. If working out is important to you during your travels, there’s also a fitness center open 24/7 and an indoor Jacuzzi onsite.

chowder, sweetwaters restaurant, valley river inn

Dungeness crab chowder. Photo © 2015 Nancy D. Brown

Dining at Sweetwaters on the River
I dined at Sweetwaters on the River right before sunset. With Chef Ray Garrow overseeing the kitchen, the restaurant focuses on Pacific Northwest cuisine. Diners have the option for patio seating next to the beautiful Willamette River. Continuing with the water theme, I ordered the Pacific king salmon with citrus fennel salad, corn polenta, orange curd, kumquatts and beet puree $24. I opted to upgrade to the cup of Dungeness crab chowder for an additional $6. and was pleasantly surprised with the chunks of crab in this thick, hearty chowder. Ending my sweet affair at Sweetwaters, I chose the double chocolate crumb cake, $6.75, a decadent chocolate cake filled with dark chocolate ganache and house made toffee by Pastry Chef Nicole Montgomery.

Rates range from $109 to $309, depending on the room type and time of year. My king deluxe river view room rented for $130 – $160. As always, check the website for current pricing and hotel specials.

salmon, sweetwaters, valley river inn, eugene

Salmon at Sweetwaters. Photo © 2015 Nancy D. Brown

Need to Know:
Valley River Inn is pet-friendly.
Check in: 4:00 p.m.
Check out: 11:00 a.m

Insider Tip:
Did you know that Valley River Inn offers bicycles for guests to use during their stay? A scenic and easy bike ride, the Ruth Bascom Riverbank Path System meanders alongside the Willamette River. For additional insider tips on things to see and do in Eugene, Oregon follow @Nancydbrown on Twitter, as well as @ValleyRiverInn.

cake, sweetwaters, valley river inn, eugene

Save room for dessert. Photo © 2015 Nancy D. Brown

If You Go:
Valley River Inn (541) 743-1000
1000 Valley River Way
Eugene, Oregon 97401

Article and photography by travel writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of Valley River Inn and Willamette Valley Visitors Association, however all opinions are my own.