With both Halloween and ski season right around the corner, I have found myself thinking about our stay last month at the historic Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood (you may also remember it as the Overlook Hotel in the 80’s horror classic The Shining). It provided a unique place to rest our heads on the final stop of an epic four day, 1250 mile Oregon road trip that also included Cannon Beach, Cave Junction, and Crater Lake.
Despite never having even heard of The Shining, my kids picked up on some kind of mysterious vibe as they roamed the halls, declaring the hotel “a little creepy”. On the contrary, I was delighted to find the interiors downright cozy (only exterior shots of Timberline were used in the movie). An abundance of wood, stonework and colorful pieces of art make it feel exactly as a proper ski lodge should. Just try to fight the urge to curl up in front of a fireplace, cup of hot chocolate or tipple in hand, and gaze up at the postcard perfect view of Mt. Hood.
The actual story behind this National Historic Landmark and ski lodge is quite interesting. During the height of the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt commissioned its building as part of the Work Projects Administration (WPA); an emergency measure aimed to get the unemployed working again. In the case of The Timberline Lodge, unskilled workers were paired with skilled craftsmen to build the massive ski lodge while also learning their trade. The result is a folk art and craft lover’s dream, with unique hand carved or forged pieces at every turn.
Here’s a look.
The coveted family corner rooms.
A little nod to the past in the room details.
Complimentary tea and coffee service in the morning.
If you are interested in a family ski trip to Mt. Hood, the mountain actually has the longest ski season in North America, running from mid-November to mid-May. They also have an excellent ski and snowboard school for children (4-14 years), and a daycare certified to take babies as young as 6 weeks old (when many others start at 6 months).
More information about The Timberline Lodge:
Price Range: $$$
Hotel Class: 3.5 star
Reviews: 86% of family reviewers rate as ‘Very Good’ or ‘Excellent’ on TripAdvisor
Room Tip: There are 2 family corner suites in the hotel (book well ahead).
Worth Mentioning: Kids eat free off the children’s menu during the first hour of dinner service at the hotel’s Cascade Dining Room (see reviews). S’mores are available to roast on the outdoor fire pit for $12.
An opinion: The pricing is close to that of a luxury hotel, but without some of the perks one might expect. Our room did not have robes, slippers or, oddly, hair conditioner. Also, as with many old buildings, the water temperature was a little erratic when having a shower. You are paying a premium for the location and for the unique experience (I would still return).
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