97103 Travel Guide
There are rides, and then there are Rides. This is definitely a Ride.
The vintage cars come complete with chauffeur, and will ferry you in and out of town for free on weekend nights. You don’t have to reserve a slot, though it’s recommended – we didn’t, and had to wait an hour or so until there was space.
It’s time for Guess the Hotel revealed! Yesterday we introduced you to the creepy lobby display of the West Coast hipster hotel that had been inexplicably abandoned for 43 years before being opened up by the current owners in 2007.
This is the Commodore Hotel in Astoria, Oregon.
The Commodore was built in 1924 as a 24-room hotel for travelers on the Portland train and the ferry to Washington. Then in 1964 it mysteriously closed from one day to the next. As in, closed the doors but left furniture, belongings, everything inside, right down to magazines and cigarette stubs by the beds. Nobody knows why, though they think it might be to do with the arrival of the Astoria-Megler Bridge.
In 2007, the current owners bought it, opened it up, and commenced renovation, while saving much of what was found in the rooms for the spooky lobby display. It opened as the Commodore in 2009.
These days, there are 18 rooms: suites and cabins. Cabins are small rooms with a washbasin inside and shared bathroom facilities down the end of the corridor. Not scary shared bathroom facilities though – there are separate toilets for men and women (huzzah!), each toilet and each shower is in its own closed room rather than public cubicles, and when we toured the hotel they were spotlessly clean. There are two showers and two toilets per floor, shared by six cabins. Could be better (could be ensuite), but not an alarming ratio.
Watch out for those booty traps.
It's already well-established that Goonies is the best rainy day movie ever and anyone who was a kid in the 80s can probably recite the movie line-for line at any given time. (Our favorite? "Up there is their time but down here, it's our time.") So how can we not love this new contest which is combining two of our favorite things--Goonies and hotel rooms.
The Cannery Pier Hotel in Astoria, Ore., where Goonies was filmed, is offering Goonies fans the chance to win a two-night stay at the hotel, along with dinner for you and Troy, er, your friend/lover/spouse at the Bridgewater Bistro, drinks and dessert at the Astoria Coffee house and a travel voucher for either airfare or gas (depending on where the winner lives.)
Of all the things we’d expect to find in a hotel room, a shipping guide is fairly low down the list. But this is what was sitting on the coffee table in our room at the Cannery Pier Hotel in Astoria, Oregon at the weekend.
The hotel is bang on the Columbia river (we actually mean on it – it’s perched on a little jetty and you feel like you’re floating on the river from the rooms) right continuous truss bridge (we’re not sure what that is, but it’s pretty splendid to look at).
All the rooms have balconies overlooking the river and they’re all stocked with a pair of binoculars. But we found that what was far more fun than zooming in on the seagulls was watching the river.
Every morning the front desk prints out copies of the ship report, listing which ships will be traveling the river that day, their routes, and what they’re carrying, and this leaflet goes into even more detail about the different types of vessels that ply the river with tips on how to tell them apart (a car carrier has extremely high sides, for example).
Aww. Don't you sometimes just wish you could hop on a 50's style bike and ride up and down the pier and only stop to eat ice cream cones and kiss your significant other and stuff like that? Well, you can fulfill your only-in-the-movies-style fantasies at the Oregon Coast's adorably-charming (but pretty big we mean "charming" as in playful and quirky, not in the Craigslist-esque, this-place-is-small way) Cannery Pier Hotel.
Embark Creative snapped this sweet shot of the fleet of 50's-style bikes available to guests at the Cannery Pier in Astoria, located in the Northwest corner of Oregon. They are, admittedly, "50's-replica" bikes, but they're offered up at no fee for guests to use to explore the city (the oldest settlement West of the Rockies) via a four-mile path along the Columbia river.
Rooms here start around $229, and TripAdvisor reviewers are all about the views, views, views from this place.
[Photo: Embark Creative]