It's a rainy, dreary, grey February in Washington state and we're headed South for sunnier, warmer climes, (We hope) for winter break week. That will be great, but our first night will land us on the border of Washington and Oregon. Now what is a good destination for a stay on a cold and drizzly Washington winter night? We chose Bonneville Hot Springs Hotel. What could be better than beautiful surroundings inside and out, and a large indoor pool area where we could soak and swim in the healthy hot mineral water, or a cozy place by a soaring stone fireplace listening to live music?
The hotel is located right by the Bonneville Dam in the midst of the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. Once we entered the gorge we were surrounded by inspiring views of rocky wooded cliffs, majestic waterfalls, and sweeping stretches of the river. The road parallels the historic Lewis and Clark Trail, reminding us of the historic background of the road we travel.
We arrive after the sun has dropped behind the cliffs, not quite twilight. Our first delight as we approach the water feature by the entrance is a loud chorus of frogs-it sounds like spring! We thought maybe they were a piped in recording, but no, they told us the frogs had come out of hibernation couple of weeks before.
The room was spacious, beautifully decorated and supplied with all the amenities, including thick white spa robes. Each floor opens onto a wide seating area lined with shelves filled with local library books opposite a balcony overlooking a multistory lounge area with floor to ceiling rock fireplace and soaring windows looking out on the surrounding woods. A grand piano in the corner is the setting for the evening's musical group.
We had a delicious dinner of steak and seafood in the Lounge next to the restaurant, and then spent some quality time in the pool area. The hotel provides a breakdown of the health qualities of the hot springs water along with big thick pool towels. The large pool area contains a large swimming pool, kept almost at bath temperature-90 degrees, a wading pool, and a hot tub kept at 104 degrees. The pool area was clean and well maintained, the water in the pools was crystal clean and free of any foam or cloudiness. There was also a dry sauna nearby, and outside the pool area in a lovely garden was another large hot tub.
After our soak it was easy to have a relaxed evening and night. We give the hotel top marks in every area. It was, of course, on the higher end price wise, but this was a splurge night for us. We would recommend it to anyone looking for a luxury hot springs resort experience.
1. Physical setting-surrounded by majestic gorge cliffs and woods, and enhanced with walking trails around the hotel and the Lewis and Clark Trail nearby.
2. Physical facility-Clean, beautiful, spacious, well appointed, large rooms with all amenities and comfortable beds.
3. Special features: Full service spa, pool area with large swimming pool, wading pool, two hot tubs and dry sauna, restaurant, lounge, large fireplace lounge area with live music.
4. Staff: Friendly, helpful, professional.
5. Nearby Maryhill features a full size replica of Stonehenge, a well known and impressive art museum overlooking the gorge, and a state park.
6. The facility also allows day use in the pool for around $15 per person per day, so for those with less $, camp nearby and come swim, wade and soak!
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