The View Point Inn
A Step Back in Time can be Good or Bad, Depending
The first thing you need to understand is that I never stayed at this facility. However, it was once a quite famous icon in the Columbia River gorge, before it was closed in 1979. Now, after almost 30 years, it has reopened. I can't tell you anything from personal experience, but I can tell you about what people have said, and some of the complaints, and some of the good points about this place, based on the reputation.
First, a bit of history: the Palmer House first opened to the public in 1925, as a "tea house" stopping point on the Columbia River highway. Understand then that auto travel was quite a bit more rough than it is today, and facilities were more primitive.
In 1927, ownership changed, and it became known as the View Point Hotel. From those years until its closing, it became a well known place to stay. President Franklin D. Roosevelt stayed here (possibly during the dedication of the Bonneville Dam, but unfortunately that part of the local folklore has apparently been lost), and Charlie Chaplain, and a large number of other celebrities stayed here. It is from this location that the Columbia River Gorge was really put on the map as a tourist destination.
New ownership purchased and restored the long closed facility. It re-opened to the public in 2007 - 80 years after it had started to become famous.
Now, please understand that reopening a facility from the 1920s, when living standards and road travel standards even among celebrities was quite different than today, can be a bit of a challenge. Here is where we get to the complaints that have developed. The Inn has four guest rooms - three of which share a bathroom with the dining room customers, and is also located downstairs from the guest rooms. The historic nature of the property, however, forbids the extensive remodeling required to add bathrooms. One of the guest rooms is very tight quarters. What the new owners are calling "The Roosevelt Suite" has a private bathroom, and from what I have heard people say has a very good view of the gorge. The room is big enough to host a small party, and in fact with special arrangements this apparently can be done, though again I have no experience in that matter. It is best to contact the hotel and ask for specifics about that.
Unique Quality: A historic step back in time (both a plus and a minus, depending on how tolerant you are of the nature of the step backward!)
Great views of the Columbia Gorge (or, at least that is what I have been told and what local gossip says)
Directions: From Historic Columbia River Highway head towards Crown Point from Portland, and turn onto Larch Mountain Road several miles east of Corbett
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