Oregon Coast Explorations: Staying at Lincoln City's Inn at Spanish Head
By Andre' Hagestedt
(Lincoln City, Oregon) – Few things can measure up to a stay on the Oregon coast during the balmy days of winter. That's right, I said a “balmy winter.”
This is, of course, not the norm, but this past January was unusually sunny and periodically quite warm along the beaches. But in addition to this extremely pleasurable and surprise-filled sojourn was a few nights at the famed Inn at Spanish Head. The central Oregon coast landmark is a hotel that's been around for four decades, with a variety of fun surprises for all kinds of tastes and persuasions.
The stay begins with a nice shuttle between the parking lot and this mammoth building, a serious convenience when you've just finished lugging your stuff from your car and down the hallway.
In fact, what a hallway it is. Normally, I don't notice such things in architecture, certainly a simple hallway. But this Spanish theme fascinated me, reminding me of older hotels in California, giving this place a sense of the classic but also gleaming and upscale. It turns out the Spanish theme was the idea of developer Peter Gunnar back in the 60's as the place was being designed, and served a unique utilitarian purpose as well as an aesthetic one that set it apart from just about everything else along the Oregon coast.
It seems that back then, Oregonians preferred log and lumber themes for their vacation homes, but those kinds of building materials would not have worked with the engineering challenges of building a large, 10-story complex into the side of a cliff. So Gunnar researched the area's history and plucked ideas from its visitations by early Spanish explorers. Thus, coming up with such a Spanish theme overcame that marketing hurdle of not being of a log cabin vibe.
Once inside this room, the first thing I notice is the glowing beach just beyond this balcony. The room itself is not only exceptionally stylish and pretty, but the view is stunning – even at night.
During the day, however – and what a day it is – the view really shines. This spacious balcony (not all the units have them) provides quite the eye-opening beach view.
Another favorite aspect of mine is the huge selection of TV channels. While I personally find it annoying when people come to the Oregon coast and all they do is sit around their lodging watching TV (c'mon kids, that's what home is for), I do highly appreciate the plethora of news channels on the Inn at Spanish Head's TV. The constant stream of local Oregon/Portland news available was my fave, which I often depend on through my regular work day.
Unlike my personal pet peeves, I do not sit around long in the hotel. After a couple of hours of working in the afternoon, it's that sunshine and sand that beckons, especially such large amounts of it in January. In fact, the room gets rather hot early in the day because of this, and few things are more pleasurable than having to keep open your sliding door to that rolling ocean noise as you type away on your laptop. Meanwhile, the curtains billow in a warm ocean breeze.
That's when it's time to wander the beaches of Lincoln City, exploring more of Siletz Bay, with its platform jutting out into the bay and quiet waves lapping at that sometimes steep slope of fluffy sand. A few miles further south sit the cajoling, soft sands of Gleneden Beach (above_. From there, a 15-minute drive takes me to Newport and the jaw-dropping geology wonders of the Devil's Punchbowl and Otter Rock. Another 30 minutes south takes me to geologic stunners at the varied landscapes of Yachats or Cape Perpetua.
Back in Lincoln City, dusk looks like this.
Then, back at Inn at Spanish Head, I marvel at the cute kitty that hangs out in front of the doorway. According to the night clerk, she's been adopted by the hotel and putters around the outside of the property, sometimes greeting guests, sometimes not.
The next day again proves a scorcher – for January – with hefty amounts of sun heating up that huge window to the beach.
Other finds and amenities: there is a large and elegant pool available for guests, an exercise room, lots of meeting space available for those with business gatherings in mind, and it's a popular hotspot for weddings. Also, room service from that fabulous Fathoms Restaurant is available to guests (see the restaurant article here). 4009 SW Highway 101. Lincoln City, Oregon. 1-800-452-8127 or 541-996-2161. www.spanishhead.com
More photos of Lincoln City during this stay:
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