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Oregon Coast Motor Lodge Moves Forward: Cannon Beach's Inn at Haystack Rock

Published 07/18/2019 at 4:53 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Oregon Coast Motor Lodge Moves Forward: Cannon Beach's Inn at Haystack Rock

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(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – Recently, Cannon Beach’s Inn at Haystack Rock sort of doubled in size. The historic north Oregon coast motor lodge absorbed its neighbor, the Blue Gull Inn (just a few doors down, on the other side of the street). It turns out, however, they were related in the first place: both are owned by the same person. (Above: the former Blue Gull Inn property now. Below: what it looked like in the '70s).

From history to moving forward into the future: that seems to be the path this charming little lodging has been going for awhile – and it doesn’t look back.

Well, much.

Owner Taslema Sultana was happy to pass on quite a few historic photos of the operation, decades before she scooped it up. One thing remains consistent throughout its recent years however: the Inn at Haystack is one adorable example of the better kept secrets in the famed north coast town.

Located in the mid town section of Cannon Beach, it’s all close to the big rock itself: Haystack Rock. However, a load of other charming attractions lurk nearby, including stretches of beach that aren’t as populated as some, and a handful of little businesses that are cute as a button.

Sultana said the The Blue Gull Inn was created back in 1939 and it’s now a historic site. Older pictures of it and the Inn at Haystack Rock show they were essentially beach shacks: the old school Oregon coast that many remember from the ‘60s through the ‘80s, before it became the hot commodity it is now. This was back when all the sidewalks truly rolled up by 7 or 8 p.m. in all the coastal burghs, where 24-hour anything didn’t exist at all.

Although, in Cannon Beach that is still true. However, drive ten minutes north to Seaside and you will find food, cold meds and gas in the middle of the night.

You can see from the photos these were motor lodges at the time, a breed left over from just before the birth of motels back in the ‘40s or so, in that awkward stage between the tent towns for tourists in the ‘20s and ‘30s and when motels came into being by the ‘50s. A gravel parking lot sits where the courtyards now grace the properties of both Inn at Haystack Rock and the former Blue Gull Inn.

“Major improvements / renovations were done in 1946, 1955, 2016 and also currently ongoing,” Sultana said.

Indeed, a lot of hammering and nailing has been taking place this winter and spring.

“We changed the flooring and paint, and redecorated the rooms to incorporate the inn's uniqueness and give the inn a natural, refined and fresh look,” she said. “The inn is truly unique and it is expressed through its modern design aesthetic, courtyards, quaint home-like rooms and prime location. We incorporated a coastal theme with a modern, refined twist. We want to provide a quality experience, with attention to detail in the design approach.”

Part of that was the elder biz getting folded into the arms of the bigger one, the Inn at Haystack Rock.

“It made sense to rename it as we were operating Blue Gull Inn from Inn at the Haystack Rock office, under the same management company,” she said. “And we were providing the exact same service and amenities. Both properties have similar courtyards. The room types and decorations are similar too.”

Those courtyards and their gardens are the two big attractions here, with bountiful flowers layered throughout, various benches that scream romantic moments waiting to happen – and then there are those fountains. They dominate this open space: gushing little beauties of graceful stone, where the babbling and burbling of the water perfectly compliments the atmosphere of the distant surf. Around them are set large stone tiles that comprise the walkways, which recall old Europe or perhaps even ancient Rome to some degree.

The suites and rooms at the Inn at Haystack Rock have an arty, modern vibe to them, often with a kind of shimmering off-white in the walls mixed with hardwood floors or ceilings. Fine finished wood is the common link in the ceilings, some set at intriguing angles that mimick an A-Frame. Plush rugs are often found on the floors as well. The rooms come in a variety of sizes, catering to families but frequently to romancing pairs as well.

There’s free wi-fi at both properties, they’re pet friendly – and there’s a surprise secret vacation rental here. The Isabel House is a resplendent beach home that sleeps eight and is close to all the surf action. 487 S. Hemlock. Cannon Beach, Oregon. 800-559-0893. Inn at Haystack Rock website here.

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