#261 - Shelburne Hotel
In July, Don and I spent one night in Washington, on our West Coast Road Trip. Seaview was not exactly on the route between Portland and Sacramento.
But when I found The Shelburne Hotel on the internet, we changed our course. A reasonably priced historic hotel, within walking distance to a beach! We booked a night!
Our curious house-like hotel, was made up of two buildings... that used to be across the street from each other.
In 1911, the original Shelburne Hotel from 1896, was pulled across the street by a team of horses. The Shelburne Hotel expanded, by connecting with the house next door.
Don and I arrived on a sunny afternoon, this past July. We parked near the white fence, across the street from where the Shelburne once stood. There was a grocery store in its place and a man standing nearby doing a little panhandling.
That wasn't the view we had hoped for, but I still had a good time imagining how these buildings came together over 100 years ago.
Which is Which?
I'm pretty darn confused about which was the original hotel that moved.
This old image shows looks like the one that stands on the right end, now. Was this the building that moved? Why didn't I just ask the staff, when we were there?
Beside lots of green shingles, the obvious thing that caught my eye, was the garden!
What a gorgeous jungle of summertime flowers, with white picket fence peeking out here and there.
The timing was perfect, because we arrived when the afternoon light was glowing on all the colors.
I am not a gardener, so I can't list all the flowers I spotted. But I do know they have a gardener who tends it regularly.
Lots of Signs
The main entrance was in the building on the left. We headed towards the door with all its signs and banners. I'm a little picky, but I think the 2 white signs on both sides of the door, take away from the charm.
Why did those signs remind me of some touristy area with lots of fudge and tee-shirt shops? I wonder what kind of sign the hotel had 50 or 75 years ago.
But the BLM sign in the garden and the colorful sign taped to the door glass, were okay by me.
The world has changed in incredible ways since this hotel opened over a century ago. It's nice to be reminded that all are welcome now.
"Historic and Hip"
Historic and Hip, is how the hotel describes itself on their website. I have mixed feelings about that.
I love the historic-hip idea, but it seems like a title you shouldn't give yourself. I don't like it when a place tries to be hip.
We checked in at a desk in "The Parlor"
This is how it looked a century ago, with the same wood walls, beams and staircase, that you see today.
In the seventies the hotel was bought by a couple, who filled the place with Victorian furniture and art. The most recent owners removed lots of the old stuff.
I can appreciate that the updating and decluttering, but I'm not sure about the mid-century modern furniture and white painted brick.
Wood and Antiques
I did love the wood on the walls and ceiling. And I spotted an antique or two. I used my camera flash to light up the dim space, to look at the details on the lovely piece that was used as a coffee station.
Next to the lobby desk, was a cute little nook with an old phone. I wonder if that was original or not.
The trip upstairs to our room was amusing. My photo doesn't really show how slanted the steps and floor were.
We found our room (11) to the left of the stairs. After some fumbling with the feisty key & lock, we eventually had to ask for help.
I knew our room would be small, but it was only $156. Good price for hotel in sort of beach community, even if it was across from a grocery store.
Luckily Don and I know how to navigate the teeniest of hotel rooms. The fact that it had a door and tiny balcony, made it feel much larger.
As you can see there was room for little more than the bed. Luckily there were no lamps on those crowded tables. No complaints though. Cheers for having actual wine glasses in a tiny hotel room.
There was no closet, but they did offer a rack to hold the robes. There was a standing fan which was useful since there was no air-conditioning.
There were some nice bath products on the little table and the retro shower tile was fun.
In Search of Happy Hour Spot
There was a tiny table on our balcony, where we could have enjoyed a glass of wine. But it was pretty cramped. We went wandering for a spot.
Back in the day, we could have enjoyed our wine on the wraparound porch. Or maybe that wouldn't have been allowed back then. But in 1983, the owners enclosed the porch to make room for a bar and restaurant. They added some stained glass, from an old church in England.
The photos show the dining and lounge area in the enclosed addition, between the two buildings. I had seen photos on the internet that showed diners eating at tables, with white cloths.
This looked nothing like that. I heard the food was very good, and the place was popular with locals, but honestly the set up felt more like a pizza joint in the daylight. Maybe this was a temp pandemic set up. I'm not sure, but it felt just a bit odd.
We walked though a little further and found a pool table and a few more dining tables. This was in the first floor area of the old building, on the right.
There was more appeal in this space, which showed the old woodwork and columns. I wish I'd seen it when it was in use.
The pub was just to the left of the parlor. We heard it was popular with locals. The website showed a very "hip" couple sitting at the bar.
We peeked in at 5:30. The woman behind the bar did not seem to be in the best of spirits. We headed for the table by the stained glass, but paused when we heard a table of "less hip" local men talking in obnoxiously loud voices.
Then we realized there was a door to a garden area!
It was lovely. We couldn't have been happier on the little deck beside the garden.
Don and I were especially happy when we put on our new jackets, purchased that morning at a Marshal's. We did not pack for Northwest Coastal tempts!
We probably should have given our hotel restaurant a try. But we wandered down the road and had a great meal at Galletti's Italian.
When we got back, the little courtyard garden was quiet and lit with festive lights.
It was nice that we were there on a Monday, with no late night bar crowds. Our room was quiet except for the scampering feet of some children, who who kept running to their parents' room, down the hall. Sort of funny.
I was sort of amused imagining myself as a kid staying at the hotel with parents in a different room. If I'd been with my sister, we probably would have pulled out the ouija board and gotten ourselves all worked up over ghosts!
We were up and off pretty early the next day. Made a quick dash a block over to see the beach.
We had been so excited to book a hotel near the beach and yet we failed to hike over to it. We did not give ourselves the whole Shelburne experience.
I loved the charm of the building and the gardens surrounding.
I loved our room, which was teeny, but clean and cozy and fresh. For some reason, I just never felt comfortable in the common areas. Was it the staff? Was it decor? Was it the dim lighting? Was it the pandemic?
I'm glad we stayed, but we might need to give it another try and see if we enjoy it more. Maybe we'll work on our hipness, between then and now.
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My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!