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“A Wonderful Literary Get-Away at the Ocean with Great Food” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sylvia Beach Hotel

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Sylvia Beach Hotel
267 N.W. Cliff St, Newport, OR 97365   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 25 hotels in Newport
Corvallis, Oregon
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“A Wonderful Literary Get-Away at the Ocean with Great Food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2012

This was my first stay at the Sylvia Beach Hotel. I'd known about it for about six years, but most of that time, I was living on another part of the Oregon coast with my own view of the ocean. I was also put-off by some of the negative reviews on TripAdvisor, not knowing what to expect. But I am SO glad that I finally decided to check it out! It was one of the most fun places that I have ever stayed, and I am dying to go back there with boyfriend in tow!

The hotel is 100 years old, but didn't become the Sylvia Beach until 25 years ago when it was remodeled with a literary theme by the present owners. There are 20 rooms on three floors. All are named for a famous author and decorated appropriately, including books by that author. Over time, the rooms have changed somewhat, with some older, less well-known authors being displaced by some more recent ones. Current rooms include John Steinbeck, Hemingway, Lincoln Steffens, Jane Austen,
Collette, Robert Louis Stevenson, Tolkien, Amy Tan, Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, Mark Twain, Agatha Christie, Virginia Woolf, J. K.Rowling, Herman Melville, Dr. Seuss, Emily Dickinson, Alice Walker, Shakespeare, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Rooms are grouped into rate categories of Novels (least expensive), Best Sellers, and Classics (most expensive and largest) depending on whether they have an ocean view and whether they have a deck (balcony) and fireplace. All rooms have private baths. Two first-floor rooms open onto the entrance gardens. The website goes into detail on all of the rooms.

Room rate includes room tax and breakfast! And they discount room rates $10 less for singles! YAY!!!
Rates are cheaper mid-week and out of season.

Breakfast is in the ocean-front dining room, and the days I was there included a buffet of cereal, scones, pastries (lemon bars, berry bars, pear bars, and cheesecake squares), milk, cantaloupe and honeydew melon slices, grapefruit halves, bananas, and orange, apple, grapefruit, and tomato juices. In addition, each day there was a hot breakfast served as well. The first day it was scrambled eggs with ham, a hash brown square, and a piece of toast. The second day it was THE best Dutch Baby I have ever had, served with a lemon to squeeze on it and powdered sugar, plus two slices of the most perfectly crisp bacon ever!

Dinner is extra and is served family style. You must make a reservation earlier in the day and tell them which entree you wish to have (typically there were meat, fish, and vegetarian options). Dinner is $23.50 for everything. The day I had dinner the courses were: Soup (a creamy seafood), Salad (Caesar), Homemade Bread, Rice, Fresh Vegetables, and Carrot Cake for dessert. I chose the Duck Breast with Thyme Vinagrette Sauce for the main course, which was wonderful!

The guests at the Sylvia Beach are very friendly, and breakfasts and dinners led to some good conversations. Everyone likes to talk about which room they are in and ask what rooms the others are in. At dinner, our table joined in the game of Two Truths and a Lie. Unlike many places where a single person feels left out, the family style meals automatically include you.

There is an ocean-front library on the third floor with a balcony area above it. There are books, jigsaw puzzles, and games. There are comfy chairs and sofas to sit on and read, places to write letters, and a fireplace to light on cold days. The rule here is that the library is a quiet room, so it is not a place to converse, and I found that the guests not only respected that, but loved it! (I sure did!)

There is no elevator in the Sylvia Beach, so you will get your exercise on the stairs - up to rooms and the library, down to the gift shop and dining room. The gift shop is part of the main floor area, which includes the front desk - manned (or womaned) by very helpful and friendly people - and a table and chairs where guests can sit and browse through a big book with pictures of the differenr rooms. It is open 24 hours a day and sells all sorts of wonderful things, many related to literature: books, blank books, postcards, notecards, tote bags, mugs, Unemployed Philosophers Guild Little Thinkers and finger puppets of famous authors, as well as candy and nuts, newspapers, and scarves - enough to keep you browsing and shopping for quite a while. Dinners and purchases in the gift shop can most conveniently be charged to your room.

I was in the Gertrude Stein room on the second floor, overlooking the entrance garden. It was a most cozy and comfortable room, perfect for me. The bed was very comfortable, and I slept very well. The room had plenty of light: a ceiling fixture, one over the sink, a lamp on each side of the bed, and one on each side of the top of the desk. In addition to the desk chair, there was another chair for sitting in, and there was a small stand near the sink, which was in the room; the tub and toilet were inside a small closet. There was also a bookcase with Gertrude Stein books in it. And there were plenty of throws and pillows. While there is no air conditioning in the rooms, one seldom needs it at the ocean, and throwing open the window got a nice breeze blowing in. Mini-blinds kept the light out when necessary.

Nice touches: Coats and umbrellas to borrow for blustery days! The Henry Miller Memorial Restrooms - Tropic of Cancer for the women and Tropic of Capricorn for the men - on the bottom floor near the dining room. The necessary soda machine, charging only 60 cents! A guest kitchen off the library.

There is some parking across the street in a lot and spaces on the side on the hill as well as on the next block.

The doors to all the rooms are left open until they are occupied, so guests can check out the other rooms for future stays. As there is a "hotel cat," and I am semi-allergic to cats, the staff put a "Cat Alert" on my room to make sure that my door was closed until I arrived, so the cat would not visit it. I really appreciated that, as the cat was one of my concerns in staying there. As it turned out, the cat was absolutely no problem.

Rooms do NOT have phones, TVs, or radios, the idea being that this is a place to read and quietly relax, to gaze at the ocean - even my Novel room had a small oblique ocean view - and think. It is not uncommon for guests to stay inside the hotel the whole time they are there - I did!

But it you want to wander out into the Nye Beach area, there are plenty of shops there, and the ocean is just below the hotel for beach walkers.

It is good to realize that this IS a 100-year old building and has very much the feel of an old hotel. The rooms have transoms over the doors, the windows are old-fashioned sash, and sometimes the water pressure changes on you. I found that this made for a delightful stay!

So, if you want a wonderful literary get-away at the ocean with great food, go to the Sylvia Beach!

Room Tip: Remember there are no elevators, so try for a first-floor room if stairs are a problem for you. Also...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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172 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (46)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2012

We've been to the SBH countless times, but we were thrilled to visit over their recent 25th anniversary. They had an open house on Sunday afternoon, and all the rooms were open. I LOVE the new Harry Potter room, and Shakespeare is another favorite. During our most recent visit we stayed in Robert Louis Stevenson for the first and last time, as it is about to be made over into another author.

This hotel is not for everyone! But if you love books, old hotels, fascinating people, and quirky places, give it a try.

Room Tip: Even if you choose the least-expensive room, it doesn't matter much because the library (with an...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2012

Incredible views, whimsical rooms, great service, good food. I brought my small daughter and wasn't treated any differently than the other guests(she was the only child in a very quiet hotel). We stayed in the Dr Seuss room, and she loved every minute. So did i. I cant wait to come back to enjoy this beautiful little hotel again during the summer.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peoria, Illinois
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2012

Sylvia's is a delightful hotel situated on the beach. The staff was very nice and helpful. Each room is named and decorated after a different author. The room was small, but clean and quiet. A special treat was walking on Nye Beach at low tide looking at the various plant and sea life. Newport boasts a lovely downtown area with nice shops and friendly storekeepers. Sylvia's is a great place to relax and rejuvenate.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pullman, Washington
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2012

We loved Sylvia Beach Hotel although we didn't particularly like our room. The hotel is housed in a 100 year old building with all of the quirks of such and the rooms are themed on various authors. We stayed in one of the more expensive and larger Classic rooms. We had an incredible view towards Yaquina Head and the lighthouse there. Unfortunately we were there on an extremely windy and cold night (it even snowed!) and the particular room that we were in needed sealing around the windows and door. We could see the door curtains billowing in each gust. The fireplace was so small that it didn't give much heat, either. We would have been much happier had we stayed in a less expensive Best Seller room (and with the theme of an author we preferred) with no door to a balcony but still a view. The people who work there as well as the guests more than made up for our less than perfect room. The library in the 3rd and 4th levels have great views, are cozy and warm and people go there just to read. Everyone is quietly absorbed in their books. Two hotel cats wander the old building and add to the ambiance. We went to the optional Table of Contents dinner in the bottom level the first evening and met two other couples at the family style dinner. The food was excellent as was the company and the service. I think we made some friends for life. When we later met one of the couples at breakfast the next morning (freshly grilled pancakes and bacon plus other side dishes off of a buffet) we had great conversation...a continuation of the previous night.

Room Tip: Get a Best Seller room with a view and themed with an author you like. Make sure you bring a good b...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penticton,BC
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2012

I have stayed in delightful literary theme rooms at historic Sylvia Beach Hotel many times. Excellent hosts .And delicious breakfasts( included) , also dinners at award-winning Table of Contents restaurant. Many attractions in Newport and this Nye Beach area. Save time for walks on the beach.Location,hospitality,relaxation.

Room Tip: Consider your reading interests . rates from monday through Friday are lower, except in the three cl...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairo, Illinois
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2012

The best vacation I ever took. I went alone, on a whim, for a four day weekend over spring break, and the management was very kind about finding me accommodations on short notice. The first two nights I stayed in the Hemingway room and read the journals. An interesting room, but if you object to taxidermy you probably won't care for it! My last night was spent in the Dr. Seuss room since the Hemingway was previously booked. I've promised myself that the next time I'll stay in the Mark Twain with it's fireplace, private balcony and claw foot tub!

Dinner at the Tables of Content was so enjoyable! Excellent, relaxed meal and a rousing game of "Two Truths and a Lie" ... and breakfast is indescribable!

I spent much of my time in the reading room on the third floor storm watching, and also got in some sightseeing up and down the coast. Cape Perpetua is amazing, as is the clam chowder at Mo's West (you'll find it at the Devil's Punchbowl). Perfect on a cold, rainy day.

I've told all of my book loving friends about the Sylvia Beach, and I hope to get back soon. No, it's not for everyone, but if you're the kind of person it IS for you'll be hooked.

Room Tip: Ah. You'll just have to read about them and pick the author you like best, I suppose! I peeked...
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Sylvia Beach Hotel

Address: 267 N.W. Cliff St, Newport, OR 97365
Location: United States > Oregon > Oregon Coast > Newport
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
#8 Family Hotel in Newport
#9 Romantic Hotel in Newport
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A lovely bed and breakfast where each room is designed after a certain author. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Hotel Sylvia Beach
Sylvia Beach Newport
Sylvia Beach Hotel Newport, Oregon

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