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“Lovely retreat”
Review of Balch Hotel

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Balch Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Dufur
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed August 14, 2013

We recently booked a room at this lovely hotel on a last minute whim. We were so glad we did. My husband and I enjoyed the comfy room with a beautiful view of Mt. Hood. The owner was very pleasant and helpful and made it a great experience. The breakfast was unbelievable and the staff catered to people's individual food needs. We will definitely stay here again!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Gayle M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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203 - 209 of 252 reviews

Reviewed August 2, 2013

This is our 2nd stay at Balch Hotel -- it was even more memorable than the previous stay. They now include dinner (because local restaurant fare is limited). We brought friends with us this time, and they were as enthralled with the experience as we were. We drove the back roads to get here - just to see the country -- it was awesome! A visit to Shearers Bridge was outstanding - (we read up on the history before we went - much more meaningful). Owner/Mgr Stephanie is just delightful! You won't be disappointed in this Boutique Hotel experience in Central Oregon!

Room Tip: Don't be put off by sharing the bath in the more economical rooms -- everyone is very considerat...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank BonkyConk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Skirwin, Owner at Balch Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 10, 2013

We LOVE the repeaters! Thanks so much for bringing friends. Did you know that we have our own secret little visit ticket? We've had two couples who have stayed ten (now it's more than ten) times since we opened in the summer of 2007. They receive a special treat and an ongoing special room rate! Hope we get to extend to you in the future. Thanks again for staying and for the GREAT review.

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Reviewed August 2, 2013

Stayed here on July 4th, 2013 with husband and parents. The owners were so caring and we felt like were staying overnight with friends. I have food restrictions and they were able to accomodate my needs. The grounds are well cared for and fun to wander through. I hope we can return, we loved the funkiness of the old hotel rooms. I was so impressed on how much thoughtful attention was given to my aging parents.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Mamaseita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2013

At first glance the Balch Hotel just seems quiet and lonely: It's on the outskirts of sleepy Dufur, which itself is a tiny patch of green in the arid hills of northern Oregon. We made the drive into town on a Friday night, and most of the stores had already closed, save for the one bar/pub. Coming from the suburbs of Philadelphia, it was a shock to us: We might have been the only people left on earth, for all I could sense.

The Balch Hotel is, as another reviewer said, "From another time." The geometric red brick building looks like something out of a Western movie, mostly because that's what it was: A 19th-century hostel from the very start. You can feel the history here. The grounds are very well-manicured and enclosed on most sides, so that the Hotel feels like its own private island - nested within the slightly larger island of Dufur, Oregon.

The first thing that strikes you is the view: Balch Hotel has an unobstructed view across an amber field of grain, looking right at Mt. Hood, looming frostily in the distance. It's serene and impressive at the same time.

For such a lonely, old place, the Balch Hotel is vibrant. They've managed to take this place and really energize it with new works of art, a good spit-and-shine, and a cheery, enthusiastic staff. Our host, Debbie, was accommodating to the point where I felt embarrassed, she offered to do so much I almost felt a little guilty.

The entire Hotel has been restored and while it has an antique sensibility, everything feels neat and clean, and not dusty and moth-bally like some B&Bs. It gives you provenance, without stuffiness. Our room (bath attached) was wonderful and just the right size for two people. Everything was clean and worked properly, including the claw-foot tub which was a welcome amenity after a day exploring the hot Columbia Valley.

Keep in mind, there are no TVs or radios, etc. in the rooms. The idea here is to disconnect and find yourself in the silence. If you're not the kind who can be with his or her own thoughts, this might not be the place for you. Of course, should you need it, there is a Wifi connection. But I'd hate to think that someone would actually come to a place like this - to look at the Internet. Shame on you, if you do!

The Balch has a kitchen and although limited, they offer an optional dinner every night, along with a nice little inventory of local beers and wines. From what I could tell, there isn't a menu per se, just one dinner offering for the night; your choice is either, 'yes,' or 'no.' We were pretty exhausted when we arrived in the afternoon and the idea of staying put, having a simple dinner and a bottle of wine sounded great - so that's what we did. The food was well done and we wanted for nothing. We even finished it off with a huge hunk of cake for dessert.

The hotel is set up for weddings and group events, so the public area on the side of the building is very well-landscaped and comfortable. The patio is large and has cafe tables and chairs. You can watch the sun set over Mt. Hood, as you sit and sip wine (or coffee) in a garden of lavender and lilies. At night, the ambiance is even nicer, and you may even be inclined to throw a sweater on as you're greeted by Oregon's chilly night breeze.

With not much going on around you, this is the perfect place to sit around with strangers and strike up a conversation, something you probably wouldn't do back at home. In fact you probably don't relax back at home, either. Balch Hotel leaves you with no option, and it was hard to say goodbye after only three days there.

Room Tip: A room with two windows in it helps with the ventilation during the day. The staff provide fans for...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Msupsic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2013

My daughter recently was married at the Hotel....it was the most beautiful and magical wedding.
The staff was amazing and they were so helpful and super nice! The breakfast the next morning for the bridal party and parents was wonderful. The setting was so pretty with Mt Hood in the fore ground. Rooms were nostalgic of the 20's era and was the perfect place for my daughters 1920's themed wedding....sparklers and all...thank you!!!!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank TrinaS755
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Skirwin, Owner at Balch Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 1, 2013

Thank you for the wonderful review! Means a lot coming from the mother of the bride. Your daughter and now son in law are GREAT people. We hope to see them back. Congratulations on the upcoming grand-baby from the bride's twin!

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Reviewed June 1, 2013

"Somewhere is time" could have been filmed here. It was as tho we had stepped into another period of history. Gorgeous setting, albiet far from any accomodations i.e. gas, restaurants. Wonderful place tho, to lose yourself in peace and silence. Lots of history in the area and great for photography, art, writing, reading and just being in another space. We spent 2 nights with breakfast each morning. Samantha had chocolate chip cookies available all day. We first discoverd the Balch Hotel on our way home from the Historic Condon Hotel in Condon, OR and knew we'd come to Dufur someday. When we saw the special on LivingSocial we grabbed the opportunity. Thank you for sharing your beautiful "home" with us. BTW - great dining room and spaces for leisure and relaxation.

Room Tip: Gorgeous setting, albiet far from any accomodations i.e. gas, restaurants. Wonderful place tho, to l...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Dee S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Skirwin, Owner at Balch Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 1, 2013

Thank you for the review! Love your photos. I have not seen one of the mill from the museum for a long time. Like it. You might want to visit the Threshing Bee - it's always the second full weekend in August. It's a kick! (And we'll have chocolate chip cookies for you. . . )

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Reviewed May 26, 2013

We were looking for a unique place to stay during our visit to the Columbia River Gorge area and found the Balch Hotel during an online search. We have stayed in Historic accommodations before and our experiences have ranged from "what were we thinking!" to "Classy!". Located in the small town of Dufur, OR 12 miles south of The Columbia River, this nicely restored turn of the century hotel offers a Beautiful quiet setting, very comfortable clean rooms, and a tasty homemade breakfast. A limited dinner menu is offered which was very good and also a good value. Spending time on the patio testing some of our wine purchases was very pleasant, as well as, the short walks to view farm fields with Mt. Hood as the backdrop and nearby Fifteenmile Creek. Oh, by the way, they provide wifi but in this peaceful setting, we rarely used it.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank larkitek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Skirwin, Owner at Balch Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 1, 2013

Thank you for the lovely review! We hope to help make everyone's stay as special as yours. SO glad you chose the Balch to stay during your trip. We'll pass along the dinner compliments to staff. They'll love it.

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Additional Information about Balch Hotel

Address: 40 Heimrich St, Columbia River Gorge, Dufur, OR 97021-3031
Location: United States > Oregon > Dufur
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Dufur
Price Range: $75 - $99 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Balch Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Historic, boutique hotel among rolling wheat fields. Relax. Reconnect. Rejuvenate. We hope to surprise you with this gem in the country. The Balch Hotel is an excellent spot for outdoor weddings, reunions, retreats, business meetings, bike trips, car clubs or a romantic getaway for two. Winter weddings, retreats, engagements and elopements are cozy and charming. Join us at a place that inspires personal re-connection and rejuvenation …. To help ensure a peaceful environment for our guests, we unfortunately do not allow small children or pets. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Balch Hotel Dufur

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