We stayed two nights at the Moolack Shores Motel while attending a family reunion at Beverly Beach State Park, a couple of miles north of Moolack Shores and about six miles north of Newport, Oregon. Normally, when in the Newport vicinity, we stay at the Elizabeth Street Inn, which we very much like, but this time we opted for a place a little bit less expensive and somewhat closer to our reunion.
The Moolack Shores has been around since the 1980's, I believe, and was written up in "Sunset" magazine of the West when it was new. The oceanfacing rooms have a spectacular unobstructed view of the Pacific and the beach directly in front of the motel. The other rooms face either north or south and have a partial view of the ocean. Each room or suite is themed, e.g., "Hawaiian," "Antique," "Oregon," etc. There are 12 rooms total, most or all with fireplace, television, deck, but no telephone. Most have queen beds, but we wanted a king, so we opted for the "Camelot" room, an oceanfacing non-suite. I believe we paid $99 plus tax, not bad for oceanfront in July.
We were greeted by Yvette and Frank, the onsite managers, who couldn't have been nicer. Yvette explained that although the fireplaces burned wood, the only acceptable fuel is their Duraflame-type logs. One is provided each night with the option to purchase additional logs at $1.50 each, probably their cost. Each room has a VCR and there is a supply of tapes which can be viewed for free. There is no breakfast served, but the non-suite rooms have a microwave, small refrigerator, and coffee maker with cups, wine glasses, and coffee pods.
We were shown to our room. There was only one key available. We were told another would be provided the next day, but we never received it. We moved in our suitcases and looked around. The room was fairly small but had a dining table, two chairs, and a rocking chair. The deck was average size but was adjacent to all of the other decks, with only two feet of wood and rope between the decks, affording no privacy nor not much security for children. (In fairness, Moolack Shores does not allow children to stay there due to the antiques in some of the rooms.)
The thing that struck me most about our room was how incredibly filthy it was. The floors, bed, and most used surfaces appeared to be clean, but everything else had months if not years of dust on it! The ornate mirror in the bathroom had at least 1/2 inch of dust and dust bunnies in the crevices, as did all of the pseudo-Medieval stuff on the walls. Folks in the Middle Ages may have lived that way, but I don't care to! Other disconcerting discoveries included plastic vertical patio blinds that could not be closed properly, and a deck door that was impossible to close without pulling up hard on the handle area. There was a table on only one side of the bed, a minor annoyance, and there was no table on the deck for holding drinks, books, etc., either.
The walk to the beach was 42 stairsteps with a rope to hang onto to step down to the beach. Clearly beach erosion is a real problem here, but one can get there from Moolack Shores. If one does not want to use the steps, there are other ways to get to the beach in walking or short driving distance.
We made the mistake of buring a log our first night there. Boy, did the room get hot! We couldn't cool it down, since opening either of the doors would allow in hordes of invading insects, and we decided we'd rather be hot than buggy. (My husband did try to open the bathroom window, a buggy filthy mess, and the frame started to disintegrate, so he thought better of that idea.) A caution to anyone who's never stayed on the west coast before: If you have oceanfront on a clear day, the sun will shine directly into your room in the late afternoon/early evening, heating it up. Almost no Oregon coast motel has air conditioning. The way to cope with this is to get a room with a screen door and gauze curtain as well as a regular curtain (our room had neither). Either open both doors for circulation or ask the management for a box fan, which many places, like the Elizabeth Street Inn, will gladly provide.
We soon learned that the place may be called a motel, but housekeeping doesn't see it that way. They are loathe to change sheets and won't do it unless specifically asked. Their king fitted sheets don't fit their beds, so we found ourselves with the bottom sheets rolled up and in our faces in the morning. They also don't provide clean coffee cups or glasses, so one must rinse out the old ones (no dish soap) and make do.
The coffee maker was ancient and brewed 10 or 12 cups. I only needed 4 for myself, so I used a coffee pod and four cups of water. This type maker isn't designed to use pods, and I got only coffeewater. The next day I used 2 pods and 4 cups water, and I fared better. I also discovered to my horror the second morning that the coffeemaker was so old that it no longer turned itself off after an hour or two. The warmer was just as hot as the previous morning when I went to make coffee the next day, very dangerous in my opionion.
(Oh -- a side note on the beach: It's beautiful and six miles long. You probably won't find anything worth taking home on it, but it's a lovely walk. I walked from Beverly Beach to the Moolack Shores steps around 2 hours after high tide, crossing three creeks that came to the top of my foot arches, no higher. The folks at Moolack Shores give out tide tables; be sure to check them and don't wander too far up or down the ocean unless high tide is a few hours old and the tide is receeding, or you might find yourself in trouble. Also, stay away from any floating logs.)
To sum things up, I think the Moolack Shores is a neat place that has seen better days. I hope the owners can find their way clear to refurbish the rooms, insist on better housekeeping, and add a little privacy to the decks. If they do that, then we'll surely be back to try it out again. Otherwise, we'll stay with our favorite Newport lodging, Elizabeth Street Inn.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Moolack Shores Motel is your unique ocean-front retreat on the central Oregon coast. Our themed rooms feature stunning ocean views and there is easy beach access. Most rooms have fireplaces and either a kitchenette or full kitchen. We offer clean, comfortable rooms and will go out of our way to make your stay a very special one! Our location on the north end of Newport is just a 5 minute drive to town and about 20 minutes from Lincoln City. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Moolack Shores Hotel Newport
- Moolack Shores Motel Newport, Oregon