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“Doesn't Get Any Better!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Timberline Lodge

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Timberline Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Doesn't Get Any Better!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2014

I don't write many reviews but felt compelled to write one for Timberline and our experience there last week. We are Marriott Platinum members and usually stay at JW's. We love to vacation and our expectations are very high. If you are expecting Timberline to be like a Ritz, then you need to stay somewhere else. If you are a ski enthusiast and love the rustic elements, the history and untouched beauty, this is the place for you! Remember you are here for a ski vacation, not a first class hotel with top notch amenities.

We checked in on a Wednesday late afternoon and had just enough time to head out to the hot tub and pool. Our children (ages 7 and 6) loved it and even swam in the pool. What could be cooler for kids than swimming outdoors in the middle of winter surrounded by snow? It was surprisingly warm out (high 40s) given we were coming from Chicago (5 when we left). Our room was so cozy and perfect for our family of 4. We had one King bed, one twin and then a smaller child bed perfect for our 6 year old. We had a fireplace and I would highly recommend the FP room (for a family) as it is bigger than the others and we were able to spread out. Yes, the walls were thin and I am a light sleeper but had no problem with the sound and slept very well.

We checked the kids into the ski school Thursday morning for all day lessons. It was sleeting and I thought they would get cold and tired, but they LOVED it. The ski instructors were great and handled everything while the parents could go out and enjoy skiing. The trails were nicely groomed and at the end of the day, I saw the instructor had our children on one of the green runs on the mountain. How cool is that, to be skiing and running into your children on the slopes. I was able to grab a video and a few quick picks and let them go on their way.

We had breakfast and lunch at the ski lodge and all were excellent meals. We love our food, have high expectations and this did not disappoint! All the meals looked mouthwatering! At the end of the day... around 4:00pm at this point we were back in our hotel and noticed that my daughter had a autoimmune reaction to an upper respiratory infection that she had the week before. It was scary enough for us to call our doctor and they directed us to the Children's Hospital Emergency Room in Portland. We had to go down to the front desk and explain to them that we had to leave ASAP. We packed up and checked out at 5:30 that night. Timberline let us out of our reservation and didn't even charge us for that night (we were reserved for 4 nights)! Wow, not many hotels would be that understanding! At that point, I knew this place was genuine and cared about our situation. We also called the ski school the next day (we originally pre-paid for the passport membership for kids - 3 days of all day lessons) and they only charged us for the first day.

We drove to Children's Hospital Emergency Room in Portland and very glad that we did. The hospital was amazing and we spent the next day and a half there making sure our child was okay. Again, can't say enough about how wonderful the hospital and doctors were to us!

In the end, we were only at Timberline for about 30 hours, but it was enough for us to be so impressed with the place that we are already trying to figure out when we can go back. I didn't mention before that I lived in Crested Butte, Colorado for a year and have skied different Colorado locations many times before and Timberline is hands down a no-brainer for a family with kids learning to ski! It also helps that their prices are CHEAP compared to the large ski resorts in Colorado and Utah! This is a hidden gem!

We would like to thank Timberline for their service and their understanding and we hope to be back very soon!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ALo335
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Lincoln, NE
Level Contributor
73 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2014

I was a little nervous to go to the Timberline lodge after reading some reviews and knowing how old it is. We are used to staying at "nice" hotels and didn't want to be disappointed. Well I wasn't. The lodge is pretty amazing. The history is all over, you truly feel like you're going back in time. The front desk service was fantastic. The room was small but not as bad as I expected. We had a queen with a bathroom. The doors had all of the original fixtures which was great. The walls are very thin and we heard young children running in the halls very early in the morning (like 6 am). It would be nice if guests adhered to the "quiet hours" posted.

The bar has amazing views-even if you don't drink, you need to check it out for the views. The service, however, needs improvement! We were a larger group and were an easy "money making" table and our service was pretty terrible. They were at capacity so maybe they were understaffed? I don't know, they should work on that though. This really is my only complaint.

We had a few meals here and the food was good each time. We attended a wedding at the lodge and it did seem a little unorganized (the wedding coordinator wasn't even there) but the couple was really easy going so it all worked out and it was beautiful.

Overall I'd definitely stay here again. The views are unmatchable. It truly was an experience for us, with the location and the history. It helped that they had gotten 4 feet of snow before our arrival, it made the mountain even more gorgeous. The ski park was at capacity while we were there so we were thankful for the separate lodge parking. Snowshoeing was closed due to too much snow so we went down and did that at Lake Trillium-if you do this plan for at least a view hours, it's a long trail.

Room Tip: Choose a mountain view. And get a room with a bathroom!!
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TACHance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville
Level Contributor
59 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2014

My wife and I spent two nights in the lodge, which sits on the southern slopes of Mt. Hood at 5960 feet above sea level. This was the tenth lodge we have visited of the twelve that are described in Christine Barnes’ book, “Great Lodges of the West,” and is now one of our favorites. We arrived in a driving snowstorm that dropped about 8 inches of white powder onto the scene. When the storm ended and the clouds cleared it left a beautiful sight! The lodge is located at the end of a 5.5 mile road from Highway US 26 near Government Camp, some 2000 vertical feet below the lodge. The wide two-lane road, which averages about a 6.9% grade, is a well maintained paved road all the way up, and they do a good job of keeping it scraped in winter. It is open year-round.

As you approach the lodge, the 11,249 foot summit of Mt. Hood looms behind the magnificent building, which was first opened in 1938. You enter the building from the parking lot into the first floor lobby/lounge, which is really the second floor of the lodge. First floor rooms are numbered in the 100 series, but there are two-digit numbered rooms below on the lowest floor. The entrance lobby and reception area is somewhat dark, since there are no windows in the lower level lounge on the first level. Don’t let that disappoint you. The central section of the lodge on the second floor, which is the main lounge area around the huge center fireplace, is the grand lobby you expect in a great lodge, with a spectacular view of the mountain through the huge windows to the north. I have looked through the traveler photos on the Tripadvisor site. Don’t be confused by some of the photos showing a snow-capped peak way off in the distance. Those are probably views of 10,495 foot Mt Jefferson, some 45 miles to the south, which is visible from the south side of the lodge. Mt. Hood towers over the lodge right there in its back yard, with nothing but lava, ice and a difficult climb between the lodge and the summit.

We had reservations for a King Fireplace room facing the mountain. We were assigned to Room 205 first. It smelled musty, was not very big, and it had a tiny bathroom. It was not what we had hoped for, and we were somewhat disappointed. So we returned to the front desk, and learned that most of the king bed rooms are also fireplace rooms, all are located on the west wing of the lodge on the first and second floors, and there are only about eight king fireplace rooms in the entire lodge. However, each one is different, and several have more than one bed. We then looked at 207, 105 and 107. We didn’t know it at the time, but the view of the mountain (which was not visible due to the storm) is obscured by evergreen trees from most, if not all of the king fireplace rooms. After looking at four mountain side rooms, we chose 107. We later learned that 207 is called the “Mountains Room” and 107 is the “Roosevelt Room.” I believe 107 was originally known as the Solomon’s Seal Room when the lodge first opened.

It turns out that President FDR dedicated the Lodge on September 28, 1937. The lodge didn’t actually open to the public until February 1938, but FDR & Eleanor supposedly used Room 107 during their stay for the dedication. There are photographs depicting their visit on the walls of the room, as well as a framed letter from Lady Bird Johnson, regarding her stay there in 1968. We figured that if Room 107 was good enough for two first ladies and one U.S. president, it was good enough for us. There remains a very uncomfortable chair in the room that bears a plaque stating that it is “a replica of original chair that was designed, made for and used by FDR at the dedication of Timberline Lodge 1937 by Ray Neufer.”

The room itself was quite large, and would qualify as a studio suite. It has wooden floors with ceramic tile in the small bathroom. We had a sofa, a couple of chairs, a GREAT fireplace and a roomy sitting area in addition to a very comfortable king bed. Desk Clerk Jessica said there are only 10 rooms in the lodge with king size beds. Eight of them have fireplaces. All of the king fireplace rooms are in the west wing of the lodge and are 100 and 200 series rooms - probably 104, 105, 106 and 107, plus 204, 205, 206, and 207. Some of them have multiple beds in addition to the king bed, but I don’t think any of the rooms are larger than 107. Jessica said she thinks 107 is the best room in the lodge, and 206 is the second best. Odd numbered rooms face the mountain, and even numbered rooms face the parking lot and the valley below. Oh yeah - the heated outdoor pool is open year-round. We were tempted to jump in during the snowstorm, but chickened out. However, other guests seemed to be enjoying it. To warm up, we built a fire in our fireplace (very easy) and in a manner of minutes, it was roaring. All the firewood, kindling, and newspaper we needed was provided for no additional charge.

We enjoyed cocktails in the Ram’s Head Bar on the third floor overlooking the large main lounge below with great views of Mt. Hood. My wife had a bowl of clam chowder, and said it was the best she had ever tasted. We had a bad dinner experience in the Cascade Dining Room our first night. The service was poor, the food was mediocre, and the prices were high. In my opinion, the biggest drawback to Timberline Lodge (and really the only drawback) is having to eat there. The only options we had were the Cascade dining room and the Ram’s Head Bar. The closest town is Government Camp, and there ain’t much available there either - especially in October.

Our first night, we were awakened at 2:55 AM by terribly loud banging noises emanating from the wall behind our bed and the ceiling overhead. The noises continued for 20 - 30 minutes. We figured it was probably the steam heat pipes, so we turned off the heat (we had a thermostat in our room), and made use of the earplugs provided by the lodge. The noise finally subsided, and we were able to resume sleeping. Even though it was cold outside, we elected to leave the heat off the second night, wear earplugs, and rely on the fireplace, along with the heavy comforter provided, and we got a good nights sleep.

Timberline Lodge is over 75 years old. It is a stone and wooden structure built on the side of a dormant (for now) volcano at 6,000 feet, and is covered in snow all winter long. It has been cosmetically renovated through the years, and is constantly being repaired with great efforts made to keep it the same as it was in 1937. For that reason, hearing things like creaking steam pipes or ill-mannered noisy neighbors through thin walls, and a lack of a few modern conveniences are to be expected. It is part of the charm of the place. It is expensive to stay here, but I expect it is very expensive to operate. The “Great Lodge” charm makes it all worthwhile. I just wish the food options were better.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank 275GTB4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2014

This is my second stay @ at the lodge and everything was great. First up the staff was first class, I'd like to give a special applause to Emily (or Emilie), she's THE BEST front desk person I've encountered anywhere -- excellent customer orientation. Room was clean and warm enough to sustain a cold 9 degrees evening. If you're skiing @ Timberline, don't bother staying at Government Camp, just come straight up to Timberline Lodge.
The only improvement feedback I've got is more of a longer term one: I've been to numerous ski resorts in Japan and what they provide there are hot tubs from natural water sources. The one in this hotel is chlorine based which is not ideal. A good hot tub would really help those soar thighs.
Nevertheless, I'll be back again, it's this good.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ignay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, MN
Level Contributor
34 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2014

Timberline was built in the 1930s by the WPA and it is a real gem of craftsmanship. Unlike many of the other "Great Lodges", Timberline is well maintained and the restoration that has taken place is authentic to the original design. Perhaps this is because it is not part of the National Park service and dependent on government funding. Timberline is headed by the non profit agency "Friends of Timberline".
We splurged on this visit and stayed in one of the Fireplace Rooms. Our room included a king size bead, dresser, sofa, three chairs, a desk, side tables, and as implied, a wood burning fireplace. There were two walk in closets and thick terry robes. The ample size bath included thick towels and luxury soaps and shampoos. The only complaint I had of the bath room was a lack of space to place items. We found the staff to be very helpful and when we called for assistance with the fireplace, the houseman was at our door shortly.
There is a full restaurant and a bar that serves sandwiches, soups, and small plates. Like the lodge itself, prices are high in the restaurants, but the food quality was very good to excellent. I did peek in to some of the other rooms when they were vacated and while they were not as spacious as the fireplace rooms, they too were nicely furnished and authentic. One down side was noise. Because this lodge was built before current noise abatement standards, one does encounter noise from other people. .The lodge does have an after 10:00 PM quite time and ear plugs are provided. There are numerous comfortable sitting and visiting areas throughout the lodge as well as outdoor seating where one can enjoy views of Mt. Hood. There is an outdoor pool and whirlpool and while it was a bit chilly, we hardy Minnesotans used it daily.

Room Tip: Reservations are a must and need to be made well in advance. We made our reservations 10 months be...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Parktraveler46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
399 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 711 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2014

My wife and I stayed at the Timberline Lodge for our two-year anniversary and had a very nice stay. It was in September and the weather was warm, so the ski area was closed, so we hiked around in Mount Hood National Forest looking for waterfalls. The staff at the hotel were very friendly and helpful. I had notified them via email before arriving that it was our anniversary, and the front desk wished us a happy anniversary, upgraded us to a fireplace room, and gave us a bottle of wine in our room. The rooms are very nice, although the walls are very thin. It is a historical hotel, after all. They were doing construction, so the elevators were out, but after hiking on Mount Hood, one flight of stairs didn't seem too bad. We stayed during a weekday in the off-season, and got a complimentary dinner at Cascade Dining Room. The food and wine was great and the service was very good. They have a pool and hot tub, but they're outside, which can be an issue depending on the weather. There was near-freezing rain when we visited, so we opted against going outside for the hot tub. Before dinner, I wanted to hike on Mount Hood, so we hiked the Mountaineer Trail, a very strenuous trail that gains more than 1000 feet in under a mile. I was hoping for some great views above the tree line, but unfortunately, the weather was poor and visibility was about 10 feet. And then it started raining/snowing when we were hiking back down. Luckily, the hotel has washers and dryers and the front desk gave us tokens so we could dry our clothes. And the fireplace in our room was very nice as well. The building is beautiful (even with a little construction) and the location is one-of-a-kind, right on Mount Hood with fabulous views of the mountain and surrounding forest (depending on the weather, of course). It's also a really interesting and historical hotel. It was built in the 1930s as a Works Progress Administration project and served as the outside of the hotel in The Shining. They have a lot of exhibits about the hotel and national forest in the lobby to learn more. It's kind of expensive, but a really cool, historical hotel, and definitely worth the stay to celebrate a special occasion.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jmpncsu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Washington
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 15, 2014

I have stayed here twice now. The first time I was underwhelmed with the service but because it is so beautiful I tried it again. I was left on hold twice while making dinner reservations and while changing a reservation. We got a king fireplace room for a romantic getaway. The whole room smelled like smoke becasue the flue was broken and it was so windy out. They told us that having a fire that night was not a good idea because the room might fill up with smoke. The smell was so horrible after leaving the windows open (on a snowy night) that I finally asked to see another room. The only one I was able to see was one with three beds in it. After dinner we went back to the room and it smelled a little better so we stayed in the room but slept with the windows open. Then the walls are so thin that I heard the guy next door talking on his cell phone-every word. also the calls he got at 2:30 and 5:30 AM! Also not shower cap etc. It just seems like because they have such a beautiful place and a corner on the market that they put out no effort after they have your money. I feel like if you pay $300 for a room it should be at least a decent experience. They never said anything upon checkout-we paid full price. I would have made a stink but I could tell it was a lost cause. Venue: Awesome. Staff: Ghetto. Don't do it. You can always stay elsewhere and visit the great lodge during the day.

Room Tip: Don't choose a room on the front of the lodge because you will hear the beeping of the snow plow...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Chacha2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scott S, Manager at Timberline Lodge, responded to this review, January 19, 2014
First and foremost I am extremely sorry that your second experience at Timberline has left you feeling underwhelmed. I understand your frustration with being left on hold and the fireplace odor in the room. We do experience some strong winds at times and this does lead to occasional back drafts. I only wish we had been made aware of your situation at check out. We strive to provide the best guest service to all who visit us. We strive to provide excellent service and appear to have fallen short. We instill in our team that we do not just take someone’s money if we have not earned it. I can assure you they would have listened and offered a solution. I would be glad to discuss some options. Please feel free to contact me to discuss your stay personally. Timberline is an amazing destination and no one should ever leave feeling unappreciated or dissatisfied.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Timberline Lodge

Property: Timberline Lodge
Address: 27500 E Timberline Rd, Timberline Lodge, OR 97028-9709
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Oregon > Clackamas County > Timberline Lodge
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Ski-In / Ski-Out Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Timberline Lodge
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Timberline Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 76
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977, Timberline Lodge is one of Oregon's most popular tourist attractions, drawing nearly two million visitors every year. Considered an architectural wonder, it's still being used for its original intent-a magnificent ski lodge and mountain retreat for all to enjoy. Timberline Lodge is filled with amazing spaces that beg enjoyment. The main headhouse lobby features three fireplaces at the base of a 90 foot chimney. The outdoor patios offer the most stunning views in Oregon. The outdoor pool is heated and open year round. With so many places to explore all under one roof, you'll feel as if the Lodge is an extension of your guest room. Each room in Timberline Lodge has a unique rustic elegance, yet a modern and comfortable feel. All rooms have period furnishings, artwork and decor. Enjoy fresh powder feather beds, the year 'round heated pool, spa and sauna. Rooms range from premier fireplace rooms to European style bunk rooms. Regardless of which room suits you best, they all share an authentic sense of place found only in one of the Historic Hotels of America. Timberline offers the longest ski season in North America. The winter season typically begins early to mid-November and continues through Memorial Day. Our Palmer Express high-speed quad lift allows us to operate later into the summer season than anyone else (usually through Labor Day). Many years, we're open for fall skiing as well. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Timberline Hotel Timberline Lodge

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