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Reviewed May 16, 2011

Our first three impressions of Cave B Inn were not welcoming and, unfortunately, tainted the enjoyment of our stay. I had wanted to visit for some time, but wasn't willing to spend the asking price for a room until I knew it would be worth it. When I saw the spring rates for the yurts, I thought this might be a great opportunity to check things out. I also thought it might be a great compromise for my husband and me. When he wants to get away, he isn't fussy about things like indoor plumbing and comfortable beds. I enjoy our more rugged adventures, but every once in a while, I prefer the finer things in life. With this in mind, I deliberately made a reservation for the yurt farthest from civilization and sat back to enjoy the anticipation of a much needed weekend away.
When we arrived at the property on Friday afternoon, we followed the small signs to the Chiwana Village Check-In office. After parking, we had to pick our way through the dregs of red wine on the asphalt as an employee steam-cleaned wine barrels in the parking lot. Ambiance? Not really. Bad impression #1.
When we opened the door that we thought led to the Chiwana Village Check-In, we were greated by two completely startled people and a golden retriever. Their first response was, "Wine tasting is next door". Our answer was, "We're here to check-in to Chiwana Village." Their response - "Oh, we need to take down those signs. Check-in is at the Inn." So, we thanked them and picked our way back through the red wine dregs and got back in our car. Bad impression #2.
We made our way to the main building and the Inn front desk. The clerk was busy with a couple who didn't appear to be particularly happy so we sat down on the couch. Within a few minutes, another clerk came out to help and we weren't happy either. The clerk took our name, checked the reservations and then explained that the yurt we had reserved was not available. Long story about a wind storm last fall, construction delays because of bad weather and so on. I'm thinking, "I have a telephone and an e-mail address. You could have let us know all this before we drove for 2-1/2 hours". Better yet, if our yurt was not available three days before our arrival, you should have contacted us. We were on the hook for a night's lodging at that point. I think we should have been given the choice of moving to another yurt or canceling our reservation. Bad impression #3.
With no other option available, we chose to stay in one of the available yurts rather than demand a refund and drive back home. A very nice, but embarrassed, young man led us back to the Chiwana Village parking lot, helped us move our things from our truck to his vehicle and drove us to our yurt.
The yurt met almost all our expectations. We love a cup of hot coffee in the morning while we are getting dressed. I had called on the Monday before our visit to ask if there was a coffee maker in the yurt. I was told there was. Well, there wasn't a coffee maker; it was an electric tea kettle. That would have worked, but there was no instant coffee-just tea bags. The young man who helped us move in said he would bring some instant coffee, but it never arrived. We finally went into Quincey and bought our own.
We were pleasantly surprised by the climate control in the yurt. We had come prepared to dress warmly at night, but we didn't need to do that. The climate control unit kept the yurt plenty warm. We would recommend that you turn the fan speed down at night. It was a little noisy before we discovered that feature.
We loved being able to lie in bed and see the stars through the clear top of the yurt.
We would recommend that you bring slippers. The concrete floor of the yurt can be cold and I was really glad that I had packed mine.
To enjoy the view from our yurt and to let the sun stream in, we took down the curtain that covered the window on the door and tied back the drapes that covered the windows. We happened to have some velcro strips in the truck with out emergency gear and used those. It might be nice if the window coverings were designed to be rolled up or tied back.
Housekeeping at the yurts is "limited". We still aren't sure what that means, but this is what we did. There were two bath towels, two hand towels and two wash cloths in the yurt. We asked for two additional towels at the front desk when we walked over for dinner. I made the bed and gathered up the trash. When we happened to see the housekeeping truck, we gave them the trash and asked for clean wash cloths. That worked for us.
The water heater in the yurt is a ten-gallon water heater. It was plenty big enough for us, but we were cautious at first. I would rather take a "Navy" shower than rinse off in cold water. So, I got wet, turned the water off, soaped up, and then, turned the water on to rinse off. There was plenty of hot water and I'm not sure that a "Navy" shower was necessary.
We did think that the yurts were placed too close together. Only five or six were occupied while we were there and noise was not a problem, but if there were all full???? We could hear our amorous neighbors.
We also thought the paths to the front doors of the yurts were not well-planned. The meandering pathways were not functional - even the employees cut through the sage brush and took the shortest distance between the road and the front door. And the rocks that covered the paths were hard to walk on.
As the weekend progressed, things got better. Dinner on Friday night was good. The presentation and service were good. I was a little disappointed that there were not wine pairing suggestions on the menu.
Be sure to bring your hiking boots and walking sticks. Our 3-hour hike down to the Columbia River was glorious on Saturday morning. We packed a lunch with food that we brought from home and stopped along the Waterfall Trail to eat.
We thought a nice cold beer on the deck would taste good when we got back and we did finally enjoy one after learning that the waitress didn't know what brands were available and that everything was bottled - Nothing on tap.
We were thinking about another hike on the Ancient Lakes Trail in the afternoon, but showered, took a nap and drove around the surrounding area instead. We grabbed a quick bite for dinner in Ephrata.
The Sunday morning buffet brunch was thoroughly enjoyable. The kitchen staff was well-trained and worked well together. The food was kept at proper serving temperature and replenished at proper intervals. I especially enjoyed the steamed shrimp with cocktail sauce, the bagels, cream cheese and lox, the halibut with wonderful sauteed vegetables, and the eggs benedict. The serving portions were small enough that you really could try almost everything.
We checked out right after brunch.
Would we return? Not during the summer. In April, the weather was warm enough and the trails were already dusty enough for us. I know we would not enjoy the amphitheater crowds and I wouldn't pay the summer prices for what we experienced. We might return in the fall when the grapevine leaves are changing colors and the prices have fallen. If we were to return, I would pack instant coffee, our slippers, extra towels and wash cloths, flashlights, drapery ties, a good book and maybe a deck of cards. Music might be nice too, but ear buds would be essential. I'm not sure that I would pay to stay in one of the Cliff Houses or Cavern Rooms. I need more resort amenities and a more hospitable staff to justify that kind of expense. We would come to enjoy the location of the Cave B Inn property and the unique amenities of the yurts. We would come prepared to be self-sufficient, not pampered. We drink wine, but we aren't wine tasters so that activity is not a draw for us. We didn't use The Spa services during this visit, but might in the future and we were pleased to see that Yoga classes are now available.

Date of stay: April 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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5  Thank SGMT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2011

The yurts were magical and reminds you of the best of camping. Excellent food with great care in preparation. Beautiful Scenery and awesome hiking.

Room tip: Book early
Date of stay: May 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Thank wushih
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2011

Stunning views, comfortable well built rooms with food to die for.... The best part- we discovered Chef Bear Ullman formerly with the Marcus Whitman in Walla Walla, is their new chef!
Wonderful, seasonal foods prepared with the panache of a four star restaurant. Chef Bear made our visit so delightful we plan to make the 70 minute drive just for supper again soon.
We stayed in the Cliff Houses which at first blush seemed pricey to us for a Central WA locale but they also offer less expensive options that are very nicely appointed.
Expect a "resortish" feel rather than a "hotel" vibe- enjoy the spectacular views of the Columbia River and Gorge area, the quiet (when there's nothing at the amphitheater) and the great food and wine.
Worth the drive for just the restaurant alone, but stay for the peace- you won't be sorry you did.

Date of stay: May 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Thank Lust4Wander
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2011

I guess this review is cost/benefit analysis. This is a starter Yurt community in the middle of nowhere for $175 per night?? Doesn't feel worth it at all. If I paid $80 - I would feel differently. The yurts have an identity crisis - you don't get the best of camping (campfires, grilling), you don't get the best of a hotel (zero amentities/service). If I have to pack up my life like I am truly camping, I don't want to be paying $160 - $350 per night.

We woke up on sunday morning at 7:00 a.m with no water, no coffee and fancy brunch doesn't start until 9:00 a.m., which seems late to me. Front desk said they don't get any newspapers because they are "in a really remote location" . 15 miles drive to any store, so don't forget anything. Unfortunately, the night we stayed was an extremely windy night. As great as the yurt is constructed, the plastic covering made a lot of noise during the night, waking us up. The resort has a "housekeeping as requested" policy, which sucks for people in yurts. In that case, housekeeping should leave more than 2 med size bath towels for the stay. I didn't want to walk 1/4 mile for a towel. Dirt parking lot away for the yurts is a little weird when paying $175 but we were offered assistance with our bags when checking in.

Some things were issues for us were not necessarity the resorts fault. We were there in April so weather wasn't great - windy as hell (we werent' expecting 80 degrees). We were warned that this was a starter year, so I guess some muddy trails and construction on surrounding yurts were to be expected. No wi-fi, no TV (which I guess is the point, but what am I paying for?). I hated the wineries brand of white wine (seriously, couldn't drink any of the three varities available), which left me sober and cold (again, not their fault). However it was their fault that restaurant bar ran out of tequila and grand manier and a few other alcohols.

Cuvee the dog was a bright light. Staff is incredibly accommodating, knowledgable and friendly. Given the price, I wouldn't return - the resort did not live up to the hype I had heard.

Room tip: The standalone cottages overlooking river
Date of stay: April 2011
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Thank LP1009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2011

I drove into the property and was immediately struck by how distinctive and unique it is. The staff was very pleasant and I loved our cliff house - it seemed like a private residence and had an amazing view. It is very peaceful. We had dinner and lunch. The food was excellent. This property adjoins the Gorge Amphitheater - I know where I will be staying when I go to a concert. I can imagine that when it is warmer the pool would be wonderful. I hear the trails are fun to walk and there is a waterfall but I didn't actually walk them on this visit.

Date of stay: April 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled on business
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1  Thank TravelingWoman123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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