The palette of the southern Oregon coast has only soft shades -- the pale gold of long, empty beaches; the baby-blue sky above a silver ocean. Oregon's banana belt is also its least commercial coast, so travelers here will have oodles of elbow room but a limited number of luxury hotels. In making your selection, keep in mind that luxury in this part of the world has less to do with glitz and glamour than nature and serenity.
Wildspring Guest Habitat
In relaxation exercises, you are often asked to travel in your mind to the most peaceful setting you have experienced; after staying at WildSpring Guest Habitat, you will have a new model. This serene woodland retreat overlooks the Pacific Ocean just on the outskirts of Port Orford. Start with a luxury cabin in the woods, add a hammock under the trees, toss in a slate hot tub with a stunning ocean view, the cry of an owl at night. It adds up to a peace so deep that people tend to describe it as sacred. Not cheap, as you may imagine.
Best Western Beachfront Inn
Brookings, Oregon, is an artsy town smack on the beach near the Chetco River, but the Beachfront Inn is the only oceanfront in the area. This hotel is typical of the Best Western chain, with large, bland rooms and well-organized kitchenettes. But when you add in the private balconies and terrific ocean views, the package gets more spicy. The comfort level is high, the price is reasonable and your dog can stay for a modest fee.
Castaway by the Sea
Castaway by the Sea is perched on the cliff in Port Orford, the oldest settlement on the Oregon coast, overlooking the blue Pacific. Its suites and deluxe rooms offer private sun porches with unobstructed views and the luxury of peace and quiet. Though the rooms could not be called elegant, they are clean, spacious and a step above average, providing all you need for a relaxing weekend. Your dog can relax with you for a small fee.
Pacific Reef Resort
The Pacific Reef Resort in Gold Beach exemplifies simplicity with its spacious, elegant rooms and magnificent ocean views. This place is way above good chain-hotel decor, the furnishings simple but classic, the colors muted, the artwork inspiring, the balconies perfect. Translate "private beach access" as sand between your toes a few steps from your room. Pick a luxury guest room or two-bedroom apartment for the best accommodations. Great continental breakfast included.
- oregon coast image by Mike & Valerie Miller from Fotolia.com