Resort at the Mountain in Welches, Oregon:
If you live in the Portland, Oregon metro area, odds are you have gone up to Mt. Hood before. I like to visit in the winter for skiing but the summertime offers plenty of recreational opportunities as well. Timberline Lodge is a spectacular setting, but it's small and can fill up fast during the popular ski weekends. I prefer to stay down off the mountain in the town of Welches at the Resort at the Mountain. It's a great spot with modern facilities and their rates are very reasonable. In the winter they have 'specials' with discounted lift passes for Timberline and SkiBowl. If you venture up there in the summer you can play golf - they have three 9 hole courses to choose from. During the colder, wintry months they cover the outdoor pool and heat it so you can still enjoy a good swim or dip in the hot tub. I've always had good experiences with the staff and they have drastically improved the dining options over the years.
- If you follow Hwy 26 towards Mt. Hood, you will come across Welches, OR. The town itself is not big, but there are several places for lodging and it's only 10 miles from Government Camp which is a few miles short of Timberline Lodge. The convenience is what I like best. The drive is fairly easy along Hwy 26 as you pass through Zig Zag and Rhododendron. The roads were near perfect in February as we took the kids up for an overnight stay and did some skiing. It was snowing up at 4000 feet but down at Welches we only got rain. In the summer I have played golf at the Resort at the Mountain and the weather has always been superb - 80 degrees and sunshine. If you get on the email list for the hotel, they will send specials throughout the year that provide discount codes for certain days or packages. On our recent trip we were able to get a code that gave us a room for $149/night versus the $200+ they normally want. Breakfast was included in the stay which was a nice bonus. Plus, the lift tickets to SkiBowl are around $50/day but we were able to get them from the front desk for $40. My wife and I both ski so the $20 in savings paid for lunch up on the mountain.
Accommodations - Resort at the Mountain:
The Resort at the Mountain has done some upgrades to the rooms in recent years and they have done a good job. You'll now see things like flat screen TV's, updated bathrooms, work desks, and more. They offer traditional rooms, suites, and villas on the grounds. The rooms include king bed, 2 queens, a larger fireside studio setup with 525 square feet of space. The suites are absolutely beautiful - 720 sq ft. for the 1 bedroom suite - they do offer a 2 bedroom suite as well. Great for family reunions or larger parties. The 2 and 3 bedroom golf villas start at roughly $300/night and go up depending on season. I have never stayed in one of these but golfing buddies of mine say they are perfect for a group of guys or couples playing golf. You can check out all the various rooms and pricing online at http://www.theresort.com/accommodations.php
. As we mentioned above, the dining has significantly improved at Resort at the Mountain and Altitude Restaurant is the main reason why. You get the upscale feeling of being in downtown Portland with the cozy, quiet atmosphere of being near Mt Hood. Mallard's Cafe and Pub is open during the spring season and into fall. If relaxation is more your specialty, then consider The Spa which offers all the treatments you could want to.
Resort at the Mountain - Activities in Summer and Winter:
What I really like about The Resort at the Mountain is the nostalgia that I get when I'm up there. The classic activities like croquet and lawn bowling are things my kids might never get exposed to, but at the resort you can play them. They also feature an 18 hole putting course, great for the kids. The tennis courts (4 of them) are close to the rooms and perfect for a family activity. Of course the outdoor pool can't be missed if you have children. For golfers, the three 9 hole golf courses (Pine Cone, Thistle, and Foxglove). Play just 9 or take on 18 and then head for drink afterwards and enjoy the nice weather during the summer. If you are more of a winter activity person, then the skiing options are many. Skibowl is just 10 miles up the road, a little further out are Timberline, Mt. Hood Meadows and Cooper Spur. Be sure to check with the reception/check-in about discounted ski lift tickets.