The Whaler Motel - Newport, OR:
On a recent trip to the Oregon coast, we decided to stay in beautiful Newport. Newport, OR is situated right along the coast about halfway between Washington and California. The main reason we go out to this seaside town is for the aquarium which our kids love to visit every other year or so. My wife and I enjoy the fresh seafood and lighthouses in the Newport area and the beaches are great for walking and picking up shells. We usually stay at the Hallmark Resort, but since it was spring break this year, the hotel was full so we picked another one down the road - The Whaler. The Whaler sits across the street from the Pacific Ocean unlike the other hotels/motels on this block. The rooms, however, have some excellent unobstructed views of the beach, water, and sunset.
I did my homework online and searched for reviews on the hotel via Google search. Although some reviews were less than enthusiastic, the vast majority had good things to say and for around $150/night we went with The Whaler for our accommodations while in Newport. Their main webpage is HERE
with details on rooms, amenities, rates, specials, and directions. A map of the Newport region along with the exact location of the Whaler is below.
Per the image, you can see that the hotel is located on Elizabeth St right where 2nd St. meets it. If you arrive via Hwy 101 there are signs that point you towards the Hallmark Resort and that is what I followed to get to Elizabeth Street and then I just continued down until seeing The Whaler. When driving down from Portland, I find it easiest to take Hwy 20 out of the Corvallis area all the way to the coast. There is a junction at Hwy 101 in Newport and you go left for a mile or so before seeing the signs for the hotels along Elizabeth Street. The drive takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes from the city of Portland. The other route is to go out to Lincoln City and then down the coast to Newport. The Whaler is situated at the end of the line of hotels that stretch along this street - there is the Hallmark Resort, Shilo Inn, and Elizabeth Street Inn to choose from. The Whaler is an older looking building with a small parking lot and beach access that is directly across the street and down a paved trail. The beach is flat and stretches a long way in both directions, so definitely take advantage and go for a long walk in the mornings or early evening hours.
Rooms - Rates:
There are 3 types of rooms to choose from - the standard 1 or 2 queen bedroom, the deluxe 1 king rooms, or the balcony junior suites with 2 queens or 1 king options. When I made the reservation over the phone (541-265-9261) their junior suites were booked so I had to go with the 2 queen standard room that does have views. I wanted the suite so my family could have a little more room to move around in the room and the balcony for fresh air and ocean views. The suites also feature a love seat with hideaway couch, microwave, small fridge, and the private balcony. The standard queen room was more than adequate with a small sitting table next to the window where we could watch the waves roll in and see the clouds form overhead. We were on the 3rd floor and didn't have any guests above us making noise. The room was clean and the beds were comfortable. I would say the TV was a touch small and the bathroom sink area could have been a touch larger. The big drawback for me was that there is no elevator in the motel. I had to lug our suitcases up 3 flights of stairs which isn't my cup of tea. No one mentioned the lack of an elevator when I made the reservation and specifically asked for a 3rd floor room. It would have been nice to be forewarned on something like that. The Rooms range from a low of about $99/night for a standard 1 queen up to $169/night for the balcony junior suite with 2 queen beds. I feel like the price is fair given the other hotels in the area are more expensive.
Although I was a bit hesistant making the reservation at this smaller hotel (73 rooms), the staff was more than accommodating and the amenities were fine. The beach access across the street was a big plus. It's only a 1 minute walk down a paved path to get to the beach. The views from the rooms was very beautiful and watching the storms roll in is always fun. The evening sunset out along the horizon was spectacular. Although I did not use the exercise room, they had an elliptical, treadmill, and exercise bike. The swimming pool is indoors and heated. The spa was adjacent to the pool and looked clean. The daily continental breakfast includes "daily baked muffins, Danish pastries, or toasted bagels with cream cheese and jam". The kids ate cereal and my wife grabbed a cup of coffee before we would head out in the mornings. My kids also liked the fresh popcorn available pretty much all day long in the lobby. There was high speed internet access available as well, but since I was on vacation I didn't bring my laptop to test it out.
For a last minute effort to get to the coast and see the Oregon Aquarium, this hotel will do the job. Although the lack of an elevator is a definite knock against it, the views from our 3rd floor room made up for it. I would recommend the junior suite with balcony if available, but the standard queen rooms seem adequate enough with large windows for a great view of the evening sunset. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable of the surrounding area, they even gave us a great restaurant tip in the Historic Bayfront Newport area - a place called the Whales Tale. The motel is only minutes from the beach, the lighthouses, and the harbor where you can watch boats come in and out all day long. The aquarium is 5 minutes away and a worth a visit. My first choice is the Hallmark Resort, but having stayed once at the Shilo Inn with disappointing results, I would choose the Whaler Newport if the Hallmark is booked.