We’re happy to have the opportunity to let you in on some of the secrets of the hotel. Why it is loved by many, but not all. When you walk up our garden path to the front door the old building will give you a big hug or spit you out, depending on what really matters to you! Hopefully it will be the former!
There are volumes of journals in all the rooms, including the library. In reading these guest books we have a pretty good idea of how people feel about staying with us. They share with us the peace and revitalization the view itself inspires. Not to mention the walls, the books, the photos, Shelly the cat, the art, the fabulous food, and the fellow guests. The frequency with which hotel guests make reservations for their next stay, as they check out, is the best indicator.
This is truly a hotel for book lovers. There are no TV’s, radios, or telephones in the rooms and no Wi-fi. It is a quiet place on most days. Except for the glorious storms. Then the wind howls, the building shakes, and the rain pounds down. Some days it’s warm and sunny and the sky is bright blue. Some days there’s morning fog. Some days the wind makes you stay inside and read! Some days are rainbow days, the weather just can’t decide. The ocean is always present (the hotel is on a 45-foot bluff right above the surf). You move into the rhythm of the sea. Perhaps that’s why time seems to slow way down, almost to a standstill.
You must think I’m speaking from a bias. I am. I admit it. I own the hotel, along with my best friend, Sally Ford. We grew up across a cow pasture from one another, in Portland where we still live today. Her brother, Ken Peyton, managed the hotel for 22 years. It is a small business, a family business.
We are celebrating our 34th anniversary this year. We just finished our exterior renovations and gave the grand old dame a fresh coat of paint. It is definitely a labor of love!
I’m sure I’ve stayed at the Sylvia Beach Hotel more than anyone and have seen the magic happen continuously. Some people become relaxed, some invigorated, some develop wide smiles across their faces! Some don’t look up from the book they’re reading until it’s finished (and they think they’re in paradise!) Some finish manuscripts they’ve been writing! Some come up with grand ideas. Some just make decisions that have been so hard until now. (This is one of the great secrets of the hotel…it’s a perfect place to make up your mind….or a turn in your life…or resolutions! It’s just such a good place to think!)
Some guests say the hotel is such a romantic place to celebrate anniversaries, or honeymoon. But it is also a wonderful place to go with a friend, or your mom, or your daughter, or old college roommate. It is also a great place to go by yourself, and never for a minute feel awkward being alone. You may have all the privacy you want, yet be in “the good company of strangers”, too. It’s a good place for men to be alone, or women. Young or old. It’s a great place to bring a group of people who have a project to work on or a problem to solve. It’s even a good place to make friends or fall in love.
My favorite part of the experience is the shared meals. Breakfast comes with the room rate and is enjoyed by all at our tables in the Tables of Content dining room. And the food and company are both delightful. But dinner is even better. Not all the dinner guests are from the hotel; there are also locals and people visiting the area. But we all eat together. Dinner is served every evening. Our chefs have been here for many years now. They are always incorporating local, fresh foods into their cuisines. It is always fabulous. If I didn’t totally believe it I wouldn’t have the nerve to write it here. I have often been told “that was probably one of the best meals I’ve ever had.” But on top of that, the dinner conversations are what brings me the greatest pleasure. Our guests are from all over the country, and sometimes out of the country, and they’re thoughtful, curious, and high spirited.
If the table is willing, we play “Two Truths and A Lie”! I’m addicted to the game! (So if you make reservations to come to the hotel when I’m there, and you’ve got good stories, please ask to sit at my table! I promise you a great time!)
No matter how nice your room is, guests often spend much of their time up in the reading room. It has the best view in the whole building, lots of overstuffed chairs, a fireplace, plenty of books (from the library shelves in the loft), puzzles and board games, tea and coffee always available, and each evening (if you’ve torn yourself away from the dinner table) we serve hot spiced wine.
There is a great beach right in front of the hotel. At any given time just a handful of people can be seen walking the beach. The Sylvia Beach Hotel has a particularly beautiful coastal panorama which includes the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. This view is to the north and is enjoyed by the majority of the rooms. These mid-priced rooms are affectionately called “Best Sellers.” There are only three of the rooms that are directly over the surf. They are the “Classics,” and they have fireplaces and decks. The least expensive rooms are the “Novels.” They are fun rooms, but have no ocean view. See more about the rates here.
Thanks for taking the time to read this!