The Cannery Pier Hotel offers elegance and hospitality in a gorgeous river-side setting.
I am lying up to my neck in steaming hot water in my Victorian claw foot style soaking tub. The lemony scent of verbena washes over me from my Pharmacopia body wash gel. Fresh ocean breezes cool my skin through the open window and I can hear the waves of the mighty Columbia River gently lapping at the piers beneath my room. I am in heaven.
Welcome to the Cannery Pier Hotel in Astoria, Oregon, a unique and elegant hotel where you can experience five-star ambiance 600 feet into one of the largest rivers in the world. The Cannery Pier Hotel was built on the site of the former Union Fish Cannery in the shadow of the Astoria-Meglar Bridge, a spectacular steel cantilever-truss span that crosses the Columbia River between Astoria and Point Ellice, Washington. The hotel, which resembles the cannery warehouse that once stood in its place, faces the river where ships, barges, pilot boats, and fishing trawlers pass by my windows so closely that they provide an in-room shipping guide to identify them.
My room is a large deluxe guest room with a king bed with interesting angles that makes it feel even larger. Half the room is carpeted, half is in hardwoods, which further defines the separate spaces they’ve created. There’s a gas fireplace fronted by a two-person dining table and chairs, a small couch and coffee table, and a cozy daybed next to a window that opens to the river. There’s a private balcony where I can step out for a breath of that refreshing air and a drop-dead view of the river and the bridge.
Of course, there’s the usual flat-screen TV. It comes with Direct TV hookup and a DVD player. There’s also a wet bar with a sink, mini-fridge, microwave, and coffee maker with ceramic mugs and Rainforest Alliance coffees. Half and half (not that awful powder creamer) is available in the mini-fridge.
The king bed is piled with a half dozen pillows (and two extra in the closet), super soft linens, and both a cool blanket and a warmer duvet. (Too often, hotels only provide the duvet, which doesn’t work for warm sleepers like me.) The artwork on the warm yellow walls reflects the town’s history as the largest salmon cannery in the world. And for those like me who think they always have to be connected there’s free high-speed internet.
The elegance continues right into the large bathroom. There’s the soaking tub with a window with folding doors so you can lie back and look at the river and feel the breeze or close the doors for more privacy. The separate glass and marble shower features an oversized rain shower head and the towels are all big and fluffy. The toilet area is completely separate from the rest of the bathroom, a nice feature when you’re sharing a room. Robes, a hair dryer, end toiletries are provided too.
Architecture That Invites
Downstairs the interesting angles, inviting fireplaces, two-story windows and jaw-dropping views continue. Unlike many hotels where the lobby is empty, at Cannery Pier, the public spaces are filled with people enjoying the warmth of the fireplaces, the scenery, and the complimentary wine and appetizers, which include smoked salmon and interesting cheeses, are provided every afternoon.
I returned from dinner, chauffeured in their complimentary 1945 Cadillac (they also have 1939 Buick and 1938 Packard they use to ferry guests around for free).There were crisp chocolate chip cookies waiting (Not the usual Otis Spunkmeyer pre-made ones). When I helped myself to a couple, the clerk asked brightly, “Would you like some milk with your cookies?” Well, yes. She came back with a glass of ice cold moo.
Included in the room tariff is a complimentary breakfast that features authentic Finnish pastries, fruit, and beverages. While I’m not a big breakfast pastry person, the Finnish pastries, which are much less sweet than other pastries, are delicately crisp and downright addictive.
I worked off some of those calories in the hotel’s small fitness room. The room, which is small, is adjacent to their spa, and features a couple of treadmills, an elliptical trainer, and free weights. Best of all, my workout flashed by because the views out the large windows were so interesting.
Though I didn’t have a chance to experience it, the hotel features a full service spa that includes different types of massages, including reflexology, relaxation, deep tissue, head, neck and shoulders, chair, and couples. They also offer facials and interesting body treatments like the Chocolate Ginger Wrap and the Marine Minerals Wrap and combo half and full-day packages.
The saline mineral hot tug and Finnish sauna are complimentary and available 24 hours a day as is the fitness room. There’s also a lending library and plenty of places with great views to curl up and read.
Real Bottom Line: The Cannery Pier Hotel is luxury hotel in a spectacular location with friendly and accommodating service. Next time you’re in the rustic river town of Astoria, treat yourself to a stay here. I know that’s what I’m going to do next time—and I’m going to make time to take in both the sauna and their spa services. – Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor