Not to make any light of maritime disasters — the grounding of an Italian cruise liner being the most recent example — but we here at the Hood River Hotel like to think of ourselves as a cruise destination — without the icebergs, lifeboats and (sorry) Leonardo DiCaprio.
Yes, we were built 100 years ago. No, we can not provide you the same experience as that endured by passengers on the Titanic, which sank April 15, 1912 (which, oddly enough, is typically tax filing day in the U.S., but we digress).
So, how is the U.S.S. Hood River Hotel cruise liner better than any floating cruise ship? Let us count the ways:
Boarding. No endless queues winding back and forth like a string of cattle headed toward the stun gun. Just walk in the front door, get a warm greeting, and head up to your room.
Rooms. Bigger, across the board, from our smallest to our suites. And when you look out the window? No endless expanse of flat, wet ocean. We offer our guests mountains, the Columbia River, the historic main drag in Hood River, a fascinating parade of people.
Intercom. None. No lifeboat drills. No greetings and messages from the captain, just when you were trying to grap a few more winks. You call us. We don’t call you (unless you’re partying like someone on the Fun Ships.)
Dining. Yes, we have our own restaurant. Yes, you can order off the menu. But, if you want to eat something else, we have what we call our “food court” — DOWNTOWN HOOD RIVER. C’mon, people, wouldn’t you rather stroll across the street to Andrew’s for some pizza, a beer and a movie, or down the road for a nice dinner at Brian’s Pourhouse or Nora’s Table, or sideways to one of our brewpubs, some sushi, a taco truck? On a cruise ship, everything comes from the same kitchen. Here? Different people, different grub. And maybe the nicest thing? You don’t have to eat more, to get your money’s worth. Imagine, ending a cruise lighter than when you started? What a concept.
Activities. For starters, two blocks from our cruise ship, we’ve got great community theater. Sure, the cruise ship might have a fun revue, or a hired comic. We’ve got live music at The Pines 1852 tasting room and Waucoma Club. Movies? Yes, two theaters with eight screens. And if you actually like to watch TV on vacation (good luck out in the ocean), we’ve got cable in every room. Oh, yes, we’ve got a gym, too, but ours doesn’t have that constant booming Lady Gaga soundtrack. Nice.
Fireplace. We’ve got one, in the lobby, with real wood fire. They don’t let you play with fire on cruise ships.
Ports of call. Nope, we don’t dock at a different fleece market every day. We stay right here, where we belong, in a great little town, with stores and merchants who have never yet considered throwing a net over you as you step down the gangplank and surgically removing your wallet.