8 Unique Places to Stay in the Salem Area in 2022
Cabins, garden resorts, vineyard views and more
Make your stay in the Mid-Willamette Valley a memorable one in one of these 8 unique lodging properties.
When it opened in January 2020, The Independence Hotel—sitting on the banks of the Willamette River in downtown Independence—was designed to meet the needs of several groups of travelers who pass through the Willamette Valley.
To accommodate visiting student-athletes competing at nearby Western Oregon University, the hotel installed spacious desks in each room to help make homework a little easier. Cyclists jonesing for the region’s bikeable backroads and byways could store bikes in their room and take care of basic maintenance with an indoor workroom—outfitted with the necessary tools, of course. Groups, meanwhile, can book the Squad Suite; the 850-square-foot room offers six luxurious bunks, a sectional couch, two full bathrooms, temperature-controlled wine storage, and more for families, wedding parties, and other groups.
In so many ways, The Independence Hotel is emblematic of a trend among regional lodgings: Hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, and even state parks are creating an all-around experience that can be just as delightful as the destination itself. Elsewhere in the region, visitors can stay in restored cabins, cozy B&Bs, and even in the midst of scenic gardens and vibrant vineyards.
So whether you’re making New Year's resolutions to travel more this year—or are just looking forward to hitting the road when the weather warms up—here’s a guide to eight great places to stay around the Salem area in 2022 (and beyond).
The Grand Hotel
You know you’re in for a treat the second you step inside The Grand Hotel. The lodging’s elegant lobby lives up to its name, offering a regal welcome with high ceilings, local artwork throughout, and plenty of comfortable couches for kicking back. Its 193 well-appointed rooms continue that stately vibe with leather loveseats, high-definition televisions, comfortable beds, and jetted tubs.
The Grand Hotel also prides itself on sustainability and Earth-friendly practices; it is EarthWISE-certified by a local environmentally focused organization—and lives up to the billing by offering recycling in each guest room, as well as a pair of electric vehicle charging stations in its garage.
What to do nearby: Just a five minute walk from The Grand Hotel’s doorstep sits the acclaimed Riverfront Park. The 26-acre park sits along the Willamette River and is home to plenty of family fun—including Salem's Riverfront Carousel (featuring dozens of colorfully painted horses and wagons to ride) and the Gilbert House Children's Museum (offering inspiring, hands-on activities for children—and named for Salem native, Olympic gold medalist, inventor, and magician A.C. Gilbert). For more outdoor adventure, the park connects to Minto-Brown Island Park (at 1,200 acres, the park is larger than New York City’s Central Park). Both parks offer plenty of opportunities to hike, bike, walk, and jog in bucolic, pastoral settings.
Century House Bed & Breakfast
Century House Bed & Breakfast sits in the heart of Salem—a quick walk from downtown, close to Willamette University, and right along the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway. But even so, a stay at the decade-old B&B feels like a retreat from the bustling world around you.
For starters, the lot on which Century House sits is home to what owner Jean Brougher calls “a miniature forest.” Nearly 50 trees cover the backyard, including Douglas fir, cedar, maple, hemlock, and even black walnut trees. Brougher says all that shade keeps the backyard cool in summer, with plenty of places to sit and even a garden house if you’d like a nap.
And befitting its location along the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway, Century House hosts a garage stocked with spare tubes, extra water bottles, pumps, and tools for avid cyclists—along with secure bike storage throughout. Brougher even offers a pair of loaner bikes for guests who’d like to pedal into downtown or explore the city.
Finally, Century House is family-friendly in every sense of the word; Brougher keeps a spare bassinet on-hand for infants, can rent two rooms as a suite for families with older children, and hosts a spare room that’s stocked with a dollhouse, toys, books, games, and other fun attractions. (And no matter how picky the young eaters in your family, Brougher can accommodate nearly two dozen diets when preparing breakfast—and has even taken cooking classes to boost her skills with trickier diets.)
What to do nearby: Hop on your bike and pedal the flat 1.5 miles into downtown, where you can enjoy the city’s creativity, arts, culture, and culinary offerings. Willamette University's Hallie Ford Museum of Art, for instance, spotlights work from around the world—with an especially large collection of baskets, miniatures, and ceremonial regalia by Native American artists from the Willamette Valley and throughout Oregon. And when you get hungry, downtown is rife with appetizing eateries, such as Taproot Lounge & Café (serving bowls, salads, and other healthful takes on pub fare), Venti's Cafe (dishing internationally inspired cuisine with plenty of vegetarian choices), and Bo & Vine Burger Bar (known for creative burgers and house-made tater tots).
Bryn Mawr Vineyard Guesthouse
It was inarguably a rocky start for the Bryn Mawr Vineyard Guesthouse, which opened on the winery’s property in February 2021. Its first guests—a couple celebrating Valentine’s Day—were due to arrive in the wake of an ice storm that wreaked havoc on the Willamette Valley, and they’d be without power and water for the duration of their stay. The Bryn Mawr team offered a refund, but the couple demurred—explaining that they’d camped in Alaska while watching the aurora borealis, so they could deal with bone-chilling temperatures.
So the Bryn Mawr team got to work. David Lauer—the youngest son of Kathy and Jon Lauer, who own the vineyard together—went so far as to collect ice and snow, boil the water on a gas stove, and bring it to the guest house so the couple could flush the toilet and wash their dishes.
Hopefully your stay won’t be quite so dramatic—but the story demonstrates just how serious the Lauers are about showing guests a good time in the home at the crest of the Eola-Amity Hills.
Sitting just 15 minutes from Salem, the guest house drops visitors into the heart of Willamette Valley wine country. The modern (dog-friendly) lodging boasts two bedrooms (both with en-suite bathrooms), a fully stocked kitchen with brand-new appliances, cozy armchairs, a high-definition television, and a spacious deck—which, of course, offers wide-open vineyard views. Guests also receive a complimentary tasting or glass of wine, along with a discount at the winery, with each stay.
What to do nearby: You’re in the heart of the Willamette Valley, world renowned for its outstanding wine—so why not visit more wineries?! Redhawk Vineyard & Winery hosts a laid-back tasting room just 10 minutes away, Bethel Heights Vineyard sits just a half-mile up the road (and crafts 14 different bottlings of estate-grown pinot noir and chardonnay annually), and Bjornson Vineyard (just five minutes away) employs several sustainable practices in crafting its acclaimed wines.
Oregon Garden Resort
There’s a lot to love about the Oregon Garden Resort, which hosts 103 rooms next to the 80-acre Oregon Garden in Silverton. The resort’s rooms and cottages each include gas fireplaces and/or private decks for keeping cozy, its main lodge hosts an outstanding lounge that pours creative cocktails, an outdoor hot tub keeps guests warm all year long, and the on-site Moonstone Spa offers a wide range of relaxing treatments (such as facials, massages, and body treatments).
The botanical garden next door, meanwhile, boasts more than 20 specialty gardens that show off botanical beauties that grow throughout the Pacific Northwest—complete with conifers, oak trees, medicinal herbs, colorful roses, and more.
What to do nearby: Just next door to The Oregon Garden sits the Gordon House—the only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home open to the public in Oregon. Guided tours show off the home's eclectic interior, along with background on Frank Lloyd Wright's stylistic visions, the homeowners, and how the house ended up in Silverton. Note that advance reservations are accepted—and are highly recommended.
Smith Creek Village at Silver Falls State Park
Since mid-2021, Smith Creek Village in Silver Falls State Park has brought a new kind of overnight experience to the "crown jewel of the Oregon State Parks system” (as it’s popularly known).
Visitors can choose among cabins, cottages, and even lodges at the southern edge of the park; amenities vary from room to room, but most include some mix of comfortable beds, en-suite bathrooms, high-definition televisions, and mini kitchenettes. An on-site coffee house keeps guests caffeinated, and summertime mountain bike rentals offer easy access to Silver Falls' network of trails.
What to do nearby: You’re about a half-hour from Silverton—so make the scenic drive into town, where you’ll experience some of the great craft beer for which our region is so well-known. Since 2015, Silver Falls Brewery has used hops grown around the Willamette Valley in its wide range of ales and lagers; its renovated tasting room dishes plenty of beer alongside an appetizing menu of pub fare favorites. Less than a mile away, Ratchet Brewery pours a variety of beers and hosts a wide range of community events (such as trivia nights and stand-up comedy). And while Mac's Place doesn't brew its own beer, the popular pub (housed in a building that overlooks Silver Creek and dates back to the 1880s) pours locally made brews, hosts regular live music, and offers a food menu that ranges from pizzas to build-your-own burgers.
The Independence Hotel
Over the course of its 187 miraculous miles, the Willamette River boasts just one boutique hotel along its banks—and that lodging, The Independence Hotel, sits in the heart of its namesake city.
In many ways, the hotel was built to deepen that connection with the river at its feet—and the surrounding natural beauty. “There’s no road or railway between us and the river,” says Mark Keller, owner and principal of Embarcadero Hospitality Group, which manages the hotel. “When you're out on the patio or walking around, you hear the leaves rustling and the birds chirping, and you have immediate access to the water. There’s something really serene and calming about that.”
Beyond that close proximity to the river, The Independence offers full river views from most rooms—along with a rooftop deck (complete with 360-degree views), an on-site restaurant (with covered outdoor seating along the riverbanks), works from regional artists, and free loaner bikes for guests.
What to do nearby: The 134-mile Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway turns south just across the river from town—so why not hop on your bike and hit the road? You don't have to put in dozens of miles, but even a short ride heads past hop fields, family farms, covered bridges, national wildlife refuges, and other fun features. Learn more about cycling around Polk County.
MaMere's Guest House
With an elegant college and amiable Main Street corridor, Monmouth is full of small-town charm. Nowhere is that more evident than at MaMere's Guest House, a whimsical B&B just steps from downtown.
The home was built in 1891 and, more than a century later, continues to display the craftsmanship of John Howell, the man who built it. More modern touches around the family-run inn include several themed rooms (some with vibrant paintings, others with exposed brick and wood paneling), home-cooked meals crafted from locally sourced ingredients, locked bike storage, and easy access to the shops, eateries, and attractions around Monmouth.
What to do nearby: The Mid-Willamette Valley is home to plenty of great food and cider, so why not enjoy a bit of both? Stop into Yeasty Beasty in the heart of Monmouth for filling pizzas (each made with a crisp, flavorful sourdough crust) and 26 taps of fresh craft beer. Cider fans, meanwhile, can drive about 15 minutes northwest of town to Salt Creek Cider House, which since 2016 has crafted a wide range of semi-dry hard ciders from farm-grown fruit.
Airlie Farm Bed and Breakfast
The Willamette Valley is covered with pastoral farmland—so why not do as the locals do and enjoy an overnight farm stay? The Airlie Farm Bed and Breakfast hosts six rooms on a working quarter-horse farm just 20 minutes southwest of Independence. Each of the inn's rooms are outfitted with vintage and antique furnishings, down comforters, private balconies and/or fireplaces, heated towel racks, and other amenities. Locally sourced breakfasts are served on fine china. Away from the rooms, guests can explore the farm, pick berries, relax by the koi pond, and visit the resident horses.
What to do nearby: Polk County sits along the Pacific Flyway—a massive migratory bird route that stretches from Alaska to Argentina—so spend your day trying to spy some of the hundreds of species that either live or pass through the Willamette Valley. You’re just 30 minutes away from three acclaimed national wildlife refuges, while several other parks offer outstanding bird-watching opportunities. Learn more about birding in Polk County and around the Willamette Valley.
292 17th St. SE
Salem, Oregon 97301 (503) 884-7062
CENTURY HOUSE OF SALEM BED AND BREAKFAST292 17th St. SE
Salem, Oregon 97301
201 Liberty St. SE
Salem, Oregon 97301 (503) 540-7800
THE GRAND HOTEL IN SALEM201 Liberty St. SE
Salem, Oregon 97301
201 Osprey Ln.
Independence, Oregon 97351 (503) 837-0200
INDEPENDENCE HOTEL201 Osprey Ln.
Independence, Oregon 97351
212 Knox St. N
Monmouth, Oregon 97361 (503) 917-8745
MAMERE'S GUEST HOUSE212 Knox St. N
Monmouth, Oregon 97361