Gary and Jon strongly valued quality time with each other and their guests. They planned their Columbia River Gorge Hotel wedding to perfectly reflect this - and it was awesome. They had the entire hotel for the weekend. They did a pre-ceremony cocktail hour so they could say hi to all their loved ones, and they spent the morning getting ready together, building anticipation for the day with lots of sweet moments. I was there for 10 hours and even got to document a little bit of their after party in the hotel ballroom. The whole day was a blast and I loved working at this beautiful venue!
Columbia River Gorge Hotel Location
The Historic Columbia River Gorge Hotel is located on Westcliff Drive overlooking the Columbia River in Hood River, Oregon. It’s about a 45 minute drive from Portland International Airport. It’s only about 5 minutes from downtown Hood River.
Columbia River Gorge Hotel History
If you’ve ever driven down highway 84 through Hood River, you’ve probably noticed a stunning historic building along the riverfront. This is the Columbia River Gorge Hotel, which first opened in 1921 under the name “Hotel Benson” (source). It was designed by a Portland architect named Morris H. Whitehouse, and the construction process took less than one year. The stone walls and bridges at the hotel were made by the same Italian stonemasons that worked on the historic Columbia River Highway. Upon opening, the hotel rapidly developed an international reputation. It’s been host to Presidents Coolidge and Roosevelt, actresses Shirley Temple, Clara Bow, and Myrna Joy, and noted as a hideaway for Rudolph Valentino.
The great depression put the hotel through hard times, and it was purchased as a retirement home for Neighbors of Woodcraft. It stayed that way until restoration began in 1977. Now the hotel is privately owned and known for it’s unique location and historic architecture.
About Columbia River Gorge Hotel Weddings
The Columbia River Gorge Hotel is an all-inclusive wedding venue - their staff handles catering, staffing, setup and breakdown. They only do one wedding per day, which gives couples the option to move indoors or outdoors, depending on the weather!
The grounds encompass 7 acres of gardens, a privately owned 208 foot waterfall, scenic views of the Columbia River, and enough space for up to 250 guests. The hotel has 40 guest rooms so everyone can stay and party all night!
This particular wedding had a ceremony that took place on the Point Lawn, overlooking the river. Their reception was held on the West Lawn, and they had an after party in the Benson Ballroom at 10pm. The flexibility and size of the indoor and outdoor locations is a huge benefit to the Columbia River Gorge Hotel.
Did you love this Columbia River Gorge Hotel wedding? If so, here are some other blog posts you might enjoy! And always, feel free to contact me with more questions! I am here for you.