Oregon Caves Chateau

Cave Junction, Oregon

Oregon Caves Chateau, Cave Junction, Oregon.  June 6-8, 2004.
Oregon Caves Chateau.
Hotel Amenities & Services Virtual Tour of Oregon Caves Chateau References for Oregon Caves Chateau

 

Brief History:

The Oregon Caves Chateau is located adjacent to the cave entrance in the Oregon Caves National Monument. The Chateau opened in 1934 and the building is considered a masterpiece of the rustic architectural style. The exterior has steep shake roofs with multiple dormers of varying styles. The exterior walls of the building are covered with bark stripped from nearby trees. A rock waterfall drops into a trout pond outside the classic diner-style coffee shop. 30 inch diameter logs support the ceilings, and a large double-sided fireplace stands in the center of the lobby. The dining room is separated from the lounge area (now a gift shop) by a stream. Yes, a real stream flows through the 3rd floor of the building!

The Oregon Caves Chateau was built straddling a steep walled canyon, much as a dam would be built across a canyon. The creek flows through a huge pipe under the building. The sides of the Chateau are set into the steep sides of the canyon. This creates an interesting effect as you walk into the lobby at ground level on one side of the Chateau, but the windows on the other side of the room look out into the tops of the trees outside! The majority of off the creek flows through a large pipe under the building, while a small portion of it is diverted into an artificial stream bed that flows through the dining room on the 3rd floor. The Chateau is 6 floors high from the creek bed to the top floor.

The Oregon Caves Chateau is almost completely original. The Chateau is far from the normal tourist routes and has suffered from low occupancy rates since it was built. As a result the original floors, stairs, wall coverings etc, have not worn out. All the walls have original finishes and very little remodeling has occurred over the years. Entering the Chateau is like stepping back in time. Almost all the rooms have the original furniture, and the Chateau houses the largest collection of the highly-sought Monterey furniture in the world, most of it museum quality. The furniture in your room is likely to be all antique. Radiators still provide heat for the rooms.

The Oregon Caves Chateau, as well as a nearby employee dormitory and the "new Chalet" (the Oregon Caves Visitor Center building), were designed and built by Mr. Gust Lium (1884-1965), a local contractor who had an enormous level of design talent. His work stands up well against the great rustic architects of the period.

The information above is just a brief overview. Further down on this page you will find a complete description of the facilities, services, directions, travel tips, and even how quiet the rooms are. The Virtual Tour of Oregon Caves Chateau is the focal point of this website, at the least take a few minutes to look through the first few pictures. The tour features photos of just about everything, and it will tell you much more about the history, architecture, and even Elizabeth, the local ghost! The tour is divided into 4 sections, first is a look at the building exterior, then the interior public areas, the guest rooms, and finally the landscape around the buildings. There is also a review of our visit to the Chateau. As with all our tours, we actually stayed in the Chateau a couple of nights so we could become familiar with it. Thus we are able to present more than the typical travel brochure babble.

Amenities, Services Offered:

Historic-Hotels-Lodges.com

Oregon Caves Chateau

Information Sheet

In-Room Amenities

Feature   Comments
Air conditioning no  
Individual Room
Climate Control
no You can adjust heat using a valve on the radiator, but no thermostat.
Television no  
Telephone no  
High Speed Internet no  
Coffee Maker no  
Refrigerator no  
Microwave no  
Ice Bucket & Glasses yes  
3-prong Electrical
Outlets in Rooms
yes  
Hairdryers no  
Iron & board no  
Shampoo, Lotion, Etc. yes  
Non-Smoking Rooms yes -all rooms  
Fire Sprinklers yes  
Kitchenettes no  
Sound Insulation little See notes below.
Fireplaces no  
Pets Allowed no  
Bathrobes no  

On Site Facilities

Feature   Comments
Year Built 1934  
Number of Rooms 23  
Swimming Pool no  
Spa or Hot Tub no  
Sauna no  
Exercise Room no  
Tennis Courts no  
Massage & Staffed Spa no  
Self-Serve Laundry no  
Full-Serve Laundry no  
Safe Deposit no  
Restaurant yes Full service restaurant.
Lounge or Bar no The restaurant serves drinks.
Gift Shop yes  
Meeting Rooms no  

Hotel Services

Feature   Comments
Free Breakfast no  
Free Evening Reception no  
Daily Linen Change yes On request
Free Parking yes  
Valet Parking no  
Airport Transportation no  
Bell Hops no  
Concierge no  
Room Service no  
Credit Cards Accepted? yes All major cards.
ATM or Check Cashing --  

Additional Notes:

   

Rates and Reservations:

The official website for the non-profit Oregon Caves concessioner (lodging, gift shop, dining room, deli & the Caves Diner) is: Oregon Caves Chateau . Open May through October, check with them for the exact dates. Reservations on-line or phone: (541) 592-3400.

From October through May (when the Cafe is closed) snacks and beverages are sold at the Park Visitor Center bookstore.

Please stay at the Chateau!

The Oregon Caves and the Chateau are a bit off the beaten path, but well worth the detour and time. Lack of visitors makes operating the Chateau very financially challenging, and it just barely survives. If you are in Southern Oregon please try to stay at the Chateau or at least have lunch or dinner there! Unlike most National Park hotels, the Chateau is operated by a non-profit organization and it is expensive for them to keep it open. By visiting and spending some money you are helping preserve a little-known national treasure! See The Oregon Caves Chateau Homepage for hotel information and reservations.

Tips for Planning a Visit:

The Chateau at Oregon Caves is a historic lodge. Staying here is like stepping back in time to 1937. This lodge is almost 100% original with few modern updates to the structure. You should be prepared for a historic (that means old!) lodge that does not meet the latest standards for hotel facilities and architecture. Rooms are comfortable but simple, some people would consider them primitive. The staff is very friendly and helpful, they treated us like old friends on our first visit! Consider that staying here is an adventure, something different, out of the ordinary, and unique. The facilities are old, I suggest you take the virtual tour and look closely at the rooms. If what you see doesn't look like something you could stand to stay in for even a night, then you might want to just make it a day visit. While a day visit isn't the same as staying the night, you can get a good feel for The Chateau by walking through it and enjoying a lunch and/or dinner here. Once again, I don't want to scare you off. The Chateau is a great place and I highly recommend you stay here!

There are no telephones or televisions in the rooms. Heat is by steam radiators, and like all steam systems the pipes moan, groan, bump and clunk. The walls are thin, I suggest ear plugs if you are a light sleeper. You can generally request a specific room when making reservations by phone, although they don't guarantee you will get the room you request. Quieter rooms are numbers 210 and 211, they do not have other rooms above or below them and are isolated by closets or bathrooms from the other rooms, there are no shared walls by the beds. Rooms 204 and 205 are equally isolated but do have rooms below them, but not above. All four rooms just mentioned are corner rooms with multiple windows and good views of the forest. The Chateau does has a fire sprinkler system, which is important in an old wood-frame hotel like this one. There is no air conditioning, but it is seldom needed as nights tend to be cool. Just open a window and cool the room the old fashioned way. In-room amenities consist of an ice bucket and drinking glasses, also the basic soap, shampoo and clean white towels. If you want a hair dryer bring one with you. There are no in-room appliances, no in-room coffee. Watch that you don't overload the electrical circuits if you bring your own personal care appliances.

Chateau Dining Room: The dining room at the Chateau features local Southern Oregon regional cuisine. To the extent possible, the food is obtained locally. The food is excellent, service is great, and there are few other places you can dine next to a stream, while inside a lodge! The dining room menu is posted on the Chateau's website.

Other Food Options:The Caves Cafe Coffee Shop in the Chateau serves standard coffee shop meals in a late 1930's era setting. Chrome counter chairs with red vinyl seats create the perfect "soda shop" atmosphere. If you do nothing else, have lunch, hot chocolate, or a milk-shake at the coffee shop! The Caves Cafe menu is posted on the Chateau's website. The Caves Cafe was formerly called the Caves Diner.

Visitor facilities are also available in the community of Cave Junction.

Camping:

There are two national forest campgrounds nearby, Grayback and Cave Creek. Minimal services. Cave Creek Campground can't accommodate large vehicles.
Cave Creek Campground
Grayback Campground

There are several private campgrounds around the town of Cave Junction.

Getting there:

Allow an hour for the drive from Cave Junction to the Oregon Caves, allow more time if raining, foggy, or after dark. The road is narrow and has lots of curves but is not particularly difficult to drive, just slow. Trailers are not allowed on the final few miles of the road due to very sharp curves. A trailer parking area is provided at either the Illinois Valley Visitor Center in Cave Junction or the Grayback Campground near the monument. Unless you need your trailer (ie; you're camping) it is best to leave in at the Illinois Valley Visitor Center parking area, rather than to waste fuel and time towing it up the narrow road to the campground.

The nearest airport with regularly scheduled air service is the Jackson County Regional Airport in Medford, Oregon. Rental cars are available at the airport. The caves are a 2 hour drive from Medford.

The Oregon Caves Chateau is located in the Oregon Caves National Monument. The Chateau is owned by the National Park Service and operated by a non-profit organization under a special use permit.


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