Nestled in the shadow of a high-rise hotel, just steps from the bustling promenade and sidewalks of downtown Seaside, the Gilbert Inn is both in the center and on the outskirts of the bustling northern coastal town from Oregon.
The historic Inn, first built in 1885 and expanded several times over the past century, is not only one of Seaside’s oldest buildings, but also one of the most historic.
It was built and owned by Alexandre Gilbert, who served as mayor of Seaside from 1912 to 1916, helping the town recover from a devastating fire that destroyed the town’s entire thriving business district. Gilbert’s grand Queen Anne-style house, which he built around his original two-story cabin in 1892, has survived the fire as well as the test of time.
Guests who stay at the Gilbert Inn today have the chance to sleep in a room that was part of the original cabin, the older Queen Anne extension, or the newer 1990 extension, which added five bedrooms additional to what is now an 11 room hostel.
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Birgitte Simmons, sales and marketing manager for Haystack Lodgings, which bought the Gilbert Inn in 2014, said the business is now marketed as a “boutique hotel” rather than a “bed and breakfast”, a way whose current owners have distanced themselves. of the perceived stuffiness of a historic hotel.
“You’re not just staying in one person’s old house, it has every comfort and convenience,” Simmons said, including an outdoor fire pit, antique wingback chairs, and a porch where the breakfast is. Free breakfast is served daily. “It’s definitely memorable, it’s unique.”
For years, the Gilbert Inn was also an adults-only hotel –– a rarity in the family-friendly Seaside. During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, as businesses up and down the coast faced financial difficulties, the hostel opened up to children as well as pets, Simmons said, a decision that has already helped businesses simply by expanding their customer base.
“Most people were happy with it,” Simmons said of the change. “Now everyone is welcome.”
A night at the Gilbert Inn is in stark contrast to a stay at the hotel and vacation rental chains that proliferate in Seaside. Each room is different and the decoration varies from old to modern.
The 1800s bedroom, which was Gilbert’s original cottage, features a classic wrought iron bed frame and a separate living room with a sofa bed. The third-floor Garrett Room has a more modern look and features two beds as well as a window-side sitting area with a view of the Pacific Ocean. On the second floor, Emma’s Room offers a four-poster bed in a cozy wood-paneled space, perfect for those looking to spend some time away from their bedroom.
Rooms are as cheap as $90 per night, but can cost up to $350 per night, depending on the season and day of the week.
The ongoing pandemic has resulted in fewer people using the Gilbert Inn’s common areas, Simmons said, opting instead to take advantage of any of the restaurants, shops and attractions in the bustling Seaside business district just steps away. blocks away.
As you browse downtown Seaside businesses, you can thank Alexandre Gilbert, who bought properties devastated by the 1912 fire and loaned money to local business owners to help rebuild. Gilbert also donated a strip of land along the beach to the town of Seaside, which was later used for Seaside’s famous boardwalk.
This boardwalk is directly across from the Gilbert Inn, a place that honors the memory of the former mayor and businessman, while providing guests with a quieter, quieter place to stay in town.
“It’s not like a cookie-cutter experience,” Simmons said. “I think you can sit and have fun here, it’s more of an experience than a place to rest for the night.”