When I visited Oregon, I wanted to see all of it, not just the coastline. So my travels led me east, towards Dufur. Who would have thought! Okay, I know what you guys are thinking: “Ben, where the hell is Dufur? And why would you even get a hotel there?” And I would say: why the hell not? I slept at Balch Hotel.
First of all, Balch Hotel l is located just south of the Columbia River Gorge along US Route 197 which makes it the perfect location if you’re doing a road trip like me. From there you can easily head south towards Smith Rock State Park, and the city of Bend. And secondly, would you look at this place!
The Balch Hotel has a rich history, it’s been a hotel since 1907 and both interior and exterior have been kept true to the original style, which in itself makes it an absolute stunner. Add to that the amazing view of Mount Hood when you look through the window and the lovely family atmosphere, and this hotel is well worth the stop in Dufur.
The friendliness of the staff really sets this place apart from other hotels: the lovely lady chef discussed the menu for that night with a passion and enthusiasm that’s 100% reflected in the delicious dinner. The chocolate chip cookies are to die for! To me, coming into the lobby of Balch Hotel after a long day of exploring all sorts of waterfalls in the gorge and smelling those delicious cookies felt like the epitome of American homeliness and I loved it!
In conclusion, while I admit that this hotel kind of is situated in the middle of nowhere, in a town with roughly 600 people, it’s well worth visiting and as I mentioned you can easily fit it into your Pacific Northwest road trip. Balch Hotel oozes friendliness and homeliness that made me want to stay forever. Bonus: it’s dead quiet in town at night so good nights sleep is guaranteed!