Published in VIA, November 2009 (link)
From the 1920s to 1965, when it closed, the Commodore Hotel in Astoria, Ore., sheltered travelers along the Columbia River. Newly reopened, the hotel blends modern amenities with wry vestiges of maritime history.
Browns and cool grays and blues fill the lobby, where a whimsical chandelier made of twisted red cord hangs by a wall of vintage heat registers, door handles, and suitcases. Inside the 18 rooms, sleek furnishings and photos of boats and fishing nets mingle with old-fashioned sinks and wood-framed mirrors.
Blocks away at the Maritime Museum you can refresh your tugboat-piloting skills or watch a simulated Coast Guard rescue. Hop on the antique trolley for a river view or stroll to the Sunday market. Back at the hotel, let the sounds of ships’ horns lull you to sleep. From $59 for AAA members (staying two nights). (503) 325-4747, commodoreastoria.com.