The Bowline Hotel in Astoria Oregon: Luxury on the Columbia River

There’s something mesmerizing about the majesty of the Columbia River, especially when enjoyed in a cozy bathrobe lying in a luxurious bed warmed by a flickering fireplace. Add in a cup of French press coffee and a freshly-made crepe from the chef’s kitchen at the Bowline Hotel and you might think you have drifted off to heaven. Such are the mornings (or afternoons, or evenings) at the new luxe hotel in Astoria, Oregon—the Bowline Hotel.

The Bowline Hotel in Astoria Oregon: Luxury on the Columbia River

Cozy up and watch the ship traffic on the Columbia River. Photo by Elizabeth R Rose

Relaxing in Your Riverfront Hotel in Astoria, Oregon

Cozy up in your room or relax on your patio long enough and you’ll see huge freighters headed out under the four-mile Astoria-Megler Bridge destined for exotic ports afar. Watch river pilot boats dispatched to guide even more freighters in across the treacherous Columbia Bar and up the river to unload. At sunset, you may even enjoy a sailboat tacking in the wind. Linger longer in your room’s stand-alone tub, soothed with locally made sea salts, and you’ll see seagulls and cormorants winging their way up the river passing in front of your window.

The Bowline Hotel in Astoria Oregon: Luxury on the Columbia River

Soak your worries away in this deep soaking tub. Photo by Elizabeth R Rose

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It’s impossible not to relax here. And while you’ll have a large flat-screen TV, you may not even decide to turn it on!

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From Sardine Cannery to Industrial-Luxe Accommodation

Adrift Hospitality, aka Tiffany and Brady Turner, are known for their creative renovations. I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing their Adrift Hotel (with beach-view Pickled Fish Restaurant,) and their fun re-do of a Long Beach, Washington classic, The Shelburne Inn. So, I was excited to hear that they had been working on a new project, a $5.4-million-dollar transformation of a historic sardine cannery into a luxury boutique view hotel in Astoria, Oregon.

Astoria Oregon Waterfront

The Bowline Hotel, the white building seen in the distance, blends well into the historic Astoria waterfront. Photo by Elizabeth R Rose

The fishing industry was important to the early Astoria economy and by the mid to late 1800s, canneries were built on the Columbia River piers to provide easy access for the fishing boats and their catch. The Turners have a knack for incorporating a local feel and culture into the projects and so you’ll see many elements from the original building incorporated into this luxe hotel. You’ll see whitewashed beams in the lobby and rooms, weathered pilings outside the river-view rooms, and mirrors that subtly mimic portholes and ship hatches.

The Knot Bar and Cafe - The Bowline Hotel in Astoria Oregon: Luxury on the Columbia River

Huge beams from the original cannery have become part of the decor in The Knot Bar and Cafe. Photo by Elizabeth R Rose

The Bowline is located at the north end of 9th Street between the Columbia River and the Astoria Riverwalk. Bowline Hotel encompasses 19,500 interior square feet in two buildings: the old cannery and its adjacent ice house (the fishing boats needed ice to keep their catch fresh as well as for the processing tables in the cannery). The buildings are surrounded by trolley-view patio areas along the south-facing rooms and decking along the riverfront cannery rooms and suites.

The Bowline Hotel in Astoria Oregon: Luxury on the Columbia River

The Bowline Hotel and Ice House. Photo by Elizabeth R Rose

Discovering More of the Bowline Hotel in Astoria

A large deck space with view tables connects the two buildings and extends along the river side of the Ice House. Bowline’s neighbor to the west is Buoy Brewing Company, a cornerstone of the riverfront’s renaissance. The Astoria Trolley can take you from the hotel to the Columbia River Maritime Museum (but it’s also a nice walk).

The Bowline Hotel in Astoria Oregon: Luxury on the Columbia River

Relax on your private patio outside your room with a cup of coffee and watch the morning fog burn off. The Columbia River Maritime Museum is seen in the distance. Photo by Elizabeth R Rose

The Bowline Rooms and Suites

Two spacious suites – The Buoy and The Ice House – and 38 guest rooms feature king beds with to-die-for cushy bedding, gas fireplaces, walk-in showers, or a bathtub shower combo. Each features contemporary design details such as local artwork, Edison-type lighting, and woven area rugs over sealed concrete floors.

Throw at the Bowline - The Bowline Hotel in Astoria Oregon: Luxury on the Columbia River

The details at the Bowline Hotel add to the luxurious feel of the rooms. Photo by Elizabeth R Rose

All guest rooms are appointed with a flat-screen smart tv, large windows, a private balcony or patio access, luxury linens, Malouf pillows, a cozy throw blanket, hooded jersey bathrobes, and eco-friendly bath amenities. Select guest rooms feature free-standing soaking tubs.

Cozy Logo Robes - The Bowline Hotel in Astoria Oregon: Luxury on the Columbia River

The rooms are appointed with cozy logo robes, local art, and fluffy bath towels… all appreciated! Photo by Elizabeth R Rose

My Room at The Bowline Hotel

There are guest rooms on the first and second floors. My room was a Luxe River View King on the first floor with a soaking tub. I had a couch where I could sit and watch the river traffic, a luxurious king-size bed, and a separate bathroom with a huge shower. I enjoyed the special touches like the cozy logo robes, live plants, and French press coffee tray.

Monarc Duffel Bags
French Press - The Bowline Hotel in Astoria Oregon: Luxury on the Columbia River

French Press coffee and tea tray in the room. Photo by Elizabeth R Rose

The refrigerator came in handy, too. Outside was a private patio on the pier where I could enjoy the sounds of the river and check out the seabirds and occasional sea lions. I had to try all the Grown Alchemist toiletries (provided in normal-sized pump bottles) just because they smelled and felt so good.

The Knot Bar and Cafe

The Knot at Bowline is an upscale 43-seat cocktail bar and lounge serving craft and top-shelf spirits and high-end small bites created by Executive Chef Jake Martin. If you’re from Portland, you may have fond memories of Chef Jake’s pop-up dinners. There’s also a comfy seating area around a warming stove where you can wait for your friends to arrive. The Knot is open to the public.

The Knot - The Bowline Hotel in Astoria Oregon: Luxury on the Columbia River

The Knot Bar and Cafe continues the stellar river views enjoyed in the river view rooms. Photo courtesy Adrift Hospitality – Bowline Hotel

Details include leather club chairs and marble tables with custom bench seating. Stools line a deep, chest-high counter of reclaimed wood along the window. A naturally stained hemlock log, which is estimated to have been buried under a cranberry bog for upwards of 300-years, unearthed and milled locally, forms the bar top. Maritime lines accent the shelving behind the bar.

The space also includes a small reception desk in the corner to welcome overnight guests and answer guest questions during their stay. Of course, you will be offered a drink or glass of water by the attentive staff when you arrive.

Food and Drink at The Knot

We couldn’t drag ourselves away from the river view and all the hustle and bustle of the ship traffic so we headed to The Knot for breakfast, brunch, and lunch.

Quiche - The Bowline Hotel in Astoria Oregon: Luxury on the Columbia River

I enjoyed an early lunch of mushroom and cheese quiche with fresh greens and, my downfall, a Diet Coke, after a walk to the Maritime Museum. Photo by Elizabeth R Rose

Later, we went back for drinks and small bites.

Martini - The Bowline Hotel in Astoria Oregon: Luxury on the Columbia River

The Astor, a specialty martini, made with local spruce tip-infused gin, was a refreshing choice at The Knot. Photo by Elizabeth R Rose

One night, we even stopped in for a delightful fresh blueberry tart with sorbet for dessert.

Blueberry Tarte - The Bowline Hotel in Astoria Oregon: Luxury on the Columbia River

There is such variety available from the kitchen at The Knot. This blueberry tart was just what I wanted one evening (along with my view of the ships). Photo by Elizabeth R Rose

But Wait, There’s More!

Other hotel services and amenities include mobile check-in, valet parking, and an electric vehicle charging station. There are bicycles for you to check out. While at the Bowline Hotel in Astoria, Oregon, you can enjoy wireless internet, 24/7 reception, room service, and an in-room self-service beverage bar featuring Astoria Coffee Company coffee and Astoria Tea Company teas.

Coming soon are panoramic barrel saunas, where guests can watch cormorants and sea lions by day and the lights on passing shipping barges by night. You will be able to reserve the saunas by the hour.

View from the Bowline Hotel - The Bowline Hotel in Astoria Oregon: Luxury on the Columbia River

It was almost sunset and I enjoyed watching this sailboat pass the Bowline Hotel. Photo by Elizabeth R Rose

Fire pits circled by Adirondack chairs on the spacious deck invite guests to mingle outdoors. A boardroom in the Ice House is ideal for gatherings of up to 25 people and can be catered in-house.

The Bowline Hotel in Astoria Oregon: Luxury on the Columbia River

You can gather with your friends and family, sip on a craft cocktail, and watch the ships go by. Photo by Elizabeth R Rose

Astoria Attractions Walkable from the Bowline Hotel

If you must leave all this Pacific Northwest luxury, you’ll enjoy exploring some of the most notable Astoria attractions, all walkable from the Bowline Hotel in Astoria.

The Riverwalk

One of the best ways to explore Astoria is to hoof on the Astoria Riverwalk trail, which stretches 6.4 miles along the city’s waterfront following a portion of the Astoria & Columbia River Railroad. You can access the trail right outside the Bowline Hotel and along the way enjoy views of Youngs Bay and the Astoria-Megler Bridge. You'll find restaurants, shops, interpretive signs, the river and bar pilot's offices, the Maritime Memorial, and the Columbia River Maritime Museum.

Astoria Trolley

Hop on the Astoria Trolley right in front of the Bowline Hotel and ride all the way to the Columbia River Maritime Museum and on to Pier 39. This 1913 trolley runs on tracks for three miles along the waterfront. In season, the trolley runs daily from noon to 6 pm. The fare is $1 for a round trip or $2 for all-day (hop on and hop off). (Note: Check website for seasonal hours and days which may change due to volunteer availability)

Astoria Trolley

Catch the trolley at a stop or flash a $1 bill along the route and it will stop for you. Photo by Elizabeth R Rose

Columbia River Maritime Museum

When I got to Astoria, “everyone,” urged me to go to the maritime museum. Little did they know that the museum was at the top of my list. Located right on the Columbia River, the maritime museum tells many stories of life in the Pacific Northwest. You can visit the Lightship Columbia, docked there. You'll learn about the weather and the terrors of the Columbia Bar. You can see a life-sized 44-foot U.S. Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat in the midst of a life-saving mission and learn about Astoria's WWII connection. The exhibits change frequently as the museum can only show a third of its holdings at one time. The exhibits and videos at the Columbia River Maritime Museum are exciting and artfully done. One visit will ensure you'll want to return over and over.

Maritime Museum

Inside the museum this U.S. Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat is shown in action climbing a 20-foot wave, attempting a daring rescue. Photo by Elizabeth R Rose

Fort George Brewery

The multi-story Fort George Brewery, in a converted 1920 auto repair shop, is known for its brews and wood-fired pizza. The evening we were there, the weather was amazing so we were seated on its upper deck overlooking the city of Astoria and the Columbia River.

Fort George Brewery

We met up with a Fort George pizza fan, Chris Angelus of the Portland foodie podcast Right at the Fork to enjoy brews, sunshine, and pizza. Photo by Elizabeth R Rose

Flavel House Museum and Oregon Film Museum

Are you a Goonies fan? Well, both the beautiful Victorian home of Captain George Flavel, known for establishing the professional Columbia River pilots, and the Clatsop County Jail across the street were shown in the film. Now, both are museums. The Flavel House has been restored to accurately portray the Victorian period’s elegance and the history of the Flavel family.

Flavel House

Captain Flavel was a licensed mariner who established the Bar Pilots and was a successful entrepreneur in Astoria. Photo by Elizabeth R Rose

The county jail is now the Oregon Film Museum. It celebrates the art and legacy of film and television production in Oregon. In front of it, you'll see the original car (with fake bullet holes) used in the chase scene in The Goonies 80s film.

Astoria, Oregon Reading List

You might want to read up on the exciting history of Astoria, Oregon before you head to the Bowline Hotel. Here are our suggested books.

RoamRight travel insurance

When You Visit the Bowline Hotel in Astoria, Oregon

You can visit the Bowline Hotel in Astoria, Oregon. You can make reservations online or by calling 503.325.7546. Check-in is at 4 pm and check-out is at noon (but you will not want to leave the Bowline Hotel). Pets are allowed in some rooms (for a fee) and there is a small park near the hotel where you can walk your dog. For more information on what to see when you visit Astoria, see the Astoria-Warrenton Chamber of Commerce site and be sure to check out our favorite travel articles about the Pacific Northwest on Wander.

The Bowline Hotel in Astoria Oregon: Luxury on the Columbia River

Freighters on the Columbia River slip by quietly at the Bowline Hotel in Astoria. Photo courtesy Adrift Hospitality – Bowline Hotel

To reach the Bowline Hotel in Astoria, Oregon from out of the area, fly into  Portland International Airport (PDX). It's less than a two-hour drive via I-5 N and US-30 W from the airport.

There’s something mesmerizing about the majesty of the Columbia River, especially when enjoyed in a cozy bathrobe lying in a luxurious bed warmed by a flickering fireplace. Add in a cup of French press coffee and a freshly-made crepe from the chef’s kitchen at the Bowline Hotel and you might think you have drifted off to heaven. Such are the mornings (or afternoons, or evenings) at the new luxe hotel in Astoria, Oregon—the Bowline Hotel.

Written by Elizabeth Rose

Elizabeth Rose is back again in the Phoenix area after more than a decade living in New Mexico and Washington state. She travels throughout the West and beyond writing about destinations, accommodations, festivals, and restaurants, especially farm to table cuisine. As an expert in cultural tourism, her writing reflects that passion. She has won awards for her photography and accompanies her articles with her own images. She also provides photos for magazine covers, web sites and magazine articles (both print and online).

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