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.
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.
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!
As is common in the travel industry, the writer may have been provided with accommodations, meals, and tours for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, we believe in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. Wander With Wonder contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, we may earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. We thank you for your help — it is what keeps Wander With Wonder bringing you great content.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Later, we went back for drinks and small bites.
One night, we even stopped in for a delightful fresh blueberry tart with sorbet for dessert.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.