Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tu Tu Tun Lodge

The Tu Tu Tun Lodge is nestled along the bank of the Rogue River just seven miles inland from the Pacific Ocean in Gold Beach, Oregon. This oasis of solitude derived its name from the area's first inhabitants, the Tu Tu' Tunne Rogue Indians, who encamped along the river where the lodge is located.  When I called to make a reservation (yes, on the phone, no internet reservations here) I learned that there were 16 rooms, 2 suites, and 2 houses. Even though I had called about 2 months prior to my stay there was only one room left on property, The Boiler Rifle (each room is named after a site on the river).  This room featured a king-size bed, wood-burning fireplace, and private balcony over-looking the river....perfect.  

We arrived for check-in around 3:30pm and were warmly greeted at the front desk before receiving a sort of "cheat sheet" for the property complete with meal times and amenity options. One of the things that makes this place so special is that the meals are served family-style (unless you request to dine in the privacy of your room) and the menus are created daily based on local and seasonal ingredients. Hors d'oeuvres are served promptly at 6:15pm on the patio of the main building (they ring a bell to alert the guests) and dinner follows at  7:00pm.  There is also a full bar for guests to enjoy (we nabbed a couple of margaritas upon checking in) and a vast selection of local wines by the glass. 

For the hors d'oeuvres segment we got a glass of wine from the bar and found a seat outside by one of the fire pits overlooking the river (you can see the river from almost everywhere on property) and helped ourselves to coconut shrimp with a spicy apricot dipping sauce, mesquite grilled pork skewers with sweet hot mustard, yukon gold potato fritters with a piquillo pepper sauce, and duck pate on crostini...all were simply delicious. 

Next we were guided into the dining room and seated at a round table with 3 other couples who were each extremely unique when it came to appearance, age, lifestyle, and personality - entertaining to say the least. In the middle of the table there was a giant lazy susan where our dinner was placed.  First came  carrot ginger soup with cardamom cheddar straws followed by a local organic little gem lettuce caesar salad complete with parmesan reggiano cheese, and house made croutons. For the main event we had veal cheek blanquette with a mushroom cream sauce, risotto milanese, broccoli with lemon and brown butter, and chive popovers.  For dessert it was individually crafted almond cake trifle with macerated strawberries and chantilly cream. After dinner we finished our wine our by the fire pits and enjoyed the peaceful sound of the river flowing west to the sea.

When we arrived back at our room after dinner our bed had been turned down and there was a note asking us if were would prefer coffee or tea service in our room the following morning. When we called the front desk to inform them of our choice the receptionist asked if we wanted to enjoy breakfast in bed as well which, of course, we did. The next morning breakfast arrived prompt and hot with fresh squeezed orange juice and coffee. We had rosemary potatoes, perfectly scrambled eggs, thick-cut peppered bacon, rustic wheat toast, and house made raspberry good! Also on the breakfast tray was an Amazon Kindle loaded with digital copies of a few major newspapers like USA Today and Los Angeles Times; there is something ultra chic and luxurious about offering this type of technology in such serene and natural surroundings... a very unexpected touch. 

After breakfast we walked down to the dock on the river with coffee and books in hand (well, book for me and an ipad for my better half) and proceeded to enjoy a perfect morning reading on this cozy little bench seat that is located at the end of the dock out over the water. After that we grabbed a few golf clubs and played our way through the 6-hole, par 3 course (there are no tee boxes so you can pick where to start each hole from) and then we walked through their gorgeous flower, herb, and vegetable garden before gathering our things and preparing to check-out.  

Had we stayed longer we might have enjoyed several other activities like fishing (chinook salmon in the spring and summer, steelhead in the fall and winter months), hiking, kayaking, jet-boating, or in-room massages. This is a perfect place to relax and take in the beauty of nature while still enjoying luxurious amenities like Molton Brown bathroom products, private balcony soaking tubs, down comforters, wonderfully soft sheets, and fine food and wine. Between the months of May and October they do not allow children under 10 on the property to ensure that their tranquil atmosphere remains untainted. One of the most impressive things about the entire experience was the service. The name recognition was spot on - every time I interacted with a staff member I was greeted by name. Everyone that we came into contact with genuinely cared about our well-being and overall experience.

 Rooms start at $215 per night. 

96550 North Bank Rogue Road
Gold Beach, OR 97444
(541) 247-6664

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