Ben Woolsey

FREESTONE INN, Mazama, WA

Sunset

Walk up on the porch and through the doors of this log lodge- new, but evoking a sense of the classic. Stroll into the greatroom, stand next to the two-story river rock fireplace, and lookout to the lake. This is frontier elegance. Built on an old,120-acre ranch on the high, arid east side of the Cascade Range,this inn offers more than just a quiet spot to disappear for aweekend - although that's tempting enough. You can also hike,mountain-bike, fly-fish, ride horseback, ski cross-country over 200kilometers of groomed trails, or enjoy a sleigh ride and dinner.After a day in the woods, slip into one of two hot tubs: The oneoverlooking the 4 1/2-acre lake is roomy enough for about a dozenbone-weary soakers.

Rooms are handsomely but not ostentatiously furnished, and allhave king-size beds, fireplaces, and decks that overlook the lake.The service is understated but impeccable.

Chef Todd Brown is a master with fresh herbs complementingseasonal, regional produce. His menu changes regularly, but on acrisp winter day, hope that his pork loin with plum sauce or thefree-range turkey with orange-cranberry sauce is on the menu.

After dinner, walk outside, take a deep breath of thepine-scented air, and enjoy the moonlight on ponderosa trunks thatpeek through a layer of fresh powder snow, and the inky mountainsin the distance. Then go back inside to the fragrance and crackleof the fire.

ESSENTIALS: Twenty-one rooms, 15 cabins, and a three-bedroomlakeside lodge. From $95, meals not included. 17798 State 20; (800)639-3809 or www.freestoneinn.com. Dining Room: breakfast, dinner. -Steven R. Lorton

HASTINGS HOUSE, Salt Spring Island,B.C.

Fluffy sheep graze in a green field. A rustic board-and-battenbarn comes next, then an ancient orchard and a flower and herbgarden. You want to drop your bag and explore, yet you follow thecurving entry path down to the waterfront Tudor manor calledHastings House. If you're lucky, you arrive at teatime, when thescent of steeping Earl Grey perfumes the parlor.

Much more than a house, this 25-acre estate combines the best ofSalt Spring Island - privacy, abundance, and an easygoing, Englishcountry elegance. Lodging, you learn, is spread over the grounds -in the manor, barn, cottages, farmhouse, and in seven newcedar-clad hillside suites.

At dinnertime, the manor's yellow dining room glows incandlelight. The moon, reflecting off Ganges Harbour and seenthrough leaded glass, adds to the romance. But it's thefixed-price, five-course dinners featuring local lamb, succulentfresh vegetables, and quince soufflé - from preserves made bychef Marcel Kauer from fruit grown in the orchard - that are thereal stuff of dreams.

ESSENTIALS: Closed Nov-Feb. Seventeen lodgings withfireplaces plus a cottage, all with garden views or water views.From $210 (U.S.), also including afternoon tea. 160 Upper GangesRd.; (800) 661-9255 or www.hastingshouse.com.Dining room: breakfast, dinner; (250) 537-2362. - Jena MacPherson

SHELBURNE INN, Seaview, WA

"Eat, drink, and be merry - of tomorrow take no heed." The wordsinscribed on a beam at Shoalwater Restaurant in the Shelburne Innare almost as delicious to contemplate as the aromas - the cinnamonscent of baked goods destined for the inn's renowned breakfast, ordinner offerings like seafood chowder and baked oysters. For acentury, the Shelburne has drawn visitors to the small beach townof Seaview, a short walk from the expansive sands of the Long BeachPeninsula. Rooms, up stairwells and charmingly tucked away, have atimeless appeal with antique armoires, floral decor, and claw-foottubs. Some offer garden views, others overlook the street.

ESSENTIALS: Thirteen rooms and two suites. From $109. 4415Pacific Way; (800) 466-1896 or ,ahref="http://www.theshelburneinn">comwww.theshelburneinn.com.Shoalwater Restaurant: lunch, dinner; (360) 642-4142. - Jena MacPherson

TUTU'TUN LODGE, Gold Beach, OR

The setting - a wide, wild bend of the lower Rogue River, 7miles from the sea - would be reason enough to visit thislow-profile resort. The sense of place is furthered by a clean,open design that makes use of wood and stone in common areas andguest rooms, and by wide windows and private patios and balconies.All rooms and suites have a river view. Four-course meals arelegendary for use of fresh, local ingredients (including, if youlike, the fish you caught that day) inventively combined andartfully presented.

ESSENTIALS: Sixteen rooms, two suites, and two houses; 10with fireplaces, six with outdoor hot tubs. From $85. 96550 NorthBank Rogue; (800) 864-6357 or www.tututun.com. Dining room:breakfast, dinner; closed Nov-Apr; (541) 247-6664. - Bonnie Henderson

WINCHESTER COUNTRY INN, Ashland,OR

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival bustles just a block and a halfaway, but this lovingly restored grande dame sits serenely amongquiet flower-filled gardens. Elegance is the byword, from thespacious rooms in the 1886 main house to ethereal cream scones atthe full breakfast. Dinner in the restaurant features regionalproduce and wine, and special events - such as musical theaternights - showcase local talent.

ESSENTIALS: Eleven rooms, seven suites, and two cottages;some with jetted tubs or fireplaces. From $120. 35 S. Second St.;(800) 972-4991, (541) 488-1113, or www.winchesterinn.com.Winchester Country Inn restaurant: dinner, Sunday brunch; (541)488-1115. - Elaine Johnson

BARGAIN

PINE VALLEY LODGE, Halfway, OR

Crisp cotton sheets and eiderdown quilts on handcrafted bedssignal quality that usually costs a lot more than you'll pay atthis high-desert oasis in Oregon's northeast corner. Theartist-owners have renovated a trio of buildings - including a1930s Craftsman lodge and an 1870s bunkhouse--to reflect a visionof the Old West that's full of cozy, comfortable charm. Rooms areenlivened with original oil paintings and sculptures, and plenty ofantiques. Halfway Supper Club, located in a century-old church,serves up thick, juicy steaks, lamb chops, fresh fish, and sinfullydelicious desserts.

ESSENTIALS: Seven rooms, three with private bath, and onebunkhouse with private bath. From $60; credit cards not accepted.163 N. Main St.; (541) 742-2027 or www.neoregon.net/pinevalleylodge.Halfway Supper Club: dinner; closed Oct-May. - Donald Olson

You May Like