Cave B Inn, Central/Eastern Washington

June 5, 2006 at 1:22 am | Posted in Travel, Travelogues | Leave a comment

Was excited to visit this place since there hasn't been much as far as new and notable resorts of this caliber in Washington (Suncadia closer to Seattle will probably be the next big thi
ng).

The architecture and integration of the buildings with the landscape and vineyards is absolutely superb.  Kudos to the Architect(s) and owner.  The views of the gorge are spectacular.  We stayed in one of the cavern rooms (cheapest).  The price when we booked on the web a few months ago was a whoppping $350/night!!  And there wasn't even a concert going on either of the nights at the adjacent famous Gorge Amphitheatre!  I agreed to still go since this was a replacement trip for a 3-night trip to Napa we had planned so it fitted the budget even though $350/night was outrageous in my opinion.

The room was nothing that special.  Very nicely done, but dinky shower and not even a table with chairs suitable for two people to eat breakfast at if you wanted room service.  Dinky flat screen TV a little too low to view easily from lying in bed.  Really comfortable bed. Interestingly, I agreed with the Valet in that the cavern rooms, even though they are the cheapest, seem to have some of the best views.

Now here's the big misleading 'catch' about the entire place. It has been billed  as being located in the nexus of Washington Wine country with 27 something wineries nearby.  "Nearby" is a highly subjective term.  There are really only 3 wineries within 20 minutes.  The Cave B Winery on Property.  The White Heron in Quincy above Crescent Bar (15-20 minutes) and the other I forget.  So if you are coming for wine tasting be prepared to do a lot of driving  (I already realized this though having been familiar with Washington Wine Country but I didn't think it was going to be THAT sparse as far as wineries go in the immediate area.)  The closest wineries are on the way to Wenatchee between 30 and 45 minutes away.  You can also do the Yakima Valley which are more like an hour or more a way.  On the same note, there are no other fine dining options within an hour of this place so you are hostage to the onsite restaurant if you want to eat well.  You can drive 15 minutes or so into Quincy for some average mexican or greasy spoon cafe or MacDonalds. 

The restaurant is still ironing out the kinks, mostly from a service standpoint.  The food was very good, nothing spectacular, but very good.  But the wait staff are young locals that probably don't have much experience in that kind of a setting.  I ordered a drink that came without the Vodka in it.  My wife ordered a bottle of wine and they brought just a glass.  They sat us as far away from the windows as possible even though the restaurant was at most 20% full the entire 2-2.5 hours we were there (probably because we didn't have a reservation.)

I'd say this would be a phenomenal place to stay if you were going to a concert at the Amphitheater (I think you can walk there) as you could throw a rock over the fence from the property and hit the Amphiteater grandstands. but I imagine the rates are sky high when a concert is playing but it would be a sure fire way to impress a date you are taking to the concert or to celebrate a special ocassion like an anniversary in combination with a concert.  The cavern rooms are worth $250/night max in my opinion.  The dining room prices are about what you'd expect.  The only thing about the dining room is they only serve the Cave B Inn wines – they're decent, but give me a break.  You don't go drop a grand on a weekend getaway to not have a decent wine selection at dinner.

They have more activities planned for the future like horseback riding and there is a hiking trail down to the cliff above the river.  But there aren't any tennis courts, no swimming pool (althought the website says there is a man made lake to swim in – didn't see it or here it mentioned.) or really anything else much to do around there.  It might be a better 1-night choice than a 2+ night choice unless you like just sitting and relaxing and staring at  the view all day in between  drinking at eating until your stomach is about to burst.

I checked their website and the prices are lower now.  Maybe they figured they couldn't keep the place full at those ungodly rates.  The value is still questionable.  I give it 4.5-stars for a 1-night stay with a concert and 3.5 stars for overall value considering the lack of dining options and to some extent the current limit of recreational activities and nearby winery choices.

View From Room Entrance to Cavern Rooms caveb-mainbuilding.jpg caveb4.jpg 450shorttrips30_cavebq.jpg

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