Oregon’s Valley River Inn

Location and value make the hotel one of Eugene’s gems.

By: By Marty Wentzel

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Click here for an interview with the Eugene’s tourism officials.

The Details

Valley River Inn

Nightly rack rates: From $149-$169.

Commission: 10 percent

When in Eugene, Ore., there are plenty of reasons to stay at the Valley River Inn. And, thanks to the hotel’s guest loyalty program, there are plenty of reasons to go back for a second visit and then some.

Initially, I chose the 257-room Oregon property because of its location on the Willamette River. Right outside its walls awaits an appealing pedestrian- and bike-friendly path that hugs the river and provides opportunities for exercise and exploration. It’s also just a few blocks away from a terrific mall with retailers, restaurants and movie theaters. The visitor draws of downtown Eugene are just a short drive away, and the hotel’s shuttle van takes guests to and from for free.

An evening view of the Valley River Inn // (C) 2010 Valley River Inn

An evening view of the Valley River Inn
// (C) 2010 Valley River Inn

But as I got to know the Valley River Inn better, I discovered several other reasons to recommend it to agents and their clients. Its architecture, which incorporates materials primarily from the Willamette Valley, adopts a relaxed, inviting Northwest mood. Its restaurant, Sweetwaters, features a wall of windows looking out to the river and a covered deck that is a perfect spot for evening cocktails. Its roomy guest accommodations come with perks such as coffeemakers and complimentary wireless high-speed Internet access. And, the hotel is pet-friendly, with first-floor rooms leading directly to lawns for those essential trips outside.

Clients who book a Valley River Inn suite have access to the hotel’s private concierge club, which serves complimentary breakfast in the morning and free drinks and appetizers from 5-8 p.m. each evening. Additional draws for all guests include an outdoor swimming pool, ping-pong, an indoor Jacuzzi, men’s and women’s saunas, a 24-hour fitness center, bicycles for rent and an around-the-clock business center.

While it’s billed primarily as a leisure getaway, the Valley River Inn features appealing facilities and services for groups, including 15,000 square feet of function space. Its event areas, which boast natural light, high ceilings and river views, accommodate from 10 to 600 guests for meetings and social occasions, including weddings.

I needed just one visit to appreciate the many assets of the Valley River Inn but, if clients are looking for an incentive to return, the hotel has come up with an answer: the Inner Circle program. Frequent guests who sign up for the program get perks including express check-in, restaurant discounts and room upgrades. At the same time, they earn hotel points redeemable for free rooms, airline miles and dining as well as car rental gift certificates.

Members stay abreast of the latest Inner Circle deals through ongoing e-mails. The hotel offers packages such as Date Night, which includes a $75 credit at Sweetwaters Restaurant, breakfast vouchers and movie tickets (from $179); Pampered Pooch, with breakfast and a $20 pet grooming certificate (from $159); Go Fish, including fishing passes, equipment, a map of fishing spots, breakfast and a $65 credit to Sweetwaters ($179); Oregon Wine, with a road map to local vineyards, a tasting tour at King Estate winery, a bottle of wine, a $20 gas card and breakfast ($159); and Oregon Bounty, including dinner and wine at Sweetwaters ($189).

These deals are just another excuse for your clients to book a return stay at one of Eugene’s prime value hotels.

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