Friday, April 13, 2012

Let's go for a bike ride. Say, 100 kilometers?

The Downtown Hotel is a bike-friendly place, provided you don't mind carrying your bike up a flight or two of stairs.  Bikers are welcome to take their bikes to their rooms, or leave them in our store room for retrieval in the morning.
(Dude just rocks the leather helmet look, doesn't he?)

We get bike tourists a lot in the summer months, and even sometimes in the not-summer months.  Just west of town, there is a world-class downhill mountain bike race course called Dry Hill.  And if you plan on checking it out someday, we don't mind telling you it's seldom dry, but oh Dear God, it IS a hill.  Type  Dry Hill Port Angeles into the You Tubes and you'll get some videos that'll give you the general idea.

For bikers with a more sedate form of cycling exercise and fresh air in mind (one not involving Kevlar body armor and full-face helmets) we recommend riding on the local bike paths and country roads. 

To that end, we are pleased to invite you to the second annual Downtown Hotel Metric Century ride starting at 9am, Saturday, May 4, 2013.  100 kilometers (62 miles) with the more challenging, hilly part at the beginning of the ride, and the rest of it mostly flat (flat-ish, anyway).  On road, off road, county lanes, waterfront trails; that sort of thing.

To go into some detail, we've created a separate blog for this subject.  Click here for more details.   Then give us a call 1-866-688-8600 if you'd like to book a room for that weekend.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Downtown's Intractable Problem with Loiterers

Although serious crimes against persons and property are almost unheard of in downtown Port Angeles (some shoplifting and bad check passing are usually the worst you ever hear about), we do have an ongoing problem with habitual loiterers.   Although I'm not sure I should mention this, most of them hang out right here on Laurel Street, the cross street on which our hotel is located.
Regardless of weather, you can catch these same drab characters lounging around any time of the day or night.  A constant presence loafing across the street from the ferry dock ...
... horsing around  with their kids in                       front of the barber shop...
... flirting amongst themselves in front of the local photo studio...

... or loafing in front the jewelry store (casing the joint?!)  These loiterers just never seem to go away.

Despite the fact that port Angeles has perfectly sound anti-loitering ordinances on the books, repeated calls to the local constabulary have done no good.   "If they're not causing a disturbance, an officer will not respond."

Yada yada yada.  After a few times of hearing that, we've given up on getting some help from the men in blue.  We've even tried sending them photographic evidence that some of the loiterers are pan-handling and littering.  (The police have stopped returning our calls, in any event.)

Of course, we've gone out and tried to talk some sense into these loiterers, suggesting perhaps they could take a walk, asking them if they don't have anything better to do with their apparently limitless time.  We've tried appealing to their altruistic side (ha! as if!) suggesting they might find some civic activity for which they could volunteer, but they have proven immovable.

It's almost as if everything you say to them just goes in one ear and out the other.   But since none of them seem to have ears, perhaps that's a poor analogy.

Sheesh.  It's like talking to a statue.

One almost has to have grudging respect for this tireless group, determined in rain, shine or snow to fritter away their hours on the streets of downtown, with a hardened sense of silent determination.

Steely resolve, you might say.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Here's our central corridor.

Sixteen of our seventeen guestrooms are on the third floor, and all open out into one long, continuous hallway.   Gives you that old-timey hotel feel, but it conducts sound pretty well, too, so please be quiet if checking in late at night.  Your fellow guest are very likely sleeping. 

This photo was taken about the middle of the hallway, adjacent to the four centrally locking bathrooms that are shared by our guests checked into our Euro-style rooms.   In the off season,  this may mean sharing with two or three other guests, in the peak season, it could be as many as 25 or so.  But because everybody has a different schedule, we rarely see all four bathrooms in use simultaneously  (in my eight years here, I've only seen all four "occupied" signs up on three occasions.)
On the other side of that darkened window with the floral/light arrangement is our little library, with books and magazines you're welcome to borrow (or keep - it's not like we inventory them every day - and people leave so many books behind at checkout that I doubt we'll see a net loss in reading material anytime soon.)

There's a sort of clunky old PC in there too, it's your free connection to the internet.  Most people pack their own wireless devices these days and find it more convenient to use our free WiFi connection instead.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fantastic Fish&Chips

Anthony D here, guest blogging for the Downtown Hotel. I recently had the pleasant experience of dining at the Downrigger restaurant here in Port Angeles. It's possibly the only restaurant in the downtown area with cool outdoor seating and a water view.

When we went it was a little bit chilly with the wind whipping off of the water, even though elsewhere it was a balmy 70-something degree day, so I recommend bringing a jacket if you decide to take that route.

While the water view was nice, the true charm of the place came from it's absolutely delicious Fish and Chips and delicious and local microbrew selection. The waitress was very friendly and more than willing to put up with me ordering multiple samples for what I would think would be best paired with fish and chips and I eventually found a pairing that I would go back again and again for.

I was there during lunch time and had a very pleasant, casual experience; however, I'm sure that a dinner visit would be elegant and nice if it were needed

Saturday, August 27, 2011

So, what is a "Euro-Style" room, anyway?

Most of our rooms are what we call "Euro-Style."  What the heck is that, anyway?  Quite simply, it is a room that doesn't have its own bathroom ensuite, but rather, uses the shared bathrooms in the hall.  Whoa there, don't panic.  It's not like your junior-high locker room or anything like that.  It's an individual, locking bathroom and you're the only one inside while you're using it.   (Although I suppose you could invite a friend or two in, if you really wanted to.  There's only seating for one, however.)

We clean them every day, so chances are pretty good they're cleaner than your bathroom back home.  (Be honest now.)

People who are actually from Europe laugh at us when we tell them what our term "Euro-Style" means, but we picked out that name as a shorthand mostly for Americans who never see a room-without-a-bathroom-ensuite unless they travel to Europe and stay at ancient hotels where shared baths are quite common.  More than a few of these historic hotels in Europe still have only one bathroom per floor, often with a dozen or more rooms all sharing the same bathroom.

Our ratio is more like 3:1, since we have four centrally located bathrooms with shower stalls, all on the 3rd floor where our twelve Euro rooms are.   Consequently, it's pretty rare to see all four in use simultaneously, so there's almost always one open when you need it.

If you can think of a relatively succinct term that you like better than "Euro-style," please offer it up in comments, below.  Until then, we'll keep listening to the Dutch and French folk snickering.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tidepools at Tongue Point

About ten miles west of The Downtown Hotel, off of Hwy 112 is Camp Hayden State Park, which has a very pleasant tent and RV campground, as well as a couple of spooky old military big-gun bunkers that are fun to explore, all in a nice woodsy location right next to the shore.

But the real attraction in the neighborhood is Tongue Point, at Crescent Bay with its amazing tidepools, teeming with colorful sea life.

This a is great place to go on a sunny day.  But checking a  tide table is critical to your visit.  You want to be there at a low (minus) tide, when a lot of what is normally underwater peeks out into the sunshine for awhile.  You can get close to some of it barefoot or in flip-flops via the sandy beach adjacent to the point (a good place to picnic for the day), but to get out into the thick of it, you need sturdy footwear.   There's a lot of slippery sea plants and sharp barnacles and mussels to clamber over, so be careful.