Augusta House, located in Eugene, Oregon, is a luxurious bed and breakfast surrounded by the beauty of the Willamette Valley. Not your typical B&B (say goodbye to flowers and lace), this modern, dog-friendly oasis is a surprise gem. With high-class charm suited for both business and leisure travelers, Augusta House is a “suite” bed and breakfast experience for both two- and four-legged travel hounds alike.
As we near the Augusta House, our trusty GPS navigates us through a residential neighborhood and we think to ourselves, “Are we staying in someone’s house?” Not quite. Pulling into the driveway, we are warmly greeted by resident manager Colin Rhoads, who gives us a quick tour of the house and our suite, then politely leaves us to settle into our surroundings. As we explore the spacious, two-room suite, we quickly realize that the Augusta House is more than a bed and breakfast—it’s a five star resort hidden in a quiet, secluded community on the outskirts of Eugene. But, there is nothing fussy about these deluxe digs, just luxurious comfort for both human and canine.
After the five-hour drive from Seattle, our first order of business is to release the hounds to do their business. One of the many dog-friendly features at Augusta House is a fully fenced backyard, conveniently accessible via a door right off our suite. Or, for a longer romp, there is a lovely dog park within walking distance from the house.
Once Scout and Ziggy have some time to explore the backyard, it’s time to settle into our luxurious surroundings. The Augusta House offers two unique suites, each featuring a wonderfully comfortable king-size bed, queen sofa sleeper, luxurious bed linens and a plethora of pillows. For those with lovable four-legged friends, Augusta House provides a delightful doggie menu, comfy dog bed, stainless steel food and water bowls plus bottled water, toys and treats.
We’re staying in the 690 square foot, two-room Premier Suite—which is actually four rooms if you count the spacious bathroom with separate shower and soaking tub and a gigantic walk-in closet complete with dressing table and vanity. With the suite’s soothing colors, plush comfort, and plenty of room to spread out, the only next order of business is deciding where to kick off our shoes and relax. Our choices include sinking into the plush, custom pillow-top king-size bed, enjoying the sunset from our own private deck, or relaxing into a long hot bath in the aforementioned soaking tub, complete with rosemary-mint scented Aveda bath products.
In addition to these “low tech” options, guests can opt for “high tech” relaxation, whether surfing the net on complimentary laptops, watching one of the two 37” flat screen TV’s or listening to music on the iHome clock radio with docking station for your iPod.
The Premier Suite also offers the newest in sleeper sofa technology. Families and/or friends traveling together can rest in comfort as the sofa contains an adjustable air mattress that allows guests to dial in the perfect sleep—and if that’s not enough, guests can add a 2” memory foam topper. This ain’t grandma’s sleeper sofa!
But for us, it’s not quite time to call it a night yet. We have dinner to think about and the options are seemingly endless. We have the choice of dining out at one of Eugene’s fine restaurants, making ourselves at home in the house’s spacious gourmet guest kitchen, or ordering in. We opt for the latter—having our meal delivered right to our door. Augusta House provides a three-ring binder containing menus for 40 or so area restaurants all serviced by Pony Express (ponyexpressdelivery.com; 541.485.2090). There is everything from Mexican and Italian, to good old-fashioned American barbecue. We choose Sweet Basil Thai, ordering a medley of delicious dishes, including an item called “Oh My God,” which is a fried flour tortilla roll stuffed with crabmeat, basil leaves and cream cheese, served with homemade siracha. Oh my god, indeed. We also can’t resist the Three Flavors Halibut, featuring a lovely piece of halibut topped with a three-flavored sauce of sweet plum sugar, sour tamarin and garlic chili, served over a bed of steamed asparagus. While Scout and Ziggy enjoy their treats, we enjoy ours!
And, the delicious-ness didn’t end there—that evening, we were instructed by Colin to select our breakfast choice from a menu of items. I chose huevos rancheros and Deb chose a simple combination of granola, yogurt and fruit. In the morning, a cart appeared at our door with fresh squeezed orange juice, coffee, tea and our breakfast items of choice.
Real adventures. Real close.
Self-proclaimed “World Class City for the Arts & Outdoors,” Eugene is a vibrant city situated along the Willamette River, with many recreation areas for you and your furry friend to enjoy. Among Eugene’s 133 parks is the region’s largest playground, the RiverPlay Discovery Village at Skinner Butte Park or Alton Baker Park, Eugene’s largest riverfront park, where two- and four-legged visitors can enjoy 230 acres of natural area.
In fact, Alton Baker and Skinner Butte parks are linked to a chain of city parks along the Willamette River, encompassing 700 acres. Or, covering over 3,000 acres, the West Eugene Wetlands features miles of trails for exploring with your intrepid hound.
Eugene also offers four designated off-leash areas, where dogs enjoy free reign and their human companions can mingle with fellow dog lovers at Alton Baker, Amazon, Wayne Morse Historical and Candlelight parks. Most off-leash parks offer amenities such as wash-down stations, dog waste bag dispensers, and pedestrian nodes or gathering places where trails or paths intersect.
For on-leash fun, the Adidas and Rexius trails in Amazon Park and the Prefontaine Trail in Alton Baker Park are specifically designed for runners and walkers, two- and four-legged alike. The Adidas Trail is a one-mile-loop, the Rexius Trail is a 3.5-mile loop and the Prefontaine Trail covers four miles through the park.
Business, leisure or both.
Whether traveling on business, taking a much-deserved vacation, or a combination of both—with dog(s) in tow, of course—Eugene and the Augusta House provide a perfect oasis for you and your travel buddy.
Getting there from Seattle (283 miles) and Portland (109 miles): I-5 South, merge onto I-105 W/OR-126 W via Exit 194B. Follow signs to Eugene.
Gear up for your visit to Eugene at the CityDog Shop
2585 Bowmont Drive
Eugene, OR 97405
Rates start at $239. Features luxury accommodations, gourmet breakfast and gorgeous views. Your stay includes one of two 700-square-foot suites, a guest kitchen and free Wi-Fi. Also features a fenced yard, business center and hot tub.
Eugene Parks and Open Space
1820 Roosevelt Blvd.
Eugene, OR 97402
Alton Baker Park
Club Road and Coburg Road
Large natural areas, off-leash dog park, amphitheater and running trails.
Skinner Butte Park & RiverPlay Playground
On the Willamette River with views of Eugene, Skinner Butte is the city’s first riverfront park and largest destination playground.
Travel Lane County
754 Olive Street
Eugene, OR 97440
LexiDog Boutique & Social Club
248 East 5th Avenue Ste. 15
Eugene, OR 97401
Offers grooming, daily boarding and walking services plus an incredible selection of specialty dog items.
Restaurant Delivery Service
Sweet Basil Thai Cuisine
941 Pearl Street
Eugene, OR 97440