Posted on January 29th, 2011

Camas Hotel
Some things old, some things new ...

Built in 1911 by Prussian immigrant Paul Hinz, the Camas Hotel will be 100 years old this year. The hotel is the oldest commercial building in Camas, and thanks to recent renovations, is in excellent shape, in spite of having weathered heavy storms since it opened its doors as the "Commerical Hotel".

One of the hotel's rivels, the first Camas Hotel, originally stood across the street. However, in the 1930's that hotel was torn down, possibly due to fires that destroyed other buildings in that decade. After the first Camas Hotel was demolished, Paul Hinz' "Commercial Hotel" adopted the name.

Paul Hinz lived in the hotel with his wife and three children for several years after completing construction. His wife passed away while his children were still young, so he raised his three children in the hotel. He was rumoured to be very strict, according to some older Camas residents who still remember the Hinz children as their classmates.

No story in Camas would be complete without some mention about the local Paper Mill, which is an integral part of the town's history. In the 1930's the city agreed that the Crown Willamette Paper Mill could ad pulp processing, and it became a 'kraft' mill". This provided many new jobs, but unfortunately led to a distinctive odor in the town. Camas, in spite of it's charm, beauty and lovely lakes, became known for being the "stinky town across the river" to many Portlanders. This didn't help the town's hotel business, and Paul Hinz decide to fight the mill. He sought damages for the loss of business, and was awarded a settlement of $5,000 in 1932. This was a lot of money in those days, but it made Paul a somewhat unpopular man in town, due to the fact that so many people worked at the mill.

Fortunately for Camas, Georgia Pacific, who currently own the mill, installed hi-tech clean smokestacks over a decade ago so residents and visitors can enjoy fresh air along with all the many other charms of this historic riverside town.

Paul Hinz' grandaughter, Rosemary Greenlee visited Camas last year, and brought a number of old photos of her grandfather, his family and the hotel. We'll be happy to share them with you on your next visit.

A 100-year-old building is bound to house a few ghosts. There have been two sightings that I know of, one by our onsite manager, who heard a woman cry out in the basement one night (no one was there). We've heard rumours of a tragic love triangle that led to 3 deaths in Camas in the 1940's. One of the people involved was staying in the hotel. This could be one source of ghosts.

We invite you to celebrate our 100th birthday by joining us on "Centennial Sundays" with 25%off your room rates. Also, on the First Friday in March at 5:00 pm, local historian Virginia Warren will reminisce and share some colorful stores about growing up in Camas. Come and vist Oliver's new Atrium lounge on first friday if you care to learn a little more about the history of Camas.


Portland and Vancouver fans cast their votes last month for the top restaurants in various catagories. Oliver's won the Best Fine Dining catgory with ease. Chefs Morris Fenton and Gwyn Manney were beaming like happy parents when they first learned of the award. Morris, a Scotsman, quickly warned his staff, "Now we've really got to step it up because everyone will expect more of us." If they continue to turn out amazing fresh & flavorful cuisine presented with style, and the staff provide attentive and courteous service we'll all keep going back for more. Did I mention those awazing cocktails that Ben, the bartender turns out? Mark your calendars for some "Drinking Lessons" in October, hosted by Ben. More on that later ...

Posted on June 14th, 2010

We are delighted to welcome Chefs Morris Fenton and Gwyn Manny to our new onsite restaurant: Oliver's at the Camas Hotel. They have assembled a talented team for the restaurant including bartender Ben Edel!

Oliver's will be open for
Father's Day, on Sunday, June 20. with some special additions to the dinner menu!

For more information on the menus and upcoming events visit: www.oliversatthecamashotel.com

by And the winner is ... on May 24th, 2010

Girls Night Out in Camas on May 20th was blast. Hundreds of Ladies turned out for the big event, and had fun dining, shopping getting free spa treatments, and winning prizes while raising funds for local breast cancer charities. Organizers Carrie Schulstad and Shannon Van Horn deserve (shown left), among others, deserve a big round of applause.

Raffles were offered all over downtown. The winner of the Camas Hotel Raffle was Amy Richie of Vancouver. She won a night at the hotel for two, with breakfast included, and some free goodies (pink spa socks, pink notepad, a couple of Harwood's drink coupons, etc.) and two tickets to the Coronation of the Rose queen at Portland's upcoming rose parade.

Congratulations Amy!

Posted on April 13th, 2010

We are delighted and honored to be chosen the "Best Boutique Hotel" in the Portland area for 2010. I would like to personally thank our guests for their votes on citisearch and thoughtful reviews. We have worked hard to make our little hotel the best it can be, and we will continue to make improvements (more flatscreen TVs, more flowers on the terrace, new bamboo fiber bathrobes in the queen & king rooms, etc). We also believe that much of the credit for our success goes to the plucky little town of Camas. Everyone here is so kind and welcoming and this makes a huge difference to our visitors. That wonderful hospitality is what makes visiting in Camas so special.

Posted on March 3rd, 2010

Travel Writer Katlin Smith spends "36 hours in Camas!"
Read about her adventures in Camas, and all around Southwest Washington!

Posted on February 16th, 2010

First Fridays are always fun in Camas. merchants and the Downtown Assocation come up with lively ways to enhance a night on the town with special activities and prizes.
In March our first friday, on March 5 is especially exciting because we will feature book signings and readings by local authors, with local art providing a backdrop in shops and restaurants. This is something everyone will enjoy. Come and check out the talent!
Karen

Posted on February 5th, 2010

Writer Colleen Wainwright rates the Camas Hotel right up there with some bigger hotels in Portland and San Francisco. It may be partly our luxury linens, but what she says about good staff who are smart, personable and human make us very proud of our staff.

Posted on November 25th, 2009

Los Angeles writer Colleen Wainwright
discovers Camas while staying at the Camas Hotel and (gasp) actually loves it.

We are delighted that others are enjoying our little town!

Posted on November 24th, 2009

The Camas Hotel was awarded a Community Pride Design Award for Clark County On November 13th. These awards recognize outstanding projects that enhance the livability of the community and demonstrate quality development in Clark County, Washington.

We were honored!

Greg Pitcher, our architect, Karen & Tom

by Karen on November 14th, 2009

Get your reservation in soon for the weekend of Dec 4-6. Dec 4 is First Friday in Camas. In December the focus is Hometown Holidays, with the annual downtown tree lighting, with carolers and a visit from Santa Claus.

Sat & Sun, Dec 5th and Dec 6th the Downtown Camas Association and Soroptimists will host the 1st AnnualHoliday Home Tour. Four distinctive homes in Camas are featured, each lavishly decorated for the holidays by leading designers and florists. Tickets are $20.
You can buy tickets at the hotel, or online at www.downtowncamas.com.
Vancouver tickets: Divine Consign.
Portland tickets: Bella Casa (Pearl District) or Sofa Table Chair (2 locations).
Call 360-834-5722 for more information. Happy Holidays!

Posted on August 31st, 2009

First Fridays in Camas are a wonderful tradition. Something fun is always happening downtown.

On Friday, November 6th, downtown shops will be open until 9:00 p.m. This friday, each merchant will prepare a tidbit for you from one of their favorite recipes to enjoy and possibly include in your upcoming holiday celebrations. As always, be prepared to taste and visit all the shops and be entered into a prize drawing.

by Karen Hall on August 31st, 2009

October Fall Foliage Special
It's that in between season here in the Northwest. It might misty and rainy, or it might be a gloriously crisp autumn day with the trees brightly flashing their fall colors.Take a chance on the weather, and you can enjoy one free night for every two nights you book with us from October 25 - November 12 (based on single or double occupancy). Call 360-834-5722 and we will place your special booking.

On a fine day, you can rent a bike at Camas Bike and Sport, golf at Camas Meadows (#1 public course in the Northwest) or hike on Heritage Trails around Lacamas Lake. If some rain moves in, you could visit a spa: Bloom Organic Body or Stewart's Family Massage are both nearby. Shopping, Dining and Movies, Museums are fun, whatever the weather. Then again you could just snuggle up in bed with a good book from the Camas Library (#1 library in the state of Washington) or from the Camas Hotel book collection.


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