Luxury Yurts Q & A at SageCliffe

yellowflowers_sage_vineyard_cliffs.JPG   Now that almost all 25 luxury yurts at Chiwana Village at SageCliffe are up and running, it’s time for a quick Q & A.  Ready?  Here we go:

 Q.  So I know what a yurt is, but what the heck is a luxury yurt?

A.  A luxury yurt is not just a yurt with high-quality, ultra-comfy & good looking interior design and features; a luxury yurt is really the entire lodging experience:  it means you’ll be enjoying the close-to-nature aspect inherent with a yurt (they are canvas walls, after all, and you will hear the wind, the birds…) while at the same time enjoying the comfort and ease of a premium resort; its amenities, service and tremendous setting.

Q.  To be honest, I’m not sure what a “premium resort” really means, either.

A.  A Premium Resort is a place where the guest is #1:  Where service is everything, and every detail is designed to give you an unique, relaxing, engaging and high quality guest experience.  Although there are many rating systems used for resorts (think stars, think numbers…) a premium resort is really about how each individual guest feels.  A Premium Resort has done its job if it not only meets your expectations, but exceeds them.

Q.  Okay.  So if I stay in a yurt at Chiwana Village, how is that different than staying in a yurt at a state or national park?

A.  You’ll have a king-size bed with plush mattress and dreamy-soft bedding and pillows.  A sink-your-feet-into it carpet in front of the bed.  A full-size brown or red leather couch in front of beautifully-draped windows (that look out on the SageCliffe views–speaks for itself).  The bathroom is an airy, sizeable room and has those great, soft, pure-white “hotel towels” that we all wish we could steal when we stay at a resort (but please don’t…) A bamboo-framed mirror, blond-wood accessories and accents.  You’ll enjoy your own private shower and the happiness of knowing all you need to do is walk out the bathroom door and you’re right back into your beautiful yurt living/bedroom. Throughout the entire yurt you’ll walk on the coolest colored concrete floors, and you’ll have a huge, clear sky-dome above the bed that you can open and close at whim.  (Star-gazing while lying in bed, with a cool breeze flowing over you…sound good?)  And, when you can get yourself to leave your luxury yurt, you’ll have a chance to sit on your own personal patio and gaze northwest at the vineyards, the cliffs in the distance, the grounds of SageCliffe and, if you’re in a River View Yurt, the stunning Columbia River and gorge.  Then you can jump on a courtesy cruiser bike, feel the wind in your hair as you bike down a vineyard row or path to Cave B Inn and have simply one of the most creative, deeply satisfying meals you’ve ever had at Tendrils Restaurant.  Then you can walk or bike to Cave B Estate Winery nearby and wine-taste through some spectacular (8 medals were awarded this year at Seattle Wine Awards!) wines by Winemaker Freddy Arredondo.  And don’t forget the Spa…The Spa at SageCliffe is between the Inn and winery, and the treatments there are simply divine (no pun intended…well; maybe a little.)  From grape-inspired treatments to your basic-yet-wonderful aromatic facials and the rest, the spa is just waiting to send you back out into the world (or back into your yurt) ultra-refreshed, ultra-relaxed, and feeling like you’ve had a long, delicious, restful, luxurious vacation.  What else?  Marked hiking trails down into the gorge (you can go all the way to the river…ahhhh) The Chef’s Garden, and our seasonal events (Harvest Festival weekend is mid-October this year).

We think this all makes it pretty different than a camping yurt at a state or national park.  Don’t get us wrong; we love those, too.  They’re just not what you’ll find here.

Q.  I’m feeling relaxed just reading about it.  But I’m really a nature-lover, and I care a lot about the environment.  Won’t all those yurts change the peace and beauty of SageCliffe? I love how the Inn, Winery & Spa don’t stick out from their natural surroundings.

A.  Chiwana Village is still in its infancy, so that means it doesn’t have the “camouflage” characteristic of all the SageCliffe buildings quite down yet.  But it will–and soon.  And more than that:  The reason we chose to go the luxury yurt route was principally because of the environmentally-friendly nature of yurts.  We chose yurt manufacturer Rainier Industries because they’ve received premier certification for environmental sustainability.  We are not going to surround the yurts with Western-Washington-like sweeping lawns, because this is a high-steppe region, and acres of green grass do not grow naturally here!  Already located within Cave B Vineyards, we’re planting more vineyards which will run right through Chiwana Village.  The plants are small this first year…but they’ll grow.  And they’ll be true, producing vines with grapes that will go towards making those fantastic Cave B wines.  And we’re putting in a water feature in the Village.  But don’t fear…it will have water in it only when the vines are being irrigated; this means that no extra water is being used solely to beautify; it means reduced water waste and sticking to what the natural environment dictates. 

Q.  So does this mean this first season, Chiwana Village will have little to no landscaping?

A.  It means for all seasons, Chiwana Village will hve little to no landscaping…instead there will be the vineyards, and beautiful basalt rock from the property, and the stunning (see pic) natural wildflowers, sage and tumbleweed, which we will let grow back in and around the yurts.  We know that letting the SageCliffe be its own, natural self is the very best way to beautify Chiwana Village…nature always does it best.

Q.  25 luxury yurts is a lot of yurts….will I hear my neighbors talking?

A.  Maybe. They are canvas walls, but they’re not wall-to-wall like a hotel.  And they’re not in a busy campground.  So far, guests have told us they’ve predominantly noticed the birdsong in the morning.  We also have a sound ordinance, and a two people per yurt policy, to protect the peace and serenity.

Q. Will the yurts be open year-round?

A.  No; these are best used when the weather’s nice, so they are open July-October of 2010.  But starting next year, they’ll have a longer season:  May-October.

 Q.  I’ve only paid about $35 for a yurt stay at a park.  These are much more expensive.  Why should I stay in a Chiwana Village yurt instead, and pay those higher prices?

A.  If you think you’d enjoy the luxury yurt experience as described above, then this is the place for you….and the price is amazing, as you are receiving the accommodation, amenity and experience level of a premium resort.

Q.  I want my kids to have a luxury yurt experience, too.  But you have a two person per yurt policy.  Are kids okay to bring?

A.  We’ve created a special Friends & Family Package designed specifically for those who’d like to bring their entire family, or friends.  This allows you to book a second and third yurt for 50% off the regular rate, when you book a regular-rate yurt.  How much fun would that be….all your important peeps in a yurt cluster…it would be like creating your own little village-within-a-village!

Q.  But what if we’d like to have a romantic couples experience?

A.  We recommend one of the three River View Yurts…they’re on the far western end of the village, have stunning river views and great peace & privacy.  We also have a  package great for those love-birds out there:  Serenity Now.  (You can see all the packages and Chiwana Village info on our webpage.)

Q. Were the yurts principally added to SageCliffe to accommodate the concert-goers at The Gorge?

A.  Although we absolutely welcome concert attendees (and love that we can now offer more Gorge Amphitheater lodging to concert-goers), the primary reason we added Chiwana Village was to simply provide more rooms, while striving to make those “rooms” unique, environmentally-friendly, and, ultimately, beautiful.

Q. Why did you call the luxury yurt village “Chiwana Village at SageCliffe,” instead of just “The Yurts at SageCliffe?” Isn’t that creating another brand?

A.  SageCliffe is the entire resort…the entire property. We keep “SageCliffe” as part of every entity…Cave B Inn at SageCliffe, The Spa at SageCliffe, and Chiwana Village at SageCliffe.  The winery is different (everything about wine is different!)  It is Cave B Estate Winery.  But one of the two labels the winery produces are its “SageCliffe” wines.

Q.  What if I still have more questions about luxury yurts, or Chiwana Village at SageCliffe?

A.  We have truly wonderful hosts at Chiwana Village (they are just so nice…) Their names are Bob & Mary Jammerman, and they’ll take very good care of you.  You can call them at 509-785-3291 (Bob prefers talking to people on the phone…he’s a self-described People Person!)  or email them at

 Q.  Are we done?

A.  For now.  We hope to see you soon!

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