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Luxury Yurts Q & A at SageCliffe

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

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!

Chiwana Village at SageCliffe in Seattle Times

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Writer Jackie Smith stopped by our Chiwana Village open house last Wednesday, and the result is a mention in the Seattle Times’ Weekend special travel section.  We enjoyed meeting Jackie and taking her through the yurts and on a tour of the entire SageCliffe property.  Thank you to Jackie & the Seattle Times.

 One blog editor’s note:  Heat & AC were mentioned in the article…the yurts do not have (or need) heat, and AC, although planned, will not be in place this first season….with fans and the open-able skydome, the yurts are comfy!

Blue SageCliffe Skies for Chiwana Village Open House

Thursday, July 15th, 2010


Fantastic!  We loved seeing all of our visitors yesterday at the Chiwana Village Open House.  Under a crystal-clear blue sky, with a slight breeze and warm sun, we formally ‘opened’ the yurts of Chiwana Village.  Although there are still some yurts under construction, those who attended were able to take a good look at the completed yurts, get the breeze in their hair zipping around on golf carts, tour the SageCliffe grounds and chat with Chiwana Managers Bob & Mary.  One of the most fun aspects of the day?  Hearing your  ideas for the “Name a Yurt” activity….you are immensely creative!  Open House attendees either chose a name from our provided suggestions, or, after touring the Village, wrote down their suggested names for the yurts.  Those names which are chosen will be painted in petroglyth form (rock-etching style) on the doors of the yurts, and the yurt-namer’s name will be on a card at the yurt entrance.  One of our favorites so far?  –Yellow-bellied Varmit.  Some others?  Open Sky, Hun Heaven (Huns are prolific birds indigenous to the area), and more.  Did you miss the Open House, but would still like to suggest a name for a yurt?  We’d love to hear your ideas….send your names to

 We already love our Chiwana Village visitors…we look forward to seeing you as guests.  See you soon in the yurts!

15 Yurts Under the Clear Blue Sky

Friday, July 2nd, 2010


 Yes…so far 15 yurts are up and looking good!  We’ve had a terrific response since we opened for reservations…thank you!  Many of you have wanted to know exactly where the yurts are l ocated on the SageCliffe property; we now have a map showing you their placement.  Just visit the Chiwana Village at SageCliffe web page:  We now begin to move in the furniture and do all those very-important finishing touches.  You can check out each of the yurts at our Open House on July 14…undoubtedly you’ll have a “favorite,” and we think that’s great! Definitely let Chiwana Village hosts Bob & Mary know; they’ll take note of it, and you can think of “your” yurt as, well…yours!

Online Reservations Now Open for Chiwana Village!

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Click here to go directly to the online reservations page, or visit the Chiwana Village webpage for more information about the yurt features & amenities.  And don’t forget….if you’d like to see what all the fuss is about, come visit the yurts during our Chiwana Village at SageCliffe Open House:  July 14, from 11-4.  There will be food, fun and (nearly guaranteed) sun!  RSVP to: 509-785-3291.  See  you there!

Chiwana Village at SageCliffe Open House!

Monday, June 28th, 2010


Curious about our yurts? Want a day that feels like a mini-vacation?  Come join us on Wednesday, July 14 from 11-4 at Chiwana Village at SageCliffe.  Chiwana Hosts Bob & Mary will be on hand to answer any questions you may have, Tendrils Vineyard Restaurant provides the refreshments, Cave B Inn staff will be giving guided tours of all the SageCliffe amenities Chiwana Village guests may enjoy:  The Cave B Inn pool, Tendrils, The Spa at SageCliffe & Cave B Estate Winery.  But most of all, just enjoy walking throug and lingering in these amazing yurts!  Gaze up through the yurts’ sky domes, lounge in their comfy seating areas, enjoy the beautifiul view from the yurt patios and check out all the interior features, like the yurt private bathrooms, king-size beds and elegant earth-toned decor.  You’ll go away with that signature SageCliffe after-glow (ahhhh….), and with a real sense of what a stay in a Chiwana Village yurt would be like.  We’d love to see you!  RSVP to let Bob and Mary know you’re coming:  509-785-3291.

Chiwana Village at SageCliffe – Photos of Yurts-in-process

Monday, June 28th, 2010


The process of raising a yurt is intensely interesting…the Chiwana Village yurts join in a long history of these round dwellings….yurts have been used in a wide variety of countries and cultures for centuries, and are still used regularly in places such as Mongolia.  We can’t wait for you to try them out…stay tuned for more photos (of interiors, too!)

What’s a Yurt-raising? It’s happening at SageCliffe

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

As we begin to erect the 25 yurts which will make up the new Chiwana Village at SageCliffe, we think of the Amish.  We’ve all heard about their barn-raisings; with neighbors, friends and family stopping what they were doing to  come to a farm and help that family erect their barn.  There’s beauty in such community, and also consequent speed of the building of the barn.  Many hands do indeed make light work.

 Raising yurts is not much different.  We may not have the entire community out at SageCliffe, but we certainly have a dedicated team working in great harmony to erect these unusual, tantalizing, and ultimately beautiful round structures.  First there are the pipes and conduits for water and electrical.  Then the ground is prepared.  And then the fun part:  the foundation, the lattice skeleton, the windows, doors, roof and skydome. 

Sebastian (responsible for much of the beautiful rock work found everywhere on the SageCliffe Resort) and the entire crew, helped by the experts at Rainier Industries (the yurt manufacturers) slowly but steadily raise the yurts.  They are like half hot-air balloons rising out of the ground; discreet, nestled on gentle slopes among sage and beautiful long lines of vineyard.  Perhaps the yurts aren’t going up quite as quickly as a barn in the midst of the Pennsylvania countryside.  But they might just be going up as quickly as if 25 barns were being raised!  And in the midst of it all there is great energy as we learn all about this new, environmentally-friendly structure.  A true tenet of SageCliffe Owners Vince and Carol Bryan is to enjoy the process; not just the result.  And in that way the yurt-raisings happening at Chiwana Village at SageCliffe are part and parcel of the entire yurt lodging experience we will ultimately be providing….It’s an awful lot of fun getting them ready; maybe even as much fun as it will be to stay in them.

Is Your Footprint Light Green? Chiwana Village comes to SageCliffe

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Yurt Sky Dome     If there is one thing that is SageCliffe, it is The Land.  Those of you who have visited Cave B Estate Winery, or Cave B Inn & Spa know that it is this place which is SageCliffe….pick up any of the above and place them somewhere else and you would not have SageCliffe as we know it.  We are here on the edge of these gorgeous cliffs, seemingly in the middle of nowhere but actually in the middle of everywhere.  Natural beauty and interest abound.  So it is the land that informs everything we do at SageCliffe:  why we chose this location, how and when and in what way we build structures and pathways, parking lots and landscaping.  It is the land that orients our windows and it is the land that allows for the quality of the Cave B wines.  It is also the land that keeps us focused:  in the hospitality, culinary and wine industries it is easy to get carried away…to ever-expand, to go in many different directions, to forget what started it all.  But at SageCliffe we have a promise to ourselves that we won’t forget that it begins and ends with the land.  This keeps us on the right track.  And there have been times we have been tempted to stray!  But, always, the gorge, the vineyards, the river and the sage bring us gently back.

 And so.  As we do expand and grow, we do so with what we hope is a lighter and lighter tread…we’d love to see our footprints fading almost as quickly as we place them upon the ground.  This is why our newest addition to SageCliffe is Chiwana Village:  a cluster of yurts nestled among the Cave B vineyards, with new and beautifully startling views from their (sustainable Douglas Fir!) windows.  Rainier Industries, based in Seattle, is the manufacturer of the yurts, which will number 25 when all are complete.  Rainier has achieved the premier certification for environmental stewardship, and that’s extremely important to us.  We like their barely-there footprint, too.

So where are the yurts?  When erected, they will be on the gentle slopes south and slightly west of the winery roundhouse; just a short vineyard-walk away from the winery, Inn and Spa.  And yet, like the cliffehouses and Cavern Rooms, they nestle and hunch and wallow and hide among the hummocks and hills and vines…they are unobtrusive, these yurts.  Just like we’re trying to be. 

For now, we are in the midst of yurt-raising; and yes–it’s as community-building and exciting as a barn-raising!  Seeing these yurts go up is engrossing, different, exciting and satisfying…this last particularly due to the fact we are not displacing to place–the land stands.  We are feeling great about Chiwana Village, and simply can’t wait for you to give them a try.  The Chiwana Village season will run from May-October, with a July opening this first season.  We’ll have all the info you need up on our website soon, so keep checking back and stay tuned.  And we’re already out there online:  you can find Chiwana Village at SageCliffe on FB, and @chiwanavillage on Twitter.  See you there!

One of the Very Best Gifts: A SageCliffe Gift Card

Friday, December 11th, 2009

scliffe_gftcrd.jpg So many wonderful people come visit SageCliffe and tell us they plan to return, and would like to share SageCliffe with their friends and family, too.  But we’re all feeling the squeeze these days and sometimes we just need that little bit of help to make trips like these possible.  Enter the SageCliffe Gift Card. 

We have our Gift Cards available in our Cave B Webstore  in a wide range of denominations; several have bonus gifts attached with purchase, or a great holiday-period discount.  This is truly the best time of year to purchase a SageCliffe Gift Card for someone you care about.  We also have cards available for corporate clients.  To read more about the cards, their special offers and to purchase, please visit our Cave B webstore.  Enjoy!