It’s Friday morning at 9 a.m. Instead of phoning into a meeting or hitting reply on my tenth email of the day, I’m sinking happily into a collarbone-deep, five-foot-long cast-iron bathtub in my room at Headlands Coastal Lodge & Spa. Out the window to my right, I can see icy cold Pacific waves whipping a towering basalt sea. Somehow, the view makes the soaking water feel that much warmer.
Earlier this year, Headlands Coastal Lodge & Spa opened its doors for the first time. It’s the culmination of more than 20 years of dreaming for husband-and-wife team Mary Jones and Jeff Schons. After arriving in Pacific City, Oregon, over two decades ago and falling in love with the town’s sleepy vibe and unmatched waterfront views, the couple sank their stake in the ground.
Over the years, that stake has grown. They started the award-winning Pelican Brewing in 1996, and launched the Inn at Cape Kiwanda several years later. They also own Hart’s Camp, an upscale airstream hotel, and several vacation rentals in the area.
But Headlands breaks new ground. This is definitely a luxury property, the grown-up answer to the funky beach rentals sprinkled up and down the Oregon Coast. Here, you’re encouraged to pursue the Northwest lifestyle, whatever that means to you. Want to bring the dog and the mountain bike? No sweat. Interested in indulging in a weekend of massages and martinis? This is the spot. Looking for nothing more than a supremely cozy place to hunker down, read, and watch the ocean waves? Headlands is made for you.
Everywhere you look at Headlands, it’s clear that somebody thought long and hard about how to create pleasurable moments. The rooms come equipped with Bonavita pour-over coffee makers, plus a swan-necked Bonavita electric kettle for fixing yourself a cup of Steven Smith tea — or, if you’re a coffee nut like me, the AeroPress and fancy beans you always tuck into your overnight bag.
The building is laid out so that each of the 33 guest rooms gets a jaw-dropper of a view out over Haystack Rock and Cape Kiwanda from the bed, from the tub and, of course, from beside the gas fireplace. At first, I was perplexed by the excessively large hooks in the entryway of my room — do you really need six inches of depth to hang a towel or a wet raincoat? — until somebody enlightened me they’re actually designed for mountain bikes and surfboards.
If it’s too rainy to venture down the hill to the Pelican pub next door, settle into the Meridian bar and restaurant in Headlands’ lobby. Here, you can sip on a full selection of Northwest beer, wine and spirits while watching the famous Pacific City dory fleet launch their boats below. An open dining room prominently features natural materials like leather, wool and Douglas fir beams sourced from local mills. The anchor of the space is an immense fireplace made from stone chosen to echo the striated sandstone of the cape just outside.
For a weekend away — with or without your family — Headlands offers a new opportunity for upscale retreat. Bring your surfboard, bring your hiking boots or simply bring yourself and a desire to slow down, rest up and get cozy.