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Twisp River Suites
Cozy inn just one example of Methow Strong
When wild fires roared through parts  1of the Methow Valley last summer, Joe Marver knew what he had to do. Marver, owner of Twisp River Suites, would use his boutique riverfront hotel to house some of the brave fire crews doing battle with the flames. Sadly, those fierce flames would kill three firefighters and scorch thousands of acres.

“We did what we had to do,” Marver says. “We pulled together as a community to take on the fires.” Marver took in firefighters, helicopter pilots and PUD crews. He put extra beds in rooms, fed the crews, and charged reduced rates until the danger was past. All of this is now part of a mantra in this beloved part of Washington State: Methow Strong.

Let me assure you, the Methow Valley is back in business. As we discovered on a gorgeous Fall weekend, Twisp River Suites is both a delight and hidden gem. Twisp River Suites sits right along the Twisp River, and features 16 accommodations of varying sizes and amenities.

 1We stayed in a King Suite, which is more like a condo than a hotel room. It was very well appointed, with a full kitchen and stainless appliances, synthetic leather furniture (Marver will not allow any fabric furniture due to what he calls its unsanitary nature), local artwork, washer/dryer, gas fireplace, a separate bedroom with memory foam mattress, large screen TV, and free WIFI.

Another nice touch was reading glasses placed strategically near reading lamps along with mini flashlights. My wife, a clean freak, pronounced the unit spotless. And if that’s not enough to entice you, the unit had a screened in and very roomy deck overlooking the river with comfy chairs and a table.

For those of you who think it’s cool to have a waffle-maker in a Comfort Inn, the breakfast included in the room price will knock you out. Served in the lobby area, we’re talking fresh baked quiche, bread pudding, fruit, hardboiled eggs, toast and English muffins, and a challenge to build the largest yogurt parfait with a variety of toppings.

Adjacent to the lobby is a large and  1comfortable seating area where a number of special events are held. We were there on a Friday night, and enjoyed wine and appetizers while an excellent guitarist showed off his acoustic skills. And guess who joined in on vocals? None other than Joe Marver, who displayed his own singing talent along with surprisingly good impressions of Elvis and Louis Armstrong.

There’s also 12-foot screen for Seahawks games and other special occasions like the Oscars and Emmys, and regular events involving music, wine and food. Marver’s library of some 800 movies is also on display here, available at no charge to watch on the DVD player in your room.

It would be very easy just to hang here, but we decided to venture out and were glad we did. There’s a lot to do in the Twisp area. Marver took us on a walking tour of his small town, showing off the Saturday Farmer’s Market, the radio station and newspaper, the artists collective Twisp Works, other art galleries, and some fine local eateries like the Cinnamon Twisp bakery and Tappi Italian restaurant, where we enjoyed an excellent meal that night. There are plenty of activities in the Methow, depending on the season, from hiking and 1 fishing to cross country skiing, and don’t forget the western-themed town of Winthrop, just nine miles away.

If relaxing is your thing, Twisp River Suites fits the bill nicely. A short trail down to the river puts you in a hammock or comfortable chair on the river bank, where hours can be spent with a good book or just listening to the water flowing past. There’s also a fire pit for those chilly evenings that are famous east of the mountains. There’s a very nice seating area on the hotel’s deck overlooking the river, where you can take adult beverages and a Twisp Plate, a scrumptious appetizer plate available for purchase inside.

If you just can’t travel without Fido, three of the hotel’s suites are designated “pet friendly” and are located across the street from the main hotel. They feature dog doors, dog treats, dog beds (plus a very comfortable one for humans) extra leashes, and an attached fenced-in yard where your pet can stretch its legs and “do its thing.” Marver says these suites are very popular and are usually booked ahead.

Getting there is easy. We live on the west side of the mountains and love the drive over the North Cascades Highway. You can also do the Cascade Loop and go over Highway 2, and through Leavenworth, Wenatchee and Chelan, or approach from points east. When Marver built his hotel three years ago, he chose corten, or weathering steel, for the exterior. This gives the hotel a very rusted orange look that is quite something to look at. He says people just can’t resist touching the surface.

Marver says he wants Twisp River Suites to be the nicest place you’ve ever stayed, and to be more like staying in a home than a hotel. Joe, I think you’ve done it. Methow Strong.

For more information on Twisp River Suites, check out www.twispriversuites.com, e-mail info@twispriversuites.com or call 1-855-784-8328
PHOTOS: From top: Twisp River Suites has ideal location on Twisp River; Fall is an especially good time to visit; each room has a cozy porch with great river views; several special pet units are available
PHOTO CREDITS: Photos courtesy Twisp River Suites
RECOMMENDED LODGING: Methow Valley lodging
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