Surrounded by fruit orchards and forest with Mount Hood to the south and Mount St. Helens to the north, Sakura Ridge Farm and Lodge offers breathtaking views and a serene property for intimate retreats and gatherings. The bed and breakfast, which sits on 22 acres of working farmland, has been operating for more than 20 years in the Columbia River Gorge.
When Cheryl Lubbert and Jim Gerlach were the owners of salmon-certified (meaning the orchard has taken steps to restore the wild salmon habitat in West Coast watersheds) Nashi Orchards in Washington, they needed more access to sustainably grown fruit to support their orchards. And after deciding to explore the Hood River area, which is known for its wide swaths of fruit and berry blossoms, Sakura Ridge seemed to be the perfect fit.
Growing organic certified pears and apples on the property, and with its previous owners having a primary focus on sustainability when managing the bed and breakfast—not to mention the stunning views of the Columbia River Gorge, Cascade Mountains, and Mount Hood—Lubbert and Gerlach knew it would fit their business values.
“It feels like quintessential Northwest,” Lubbert says. “We’re surrounded by giant fir trees, and then you look over the fir trees to [see] the mountains and the giant Mound Hood; we’ve got the sheep in the lower pasture and the chickens making noise down in their coop, fresh eggs every morning for breakfast.”
When they were renovating Sakura, Lubbert says that all bathrooms were redone with sustainable limestone plaster, organic mattresses were placed in each guest room (along with some very nice linens), and the bed frames were made from sustainably grown Oregon cherry trees.
“When I was choosing other furniture that we needed for the [guest] rooms, I got antique tansus (“cabinet” in Japanese); I bought all antiques instead of getting new [pieces] so that they could get another life,” says Lubbert. “It’s something different.”
The property allows for five rooms to be rented at a time due to its classification as an exclusive farm-use property, at which Oregon limits the number of rooms that can be rented for overnight stays. However, Lubbert explains, the venue in its entirety can host groups of up to 100 for smaller, intimate day retreats and gatherings. Guests can explore the 1-acre berry patch that grows blackberries, blueberries, rhubarb, strawberries, and more.
Full buyouts are available, giving planners and attendees access to all common spaces alongside the 22 acres of land, farm, and orchards. Dining options can be chosen from Sakura’s approved list of caterers, or choose to use the large, on-site commercial kitchen. Lubbert notes that Sakura also has recommendations for table and chair rentals.
If attendees want to explore more of Hood River off-property, downtown is just a 20-minute drive away and home to several riverfront breweries like pFiem Family Brewers and Hood River Distillers Inc; as well as shops, cideries, and city parks. Grab a front row seat to watch the kite and sail boarders maneuver on the Columbia River in the summer, or visit any of the several biking and hiking trails to spend some time outside.
While the Willamette Valley is the well-known spot for Oregon wineries, Hood River and the Columbia River Gorge have a growing vineyard scene that highlights the expanding industry across Oregon. Visit Hiyu Wine Farm for “lovely natural wines and … very nice opportunities for dinners and lunches,” Lubbert adds. Indulge in delicious seafood at the new Votum Restaurant in downtown Hood River, or experience a local favorite at Celilo Restaurant and Bar—which can also host groups and offers catering services.
Sakura Ridge Farm and Lodge offers a bit of serenity for attendees—a haven to relax and connect while taking in the endless mountain views. “It’s beautiful, it’s calm,” Lubbert describes. “It’s like a painting to me.”