Gorgeous Oregon coast hotel with no TVs or WiFi that encourages guests to read its


A stunning oceanfront hotel in Oregon has been snapped up by a property developer 40 years after it hit the coastline – sparking fears the relaxing retreat for book lovers could lose its charm. 

The popular Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport captured local attention thanks to its picturesque Pacific Ocean views and literary theme – which includes a total ban on TVs and Wi-Fi. 

Guests are instead encouraged to enjoy its vast selection of books and gorgeously rugged views.

It was officially sold Friday to John Lee, managing director of VIP Hospitality Group, for an undisclosed price, as its former owners Goody Cable and Sally Ford announced their goodbye. 

‘I no longer own a hotel, it makes me sad but life goes on,’ Ford told The Oregonian. ‘One chapter ends and another begins. It has truly been a labor of love for Goody and me.’

But as the new owners announce they are now considering renovations, some locals are concerned about potential modernizations.

The Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport, Oregon has been snapped up by a property developer 40 years after it hit the coastline

The Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport, Oregon has been snapped up by a property developer 40 years after it hit the coastline

The book lovers' hotel has no TVs or Wi-Fi, and guests are encouraged to spend their time reading

The book lovers’ hotel has no TVs or Wi-Fi, and guests are encouraged to spend their time reading 

The hotel includes a cozy library (pictured) along with literary-themed rooms

The hotel includes a cozy library (pictured) along with literary-themed rooms 

When Ford and Cable opened in March 1987, the designed it with book lovers in mind. 

It includes a large library full of classic tomes, and guests are encouraged to read instead of kicking back with a movie. 

During dinners in the hotel’s dining room, strangers are encouraged to play parlor games and talk with one another to make new friends.  

The original property was built in 1913, and went through several iterations as the New Cliff Hotel and the Gilmore Hotel before Cable and Ford bought it. 

When they bought the property, it was a ramshackle low-rent residential hotel, with a broken roof and unstable foundations on the oceanfront. 

But Ford said despite its condition, ‘when I first saw that dilapidated old place, I just loved it. 

‘It had three different colors of paint on it and that old Hotel Gilmore sign on the side of it. I had no idea what we were in for, but most of it was fun, just really fun.’ 

They renovated the building and gutted its nooks and crannies, while adding four fireplaces, a kitchen, a new dining room, and an additional 21 bathrooms. 

To follow their literary theme, the owners also had their friends decorate rooms based on their favorite authors. 

This has seen guests enjoy specialized rooms themed on Agatha Christie, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams and JK Rowling. 

Many of these themes remain to his day, while guests also enjoy a cozy library full of books that has a scenic view of the beach. 

While the hotel was opened in March 1987, the original property dates back to 1913 and went through several iterations as the New Cliff Hotel and the Gilmore Hotel

While the hotel was opened in March 1987, the original property dates back to 1913 and went through several iterations as the New Cliff Hotel and the Gilmore Hotel

Guests enjoy aesthetic scenery and rooms designed around famous authors including Agatha Christie, Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams

Guests enjoy aesthetic scenery and rooms designed around famous authors including Agatha Christie, Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams

The first ever guest was a ‘little guy in a white sailor’s uniform’, Ford previously told The Oregonian, who showed up with a local and carried no luggage. 

‘The rate included breakfast, but they didn’t spend the night,’ she said. 

While its early days were low key, the hotel’s aesthetic placement looking out over the Pacific led it to become a popular destination for tourists. 

As it faces new ownership, fans of the hotel took to Facebook to share their disappointment, with one suggesting they ‘all chip in and buy it’ instead. 

Another said the sale would be ‘sad, especially if it goes all corporate.’ 

One former guest had a more optimistic outlook, however, saying it has simply ‘moved onto another owner for the next leg.’

‘The building will be here long after we’re all gone,’ they said.

The decision to sell the property came after Ford’s brother Ken Payton, who ran the front desk, died in 2009, with Cable also suffering a stroke four years ago. 

The hotel was officially sold Friday to a property manager for an undisclosed price

The hotel was officially sold Friday to a property manager for an undisclosed price

As they sold it, the former owners sadly said they would 'miss it terribly'

As they sold it, the former owners sadly said they would ‘miss it terribly’ 

When the hotel underwent renovations, it added four fireplaces, a kitchen, a new dining room, and an additional 21 bathrooms

When the hotel underwent renovations, it added four fireplaces, a kitchen, a new dining room, and an additional 21 bathrooms 

Looking back, Cable said she is proud of her hotel, which she said was ‘our baby.’ 

‘I’m going to miss it terribly,’ she said. 

‘I’m going to really miss a lot of the guests and the dinners.’ 

For new owner Lee, he said the VIP group is expecting to modernize the hotel while staying true to its 111-year history. 

‘Sally and Goody have built a successful business and brand with a worldwide following for four decades,’ Lee said. 

‘We are honored to take the torch and will be focusing on learning the ways that make Sylvia Beach so unique. 

‘There’s a lot to learn and digest, and we will be immersing ourselves into the business over the next several months to figure out the next steps, including necessary capital investments to renovate all areas of the hotel.’ 



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