Central Oregon golf resort pick: The Lodge at Eagle Crest, a Holiday Inn Resort

Forget what you thought you knew about the Holiday Inn brand. Holiday Inn Resort has reinvented the name with properties like the Lodge at Eagle Crest in Eagle Crest Resort, which serves as a great home base for families who enjoy both golf and other outdoor activities.

There are no shortage of golf resorts in Central Oregon. We’ve been to most of them, and they certainly all have high standards and individual strengths. Eagle Crest Resort‘s strength lies in its casual, family-friendly vibe and competitive pricing. It’s a very large resort (comprising mostly of vacation rentals and private homes), but no matter where you go, you’re greeted with a smile from staff and residents alike. Located in Redmond, Eagle Crest is only minutes from Bend, where families can river raft and mountain bike in summer and ski in winter. And if you’re a golfing family, you’ll be in heaven with three 18-hole courses on-site.

Eagle Crest golf

When we arrived on a typically sunny day in June, we certainly noticed the three 18 hole golf courses first: golf is king here. However, we almost immediately learned that there’s much more to Eagle Crest than chasing little white ball around in the grass (is it clear my kids are the golfers in the family, not me?).

Eagle Crest Recreation:

Bring your bikes! Eagle Crest is divided into two main areas: Resort and Ridge. And it’s large…very large. We like to park our car and leave it, so having bikes meant we could ride to the sports centers (more on that later) and dining. If you can’t bring bikes, they can be rented at the Resort Sports Center by the hour or day, and there are many great bike paths throughout. We like the long loop skirting the whole property, which dips in and out of high desert scrub area and residential neighborhoods and fairways. If you’re up for it, mountain bikes can be rented, and single track trails can be accessed not far from property, right off Cline Falls Road.

Eagle Crest Resort recreation

Bike rentals start at $8/hour for kids’ bikes to $20/hour for specialty bikes, and yes, your kids will want to try these. They have surrey bikes for two, plus high intensity trikes and fun scooters. There are regular cruiser bikes as well, and tag-alongs and trailers. Our kids most enjoyed trying the novelty of Longe Boards, which are little stand-up paddle boards for the pavement. Don’t rent these specialty items for longer than 1 hour: they are simply too hard to pedal for much longer, though they are fun. Rent regular bikes for the main trails!

In addition to biking, there are no fewer than three sports and recreation centers in the resort. The Resort Sports Center has an outdoor pool and hot tub, tennis and racquetball courts, and ample bike rentals (for the extra fee), and the Ridge Sports Center on the opposite side of the resort offers the only indoor pool, indoor basketball court, and full spa. The third center–Westview–is located well away from the others near the stables, and includes a children’s spray park and outdoor pool. All centers have exercise rooms and classes.

Eagle Crest horseback riding

Horseback riding at Ikiutan Stables is one of the most enjoyable resort riding experiences we’ve tried. We loved that our guide listened to our description of our ability level and let us trot our horses and have more freedom than usual. Our hour ride took us across high desert without a house in sight. When I learned that Ikiutan is owned by the same ranglers as at neighboring Brasada Resort, I wasn’t surprised; we had a fabulous ride there as well. At $50 a person for a 1 hour ride, prices are on par with other area resorts, and definitely worth the expense. Pony rides are available for young kids, though kids as young as five are welcome on regular group rides.

Eagle Crest Golf:

You don’t have to be a golfer to enjoy Eagle Crest, though it certainly helps. As mentioned, the resort is very casual and friendly, and this extends to the courses. Kids are welcome, and nine holes are available to play instead of 18 on at least one course. We had a great nine hole experience at the Ridge course (even on a crowded day in June): the course was challenging but accessible…the kids did not feel frustrated, even though it was clear this was no kiddie course.

Central Oregon golf resort

A great way to get started is a visit to the putting course. 18 well-designed holes on the course include sand traps, water hazards, and beautiful landscaping. It looks just like a little version of the real thing, and kids can practice chipping and putting. The course took us about 1.5 hours, and was a highlight for the kids. In fact, Calvin kept asking if ‘we could make one of these in our backyard’. No way: it’s way too sophisticated! The putting course is affordable too: only $6 for kids and $10 for adults. Our crew all thought it was much better than a miniature golf course.

Lodging:

As mentioned, the Lodge at Eagle Crest is a Holiday Inn Resort. Rooms are standard, but very well appointed. Beds are very comfortable with ample pillows and new duvets. Rooms include a mini fridge, and suites with kitchens are available. For our family of five, we had a standard room adjoining with a one-bedroom suite, which was perfect for preparing meals and spreading out. Lodging guests can access the sports centers with day passes. (There is also an outdoor pool and hot tub, as well as playground, right at the lodge, and kids eat dinner and breakfast free at Aerie when staying with an adult.)

holiday inn Lodge at Eagle Crest

Dining:

Dining is a bit limited at Eagle Crest, likely due to how many homes and vacation homes are on property (reducing need for multiple restaurants). Bring food and cook in your kitchen! Alternatively, we ate most our meals at Aerie, located in the lodge lobby. This small casual service restaurant has good basic meals (think sandwiches, salads, pizzas, omelets and waffles) during breakfast and dinner hours. A few seats are available outside on the patio overlooking the Resort course. Kids eat free off the kids’ menu here if you’re staying in the lodge, which is a great deal, but be advised that kids’ meal portions are fairly small. Older kids will probably want to eat off the adult menu. Equally casual dining is found at the Ridge course, and for finer dining, Niblick and Greene’s serves steak, seafood, and pasta.

Aerie Cafe

Spa:

The Ridge Sports Center houses the only spa, which is small but reasonably priced. I loved the convenience of having it in the rec center too: I was able to drop the kids off in the pool with Grandma while I enjoyed a 90-minute relaxation massage. The massage was heavenly, or at least I think it was…I may have fallen asleep at one point! The spa is low on frills like infused water and calming ambiance, but high on actual value: the service was great and the rate was the best I’ve seen in a long time. I definitely recommend taking advantage of this while at Eagle Crest.

Room rates:

At the time of our visit, standard lodge rooms started at $144 per night. Vacation rentals are also available, and are undoubtedly the better deal if staying for a full week.

Distance from the Interstate:

Only 15 minutes from Highway 97 in Bend.

Directions:

The lodge is located at 1522 Cline Falls Road in Redmond. From Bend, take Highway 20 West toward Sisters. Follow this approximately five miles to Tumalo, where you will take a right on Cline Falls Road (also called Cook Avenue). Follow this for approximately nine miles to the resort entrance.

Disclaimer: We were guests of Eagle Crest for the purpose of review.

Eagle Crest on Dwellable

About the author

Amy Whitley AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly as a family travel expert at Go Green Travel Green and Practical Travel Gear, and contributes to Outdoors NW as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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