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Retreat FAQ

Posted on: November 18th, 2014 by Vicki No Comments

General Questions

How do I arrange for a tour of the Lodge?

Just call or email us and we will make an appointment for a tour.  We will find a time when both the Main Lodge and the Hilltop House are available so you can see both facilities.  Please do not just “drop by”.   The lodge may be booked for another event.

What kind of events do you have at the Lodge?
We only have private, invitation only events.  Family reunions are very popular at Anderson Lodge.  Families love our many activities on site and our quality kitchens.  Church retreats take place every month throughout the year.  They love our flexible meeting spaces and our many options for group events.  Many college and band organizations have weekend retreats to prepare for performances and create a bond within the group.  School staff, private schools, student study groups and leadership retreats often meet at Anderson Lodge.  Clubs, study groups, worship groups, anniversary parties, birthday parties, memorials, drama groups, volunteer trainings, are just a few of our clients.

Do you have wireless internet?

Yes, we have wireless at the Main Lodge and the Hilltop House

How do I make a reservation for my retreat?
The procedure is on our RESERVATIONS page of our website.  An Initial Deposit and a Rental Agreement is needed to reserve a date.  Reservation deposits are non-refundable so keep that in mind when you choose a date.

Do you accept credit cards?

Yes, we accept Visa and Master Card.

Why do you suggest that guests do NOT use GPS or MapQuest?

These tools are not accurate with directions on country roads.  We have many, many lost people that have used these tools. Please use the directions provided on our website. Please use the Map and Directions on our website and inform all your guests, family and vendors of the correct directions.

Do you have someone on site if we need help during our stay?

Yes, we have a caretaker on the property. He can help with most Lodge related mishaps or concerns.  Blow a circuit? Need bedding? Run out of paper towels? He’s your man.
Caretaker: Richard Birchall 360 231 4170.

Contact the office for pricing or billing questions 

Do you have television reception at the Lodge?

No. We have televisions for DVD but no television reception.

Is there Cell phone coverage at the Lodge?

At the Main Lodge, only AT&T has coverage. At the Hilltop House, AT&T has minimal coverage. We do have landlines at both the Hilltop House and the Main Lodge.  But be prepared to bring a phone card for long distance charges.  There is WiFi for Skype!

How long does it take to get from Portland to Anderson Lodge? From Seattle?

The Lodge is about 1 hour from either the I-5 bridge (Interstate Bridge) or the I-205 bridge (Glenn Jackson Bridge). We are about 2 1/2 – 3 hours from of Seattle. Mileage is about 167 miles.

what activities are there for groups staying at the Lodge?

  • Game rooms with ping pong, pool and foosball.
  • DVD players
  • 2 Pianos at each facility
  • Campfire Amphitheater that is covered!  Guests love the Amphitheater style bench seating circling the fire pit.  There is even a stage at one end.  Smores!
  • Children’s play area.  8 years and younger please.
  • Pippi’s Play House
  • Horseshoe pits
  • Basketball
  • Badminton
  • Soccer/softball field
  • hiking trails
  • Tennis Courts
  • WiFi

Are there children’s play yards at the Lodge?

Yes, at both the Main Lodge and the Hilltop House there are play structures and play houses for the younger crowd.  The play structure is for children aged 8 years and younger.  Please supervise children while they are using it.

The playhouse is great fun for kids but please clean up, dispose of any trash and tidy up the supplies.

Is the lodge open year round?

Yes!  We are popular for winter outings as well as summer, fall and spring.  Connecting with friends and family is fabulous no matter what the weather is!

Are there laundry facilities at the Lodge?

Yes, at both the Main Lodge and the Hilltop House

What is the quality of drinking water at the Lodge?

We have excellent drinking water!  Please note that massive amounts of water bottles create an environmental hazard.  Please bring reusable bottles and fill them with our wonderful tap water!

We want to create more floor space. Can we move or rearrange the furniture?

Upholstered furniture and leather couches are to ALWAYS STAY in conference room, but you may put them on the perimeter of the room.  No exceptions.

You may rearrange the room and remove or add tables and chairs as you wish.  But do not put tables outside in bad weather.  Never leave tables or chairs out overnight.

We want to do crafts while we are at the lodge. Do you have any restrictions?

  • The use of silly string, confetti, faux flowers, glitter, rice, or scattered decorative ornamentation is strictly prohibited.
  • We have table coverings that are a cloth-backed vinyl.  Cover completely table coverings when planning crafts.
  • Never use permanent pens, markers, glue or paint on any surface.
  • Do not use spray paint or any craft medium on stone patios or rock walls.
  • If you are using glue guns, markers, cutters, or other potentially damaging items, please take care not to damage that tables, table cloths wood, walls or furniture.
  • Do not set hot items directly on the tables or cloths.
  • Clean up of all decorations is your responsibility even if you are paying for the cleaning service.

Do you have ladders or extension cords for our use during our stay?

No, we are unable to loan you ladders or extension cords. Please bring your own.


Can I use candles at the Lodge?

Yes, if they are in fire-proof containers exceeding the height of the flame by 2-inches.

Use the blue painters tape or tape that is advertised as removable without damage for decorations.  No tacks, nails, duct tape or other damaging items.

Are fireworks permitted? 

Fireworks are permitted in the field only and if fire danger allows.

Keep watch of the fire danger level for Cowlitz County.  There has been times when they have been banned due to the fire danger.

MAIN LODGE: If you follow the trail from the wedding circle to the parking field, there is a water spigot is on left. You can hook up hoses to it to be safe.

HILLTOP HOUSE: There is a water spigot near the coffee house and gazebo. Hook up hoses here.

  • Keep a bucket of water handy for dunking used fireworks.
  • Have a water hose or fire extinguisher nearby to extinguish stray sparks.
  • Never take fireworks into the forest.
  • Never use fireworks on windy days-they can behave erratically or blow into flammable fuels.
  • Never use fireworks if the fire danger is high
  • Adults should light all fireworks.
  • Light one firework at a time, move away quickly and keep at a safe distance until the display is finished.
  • Only use fireworks outdoors, away from anything can that burn.
  • Never throw fireworks or hold them in your hand after lighting.
  • Never try to relight a “dud.” Wait 15 minutes and place it in a bucket of water to soak.
  • Clean up all debris when finished.

State Regulations:  Fireworks may be used and discharged on the following dates and times:

July 4: 9am to midnight

July 5: 9am to 11pm

Keep watch of the fire danger level for Cowlitz County.  There has been times when fireworks have been banned due to the fire danger.

Do you permit sky lanterns?
We do NOT allow sky lanterns or wish lanterns. The miniature hot air balloons can create a dangerous situation if they collide with a tree, building or power line. The lanterns have to land somewhere, and sometimes they’re still partly on fire when they hit the ground. They’ve been known to ignite dry vegetation. They also require quite a bit of clean up when they do land; many times in neighboring pastures, fields and even on homes. Please do not use.

What is a campfire amphitheater?

Both the Main Lodge and the Hilltop House have a campfire amphitheaters on the property.  This a a place where s’mores, hot dog roasts and sing-a-longs are the star!  There is a campfire ring in the middle with bench seating for 75 or more at one side and a stage on the other. This area is surrounded by forest and it is all covered for use all year long.

Can we have campfires is the fire danger is high?
Keep watch of the fire danger level for Cowlitz County.  There has been times when all fires have been banned due to the fire danger.  We always tell people to use charcoal for the campfire in the summer and douse liberally with water when done. 

If campfires are permitted you my use our firewood and starters.  Douse liberally with water when done.  Check back and make sure it is thoroughly extinguished

Always have a hose a the campfire area when you are having a fire.

  • Keep a bucket of water handy
  • It’s a good idea to have a large bucket or bowl of soapy water and paper towels nearby to clean sticky hands
  • Have a water hose or fire extinguisher nearby to extinguish stray sparks.
  • Never allow fire to be unattended
  • Never allow children near the area when in use, without an adult present
  • Never allow children to “play” in the campfire (poking with sticks, etc)
  • Do NOT cut off branches from trees or bushes to create hot dog or marshmallow sticks
  • Douse liberally with water when done.  Check back and make sure it is thoroughly extinguished
  • Clean up all debris when finished

Where are the hot tubs?

The health department does not allow facilities such as ours to have hot tubs for guest use.  Therefore, we no longer have hot tubs.   We do have saunas at the Main Lodge!

Do you have a shuttle service from the airport?

We do not have a shuttle service.   It is about 55 miles from the airport to the Lodge. You may wish to research shuttle services at or near the Portland International Airport online.

We can recommend a licensed Uber driver.  Call or email the Lodge office for the contact information. on Jason, our favorite Uber driver.  He would be happy to drive you right to your event at Anderson Lodge
The address of the Main Lodge is:
12025 Lewis River Rd.
Ariel, WA  98603
The address of the Hilltop House is:
12014 Lewis River Rd.
Ariel, WA  98603

Can we come in earlier than the standard check-in time?

One day rentals check in at 1PM. (1 pm entrance to grounds, 2 pm entrance to entrance to indoor facilities)
Earlier entrances may be possible, call office for availability. $100/hr charge for early entry
Two or more day rentals check in at 4PM.

There are times when an earlier arrival is possible.  If there is a group checking out on the same day you arrive, this probably is NOT possible.   You must check with the office to see if you can come in early.  There is a $100/hr fee for early check-in if it is possible.

The check-out time of 10 AM is very early.  Can we stay later?

Again, it entirely depends on our bookings.  If someone is checking in on the same day you check-out, then you will most likely need to be out by 10 AM.  Call office to see if we can accommodate a late departure.  We may be able to allow you an 11AM check out if you self-clean and follow our checklist thoroughly.

If I pay a deposit and need to cancel my date, can I get my deposit back?

No, initial and confirmation deposits are non-refundable.  All payments made toward your final bill are non-refundable.  No exceptions.

Do you allow pets?

No pets are allowed on the property of Anderson Lodge.  There is a fee of $50 if anyone mistakenly brings a pet on the property. There may be an additional charge if damages occur.  Pets are NEVER allowed in any building!

Do you allow service animals?

Yes. The ADA requires that service animals be allowed in public places. Under the ADA, a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability. If you have a service animal associated with a guest, please provide us with the following information: 
1) Is the service animal required because of a disability?
2) What activities is the dog trained to perform?
Therapy dogs are not allowed.

What do we do with all our trash from our event?

Your group has been allotted 10 trash cans. Please limit your waste to this amount.  Transport and dispose of any accumulation above this amount to a waste disposal site.  If you have recycling items; water bottles, liquor bottles, soda cans, cardboard packaging, decorations, etc. that you no longer want, transport to a waste disposal site or recycling center.  DO NOT LEAVE YOUR WINE, BEER OR LIQUOR BOTTLES FOR US TO DISPOSE OF!   A deduction will be made from your cleaning/damage deposit should there be excessive trash to be removed.

When do I make my final payment for my retreat?

You final payment is due upon departure.  Bring in a check to pay or call in credit card information.

Retreats are charged on a per-person basis.  However, often times accurate counts cannot be made until the last day of the retreat.  Therefore most groups call in their count on their last day, we compute the final bill and the group pays for their stay using a check or credit card.

Do you require insurance for our retreat?

We would like you to purchase Event Liability Insurance.  Private events can be covered under event liability insurance.  You can research various insurance policies for private events on line.  Some churches, school districts, businesses and organizations may have their own insurance to cover their events.
Private Event Insurance:  Providing Private Event Insurance to individuals for over 20 years. Starting at $95. Insuring private events with up to nine optional coverages with the most flexible plan on the market. Covered events include most private parties including Bar Mitzvahs, Anniversary Parties, Birthday Parties, Baby Showers, Family Reunions and more.

Do you have a Lost and Found?  How can I get my item back?

We do have a lost and found.  Call the office if you forget something.  (360 247 6660) There is a $15 fee plus postage for mailing an item to you.  We hold a lost-and-found item for approximately 30 days.

What is the tax rate for lodging and services?

There is a 9.8% tax rate on lodging and kitchen fees.  There is a 7.8% tax rate on all services we provide.

If we live in Oregon, do we have to pay tax?

Yes.  Taxes can only be waived for retail items that you are taking back home with you.

Where is an Urgency Care close to Anderson Lodge?

The Vancouver Clinic is approximately 35 minutes from the Lodge.  Take Hwy. 503 S through Chelatchie Prairie and Amboy to Battle Ground, WA. Turn right at intersection Main St & Hwy 503 S.   The Clinic is the large building  about 1/2 mile, on the left.
Address: 2005 W Main St, Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone:(360) 882-2778

Where is the nearest hospital?

Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center – 2211 NE 139th ST, Vancouver WA  98686 – (360) 487 1000
DIRECTIONS:  Drive West on Lewis River Hwy to Woodland, WA. Take I-5 South.  Exit to I-205 South.  Exit 36 NE 134th ST.  Left on 20th AVE.  Right on 139th ST

What are the sites of interest in the area of Anderson Lodge?
Check out our “Links” web page under “About us” on our website.  There are links to websites such as:  The Ape Caves, Mt. St. Helens, Cedar Creek Grist Mill. Lewis River Golf Course, Lelooska Cultural Center and the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens.

Meals at Anderson Lodge

Do you have a catering staff at Anderson Lodge?

 We do not have a catering staff but we can give you contact information for preferred caterers that are frequent caterers at the Lodge and have had rave reviews from our guests.  Contact us and we will give you the contact information for them.  You are welcome to use one of our preferred caterers, choose to have self catering or have an outside caterer.

          There is a kitchen fee for self-catering, preferred catering and outside catering

I see you have kitchen fees.  What are they for?

We have very well stocked kitchens with commercial appliances. We try to provide quality kitchens for you to use. You can count on a commercial dishwasher and commercial refrigeration at both the Hilltop House and the Main Lodge.  In our kitchens you will find china and flatware for 150 people. We have multiple salt/pepper shakers, acrylic tumblers, acrylic water pitchers, and coffee carafes.  Speaking of coffee, we have large coffee urns for large groups and 2 Mr. Coffee pots for smaller groups.  We have a few large white serving platters and large salad bowls plus 6-8 glass serving dishes and many baking and food prep utensils.

We have been to facilities where the kitchens supplies are so sparse, you have to bring a mountain of supplies just to prepare simple meals.  With kitchens at Anderson Lodge, it is so easy to prepare meals for large groups!  You are welcome to use all the supplies in our kitchens but be mindful to return them to their proper locations. (Drawers and cupboards are labeled)  Sorry, we don’t have chafing dishes or an ice machine.

Can we do our own catering and take care of meals ourselves for our retreat?
Self catering.  Yes you may provide your own catered meal/s.   It is easy to cook for a crowd in our well-stocked kitchens.
This option is means volunteers are preparing and providing the meals for your event and no money is being paid for this service

We charge a  $50/day +tax kitchen fee.  If you self-cater this is the only kitchen fee you pay.

Do you have preferred caterers for our retreat?
Yes, we have preferred caterers that we can recommend.   We can give you contact information for preferred caterers that are frequent caterers at the Lodge and have had rave reviews from our guests.  Contact us and we will give you their names.  They love to pamper our guests!

Verification from a preferred caterer required.
Ÿ $50 Kitchen Fee WAIVED for any day/s a preferred caterer provides meals.
Ÿ $50+tax Kitchen Fee WILL APPLY to any day/s without a preferred caterer.

Can we bring in an outside caterer for our retreat?
Yes, you may have an outside caterer for your event.  
If you choose to have an outside caterer the $50/day kitchen fee applies and there is a $90 outside caterer kitchen fee.
Please provide the contact information for the outside caterer that will be using our facility.

What kitchen items are available if we are self-catering?

It is hard to list all what we have in our kitchens. Both facilities have commercial refrigeration and dishwashers. The Main Lodge has a large commercial stove/oven/griddle plus a standard sized stove/oven.  The Hilltop House has 2 standard ranges plus 2 built-in ovens. Both have free standing freezers.

There are the basic kitchen items: peelers, knives, cutting boards, dish towels, dish soap, foil, Ziplocs, spatulas, wine openers, whisks, measuring cups, tongs, etc. You can expect to find large pots, skillets, cookie sheets and glass casserole dishes. Serving dishes include: platters, serving bowls and serving utensils.  There are a multiple numbers of: coffee carafes, water pitchers and salt/pepper shakers. We have both Mr. Coffee makers with filters (12cup) and large coffee urns.

We do NOT have chaffing dishes, food processors, blenders, large mixers, ice machines or deep fryers.

We do provide china and flatware for 150 people.

We consider our kitchens well-stocked but we realize we cannot provide everything. We tell our guests, if a particular item would make or break your meal, it is best to bring it with you.

I have volunteered to cook for our retreat.  What items should I bring besides the food?

Of course, I cannot give a full list of supplies to bring not knowing your group or menu, but I can give some suggestions.

  • Napkins
  • Hot dog or marshmallow sticks
  • Coffee, tea, or other beverages
  • Spices
  • Oil
  • Non-stick spray
  • Ice
  • Beverage dispenser
  • Food/meat thermometer

Can we borrow from the other Lodge if we need more supplies or equipment?

No. We cannot have any kitchen items, supplies, equipment, furniture, (including tables and chairs) travel to the other facility.  Not only does this create damage to the item/s but is a safety issue.  If more equipment or supplies are needed, they would have to be rented.

Are there a dishwasher or triple sink at the Lodge?

Yes, at both the Main Lodge and the Hilltop House have a commercial dishwasher that has a 3-minute cycle.  This will sterilize the dishes but will not dry them.  There is also a trip sink at both lodges.

Do you have an ice maker for our use?

No. It is best to buy ice in Woodland or Cougar.  We have freezer space for ice.

Do you have BBQ’s for our use?

Yes.  We have charcoal BBQ’s for both the Main Lodge and the Hilltop House.  Guests are to provide their own charcoal.  Do not use barbecues on decks or patios.  They are to be used on cement and gravel areas.

At the Hilltop there is a dedicated area for BBQ’s.  It is has a refrigerator, counter space, charcoal BBQ’s and is under cover.

What kind of glassware is available for our use?

We do not have “glass” tumblers or wine glasses.  We do however have acrylic tumblers for your use.

What table linens are available for us to use?

On the tables at this time, we have a tan colored cloth-backed vinyl table covering.  Those are for your use during your stay at Anderson Lodge.  Please take care to not damage them.  Hot food dishes and sharp knives will damage them.  They are commercial quality table coverings.

Lodging Questions

If I rent bedding from you, what does that include?

If you rent bedding, the bedding set has sheets, blanket, pillow and pillowcase for your bed. You also receive a bath towel and washcloth. If it is a double bed, there will be towels and pillows for two; if it is a twin bed there will be one towel and one pillow.  Both are the same price, $15/bed. (7.7% tax)

How many beds are there at the Main Lodge/Hilltop House?

We have private rooms, family rooms and dorm-style rooms on the Main Lodge site as well as 2 cabins.  There are 35 twin beds and 4 double beds in the central building of the Main Lodge in a series of guest rooms and a loft.  Our bunkhouse cabin has 2 bedrooms with a shared bathroom.  There are 4 double beds in one guest room and 8 twin beds in the other guest room.  The Dalarna Cabin is a charming private handicap accessible cabin with 4 double beds, kitchenette, bathroom and private deck with porch swing. (Total bed count at the Main Lodge is 43 twin beds and 12 double beds).  Download our FLOOR PLANS here.

The Hilltop Sleeping House has 4 guest rooms, lounge, kitchen and large deck.  In the 4 guest rooms there are a total of 12 double beds, 6 twin beds and a futon. Located on the site are 3 cozy private cabins.  Each of the 3 cabins at the Hilltop has a sofa that converts to a double bed & 2 twin mattresses in a loft with a kitchen, living space and bathroom. (Total bed count for the Hilltop House is 12 twin beds, 15 double beds and 1 futon).

Guests are issued bedding and are to make up their beds when they arrive.  Upon departure, guests are to remove bedding from beds and follow the rented bedding instructions.

You may download the FLOOR PLANS of both the Main Lodge and the Hilltop House.  These floor plans will show the guest rooms and cabins and the location of the beds and bathrooms, etc.

Are there plenty of bathrooms at the Lodge?

Yes, at both the Main Lodge and the Hilltop House there are many restroom facilities.

At the Main Lodge there are bathrooms in the cabins and the Main Lodge central building.  There is a bathhouse with men and women facilities. Each side has 4 showers, 2 toilets, 2 sinks and a sauna.

At the Hilltop there are 3 bathrooms with showers in the sleeping house.  Each cabin has a bathroom with a shower.  There are 2 bathrooms (men and women) with toilets and sinks in the conference room.

I noticed blankets on the beds. Do we use these blankets for our bedding?

One fitted sheet and a blanket will be on each bed when you arrive. These are for protection for the mattress only and are not meant to be used for bedding.  You are to bring your own bedding (sleeping bag?) or rent bedding from us to use on the bed.  Our rented bedding sets include: sheets, blanket, pillow, pillowcase, bath towel and washcloth.

When you leave, you are to leave that protective sheet and blanket covering on the bed.  This procedure is posted in each guest room.  There is an automatic $100 charge if beds are not left with the fitted sheet and blanket on them.

Can we rent bedding?

Yes, you may rent bedding for $15/bed.  Bedding includes: top sheet, fitted sheet, blanket, pillow, pillowcase, bath towel and washcloth.

Guests will be issued bedding upon arrival, if it was requested.  Guests are to make up beds.

Please note, if you are bringing your own bedding, we only have double beds and twin beds.  Find out which size bed is assigned to you before you bring bedding.  Bring towels too.

If I rent bedding do I have to strip the bed when I leave?

Yes, take all rented bedding off the bed.  Make sure that the original fitted blue sheet (fitted sheet) and blanket is on bed. Take the rented bedding and towels to the designated locations. (locations are posted in bedrooms)

Is there parking for RV’s or trailers or tent spaces?

At the Hilltop House there are 5 sites with full hook-ups. They are between the cabins and near the wedding site. RV’s can park next to the barn and get electricity and water.  Dry camping is permitted in the parking field only, not in the orchard near the gazebo.  Tents are permitted in the parking field only, not in the orchard near the gazebo.

At the Main Lodge, you may park near buildings and in parking slots. We may be able to give you water and electricity in certain sites. Larger RV’s park by the tennis courts. If one parks next to a building, chances are we can get you water and electricity. Tents are permitted in the parking field or in the slots created on the driveway to the parking field.

Do not use air-conditioning.  We only have 110.

What is the charge for bringing an RV or using a tent?

There is no extra charge for a tent or RV.

What suggestions do you have if we need more accommodations than Anderson Lodge offers?

There are motels, bed & breakfasts, resorts and campgrounds within 30 miles of the Lodge.
Nearby Accomodations
There are other accommodations that are near the Lodge.  Some lodging options are in Cougar, WA (7 miles east of Anderson Lodge) and some are in Woodland, WA (23 miles west of Anderson lodge at I-5 junction at exit #21)

Logo Anderson Lodge black

Anderson Lodge
Where natural beauty is the icing on the cake!