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“Hotel badly needs a woman's touch”
Review of Orcas Hotel

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Orcas Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Orcas
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 August 2011

We spent 2 days on Orcas Island and 1 night at the Orcas Hotel. We stayed in room #5.

The biggest problem with the Orcas hotel is its location. The city of Orcas is the absolute worst place to stay on the island. There is nothing there besides hordes of people with their cars waiting for the ferry to come. These people inevitably find their way to the Orcas hotel, since it houses the only decent restaurant in the town.

The second biggest problem with the Orcas Hotel is the horrible stench of the cleaning product (or was it an air freshener?) they are using to disinfect their rooms. It smells like a harsh lemon and chemical scent. I was perplexed as to why they would want the room to be covered in this scent! It made it difficult for me to relax without the window being open, but when I opened the window, I was bothered by the noise of the loudspeaker from the ferry dock and the multitudes of people waiting in their cars for the ferry.

The third biggest problem with the Orcas hotel is the very poor decorating and furnishing of all the rooms. The mirror in the bathroom is just a bare mirror stuck to the wall. No trim, no paintings, nothing decorative. Just white porcelain toilet and sink, plain shower, and generic plain mirror on the wall. I really expected more from a hotel which advertises themselves as having "Victorian Elegance". I guess at least the TV in our room was "Victorian" -- It was an old picture tube model -- reminded me of a TV we had in the 1980's. After we checked in, I took the liberty of walking through most of the other rooms in the hotel, whose doors were open. They were all missing an attention to detail in the decor. And they all smelled of that strong lemon scent.

The owner of this hotel is a very nice man. He gave us a map of the island, and he gave me a rundown of all the fun things to do, making hand written notes on the map. I have no doubt that he earnestly desires to make every guest comfortable and happy.

I think what this hotel needs (other than a new location not adjacent to the ferry landing) is a woman's touch. This hotel needs someone to give some real attention to detail to the furnishing of the rooms, to bring out the "Victorian Charm" that the Orcas Hotel claims to have.

To summarize, this hotel is in an awful location, it stinks of a lemon cleaning product, and it is poorly decorated, but the owner is nice and the staff are friendly and helpful.

Room Tip: Do not stay at this hotel
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Justin_and_Amanda_L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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112 - 116 of 156 reviews

Reviewed 14 August 2011

I had mixed feelings about the Orcas Hotel. On one hand, it was very friendly, with welcoming, helpful, and pleasant staff. It is situated with a lovely view of the harbor in Orcas Village, and super convenient to arriving and leaving the island. My partner and I had a spacious and comfortable room. We enjoyed our breakfasts in the cafe (you get several choices that are included in the cost of the room), and we had dinner in the restaurant twice, where we were quite pleased with the food.

The main problem was that the walls are so thin that as a guest one is at the mercy of the other guests. For three of our mornings there we were above a family that started their day at 5:30 a.m. in what had to be louder than normal conversational voices. So---that's when our day started too.... Also our bed had a mattress that was adequate, but just barely. So I would say the hotel is due for some upgrading in that department..

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Marron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2011

upon arrival to Orcas Island by ferry you are greeted with a picturesque view of Orcas Island with the hotel sitting on the hill. looks like a postcard! Its nice to be able to step off the ferry or drive off, whichever you are doing, and be able to have your hotel right there. especially after a long day of travels and an almost hour long ferry ride. obviously by even looking at pictures of the hotel you can see its a house. its stunning and as you walk in you feel like you walked into someone's home. it actually feels more like a B&B Inn rather than hotel.
the setting inside is victorian, there is a parlor, and a separate dining room/bar down the hall, and a small breakfast/lunch dining area for patrons and guests with a wrap around porch and deck seating to accommodate all.
we loved the friendly staff. our first night was peaceful and quiet as there were more older folks staying there that night we were very pleased however since that night the bistro/bar was having a music night with a jazz band we were not able to get a seat inside since he was packed with about every senior citizen on the island! we had to go over to Mamies across the street to eat (which is another review in itself!) since you are in a old house you hear the creaks and doors and conversations, if you don't mind that then by all means stay here. however I will warn you that families do stay here with children and there are no policies about noise after certain hours or anything, and by our second and third night other guests that had arrived had children, one across the hall had a infant so when the baby cried it was like they were right in our room. also if you don't have a room with its own bathroom you share the bathroom down the hall with other guests so there is constant traffic up and down the hallway by those using it. We had a room with a bathroom. since we had a room overlooking the bay we did hear the ferry traffic which runs til 10pm so if you don't mind those kind of distractions they get a room with a view. its beautiful.
certain rooms you get free hot or cold breakfast with coffee and juice so take advantage of that!
all in all I give the hotel a B- mostly for the noise inside due to either children, or people who are not realizing they are in a house and that the walls are pretty much paper thin and when they talk in the hallway either to each other or on their phone you hear everything! I would suggest to the owners have a noise policy after certain hours.

Room Tip: for more privacy book a suite on the top floor
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Glamma4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 July 2011

My wife and I just visited the Orcas Hotel again almost 5 years to the day after we got married there. It looked beautiful as ever, with flower baskets hanging from every corner of the porch and the innkeeper Doug remembered us and gave us a warm welcome. For those thinking about a summer wedding location, this is it. It's not only a lovely spot, it's an incredible deal. Doug provides some great advice for thinking through wedding plans, charges a pittance for site rental and provided the best food we've ever had at any wedding--grilled salmon and chicken, yum! And for any other getaway, it's a great spot: just watching the ferries come and go while leafing through a magazine or book on the porch, deck, or flower garden is the perfect way to spend an afternoon.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Seattle_Steve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2011

We stayed at this hotel for a wedding and I must say VERY DISAPPOINTING!!! We were overcharged for EVERYTHING. The food was less than mediocre and the rooms are extremely overprices for whats included (ie most of them don't even have their own bathroom.) We were even charged for rooms that were not used even though some of our guests were sent away to different hotels! Rooms are old (not the good kind) and the mattresses are squeaky. I saw a review that said that they reheat the breakfast from previous leftovers and I must say this is 100% TRUE. The food in the restaurant is completely overpriced (they only served burgers and fried fish) and the bartender leaves much to be desired. I would NOT recommend this hotel for weddings, but if you must...make sure to sign a contract that includes pricing and what will be included.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank pentfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Orcas Hotel

Address: 18 Orcas Hill Road, PO Box 369, Orcas, Orcas Island, WA 98280
Region: United States > Washington > San Juan Islands > Orcas Island > Orcas
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Orcas
Price Range: €179 - €220 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Orcas Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 12
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