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“nice view, but dirty” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Mar Vista Resort

Mar Vista Resort
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Mar Vista Resort
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1601A False Bay Drive, False Bay, San Juan Island, WA 98250   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in False Bay
princeton nj
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“nice view, but dirty”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2012

The view from the property was spectacular. But the cabin itself was really run-down and dirty. There was mold in the fixtures in the bathroom, there was peeling paint on the walls, the kitchen was not at all clean. Stay at your own risk.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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12 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    3
    5
    1
    1
    2
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5
3
Solo
0
Business
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Seattle,WA
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2011

I planned a labor day weekend trip to San Juan Island for a group of five women. The two bedroom Mar Vista cabin we stayed in fit us perfectly. With a couch, a double bed, a cot and a queen bed, there was plenty of sleeping space for everyone. The kitchen was big enough for us all to cook in, and there was plenty of towels, bedding, a space for everyone. The cabin was very clean and equipped with coffee, tea, dishes and spices. The front porch was big enough for us all to hang out on and watch the stairs. Also, we were an easy walk from this amazing private beach full of sea lions and other wildlife.

Only a four mile drive from Friday Harbor, we felt like we were completely isolated in nature. Our neighbors were close enough to see, but distant enough to not be disturbed by us or to disturb us. All and all, Mar Vista is the perfect nature retreat for the city person to be alone and relax.

We'll most definitely be back.

Room Tip: Ask when you check in about things like Kayak rentals and anything else you might need. The owners a...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Jamestown, Rhode Island
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2011

Mar Vista is certainly not what most people would consider a resort. It has very dated cabins scattered about on the 40 acres overlooking the Strait of Haro. Deer, raccoons, bald eagles, otters and seals can be seen on and around the property. Unfortunately we didn't see the whales. It was incredibly quiet and beautiful walking the trails and going to the beach at Mar Vista. The cabin was very basic, but we found everything we needed except a deck of cards! No tv or internet (thank goodness). Don't expect a pool or spa either! Fitness? Walk the trails! The owners were very sweet and the other vistors all met at the whale watch point for sunset. Very peaceful.

Room Tip: Cabins 7 and 8 are the best small cabins!
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Washington
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2010

Mowed grassy slopes in front of cabins are a good place ot soak up sunshine while listening to songbirds. Chairs on front porch are nice for watching dragonflies and the sea - or reading a book. Mowed strips through the tall grass provide trails - one leads to a bench at an overlook for whale watching, another to the water's edge. "Beach" here is a small sandy area with driftwood where children will enjoy playing, and rock that can be explored at low tide. Tide pools on the island are not rich, and exploration space here is limited anyway, even at low tide. However, this is a great place to watch river otters, orcas, eagles - and the sunset. Cabins apppear to have been built and furnished about 50 years ago; maintenance seems to have been limited to critical needs, cleaning is cursory, and beds are not comfortable. Microwave ovens have been added without dedicated circuits, but the breaker box is conveniently located. Management is friendly and rings a bell when they notice whales. Location is convenient to American Camp and Lime Kiln State Park. The cabins all appear to have some amount of sea view, but the great views are from the overlook and the water's edge. The place is secluded and quiet.. Lodging and dining on San Juan is expensive; Mar Vista offers rare affordability for a family on a budget. Another option might be to stay elsewhere and day trip to San Juan.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2009

Words can't express my sincere thoughts on this resort. Sure the cabins are a blast from the past but I fell in love with them the moment we opened the door. We had a short 2 night stay there and then a stay in Friday Harbor and on one of those nights I motioned for my husband to turn back into their entranceas we drove by, he mentioned we weren't booked in there anymore and i replied but that is where my heart is.From the quaint cabins, the mama raccoon and babies, endless robins and hummingbirds, eagles deer and whales, it is a place to treasure. Our hosts were most helpful and kind and the property has views to die for. Thanks Mar Vista!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2009

The cabins are dated, but the location and beautiful scenery are unbelievable! We visited in 2007 and just planned another trip for 2009. We saw orcas daily, seals (including a baby seal on the beach), a resident raccoon, and eagles. The sunsets are spectacular. With the gentle sea breeze and spectacular views, this tranquil spot is truly a slice of heaven.

  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2008

Go to Mar Vista for the natural setting not for the architecture. This is an older property, well cared for, but not the Marriott.
We spent a week and enjoyed every minute. Cabin and beds were adequate and comfortable, the deer, and racoons and whales appeared almost on schedule. "Our" Eagle appeared every morning. The view of Haro Strait and the Olympic range is spectacular. We strongly recommend "tidepooling" in False Bay - so called because it empties out at low tide. The bottom is firm and easy to walk on.
With realistic expectation this would be a great place for anyone interested in the natual setting.

Stayed May 2007
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Additional Information about Mar Vista Resort

Address: 1601A False Bay Drive, False Bay, San Juan Island, WA 98250
Location: United States > Washington > San Juan Islands > San Juan Island > False Bay
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in False Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 8
Also Known As:
Mar Vista Hotel False Bay
Mar Vista Resort San Juan Island/False Bay, San Juan Islands

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