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“Loved It!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sandcastle at Birch Bay

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Sandcastle at Birch Bay
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   7854 Birch Bay Drive, Birch Bay, WA 98230   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Birch Bay
Compton, MD
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Loved It!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2013

My husband and I stayed for a week at the end of August with son, his wife, and their 2 young children. The staff was outstanding for their 24-hour helpfulness and friendliness. Our 3 bedroom was immaculate, roomy, comfortably furnished, with a large deck overlooking the bay and spectacular sunsets. Although our bedroom overlooked the pool and the resort was supposedly full, the pool quiet hours allowed us to sleep without any noise. In fact, overall the place was very quiet. All the TV's and kitchen appliances worked great, and we were even able to stream Netflix movies from our laptop to the LR TV. The location was about a 10 minute drive to Blaine, WA, which is on the border with Canada. There were a couple of nice parks, shopping, and a beautiful marina there. Right across the street from our hotel, we all loved learning to dig for clams and hiking on the empty bay when the tide went out what seemed like 1/2 mile each day. We also took a drive to see Mt. Baker from Artist's Point. Spectacular, and a short (1 1/2 hour or less) drive. The positives far outweighed the negatives, but here is what I didn't like: an ugly power line wrecked the sunset view, so all great sunset pics had to be taken from the shore vs. balcony; nearest good playground and good shopping was in Lynden, WA, about a 20 minute drive. More positives: good walking from hotel, safe area, good bar attached to resort restaurant, rental place for kayaks, etc., next to hotel, free wireless.

Room Tip: Previous reviewer said the rooms facing the golf course are quieter, but there is no golf course (ma...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Stacy L, General Manager at Sandcastle at Birch Bay, responded to this review, October 2, 2013
We are so glad you enjoyed your stay and look forward to seeing you again in the near future!
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90 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    32
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    3
    1
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
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English first
Scottsdale, Arizona
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2013

Our family of four spent a week at Sandcastle in early August. We had a two bedroom unit on the 4th floor overlooking the bay. Overall, our experience was very good. The front desk personnel were excellent with many suggestions for day trips to Mt Baker and Bellingham. I did feel that the maid service could be improved with better cleaning of the living areas.
Best location for end of day sunsets

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Port Coquitlam, Canada
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

We went with a group of girls and stayed for 3 nights at this hotel. The room was amazing with 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, full kitchen, a huge deck and a view overlooking the beach. We could have stayed in the room all day. It was amazing!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013 via mobile

The do called beached were not really beaches butud flats. I'm from ct and expected sand. The units ate spacious but there was only one end table I'm the master bedroom and I like to read before bed. The couch was uncomfortable to sit on and watch TV. But the location is great for visits to Vancouver, Whidby Is and the San Juan's.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
Kennewick, Wa
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2013

I read many reviews and lack of ventilation is a key issue. NO AC; But that is the only negative and mind you we are in room 211 that faces away from the Puget Sound. You can get a robust view by going to the 5th floor and going out on the roof or the pool level. Beautiful sunsets and beautiful views all the way into Canada. . The hottest it has been all week is 77 degrees. Why would anyone need AC? Nice 1 bedroom room and a great staff and nice décor. It has been refurbished in the last few years. . Nice kitchen and lots of space. No complaints here. Try CJ's restaurant when you are here as we liked it, only two lots to the north of the Sandcastle. the pool is nice and available year round. Washing and dryer are the stackable kind and better yet the washer is front loading. Have never seen a front loading washing machine in a timeshare. Raintree Vacation Club is easy to work with if you think 1 year out and they have many nice properties in Mexico, Telluride, Whistler BC, And Park City Utah. Walks are so nice and the C shop has sugar free ice cream and cinnamon rolls to die for. Beauty everywhere. Why would you vacation anywhere else?

Room Tip: Ask for ocean View!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Paul J, General Manager at Sandcastle at Birch Bay, responded to this review, August 10, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write this review. We are happy that you enjoyed your stay and we are delighted that you appreciate the charm and beauty that our resort and surrounding area have to offer. We look forward to seeing you on your next visit to beautiful Birch Bay.
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Springfield, Oregon
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

We just returned home from a week at Birch Bay. The community is very nice and the resort ambiance good for family vacations. There are super day trips available from Birch Bay. We took advantage of the location and had a very enjoyable week.

Sandcastle at Birch Bay has wonderful rooms. We were in a 3BR, 2 Bath unit that had a decent view of Birch Bay. The room was very spacious with nice appliances and comfortable furniture. The pool on site was ok, but nothing to brag about. The lobby was roomy and comfortable. A small for well-equipped gym was very acceptable. The staff was very professional and pleasant. These are all pluses.

The downside was noise from the restaurant/bar and inexcusably from that establishment's employees. Our room was four floors above the establishment's trash / service area. Employees congregated out in this area and were very loud. Plus, they would dump glass into the glass recycling bin and it sounded like we were in the middle of our local recycling center ... and even after midnight. I posted a negative review about this establishment, "Shores" and you can see what happened to us there.

We enjoyed Birch Bay and didn't have a bad experience at Sandcastle, overall, but don't imagine we'll be back (at least, not at this hotel). It is part of the Raintree Vacation Club family of resorts and clearly is not RVC's "flagship."

Room Tip: Being on the outside of the building vs. center area overlooking the pool area would be our recommen...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul J, General Manager at Sandcastle at Birch Bay, responded to this review, July 23, 2013
Thank you for your kind words regarding Sandcastle at Birch Bay. We appreciate your positive comments about our resort.

Please be advised that we are currently working with the owner of the Shore's restaurant below our resort to resolve the noise and employee issues you discussed. This restaurant is not affiliated with Raintree's Sandcastle at Birch Bay Resort and we are making every effort to reduce the impact this establishment's current practices impose on our guests. We look forward to reaching a mutually beneficial agreement with the owner and management of The Shores as quickly as possible.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2013

We purchased our stay as a bonus vacation from RCI. The property looked modern and updated on the outside. It appeared clean and well kept. Building access seems secure as you need a key card to enter the building at night.

We stayed in a 3 bedroom suite which has modern and tasteful decor. The floor plan was a bit like a maze with having to take four turns before getting to the open kitchen/living area. This may play into the lack of air flow. Ceiling fans would be an asset since there is no air conditioning in the units. It's good that box fans are provided but they are noisy and not easy to set up near the window in the bedrooms. The beds are comfortable but could use more sleeping pillows rather than decorative pillows. The location of the suite wasn't so bad. It was on the back side of the building but we had a partial view of the water front but mostly the parking lot. We were on the second floor just above the lobby. We had no traffic noise.

The staff was friendly enough but a bit greedy with bath towels. There were no bath towels when we arrived so I called the next morning to ask for 8 towels, one for each of us. I didn't know my sister had already asked for 4 towels so I was questioned if I was exchanging the 4 that were already delivered. I just didn't see what the big deal was if we were given extra towels.

Overall it's a nice property located just across the street from the beach. Don't expect sandy beaches though as the tide rises almost up to the road, so it's more of a muddy beach with puddles. Muddy but the ground was firm enough to walk atop within sinking. The property does provide a water hose to rinse off before entering the lobby. Great for clam digging though. It's not your typical sandy beach but we had a great time playing in it.

It wasn't excellent but acceptable. Only wished the staff wasn't being so difficult with amenities. Not only did they gave us a hard time about the towels, they warned us about the $5 charge at check in if we lost a room key, $35 if we lost a safe key and the amenities provided in the suite was not enough to last us the week so we just went out and bought more on our own rather than going through the hassle with front desk. They only provided one detergent sheet for laundry, a small bottle of dish detergent and a couple extra bags which are all not enough for our group for the week. We bought more ourselves to avoid the hassle with front desk. Definitely did not feel welcome but if you don't need a lot of interaction with the staff it's an average stay.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandcastle at Birch Bay

Address: 7854 Birch Bay Drive, Birch Bay, WA 98230
Location: United States > Washington > Birch Bay
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Birch Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sandcastle at Birch Bay 3.5*
Number of rooms: 48
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Also Known As:
Sandcastle At Birch Bay Hotel Blaine
Sandcastle Birch Bay
Sandcastle At Birch Bay Blaine

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