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“Not what I expected” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Bellwether

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Hotel Bellwether
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   1 Bellwether Way, Bellingham, WA 98225   |  
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Ranked #7 of 25 Hotels in Bellingham
Seattle, WA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Not what I expected”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

I stayed here this past weekend and was not impressed for the price I paid. That being said, the staff was so kind and I really want to commend them for great service.

The reason I was less than impressed was because my water view pricetag only paid for a bottom floor view of the marina. (I requested a top floor room, but they didn't have any left. The water view price should not have been attached to the room I stayed in, in my opinion.) Also, the furniture was in worn condition, the bedspring portion of the mattress was stained without being covered by a sheet and there was an off odor to the room. The hotel breakfast looked to be pretty minimal and cost $10 so we drove to Old Town Cafe instead. It was delicious!

The good: the staff was very friendly, each room has a gas fireplace, and the towels and linens were comfy. Additionally, the all-day happy hour in the restaurant/bar on Sunday allowed for great snacks and cocktails and was accompanied by live jazz music.

This hotel doesn't have a hot tub or pool. The room is equipped with jetted tub, but it would be nice to relax in a hot tub with a travel partner. The spa nearest to this hotel gets horrible reviews, which is unfortunate. I had initially intended to stay at the Chrysalis Inn and Spa so I could have an all-inclusive stay that included massage, but a friend who stayed there cautioned against it due to the many trains that rumble by all night long. After reading reviews, I could see that she wasn't alone in her experience.

I know choice lodging options in Bellingham are few and far between, but I think I'll take my chances and try the Best Western by the Bellis Fair Mall next time for half the price (and a hot tub). If you do stay here though, and have the time, ask for a tour of the lighthouse suite. It's over $400 a night, so not an option for lodging for most, but the 360 degree views from the top are beautiful.

Room Tip: Ask for a high floor away from the elevator if you're on the water side. The best views would be...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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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267 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (87)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Sammamish, Washington
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

We've returned to the Bellwether three times now for the comfort, location to WWU and city, and relaxing Marina setting.Each time the front desk help has been exceptional. The rooms are large and we've always enjoyed the water view from the balcony. The only criticism is that the rooms are showing signs of wear and tear. The showers could use new tiles/grout and some of the woodwork needs "touched up". That said, we are already planning our next stay.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotBelle, Director of Sales at Hotel Bellwether, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
Thank you so much for your review. It’s that time of year to renovated and renew, so thank you for the heads up on the showers! We are pleased to have you returning again soon!
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Seattle Washington
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2012

We had the Bellwether Suite for our stay. Staff was very helpful and friendly. Clean, comfortable and professional. Minor comments - iPads don't work well (unless you're in the lobby - and it does not work back at the room, despite strong signal). And thankfully the sign said 'hot water is slow' because after nearly 5 minutes, it was barely warm. A little train noise one morning, but not a problem. On the water with great views - but not really near anything. I would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
HotBelle, Director of Sales at Hotel Bellwether, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
Thank you for your review. We just installed a brand new Wi-Fi system throughout the hotel and event spaces last month, so we may be working out a few final touches, good to know! We are situated on the waterfront, just 1 mile from Downtown Bellingham and 5 miles from historic Fairhaven Village, both are accessible via waterfront paved trails. I invite you to return and take a quick stroll to town the next time you’re here; it’s lovely year-round. Thank you for choosing us during your stay and we look forward to hosting you in beautiful Bellingham again shortly!
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Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
156 reviews 156 reviews
71 hotel reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

This hotel is the true definition of cozy! Each room with a California King Bed, Fireplace, Balcony and jetted Jacuzzi tub! Turn that fireplace on, put a movie in and fill that jetted tub with hot water and bubbles and soak the day away! Located right on the water, the hotel has amazing views. The furnishings, towels, etc are top notch and so is the staff! Close enough to walk downtown and many other places.

Room Tip: Get a water view and watch the boats come in and out of the marina!
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 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.
HotBelle, Director of Sales at Hotel Bellwether, responded to this review, December 21, 2012
Thank you so much for your excellent review. We so enjoy positive (and constructive) feedback. My only correction is that our, albeit, giant beds aren't actually California Kings, but in fact Kings. They are deliciously comfy and yet we are actually about to replace them all with even better ones from our Preferred Hotel and Resort distributor very soon. We are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay and that our guest rooms could provide such a cozy retreat from the brisk Northwest winter weather. The 270 degree water views are amazing all year long, especially on classic stormy and sunny Northwest days like today. Downtown Bellingham is a close walk and we invite you to return soon and visit the wonderful local shops as you discover the best of Bellingham next time you are in town. Happy Holidays!
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Bellingham, WA
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

We stayed at the Bellwether for our anniversary. We were upgraded to a suite. The rooms are lovely; the service is friendly and attentive. Best of all, the Bellwether welcomes pets. We brought our small dog and got nothing but smiles from the staff. We had breakfast and dinner at the hotel - the restaurant had recently been renovated, and the menu was revamped along with the update. We've always liked the Bellwether restaurant and this was no exception. A perfect weekend!

Room Tip: Definitely ask for a water view room. It's worth the slight premium.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
HotBelle, Director of Sales at Hotel Bellwether, responded to this review, December 21, 2012
Thank you for your delightful review. We agree the Bellwether is the perfect waterfront oasis for an anniversary or weekend getaway. We adore each of our four-legged guests and invite you to add a pet package when they stay to add luxury for your loved one. Thank you for making us part of your perfect weekend getaway. Happy Holidays!
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WA State
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2012

As a college and retiree town, to a significant degree, Bellingham is not known for its luxury hotels. Years ago, when it opened, the Bellwether would have met that description.

However, in recent years (perhaps due to changing ownership), the hotel has slowly slid into disrepair. Although the restaurant has improved a bit from recent years, take a peek at the linens, towels, etc, in the room and you will see a rather worn out combination.

On the bright side, if you get a room with a view, expect great views of the water and some of the San Juan Islands in the distance.

The people at the hotel are terrific, but, alas, cannot make up for a hotel not being upgraded to keep up with the times. However, when you don't have much competition in town, why bother?

Stayed July 2012, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jim H, General Manager at Hotel Bellwether, responded to this review, December 3, 2012
Thank you for your review and for visiting us at the Hotel Bellwether. I am thrilled to inform you that since your visit with us in July we have completely upgraded our linens and towels to the highest quality our Preferred Hotel Group supplier offers. The linens/towels and recent room upgrades have been very well received by our past guests - see recent TripAdvisor reviews. We are very proud to have been recognized as the top luxury hotel in the Northwest as recently as 2010 and 3rd in 2012. We invite you back to enjoy our most recent enhancements (ownership is committed to maintain a first-class property). Your input is very valuable as we strive to be recognized as one of the finest hotels in the Northwest and continue to provide our guests an exceptional experience.
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Stanwood, Washington
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

The Hotel Bellwether and the unbelievable, amazing staff should be rated 25 out of five!!! The fantasticly gracious, warm staff coupled with the magnificent setting and "old world" charm helped to make our stay a delightful fairy tale we will NEVER forget!!! It was a special anniversary and their enchanting front desk staff as well as their fantastic Restaurant Manager and staff went out of their way to set up our room as a romantic dream that truly took my husband's breath away when we entered our room (not easy to do!). The room was huge with awesome lanai, excellent views (table and chairs perfect for early morning coffee), luxury robes for a luxury bathroom complete with two-person jacuzzi tub and separate shower and a huge comfy bed delivering a wonderful peaceful slumber. The many, many countless acts the staff performed with such grace and genuine caring went wayyyyy above and beyond anything we have experienced before!!! They did everything to make sure EVERY DETAIL of our stay was perfect...(and key staff coordinates with me weeks before we even arrived) from the special treats in the lounge to the variety of soaps, bath salts and creams, to rose petals all through our room and into the jacuzzi bath......there really are not enough words to express what an amazing hotel, rich with beautiful antiques, a huge fireplace with carved mantel, great artwork, water falls, the perfect setting with views of the marina and open water that cannot be beat...and THEN, couple that with the most caring and friendly staff--from the front desk, to each of the restaurants/lounge as well as outstanding housekeeping staff just as warm, caring and thorough....You could not stay at a more amazing hotel, reminiscent of european chateaus, surrounded by outstanding natural beauty, simply amazing food with knowledgeable, eager and delightful servers, a huge wine selection and top that off with THE VERY BEST EXTRAORDINARY WARM AND CARING STAFF WE HAVE EVER ENCOUNTERED--add that up and you have all the components of a stay you will never forget!! Special kudos to Sarah, Andrew, Teri, Karen, Levi, Erin, Sean, Jim, Krystina, Ashley--You are beyond compare!! When you book your stay at the Hotel Bellwether, you are in for a wonderful stay!!!!!

Room Tip: You cannot go wrong with any of the rooms with a view of the water. The higher floors give you a br...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Hotel Bellwether

Address: 1 Bellwether Way, Bellingham, WA 98225
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Washington > Bellingham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Bellingham
#5 Family Hotel in Bellingham
#8 Romantic Hotel in Bellingham
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Bellwether 3.5*
Number of rooms: 66
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Bellwether is Western Washington’s premier upscale waterfront hotel, providing luxurious accommodations, attentive service, and personalized amenities that pamper the leisure traveler, support the corporate traveler, and facilitate hassle-free meetings and outstanding weddings and events. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bellwether Hotel Bellingham

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