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“Very comfortable room, lovely location” 4 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 #8 of 25 Hotels in Bellingham
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Very comfortable room, lovely location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2009

We spent a romantic weekend here recently and were very pleased. Our room with a view of the harbour and a gas fireplace was perfect for a sunny but cool winter weekend. The bedding was first-rate and the room spacious and well-appointed.

While we both enjoyed the whirlpool tub, I would have to say that is the best shower I have had in a while.

There are a few missing touches, more so around the hotel than in the room, which is why I would not give it 5 stars.

Still the location is great, with a great view, lots of places to walk either around the harbour or a short drive away. It was our first visit to Bellingham in a 15 years and they have done a good job revitalizing older parts of town.

The restaurant is good but pricey. There are a couple of other restaurants right next door.

I can't really comment on the value as the weekend room was a gift.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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263 reviews from our community

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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
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (83)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Medina, WA
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2008

I was very disappointed with my stay. Apparently there was some "party animals" who decided to party next door on their balcony, in addition to loud yelling and loud conversations in the hallways all night long. Of course this can happen at any hotel and my opinion is not of the hotel but how the staff handled my complaint. When I called the front desk to advise of this loud obnoxious party that continued until 3:00 am, the gentlemen on the phone acted as if I WAS THE ONE WITH THE PROBLEM and never even had the decency to apologize. He mumble something like "mm, okay" and hung up on me. Needless to say, the party continued for another half an hour and it was a total sleepless night for me and my husband. For over $200 a night, that is a disgrace. Hotels of this caliber should not tolerate parties and the management really need to get a grip and put a stop to this with warnings in advance. A hotel is as good as the management running it. The hotel itself was nice but I would recommend the Chrysalis over the Bellwether any day which is in a much better location. I would rather hear the train once or twice during the night at the Chrysalis, rather than party animals all night long. I would not recommend staying at the Bellwether until the management changes how they run this establishment.

  • Liked — Clean room
  • Disliked — Management
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2008

I have never been more disappointed in a hotel! The staff was absolutely AWFUL! We attended a wedding there and they treated the bride so badly she was in tears on her wedding day. I could not believe how rude and inconsiderate the Management was to this couple. I would never waste the money to stay here again. The hotel itself is beautiful but the bed is no more comfortable than the Motel 8 for half the price down the road. Save your money and your vacation and stay elsewhere!!!

  • Liked — Beautiful views
  • Disliked — Management and Staff
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Kihei, Hawaii
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2008

We were in town in Bellingham on a spur of the moment stop here in July.

What a great property. It's right by the water and is just beautiful, small, boutiquey and the staff is exceptionally friendly and helpful.

This is the best there is in Bellingham. It costs a touch more than some, but you won't be disappointed.

The rooms are really nicely appointed.

  • Liked — The quality of the rooms.
  • Disliked — Nothing. It was wonderful!
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2008

My husband and I were in Bellingham to watch our son's baseball tournament. We had spotted this hotel when we were there last year and thought it looked like a good place to stay. We were not disappointed. We had a king suite and the room was really nice and had a fabulous view of the bay. We love being able to sleep with the sliding door wide open and listening to the sounds of the bay. We found the staff to be very good. We took our road bikes with us and biked all over the area. It was handy to be able to leave our bikes in the car, parked in the secure parking below. We ate dinner at Anthony's Seafood Restaurant, within walking distance. The food was good and the view was fantastic. We peeked into Anthony's other restaurant, the "Hearthfire Grill" and decided we will eat there next time. It looked even better and it's right outside the hotel. All in all, we thought this is an excellent place to stay and we will definitely stay there again.

  • Liked — fabulous location and view,
  • Disliked — would be nice to have a pool
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2008

We discovered this hotel about 4 years ago after a very disappointing stay at another hotel in the area (The Chrysalis). That stay had been marred by the trains that run along the coast. After two nights of having trains 'rumbling through the bedroom' each night, we left the hotel and did some exploring as we made our way north towards home. As we drove parallel along the water, we came up a jut of land that went out into the bay of Bellingham, and at the end of which was a small commercial development (two story office and professional buildings) - and at the very end of that, was an attractive 3 story hotel - the Bellwether.

We were greeted by an upbeat, positive front desk person (Teri - who we are happy to report still works there), who gave us a tour. We liked the feel of the hotel - a traditional finish to it. The rooms (especially the Premier level) were to our liking, with a king sized bed, a sitting area with a wing backed chair, corner gas fire place and a couch (that is also a hide-a bed). A nice balcony with two chairs and small table. Bathroom with separate show stall, jetted tub, and folding doors so that you can open the bathroom up to view the room, or close for privacy. Lots of drawers, room safe, two TV's (with DVD players), and a nice counter area as you enter the room to put key's sunglasses etc. This grade of room is about mid way up in their price structure, but we thought is also represented great value. (Price fluctuates greatly through the seasons).

What is really the best feature of the hotel though is the location. This hotel is right on the water. If you chose the water side (the other side looks at the office buildings and a bit of a green space) - you have this fantastic view of the Bellingham bay, the channel that pleasure boats make their way through to enter and exit the marina, and a park on the other side that through out the summer features people flying a fantastic assortment of kites. When the sun goes down and your head hits the pillow the location continues to be a bonus - those darn trains are about a mile behind you, on the other side of the hotel. Except for the occasional distant train whistle you will not be disturbed at night - as you will be at any other hotel in the area that is close to the water.

The hotel has a very nice lounge (and restaurant) - with a great combination of dark woods, comfortable chairs, fireplace and big screen TV, AND an exceptional view out the windows to the water. We spent many happy hours back in Feb 2006 eating our meals, with a great glass of Washington state wine, and watching the winter Olympics in this very cosy location.

Last year the hotel changed hands - we understood the original owner was the developer - a German (which explain why one of the clocks over the front desk displays the time in Munich). We got the impression (not from Teri - but other staff that weren't as discrete) that the hotel has not really been a great investment and a group of local business people have now acquired it. The general up keep (cleanliness) has improved, but some of the fabrics are starting to wear, and towels need to be replaced, and the shower could use with a re-grouting. We get the sense that there is greater financial discipline - which means things are not being looked at as quickly as they might otherwise have been.

Returning though to my theme about location, there is a great walk just out the hotel that takes you around the marina, and over to the commercial fishery side. One can walk to (or take a short drive to) Fairhaven - that is a real west coast gem - lots of funky stores and restaurants. There is also full service spa (a separate business) in one of the commercial buildings right around the corner hotel.

In addition to the dining options in the hotel (the summer allows for a lovely outdoor patio) there are two nice restaurants within just a couple of hundred yards of the hotel (Anthony's is the better of the two). This means for a 3 day weekend, we literally don't have to move the car and can eat at different place each night.

On the potential area's to be aware of - the town is a University / College centre, and some of the staff are drawn from the students. They can be fascinating to talk to sometimes, but at times their service is uneven. Some of the full time staff are great, but others can be a bit of challenge to work with.

For us this is a great value, close to home (with a pass to clear the border we can be there from our home in Vancouver in around 45 minutes), a great location, and a restful retreat. This hotel is not perfect, but it clearly the best place to stay in the area (despite the current rankings on Trip Advisor).

  • Liked — Size and lay out of room - right on the water!
  • Disliked — Starting to get tired.....
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Inverness, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2007

We arrived in town without reservations and on the suggestion of friends, drove to the Hotel Bellwether. It was the week before the Thanksgiving holiday so the hotel was almost empty. We were given a plaza view room on the 3rd floor which had a great view of Bellingham Bay and the city so we'd recommend saving the extra $30 for a water view room and take the beautiful view to the east.

The room was very large and well-appointed with abundant down pillows, robes, and fluffy towels. The large jetted tub was wonderful after a long trip and there are doors next to the tub that open up to the bedroom. A gas fireplace made the whole room cozy and warm.

But here are our gripes and I hope the hotel management takes note on how they can improve their guest services with better training for their front desk staff (although Harold was very nice and very friendly):

--When guests check in, advise them that there is secure underground parking for their use. Tell them how to get into the garage (when didn't know about it until our 4th night)

--Give guests a little heads-up on dining in the hotel. It would be a nice touch to tell them about the hotel's restaurants (not to mention building the restaurants' business).

--Let guests know that there are complimentary local papers in the lobby and that USA Today is delivered every morning.

--There's no bellman, but it would be nice if the front desk staff could at least point guests to the available luggage cart.

--Although there was a DVD player in our room, the instructions for using it weren't complete and we had to get assistance from the front desk.

--Here's the biggest gripe: the hotel was NOT busy but each time we walked through the lobby the front desk staff did not only fail to greet us, each and everyone of them had their head down and glued to a computer monitor. A smile and a greeting would have been welcome and gee, it would be good to know that the front desk was paying attention to who's walking into the lobby for the safety and security of the guests.

We'll probably stay again, but we won't have any lofty expectations of the staff.

  • Liked — The large rooms and the location
  • Disliked — The front desk staff
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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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Additional Information about Hotel Bellwether

Address: 1 Bellwether Way, Bellingham, WA 98225
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Washington > Bellingham
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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