My husband and I stayed a total of 3 nights (2 + 1) at the Chrysalis Inn as part of a group of 11 friends traveling together to the San Juan Islands. We'd been booked at the Inn by the trip organizer and are happy we ended up there both before and after our island adventure.
Our spacious room had a large picture window, complete with window seat, overlooking Bellingham Bay, and we never tired of watching the water, boats, and walkers/joggers/cyclists taking the South Bay Trail boardwalk. As other reviewers have mentioned, the railroad track is smack-dab next to the Inn, which thoughtfully provides earplugs next to the bed. You WILL hear trains, several per night, but how disruptive they are to your sleep is an individual thing. I took my own earplugs and was fine.
The railroad seems to be recognized in this area as the price one pays for a sea view. On a drive along the coast, we saw oceanfront mansions with the tracks nearly on their front porches. It seemed odd to us, but that's just the way it is along that part of the Washington coast.
My one complaint about our bedroom was that, like more and more upscale hotels, the bed had a too-warm duvet as the only cover. Comforters are great in an unheated ski lodge in winter, but they're MUCH too warm otherwise. There's no way to regulate one's warmth level -- you're either sweaty with the comforter or freezing with only a top sheet (if there even is a top sheet). It was not possible to turn the A/C in our room to a low enough temperature for the comforter to be, well, comfortable. Fortunately, we found extra bedding in the closet which was meant to turn the window seat into an additional bed, so we found a blanket to use, instead of the suffocating comforter. From talking to other travelers, I know I'm not the only person who needs more-adjustable bedding, so I wish hotels would pay attention to us.
(Someone once said the trick was to stick a foot out from under the duvet as a sort of radiator, but for me that results in a freezing foot and sweltering body, which isn't a solution.)
The hotel is well-placed for some interesting explorations on foot. We walked to the Sehome Arboretum, about half an hour away from the Inn, next to the campus of Western Washington University, and wandered happily around there for an hour or two, reveling in the plant and bird life. The residential neighborhood just east of the Inn features homes with bay views and fabulous gardens, well worth a stroll if you're nosy like us. Also within a couple of blocks of the Inn is the historic district of Fairhaven, with restaurants and artsy shops that we enjoyed visiting. We also took an afternoon's hike south from Fairhaven along the Interurban Trail, which is a great place to walk or bike.
We had two wonderful dinners at Fino Wine Bar, the restaurant at the Chrysalis, and we'd happily eat there again. Both the food and the wine were excellent, with wide choices available of each and friendly service, and like our room, the dining room had a great view of the bay. The room rate includes breakfast at Fino, which is a scrumptious buffet open only to guests of the Inn. We were sorry that an early flight on the last day of our stay made it impossible for us to have more that morning than a cup of coffee.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.