Simply put, this is a fine hotel. Much is made of Bellingham's Bellweather which, we're sure, deserves the raves. But so too does The Chrysalis. On the water in the histori section of Fairhven in Bellingham, a port city of 75,000 in Washington state. The rooms are spacious, distinctive and, with a waterfront room, offers you view in the foreground of the accessible public wharf and the dock where, on Friday, the Alaska ferry prepares for its next trip north and, in the not so distant background, the silhouettes of Lummi and Orcase islands in the San Juans. The staff is congenial and friendly, the lobby among the most comfortable in which I've spent a late night or early morning and . The restaurant, where you can dine inside or out, offers delicious, affordable fare and courteous, quick service. And it's just a six or seven minute gentle walk to the Firhaven district, with lots of historic buildings, interesting shops and what may be the largest independent book store north of Powells in Portland. If we'd had a chance to stay another night, we would have, but, no surprise, it was 100 percent full that night. There's a reason. If you're in Bellingham, give it a go.
PS - Yes, the hotel overlooks a set of train tracks. Almost any property on the water line running north to south in Washington statte does. And, yes, the engines at the front and the engine at the rear make noise. Lots of it.But the night air is gentle, the bed comfortable, you're on a vacation and know you can sleep an extra 10 or 15 minute s to compensate for their admitted rumble and roar. Nicely enough, you'll find ear plugs provided by the hotel staff next to your bed. Use them if you want or, like me, just sleep in another 10 or 15 minutes. Who knows, at my age the trains helped me get one of my best night's sleep in a hotel in years.