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“Great Destination Restaurant and Inn” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Willows Inn

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Willows Inn
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2579 West Shore Drive, Lummi Island, WA 98262   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 Lummi Island B&B and Inns
Seattle
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Great Destination Restaurant and Inn”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2011

My wife and I came to the hotel for the first time as part of our plan to eat dinner (and breakfast) in its acclaimed restaurant. Although the Inn does not quite rank the 5 stars earned by its dining room, it is nonetheless very charming and makes for a peaceful and wonderful stay.
First, the setting perched on a small bluff looking over the western shore of pristine Lummi Island is breathtaking. We enjoyed it from the porch on our Cottage slightly uphill from the main Inn and also from the Inn's porch for drinks and the dining room at Sunset.
Second, the Cottage was private and well equipped, if a bit rustic. The sky light above the bed provides a view of the constellations for city-dwellers unaccustomed to such a sight. The hotel staff did a turn down service, which was quite easy for them to schedule, as they can count on all guests being in the dining room for dinner.
Third, the grounds are beautiful, including a walk down and along the beach, complete with views of a seal and sea stars, a regulation bocce ball court, kitchen garden, and a spa with outdoor shower (hot tub was not operating during visit:()
Fourth, Inn was run with a low key polish where you know that all needs will be met, but without any attitude.
Most importantly, the Inn's restaurant is not to be missed. Incredible destination for foodies and others who appreciate incredibly fresh local ingredients executed in some ways familiar yet better than you have ever tasted!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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132 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    80
    32
    14
    5
    1
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (38)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2011

Who would ever think that this lovely, rustic, beautiful oasis on the discreet island of "Lummi" would harbor such an amazing gastric experience. Yes, we read all the reviews but, until you experience it you won't believe. Chef Blaine is humble and quiet. So, quiet we had no idea we were actually being served by the master at one point. What a true treat to the senses but, then again so casual and comfortable. It felt like you were eating in a local home not a pretentious upscale restaurant.

The inn was quaint and cozy. It is obvious that it is a continuous work in progress which makes you want to come back every year to see the changes. Loved the bocci court and just the general mellowness of the whole experience

*If I had to give constructive criticism. They need a wall mirror for makeup and the cost of the wine paring we felt was too high.

Room Tip: Sunset Room says it all but, be prepared on a warm night with the windows open that the dinner parti...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2011 via mobile

My husband and I had a great stay at the Willows. We stayed in the Low Tide room which had a private beach. Perfect. The dinner was fun, adventurous, unforgettable, at times too creative. It is a long seating so be prepared.
The rooms are mediocre but the beach made up for it. We had a problem with the management when they raised the price of the dinner a week before our stay, this put us past our allowed cancellation time. It took quite a discussion with the front desk manager to get her to honor the original price. I did e-mail the owner because she was so rude! I didn't get much of a response back from him but the day of our stay, the service was great. Everyone right down to the hussars in the dinning room were awesome. I even had a massage that was fabulous.
So, I'd say it's great but if you have any issues that need addressed then they lose all that great customer service. I had read another review that had an issue with them auto charging a tip.

  • Stayed July 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2011

We stayed a weekend at the Willows Inn and had a wonderful time. We stayed in the cottage, which is just behind the inn on a hill. It’s a tiny cabin with a tiny kitchen and a great deck with a partial ocean view, in fact you can see the view even while lying in bed. The cottage is very private and nicely decorated in a fresh country style with some nice original art. This room has no shower (old-fashioned tub instead) and no closets, but there are storage drawers under the bed. Lots of places in the cottage to read or rest or just breathe the fresh air.

The meal at the Inn was magnificent, the small courses were imaginative and authentic and every one was delicious. Definitely a restaurant worth making a special trip to visit. But we also enjoyed the casual meals at the Taproot Café, especially the hamburger and the soup.

Lummi Island is very low key, not a lot of activities but a great place to relax and enjoy the ocean views. The Inn has bicycles to rent or borrow, and you can hike up to the Nettles Farm and see where all the lovely fresh produce for your dinner is grown. If you live in Vancouver, it’s a very easy drive, especially if there are no border crossing waits.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Seattle
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2011

The room was right on the beach. I could hear the sea breezes and the lapping waves from the open window; and the view of Puget Sound was fabulous. It was half a mile from the lodge, next to a larger beachhouse (also available) and above another unit. There are also units on the farm a mile or so from the lodge. The beach units were expensive but worth it because of the view. There were several places outside to sit and a hammock on the beach. The room was simply furnished, in keeping with the laid back overall feeling of this place. If you expect something glitzy, this is not for you, though you will find many services available such as a spa, bicycle rental, friendly and helpful staff, and of course a fabulous restaurant (Reviewed separately). This was exactly what I needed for a mini retreat. I plan to come every year if I can. Getting there on a small ferry was also part of the adventure. The breakfast was very good with fresh ingredients and good coffee. Be sure to come when the restaurant is open for dinner.

Room Tip: Book early for optimum choice, make sure restaurant is open
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Piedmont, California
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2011

We stayed in the Willows Inn for a weekend in August. The inn itself is rustic and is on a quiet island 1/2 hour by ferry from Bellingham, Washington. We were drawn to visit because we had read about the restaurant; we are "foodies" from the bay area in California. We enjoyed amazingly creative and delicious dinners two nights in a row. The young chef, Blaine Wetzel, is a cooking genius. He hails from the Pacific northwest, and uses local ingredients to prepare food, and winds up creating magic. In the morning there is a different kitchen crew who prepare a delicious and healthy breakfast.
I can highly recommend the Willows Inn to anyone interested in great food and good local wine.

Room Tip: For the mildly adventurous, you can stay in a fully appointed yurt that has an exterior Clivus toile...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Bellevue, Washington
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2011

This gem secreted on Lummi Island near Bellingham WA is a great couples getaway.

My wife bought a weekend getaway to here through a special deal. Finding the place was not too difficult though the journey to the ferry through the Lummi Indian reservation struck me as something I wouldn't want to do on a cold dark night.

The Willows Inn has a very unassuming aspect from the road and creeps up on you as you round the island's coastal road. Ample parking is found adjoining the establishment. The colourful proprietor and staff provide for plenty of entertainment especially at sundown when the hotel residents and surrounding community appear to all descend on the covered deck that overlooks the water.

Dinner is served by a first class team led currently by the locally and internationally renowned Blaine Wetzel with local gastronomic delights. We were disappointed that we were deemed less worthy than some food critic for a window table but we had a great time nonetheless. Dinner was great, ambience was great. Restaurant service was great, cocktails and reception service was average.

Our room was well appointed at the top the stairs near reception, a roomy en suite.

Breakfast was a tremendous let down relative to the preceding night and the service staff seemed to be the C team not even the B team with a miserable quiche and shoddy service... a bit disappointing and a black mark for this I am afraid.

We'd go back in the blink of an eye though, it is a great venue for a decompress....

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Willows Inn

Address: 2579 West Shore Drive, Lummi Island, WA 98262
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Washington > San Juan Islands > Lummi Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Lummi Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Willows Inn on Lummi Island has become the Northwest's premiere destination for authentic farm to table dining. Come in and experience the culinary magic of our chef, Blaine Wetzel, and find out what eating from your landscape is all about. Savor wines from our extensive selection. Enjoy our elegantly comfortable accommodations. Drink in the views, watch whales, or relax with a cocktail by a blazing fire. Unplug, recharge and experience the Willows Inn--an authentic and affordable San Juan Islands adventure! Offering romantic beachside lodge rooms, cottage, and guest house accommodations and marine experiences. Organic food from Loganita Farm. A car ferry departs at least hourly for the five minute crossing to this scenic island retreat. Less than two hours from Seattle or Vancouver, BC. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Willows Hotel Lummi Island

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