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“Over- hyped” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Willows Inn

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Willows Inn
2579 West Shore Drive, Lummi Island, WA 98262   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Dinner on Mondays!
Ranked #1 of 1 Lummi Island B&B and Inns
Seattle, Washington
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Over- hyped”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

We went to the willows for our 50th anniversary. We will certainly never forget it. The room was large, while the decor was not to my taste, it was nicely furnished in Monterrey Bay style. It was too far from the lodge, up a plain gravel road in a field with little ambience. Warehouse stairs leading to an above the garage room was disappointing. A deck to step outside would have made the difference in our enjoyment. At $300/night, I expected more.
Our dinner added another $300 and with tip and wine pairing, our one night was $1,000. The food was good and gave us something to laugh over as the first course was one (yes 1) mussel each followed by one oyster, one mushroom, etc. There was one of most thing, to say small is an understatement. However, it was prepared well and served beautifully. The wine pairing was too much wine and too pricey. The service was excellent. Maybe foodies would rave, but really just and interesting memory.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
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125 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    75
    30
    14
    5
    1
See reviews for
6
94
3
3
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 (37)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2013 via mobile

We attended the Willows Inn for a special dinner after obtaining a reservation with some difficulty because of their limited schedule, and restricted reservation policy. We were told they needed a credit card in order to make the reservation and that we would be billed Half the $150 cost of the meal (Each) if we did not show up. That alone made us a little leery, in case our elderly Host who is 92, was unable to make it. This friend of ours is quite hard to please. We were seated in the back room, which has no windows To the front, so we were unable to see the spectacular sunset. Each individual course was very tasty, but they were just small bites. In some cases, miniscule. The main entrée consisted of three spot Prawns Under some leaves. After That, we were abandoned for about 40 minutes, with, our friend, Who does not have a big appetite, asking where was the piece de resistance. Our daughter, who works as a server was surprised at the wait, and went to ask what was going on. We were still left another 10 minutes, and then came the two small bites of dessert. The bill for five people with two bottles of wine and a couple of cocktails before dinner, was over $1000. Our elderly host was inclined not to tip at all, but we slipped the kitchen staff Some cash and Hurried off to catch the last ferry. To top it all off, we were billed $300 on our own credit card due to a misunderstanding which was never fully explained, Although it was refunded, we lost on the exchange-rate both ways. Definitely not to be repeated. When one pays this much for a meal, one expects to be completely satisfied. We were not, either in the hunger department or the Service.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm Springs
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

This rustic inn on Lummi Island is nothing to look at on the outside but the dining experience is well worth the trip. Our room was nice and had recently been updated. The bath was also updated and large. All and all very comfortable but not a 5 star for sure. It is really all about the dining experience here. If you are a foodie, this is one to try, Just be sure the restaurant is going to be open before making the trip. The island is very small and remote...no real grocery store and no gas station!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Bellevue, Washington
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

We stayed 2 nights at the Reefnetter beach house. It is one of the 2 Willows Inn owned houses near where the reef netter fishermen have their platforms set up.

His is an interesting and unique place! Lumi has more to offer than one might think for such a small island, but it is still a small island with a certain rustic charm.

From the front of this house you face the driftwood covered beach and the reef netter fisherman. If you stand on the 2nd floor balcony, you can hear their voices in the mornings as the local fishermen call out to each other while they stand on scaffolding over their boats and watch for fish to swim into their nets.

Behind the 2 rental houses is a several acre brackish water estuary with a long winding private boardwalk. There were ducks out in the morning, a firepit, and several shine-like spots there were rather eclectic as various places along the path.

The house we stayed at was tastefully beach-house-style decorated and had 2 bedrooms each with its own full bath and balconies, a large-screen TV room with satellite (we did not use, but it worked), a reasonable kitchen, 2 dining areas, front and back porches (front porch had a table and chairs), and a vaulted living room with fireplace.

There was reasonable wireless internet.

The house was about 10 minutes’ drive from the Willows Inn main house and restaurant.
They also serve simple lunches at the Inn and at the diner by the ferry.

Room Tip: Plan for possible hour or more wait for the ferry either direction. Bring a book The ferry trip is...
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  • Stayed September 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013

We stayed in the Aerie cottage for 2 nights.It is advertised as being 1/4 mile from the main inn but is actually 1/2 mile.This,however,is academic as the road is narrow,unlit and has no sidewalks so you couldn't safely walk to and from at night anyway.As the main reason for going was to eat (and drink) at the restaurant this was very disappointing.Aerie itself seriously needs a remodel.The bathroom is tiny and the bath would look at home in a Motel 6.The magazine selection includes several Bon Appetits that were older than my daughters.None of the rugs had rug pads so it was way too easy to slip and fall. The bedrooms are small,hard for 2 people to move around.There is a small kitchen,poorly equipped,no-one has cleared out the cabinets for a long time.No dishwasher which was only an issue cause there was 1 squeeze of dish soap,an ancient grungy sponge and no towels.We only used the kitchen as we were there on a Tuesday and there is nowhere to eat on the island on Tuesday nights,a fact that is NOT made clear on the website.We had brought a picnic from Pike Place so luckily didn't need to actually cook.Housekeeping only comes if you remember to call by 10am so we never had it but were asked to leave a tip.The rooms need to be brought up to the standard of the food.The inn should serve breakfast instead of making you drive 3 1/2 miles to the Beach Store Cafe.A shuttle should be provided to take guests not in the main inn to and from dinner.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

In honour of my husband's 70th birthday, we stayed at The Willows Inn, accompanied by another couple; our best friends. I reserved the Sunrise and Sunset Rooms upstairs in the Main House. The property has a rustic feel to it, wrap around porch and all and provided a lovely serene atmosphere for our special holiday. The service was warm and welcoming. The Sunrise Room, painted Wedgewood Blue, is the larger of the two rooms upstairs and quite comfortable. The Keurig Coffee/Tea Maker was a nice touch; (although we were dismayed to find a used capsule inside the machine), a mini-fridge would have been a welcome addition to store the still water provided. The Sunset Room has a smaller bed, which our friends pronounced uncomfortable and resulted in a lack of sleep. Also, since the walls are paper thin, we could hear the sudden blast of music downstairs that came on at 7:20 a.m. You might want to bring an eye mask, since there are no drapes; only thin sheers covering the window.
We had read about Chef Blaine Wetzel and were thrilled to be able to partake in his tasting menu feast. What an incredible gastronomic experience that was; well worth the journey from Vancouver, B.C. Canada. and exceeding all our expectations. The amuse bouche dishes kept coming and each one was a delightful surprize. Chef Wetzel's fresh creative approach was lovely and every dish was amazing and so artfully presented. He kindly tailored the menu for me to suit my vegetarian/pescatarian needs and that was much appreciated. I must make special mention of the in house bread. It was beyond phenomenal; up there with the best breads I have tasted in Europe. We loved the small portions and unhurried, intimate atmosphere of the restaurant. It was wonderful to be able to meet Chef Wetzel after the meal and personally give him the kudos he deserves. What a fine chef he is.
After such an incredible dining experience, it was a huge step down to have to take breakfast off the property at the Beach Store Cafe, where the food was O.K. but the service mediocre. Our server held the water glasses by the rim where you sip, which is totally unfoodsafe. We do understand the need of The Willows Inn to concentrate on spending the entire day preparing for the evening meal, so I guess there are not a lot of options, unless they did a simple continental breakfast at the cafe on site. A lovely bonus was the free tour the hotel offered of the organic vegetable garden at a farm that was 15 minutes walking distance from the hotel. Fascinating! All in all, we would highly recommend The Willows Inn and Restaurant.

Room Tip: Be aware that this is not luxury accomodation, although comfortable enough.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Vancouver
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

We stayed in the Sinclair room and did not sleep because of the constant noise. Unfortunately, we had a group of loud drinkers above us and it went all night and there was nowhere to call for help. Dinner is a joke at $150 per person PLUS wine. It's a fabulous ploy to hook in those who are vulnerable to pretention and this place is Pretentious. If you are a cynic or have a sense of humor, you can see the joke while you are handing over your credit card for $1,000 for lodging and food. Spend it elsewhere. You can drown in they hype here and you don't get much for your money. It's for the fools of the world - o.k, I was bitten once but it won't happen again.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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): $$
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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