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“Worth it!!” 5 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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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Lummi Island B&B and Inns
Bothell, Washington
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Worth it!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014

We went to Willows for our anniversary and stayed in one of their off-site properties. We were in the Marina house which was right on the waterfront. The view faced Mt. Constitution on Orcas Island. One of the main reasons to go to Willows is their restaurant. It was an incredible gastronomic experience. It was a beautifully crafted 8-course meal that also included appetizers and fresh bread. Everything is farm to table and fresh. The restaurant closes from January-March. My only suggestion would be they should install a "grab bar" in the shower and furnish instructions on how to operate the fireplace. We had to call someone out to get it started. Would definitely go back.

  • Stayed December 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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128 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    77
    31
    14
    5
    1
See reviews for
6
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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
USA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2013

My wife and I traveled from Oregon to Lummi Island because a sommelier we know recommended the restaurant. So we traveled 600 round trip miles for dinner. We were not disappointed.
We stayed one night in an upstairs room. The accommodations were ok though a bit small. The setting is beautiful. Great view of the San Juans, small waves heard hitting the shore 50' away, bald eagles flying by. While sitting in the lobby, reading and nursing a beer, a young lady brought us a bowl filled with rounded stones, with 2 oysters on top. Unbidden!
Dinner was one of the 3 top meals we have ever had, on a par but very different from the French Laundry. Lots of very small plates with 1-3 bites of food each. It reminded me of Kaiseki in Japan. Each course was exquisitely presented: in a wooden box which when opened released fragrant wood smoke, on a barnacle encrusted rock, etc. And each "course", of which there were more than 15 (mostly amuse-bouche) was utterly unique from the others. The seafood and vegetables could not have been fresher unless you were on the boat or grazing at the farm.
We had dishes we had never experienced before, like venison tartare and we are not tartare fans. But it was delicious. Ever had a serving of Halibut skin before? Ditto on delicious. With over 15 arrows, not every one was a bulls eye, but there was a very dense cluster there.
Service was very good. Relaxed, unpretentious, yet attentive.
The only mild disappointment was the wine tasting menu as some dishes did not match the wine served with it (viognier with mushrooms?). Perhaps a better approach would be to spread among each of the diners a matched single bottle of wine with each course, but perhaps this isn't workable.
I doubt that I could enthusiastically recommend the inn as a destination without the meal. And it's not a place for those seeking steak and lobster tails. But If you want to taste new things, experience food as a feast for your taste buds and eyes, this is for you.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
spokane, washington
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2013

I stayed at one of the Inn separate lodigng locations, Reefnetter, with another couple I knew. The house and location were fantastic....just a short distance from the main Inn. However, no change of linen was tacky and inexcusable for the prices charged. All else was more than adequate, i.e. space, rooms, wi-fi and a beautiful memorable view.

The Restaurant was fantastic with exquisite preparation, beautiful presentation and flavors that defy description. This is a destination or any foodie and was well worth the price. The service was equally great with the actual chef giving descriptions. Chef Blaine Wetzel is worth the visit. Unfortunately, the wine selection and service leaves much to be desired. With a little effort on the part of managment, this place could be a destination without equal in the Northwest.

Also, breakfast is served in a small restaurant close to the Ferry Dock. It is charming, and has excellent food. The service was fantastic and we were well supplied with coffee!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Seattle, Washington
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
19 helpful votes 19 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
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 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 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
47 helpful votes 47 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...
See more room tips
  • 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.

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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 ( Wi-Fi ) 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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