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“What a lucky find” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Armstrong House

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The Armstrong House
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12757 Chilberg Road, Mount Vernon, WA 98257 (Formerly Queen of the Valley Inn)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 4 Mount Vernon B&B and Inns
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“What a lucky find”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

We came to Laconner in the tulip season and we booked early but many places were already full....luckily, because that got us in to the Queen of the Valley Inn. It's a great place and the hosts are wonderful. What's unusual for a country B&B is that there is not a single frill or doily in the decor - totally refreshing! Breakfast is simply awesome. And then there is Jerry, the "royal cat" who takes his title quite seriously. Adorable. We stayed in the India room and it was lovely. No complaints. We would stay here again.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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42 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    30
    5
    1
    4
    2
See reviews for
4
23
2
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013 via mobile

Just this last weekend my husband and I stayed here for 2 nights for our 2nd anniversary. It was the first time at a B&B for both of us. We stayed in the Africa Room. It was wonderful! The bathroom was tiny, only a toilet, but there was enough room to sit on it and that's all the room needed. There is a jacuzzi room and the jacuzzi tub sits low and its all tile around, very cozy and romantic. The room was clean and warm. I was surprised with the dvd selection and the games they provide(that was a wonderful surprise that is!). There is a small fridge outside the room door that was great for storing snacks and drinks. There is a sitting room with a big wood stove. The breakfast that was served was absolutely delicious. It is very close to downtown La Conner and close to the casino. It is in a farm area so yes, expect to smell some "farm" smells but not constantly or anything. I couldn't find one things that I would have changed! I LOVED my stay here. Its a great "get away". It is everything I expected in a B&B. I plan on going back soon!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Seattle
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

I have visited lots of B&B’s over the years, but the Queen is the only once I’ve visited over and over again; it’s become an end-of-the-year tradition for me and my partner because this place transcends the ordinary.

The house is a farmhouse, surrounded by farmland. I always marvel at how beautifully the house is decorated – it feels like a gracious home, with a mix of old and new furnishings. Most B&B’s are cheaply tricked out to look sort of Victorian-ish, but the furnishings at the Queen are both tasteful and comfortable.

When we arrive the house always smells like gingerbread, or some other fresh-baked treat which is set out for snacking in the late afternoon. We eat dinner at one of the many good restaurants in LaConner, which is a 3-minute drive from the inn. After we return from dinner we’ll frequently sit downstairs by the huge woodstove and play a board game from the big chest on the stair landing, or look through the many fun magazines or picture books kept in baskets by the couch. The soft couch, the crackling fire in the woodstove, Jerry the cat snoozing on the rug….bliss.
We’ve stayed in several of the rooms over the years, but decided we like the Hong Kong room the best. When we wake up in the morning we have a view of the surrounding fields and the snowy Cascades in the distance. The bedroom is large, and the bathroom is huge, with a fantastic shower in the clawfoot tub and endless hot water. The smell of hot coffee and bacon always draws us downstairs for Shelly’s elaborate breakfasts. Of the three breakfasts we enjoyed on our most recent stay right before New Year’s, my favorite was waffles with fruit compote, scrambled eggs, and bacon. I would happily eat breakfast in restaurants more often if I could order breakfasts like Shelly’s.

Over the years I’ve been consistently impressed with how gracious and attentive the innkeepers are. When my parents moved to Seattle and accompanied us to the inn that first winter, Shelly brought out wine and cheese to mark the special occasion. My parents were in heaven! When we visited recently, the porch was a bit cold at breakfast time, and even before we sat down Chris commented on the chill and offered to set the table in the parlor so we could be closer to the woodstove.

We can’t imagine a more perfect place to relax and recharge – which is why we’ll be back again soon.

Room Tip: The Hong Kong room is spacious, and the bathroom is huge.
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  • Stayed December 2012, 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.
seattle
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

i booked our anniversary here based partly on the one positive yelp review, but i'm sorry to say we didn't have nearly as nice a time as that reviewer did.

it started great - shelly is lovely, & baked some delicious cinnamon-gingerbread cookies for our arrival. the front room was toasty warm & smelled of an apple candle, quite pleasant. we were the only ones staying there that night, & we had booked the "africa room". shelly showed us to it... then things started to go downhill.

the room had a space heater in it, & was very cold - 62 degrees. we could barely take our coats off for an hour after arriving, and even on full blast it only got the room to 65 by the time we went to sleep eight hours later. the television was an old, low-grade plasma screen that had solarization on the blacks & DVDs looked as sharp as an old VHS cassette. there was no remote for the DVD player, so we couldn't even watch special features, only play or pause. the jacuzzi tub, which looked awesome in the photo on the site, is a one-person tub - my boyfriend & i are slim, & did fit in it together, but not comfortably. the bed was nice & the sheets were soft, but the bed wasn't very quiet, if you catch my drift.

we woke up to someone's hacking cough, who fortunately didn't end up being in the kitchen. our breakfast was good but not exceptional - plain scrambled eggs, thick cut bacon, & buttermilk pancakes from scratch with maple syrup; orange juice, coffee, & tea bags. the orange juice was from concentrate, not fresh, which was another minor disappointment - you go to a b&b because you want these loving little details that you can't get at a regular hotel. you want to feel pampered!

the wifi worked fine, but shelly didn't think to give us the password when we arrived, so we had to go seek her out to get online.

all in all, we expected more from the room, based on the pictures, & much more from the breakfast, based on the "queen's cuisine" link on the website. (pancakes are not "restaurant style dining" - compare what we received to the fantastic-sounding sample menus!) we've been to many area b&bs, so we know how it can & should be... for our sixth anniversary together, this was really a let down for both of us - it wasn't romantic or inviting, & we do regret this choice.

i'm sorry to have to write this review, & i feel badly that it'll probably upset shelly, but it's important to have proper expectations as to what you'll experience at the queen of the valley inn.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2012

My husband and I were on a little getaway trip. We found this place online on a trip advisor, we looked online and it looked like a great place. When we pulled into the driveway the house looked old and rustic, it had a lot of charachter and charisma. When we walked inside though it looked like a dungeon. It was dark, smelly and creepy. All the windows were covered. It took a while to wait for the innkeeper to come downstairs. When we made a comment, "What a lovely house", we were asked if we would be interested in purchasing the house, and that they've been trrying to sell it for a while. Our room was ok, the windows were broken and dirty, the room was dusty, the sink was disgusting and the bathroom...oh, the bathroom...there is no room to turn around. We did have some hot water though. We didn't have a TV, even though on the website it did say we will, wifi...doesn't exist at all there. Our room was veryyyy stinky. We paid a lot of $ for a room that I would only pay $30 max. There were no coffee or the innkeepers in sight in the morning. There were 2 boxes of cereal, an empty coffee pot and a sign that said "if coffee is not brewed push this button twice, milk is in the fridge, bon voyage". We were out of there in no time. The owners were very nice and sweet. I think they just gave up and don't care about the place and it really showes. The place has a lot of potential it just needs some care and love. i wouldn't recommend staying there. Unless you like a cat mewing by your door at 6am.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
LaConnerLocal, Owner at The Armstrong House, responded to this review, August 20, 2012
We are sorry these guests had a bad experience. If they had come to us with any problems we would have done our best to rectify them.

We agree the inn was dark when they arrived. It’s August and to keep the inn cool and keep our energy use down we do something rather old fashioned, we close the blinds. After coming inside from an afternoon in the glaring sunshine, it may well seem dark at first. The inn is also filled with dark wood paneling, which increases the feeling of darkness, but it’s old growth wood and we don’t care what anyone says, we’re not painting it white. We find it cool and relaxing, and when the heat of the day passes we open up the blinds.

We take great pride in the condition and cleanliness of our rooms and have a hard time believing that they found it in anything but pristine condition, but in the rush of the day and turning over rooms for new guests it‘s possible that something did get missed. As far as any smell is concerned, we do live surrounded by farmland with all the sights and smells that goes with rural living, although usually the air is scented by the ocean breeze.

According to their reviews, these guests don’t have much experience with Bed and Breakfasts and with the large variety of accommodations that label themselves as such. The Queen of the Valley Inn was not built as an inn, it is a 100 year old farmhouse, and a rather large one at that, with all the charm and the disadvantages that entails. The room they stayed in does have an en suite bathroom, and while it is small it does have enough room for a shower and a toilet and still give you enough room to turn around (as long as your arms are not all akimbo). They could have chosen a room with a very large bathroom if they desired. And the website clearly states which rooms have TV and which do not. Again, if this was a problem and they had come to us we would have done our best to make them happy.

Finally, in regard to breakfast. At check in the guests were informed that breakfast was served at 9am. They were also handed an information sheet that also told them that breakfast was served at 9am. The guests then left before 8am. The note and coffee they found were for other guests that had to catch a ferry first thing in the morning and were leaving too early for our regular breakfast. This happens often as we are near the ferry to the San Juan Islands and Victoria, B.C. We hate to see guests leave without any breakfast so we did what we normally do and set up the coffee pot and left them a self serve breakfast of cereal, yogurt and fruit. We do try to accommodate early risers with a full breakfast but it’s not always possible. If the unhappy guests had come down at 9am they would have been treated to the best breakfast in the area. Shelly’s breakfast alone would have turned them around.

We work very hard to make a wonderful customer experience seem effortless. We just wish that customers would come to us and at least give us a chance to correct any problems they have before writing poor reviews.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lynnwood, Washington
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2012

Our 2-night stay was very enjoyable. We stayed on a Sunday and Monday night, determined to avoid the weekend crowds of the annual Tulip Festival. We succeeded -- only one other couple on Sunday night, and on Monday night it was just us. The hosts must have been tired after a long weekend with a packed house, but Shelly's energy seemed fresh.

The Good: Shelly is a gracious, warm, friendly hostess who created and served two scrumptious breakfasts for us. The sunken jacuzzi tub in the "Africa" room was fun to use and worked well. The queen bed was a very comfy Seely Posturepedic plush model. The antiques throughout the house and the old LIFE magazines added to the experience of getting away to a simpler time. If you play piano, theirs is in tune, and Shelly plays it for you. The gray cat is friendly too!

The Bad: The small sink in the room provides hot water only if you turn on the hot tap all the way and wait 3+ minutes. A sign informs you that they have a new system and would like feedback on how well it works. Poor lighting at the sink made it a little dicey to shave. The "water closet" (where the john sits) is cramped, which made it hard to stand up after sitting. The ceiling in the tub room was too low for anyone over 5'10", (but not a big deal as the room is not for standing)! I was taken aback at the small size of the room and the lack of a shower for what we paid and the days of the week we stayed (Sun-Mon), even though the Tulip Festival was still going on. Their website's pricing was misleading, but I didn't care because I sorely needed to get away. Note to self: Next time study the room choices more closely before booking.

Room Tip: Skip the 'Africa' room if you are over 6 feet tall or are less flexible than you once were...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
St. Augustine
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2012

We travel a lot in Europe and like to stay in Pensions. This beautiful home and the accommodations were reminiscent. We were recommended the “Queen” by some fellow travelers. They were right. We fell in love with this 100 year old farmhouse that has been remodeled and restored. It was extremely comfortable and we actually wanted to stay two more days but they were booked. The owners were knowledgeable about the area and gave us great tips on what to see and what to avoid. The food was excellent. We loved the valley as well, and have made reservations to come back and stay for five more days this August on our way to visit Vitoria B.C.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 The Armstrong House

Address: 12757 Chilberg Road, Mount Vernon, WA 98257 (Formerly Queen of the Valley Inn)
Location: United States > Washington > Mount Vernon
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Mount Vernon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Armstrong House, formerly The Queen of the Valley Inn, is located 1/2 mile from LaConner, out in the country. Quiet, relaxing surroundings, gorgeous views, perfect base for exploring the Skagit Valley. Farm house was built in 1908 and features a craftsman interior in Victorian style. Each room features bath/shower, toilet, sink, refrigerator. Delicious breakfast served each morning. ... more   less 

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