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“Very different little hotel + continental breakfast” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Bird Rock Hotel

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Bird Rock Hotel
35 First Street, Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA 98250   |  
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Hotel amenities
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Get Your Summer Glow On!
Ranked #8 of 9 hotels in Friday Harbor
GreenLeadersSilver level
Lincolnwood, Illinois
Top Contributor
124 reviews 124 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“Very different little hotel + continental breakfast”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2013

We stayed here one night and were pleasant surprised. It is a an interesting spot, and appears to be a converted home. I'm sure the toilet and shower were added later. All in all we had a nice stay and enjoyed the continental breakfast. It is conveniently located near the ferry and Friday Harbor shops, and there was plenty of street parking.

Room Tip: Be prepared to schlep your luggage up stairs. Also some rooms share a bath, but that is clear on th...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
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246 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Seattle, Washington
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2013

We stayed at Bird Rock during the off season. Here is a summary of pros and cons:

Pros:

1. The hotel is in the heart of town and within walking distance to everything.

2. The rooms are updated and new despite the appearance from outside.

3. The rooms are affordable and you can choose from a variety of options including rooms with shared bathrooms, rooms with a private bathroom with only a shower/toilet/sink or rooms with a full private bathroom with a tub and fireplace etc.

4. Breakfast is included and includes options like cereal, yogurt, scones, toast, eggs and fresh fruit.

Cons:

1. The rooms are not at all sound proof. The hotel provides earplugs in case street noise bothers you, which we didn't notice at all, however the noise from other guests kept us up at night. Our neighbors talked loudly until 3am and since the hotel is a small boutique type hotel, there was no one at the front desk to call and we didn't want to knock on our neighbor's door ourselves. The earplugs didn't help at all.

2. We stayed in a room called "Shaw" which was on the second floor and was stifling hot. It was cold and 50 degrees outside but even with the fan on and window open our room felt like it was 80 degrees.

Bottom line: we would probably stay again, but would request a room on the bottom floor to avoid the heat and would probably bring our own earplugs from home.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
EarthboxLaura, Manager at Bird Rock Hotel, responded to this review, October 28, 2013
Hi Kelsey,
Thank you so much for taking the time to write about your stay. Only through constructive feedback like yours can we become a better place.
Whenever our front desk is not staffed, we post a sign with the night manager's number in case of just such situations.
We are working on the heat issue in the Shaw. Thank you for letting us know.
We hope to have you come visit again soon.
Sincerely,
Steffi Wehner
Customer Service Manager
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Rochester Hills, Michigan, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2013

Okay, we were really ready to enjoy our trip to the Bird Rock. Our check in lady was lovely. She even helped us lug our suitcases up to the third floor Cypress Room. We picked it for top level..vaulted ceilings...it was clean with a chic update. But it was HOT!!! Mind you this is mid September. We opened up the window...located behind the bed...only 2" peered above the headboard...it kept sliding down...undaunted we turned on the ceiling fan...and headed out site seeing.
We came back at 6PM...our room thermostat read 85...it was TOASTY! The fan....no help...we politely went down to the front desk and explained our dilemma. I am sure it is 85 the desk clerk stated...oh too quickly...hmmm I do NOT think we are the first with this problem. She explained she could work on getting the window fixed (we are assuming that meant putting a stick in it) but, with the headboard covering all but, 2" of the opening...we explained we did not think that would work for us...( we have NOT even gotten to Fact #2).
After not backing down...explaining we would take any room with a bed and bath...they tried to up charge us for a 2nd floor room with two small windows. With no other options to give us they finally moved us down...it was NOT a better room...two windows but, no separate bath just a Euro bath, sink in room across from the bed.
OKAY, on to Fact #2...on the night stand in each room is a set of earplugs with a note..."Sorry for our noisy neighbors...these really do work!" Oh oh...The bar across the street woke us both up BOTH nights of our stay...midweek.
I felt for the staff they were doing their best! But, owners...come on...no insulation, windows that stayed up, no air...YOu cannot expect to command the prices you are charging without addressing the heat and noise issue you have! I CANNOT imagine what it is like there in the summer in the upper levels!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
EarthboxLaura, Manager at Bird Rock Hotel, responded to this review, October 4, 2013
Dear Beth,
Thank you so much for taking the time to write about your stay. I'm so sorry we didn't live up to your expectations.
We apologize for the broken window. We fixed it as soon as we could. It is sometimes difficult to get repairs done right away on an island, because we just don't have the part available. So sorry it was so hot in your room. We will have the thermostat checked. It should not be 85 degrees in that room. Our little hotel is a historic building and in many ways our hands are tied. For example we can't install air conditioning units on the outside of the building.
I'm so sorry you didn't like the room we upgraded you to. It's a deluxe room, with an aerated tub, private bath and a tiny bit of a harbor view. I'm not sure what you mean by Euro bath. I trust our amazing staff that they upgraded you to the best available room (we only have 15, and are often sold out even in September).
Yes, our neighbors are sometimes too loud for our taste. Believe me, we begged and negotiated and screamed. And we will do it all again, because the comfort of our guests is worth it all.
Thanks again for your input. We can only improve through constructive feedback like yours.
The next time you come up, consider our sister hotel, the Earthbox Inn & Spa. Our rooms there are not facing the streets and are a little more quiet. We would love to have a chance to spoil you how we intended.
Sincerely,
Steffi Wehner
Customer Service Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bend, Oregon
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2013

We stayed there two nights - one before and one after our 4 day kayaking trip. The front desk was friendly, the hotel very clean and comfortable and the linens were so nice! They had cookies for you when you arrive and a nice selection of teas and hot chocolate.

The morning spread was good as well with excellent scones, fruit, cereal, coffee, juice and teas.

They stored our bag for us while we off traveling which made it easy and nice to bring "town" clothes.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Shaw room which had it's own bathroom. It was very comfortable except that it...
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  • Stayed September 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2013

Our room was very private but a lot of issues (see below). I wanted to check out the other suites but didn't have a chance. The staff was great. However we did ask about some non working ceiling fans that never got fixed and the fireplace was extremely complicated to turn on and off instead of just a wall switch. There was absolutely no place in the bath room to put anything it all had to be put in the living area

Room Tip: We stayed in the marrow stone suite. The furniture was all too big for the spaces. We both cracked...
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Green Features: Good green practices. Bottled shampoo and soap as opposed to little individual packets. Recycling reuse of towels etc
  • Stayed September 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
    • 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.
Conifer
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
100 helpful votes 100 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2013 via mobile

I loved this place! The staff was awesome! The place adorable, perfect location, and a yummy continental breakfast!

Our room was the San Juan on the top floor (steps only). A deck with a couple lounge chairs and view of the harbor. A full kitchen, huge bathroom with dbl shower heads and jacuzzi tub. One big oversized chair and a comfy big bed. A side note on the room - since there was a kitchen, there was no table and no second chair. So, if you were going to cook, you would have to go to the lobby for seating, or one would sit on the bed and one on the chair without a table.

Fabulous bulk lavender bath products provided - and...... This hotel actually leaves your towel if you don't put it on the floor... I know wright? Most places still take the towel even though they tell you they want to conserve.

It was awesome having a full size coffee pot in the room, the coffee great. Breakfast is served from 8 to 10 and the scones tasty.

Free wifi - bikes - and flowers everywhere... Inside and out.

PS - I loved the music they played in the lobby - a little techno, classic, lots of variety. One morning at breakfast, many were complaining. The sound was so faint, I could barely hear it over their talking, and constant talking on their cell phones. Which note to property - maybe you ban cell phone lobby talking during breakfast... :-)
An all around great place to stay.... not to disappoint! Thank you!

Stayed September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Barbara, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

From the minute we walked in, we loved this place! The receptionist was very friendly while checking us in and told us not to hesitate to ask her any questions about the area. My husband and I were celebrating our first anniversary and there was a card and chocolate waiting in the room for us! The bed was very comfortable as well as the robes that were provided. The breakfast was just enough, with fresh scones, fruit, cereal...We will definitely be back to this hotel when we come back to Friday Harbor.

  • Stayed September 2013, 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 Bird Rock Hotel

Address: 35 First Street, Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA 98250
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Washington > San Juan Islands > San Juan Island > Friday Harbor
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Friday Harbor
#4 Romantic Hotel in Friday Harbor
#5 Family Hotel in Friday Harbor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bird Rock Hotel of Friday Harbor is a refreshing combination of an historic external structure and clean, modern interiors. Bird Rock Hotel’s authentic, original, old San Juan Island hotel exterior opens to an exquisitely crafted, eco-intelligent collection of stylishly modern interiors ranging from deluxe, harbor-view, king-jacuzzi suites to simple european-style sleeping rooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bird Rock Hotel Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA

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