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“Quiet offseason timeshare”

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Sandcastle at Birch Bay
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Birch Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 21, 2012

We had a 2 bedroom here in October and knew that it would be a quiet time of year but we enjoyed it thoroughly - its a great home base for trips to Vancouver, Bellingham, Mt Baker, local wineries and various farmers markets and local food sources.

The property needs a little updating like replacing the hall carpet and sofas as they are starting to show some wear. But the room was well appointed with a lovely fully appointed kitchen, fireplace, balcony, washer/dryer, and plenty of pillows and comforters. Checkin and out was fast and easy.

Room Tip: As for room location, it depends on what you want. For more quiet, pick the back which looks east o...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank AlaskaChick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 16, 2012

My wife and I stayed at the Sandcastle with another couple from October 6-13 and it was a very positive experience, We stayed in a 3 bedroom on the thrird floor and even though it was in the back corner - we still had a lovely view of the bay. Our room was one of the largest we have ever had and had every ammenity we could ask for. The weather was lovely while we were there but I can imagine it might get uncomfortable w/o AC if it was hot and humid. The fireplace was perfect to take off any chill and having the cable, internet and washer dryer were great conveniences. The resort location could not have been better for simple day trips - Vancouver, Seattle and the surrounding small towns. The pool and hot tub were aslo a great addition as was the top floor view and BBQ grills. We realize that this time of year was a trade off - crowds were non-existent BUT many places were already closed for the season - BUT what a lovely time of year to vist and enjoy this resort and the surroundings, The staff was very helpful in providing us with information and having a computer and printer available in the lobby was great for those that did not travel with a laptop or Ipad

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Ken B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2012

My wife and stayed here in a one bedroom condo on the third floor for two nights. The unit we stayed was clean and spacious. The bedroom contained a king bed, closet with safe, and a flat screen with DVD (another flat screen in the living room). The main living area was like a great room with a living room, dining area, and kitchen. The kitchen was oriented along one wall and had granite countertops and stainless appliances. There were enough utensils and dishes for six and came equipped with the basic cooking gear. In addition, there was a coffee maker, toaster, blender, electric hand mixer and a washer/dryer combination in the closet.

The property had a pool and hot tub, but we did not have time to take advantage of them.

The property overlooks Birch Bay and is about a 45 minute drive to Vancouver. In the summer time, you have the water park, the bay, golf course, and the state park about a mile away. If you're looking for a place with a lot of things to do, this is not the place to come to. It is very laid back, even more so during the winter.

I only have a few negatives about the property. There was an HVAC unit below our bedroom window, but it wasn't too bad after I shut the window. We were wamly greeted at check in, but I did not here another greeting for the remainder of our stay.

Room Tip: I believe only the two and three bedroom units face the bay. The one bedrooms either look out over...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Fromak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2012

This is the place: Diamond Resorts is connected but put to shame here. This is a clean-bug free-Friendly place.If one needs a place in the area this is it. Rooms are hugh. Beds are fine and unlike Diamond everything works and desk personel are super. Their is a restuarant on site the Shores its a bar plus but the helpand food is and are great.

Room Tip: ask for a view of bay thats all I can say terrific!
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Charles W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2012

Highlights:
- the roof-top deck for grilling and sunset views
- Bellingham's historic district makes a nice day trip
- walking distance to The C Shop (candy shop, where the best item is the peanut butter yums)
- nice to have a kitchen for cooking and it was relatively well appointed
- pool was comfortably warm
Disappointments:
- goofy Tuscan decor was out of place; one lamp didn't work (wasn't a bulb issue)
- we had terrible pool views, minimal bay view, shaded deck all day
- noisy kids in the pool, even after labor day
- another guest entered our room using their room key ~ astonishing lack of security
- restaurant was mediocre; pool service non-existent
- nothing to do in the town; what little that's there, closes in mid-Sept
- state park was ok but nothing great
- really grungy jacuzzi
- maintenance people complaining about lack of resources to fix things
- clumsy, unfriendly check-in
- noisy bar next door with bad karaoke
- gravel parking lot; really? what century is this?
- the only cappuccino in town was painfully slow; going to Canada for it would be faster
Stay in Bellingham or go to Canada. There's nothing worthwhile here.

Room Tip: If you can't be 100% ocean-front (not just ocean view), don't bother. North side sucks, east...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank Stephanie_5o3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2012

In mid-July we spent a week at the Sandcastle in Birch Bay, WA and found the accommodations not up to our expectations. We had a one bedroom unit that faced north and had a direct view of a restaurant/bar and the associated parking lot. We did have a good side view of the bay from our balcony. This location was noisy due to the fact that you need to have the windows open in the summer, no air conditioning, which allows you to get the full effect of some very bad karaoke and late night revelry that ensues in the parking lot right outside your window. In assessing the resort, I think that most rooms would suffer from some noise in most locations except for those that face east overlooking the golf course. Incidentally the only rooms with a straight on view of the bay are two bedroom units. Our room was generally well furnished, but the furnishings were very shabby; not necessarily old, but not high quality and not very functional. I think the intent was ‘rustic’, but the furnishings were not of good construction. Also small details like a wall clock with a rundown battery, unplugged lamps and the bedroom TV which took 2 remotes to operate added to the general malaise that this property exudes.
The area itself has very little to offer and appears to be depressed with little hope for the future. Even the bay itself offers little in the way of excitement. It is interesting to watch the tide go in and out, but there is not a nice sandy beach and when the tide goes out you basically are looking at a mud bog. The towns of Lynden and Blaine are close by, but they offer very little in the way of attractions. You might be able to spend a half day in Lynden, but that would be about it. There is a nice size casino near Ferndale and there is an outlet mall as you get off the interstate, but it only has a handful of stores and lots of empty buildings; leading to the depressed feeling that you have about the general area.
The staff at the Sandcastle were friendly and tried to be helpful, but one got the impression that they were not well trained and certainly weren’t proactive in ‘delighting the customer’. When it comes down to it, however, if you are looking for accommodations in Birch Bay, this is probably your best bet, but I would give serious consideration before spending any amount of time in this area.

Room Tip: If you want a quiet room get one on the back (East) facing the golf course.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Goleta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2012

Facility was quite nice, newer and clean. My husband and I stayed with our teenage daughter in a one bedroom. Raintree Resorts was quick to charge us extra for a third person, but my daughter and I had to make up the sofa bed, there were only two pool towels and only two bath towels. I told the front desk we needed an extra pool and bath towel, received the bath towel, but never did get the pool towel. When you book a room and pay the extra for more than two people can someone in reservations not tell housekeeping to make up the second bed?

Also, on our first night the alarm in the next room over went off at 1:00 a.m. It woke us up because we could hear it right through the bedroom wall! I told front desk in the morning and there was no one booked in the room and it was fixed for our second night. Perhaps housekeeping should check the alarm clocks when they are cleaning up.

On the plus side, we went up to the roof top deck and barbequed one night. The view was fantastic and the large common area room was lovely. Also, the pool and hot tub were both nice and warm and you can see the beach from the pool area. Our room was large and the kitchen was well equipped.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Kelly J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandcastle at Birch Bay

Address: 7854 Birch Bay Dr, Birch Bay, WA 98230-9656
Location: United States > Washington > Birch Bay
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Birch Bay
Price Range: $209 - $300 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sandcastle at Birch Bay 3.5*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sandcastle at Birch Bay is an upscale resort located in the serene community of Birch Bay on the northwestern coast of Washington State. The resort is the perfect place to stay for nature lovers or those looking for a quiet retreat. Sandcastle at Birch Bay’s guests have access to an on-site fitness center to keep up with their workout routine, a heated swimming pool, and a hot tub, the perfect spot to relax after a full day of adventure. Sandcastle at Birch Bay’s one-, two-, and three-bedroom condominiums feature all the amenities guests need to feel right at home. Each unit has a fireplace, flat-screen TV, washer and dryer, fully equipped kitchen, and a balcony that offers a view of either Birch Bay or the snow-capped Mt. Baker. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandcastle At Birch Bay Hotel Blaine
Sandcastle Birch Bay
Sandcastle At Birch Bay Blaine

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