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“Relaxing Place to Stay”
Review of Deer Harbor Inn

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Deer Harbor Inn
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Deer Harbor
Reviewed August 12, 2012

We stayed in the lodge (room 8). Beautiful room - large, comfortable bed and the cleanest room I've been in this side of a laboratory. The room had a (distant) view of Deer Harbor marina.
I'm not sure what recent reviewers were expecting. The grounds looked fine to me. The grass was mown. It's not like a bowling green, but it's not that kind of place. Everything was clean and tidy. Breakfast was fine. Not everyone's cup of tea but it was fine for us. We supplemented it with some cold cuts from the grocery store in East Sound. The marina shop did some great breakfast croissants too.
For anyone who wants to relax and get away from it all, the Deer Harbor Inn is highly recommended.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Shane324
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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175 - 181 of 272 reviews

Reviewed August 10, 2012

I'm pretty unsqueamish about cleanliness & this place felt nasty even to me!
1. the hot tub felt slimey. when my hot tub at home feels this way, it's because I haven't given it a thorough cleaning in too long--means it's got too much bacterial growth. Would recommend staying clear of it!
2. the shampoo/soap/conditioner dispensers had creepy hardened browned-out soap-stuff in the bottoms of them. No telling when they were last emptied and thoroughly cleaned. They're only green/eco-friendly and cool if they're clean. If they have last year's old shampoo hardened into the bottom...they're just nasty.
3. The only soap available at the sink to wash your face was some bath-&-body-style almond hand-soap dispenser that was completely uucky to put on your face and have to smell all day. For a full-price ($175) room, I'd like to see at least a single super-small cheap actual facial soap--not a nasty almond smelling paste I have to smell on my face for the whole day 'til I can get another place to bathe. Or warn me when booking that I should bring my own soap like I'm camping. It was disgusting.
4. When we arrived, the little check-in office was open, but no one was there. We rang our hostess with the bell & it took just a few minutes for her to get there. We noticed while we were waiting, that we could have taken any or all of the keys to all the rooms, as they were hanging right in the open in the unlocked building. In fact, she gave us her key to our room since someone had taken off our room's normal room keys that morning. So...it seems security is sort of non-existent. Seemed sort of creepy.
5. We brought some wine in when we returned to the room in the evening & my husband quietly said something about looking for the wine opener. When he opened the door into the common area, the folks watching TV there pointed him to the wine opener...they'd clearly heard our whole conversation. We whispered the rest of our stay. Very much not recommended for a couple's get away!--or even for a snorer, as they'd probably ruin the vacation of all the other visitors.
6. The view and grounds were lovely & quiet. We enjoyed watching the bunnies from our window hanging out in the yard.
7. If this place were inexpensive, I'd feel like the faults were at least priced in. It had not been updated since about the late '80s and was not clean enough for the standards of anything less than an extreme budget stay--probably not even that--even a cheap place should be very clean. We stayed in a beautiful CLEAN place that had clearly been updated since 1988 (my guess of the last basic update in the lodge--based on the age of my own home.) for about 20% less the very next night (both were weeknights). This lodging should be a last resort stay.
8. Oh yeah, the light switches were even smudgy & grimey. They needed to be pulled off and replaced--I don't even think they were cleanable anymore!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank alice s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2012

My husband and I just visited - booked a 2 night stay in one of the lodge rooms. My first impression was that it's more of an overpriced campground type of place. I get it that it's suppose to be a little rustic and outdoorsy. But they could at least mow the lawn.

We arrived in the late afternoon, checked in and decided to get some dinner. I read so many reviews about the restaurant being amazing, however I would have to disagree. We had the salmon entree...it was overcooked, dry and awful. The split pea soup was pretty good, however the bread seemed like it had been sitting in the basket maybe at several other tables for days before making it to our table. And to top it off, as we were dining, a cat walked through the dining room. At first, we thought maybe it was just a stray...but it turned around, came back in and proceeded to rub against my husband's leg (who is HIGHLY allergic) on it's way back through the restaurant. Then, it climbed up in one of the chairs at a table near us, rolled around and clawed up the table cloth. All the while, the waiter is bringing our food to us, and giggling about the cat. I'm sorry...but a restaurant that charges nearly $30/entree shouldn't have cats roaming through the facility. It doesn't matter if you are a "family style" establishment.

The rooms are clean and the bed is comfortable (we took a nap)....but that's where my compliments end. We were so put off by the overpriced bad dining and the experience with the cat that we decided this wasn't a place for us. Luckily there was a 10:00pm ferry.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank shelley w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2012

We stayed in the lodge and it was ok. I thought it was quaint and quiet, just as I wanted. The amenities were ok. I think what was lacking was a little imagination - two bananas, two bottles of juice and croissants tossed into a basket did not live up to my expectations! I was turned off by the long blonde hairs and dog hair on my spreads and floor. I did however, appreciate the blankets at the restaurant (I am glad I sat outside because when we went in to pay the bill there was a very musty, old smell to the inside). The shower caddy was nice to have along with the hand soap and lotion at the sink. The "attitude" at booking needs to be lost, along with all of the excuses for what went wrong - just fix it and apologize!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank TheBeav19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2012

This will be a complicated review. First...simple, good, place to stay. My wife and I stayed in the lodge, room 8. Simple, clean rooms. Comfortable bed. Very chill atmosphere which is cool. Private, though you have to be quiet since it is a lodge (if you know what I mean.) Nice place to get away if you are looking for clean, quiet and affordability.

Here are some downsides and some disappointments from our point of view...it is only fair to let you know before you get swept up in the upsides and the island life.

**No TV/DVD in room. Only in common area. I know that sitting in your room watching TV is not the point of visiting the San Juan's, BUT if you wanted to watch a movie or something after a long day...that is sometimes nice. (This is only for the lodge, there are two cottages which would have these amenities.)
**There is wifi, but the signal was poor. We were in room 8.
**POOR groundskeeping. Yes, it is the San Juan islands, and everything is green, wet and overgrown, but they could do just a little bit more and it would look GREAT.
**Hot tub is OLD and MALFUNCTIONING. Not the best place. I think GHETTO would be an appropriate term to use...it is surrounded by overgrown grass and there is not even a clean pathway to access it.
**No bathtub! We were very disappointed, especially my wife.

Overall, not a bad place to stay but not the best. I think it all depends on what you came for and what you looking for. Don't come with high expectations and you will be OK.

Room Tip: Choose the cottages.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Felagund
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2012

This was a nice place for the price we paid. Nothing special. Clean and quiet. Disappointed in the location. A lot more interesting places on the island elsewhere - but probably at a higher price.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank EdT777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2012

Like many who have reviewed this place, I bought a LivingSocial deal that bundled a midweek one-night stay at the Deer Harbor Inn with discounts on meals at the onsite restaurant, the spa, and whale-watching. Since we would be traveling quite a distance from the Kitsap Peninsula and one overnight didn't seem like enough time to explore, I tacked on a second night at a 20% discount.

I knew from the description on the website that the accommodations would feel rustic and somewhat old-fashioned, so we pretty much knew what to expect. We stayed in the lodge (#3) and thought the room was quite nice, with lots of natural light and comfortable furnishings. The bathroom was very clean and the water pressure in the shower was great. The bed in particular was very nice. We never figured out how to work the faux fireplace (and it was quite difficult finding a staff person to ask...more on that later), but turning up the thermostat did the trick. As others have mentioned, the walls and ceilings/floors were quite thin. My husband could sleep through a tornado, but I was woken up (and kept awake) by various noises coming from upstairs, everything from squeaky beds to loud footsteps.

As for the "continental breakfast basket," well, that was one area where I really felt tricked. Sorry, but a croissant and banana and orange juice just don't cut it for me in the morning (especially sitting, as they were, in a gigantic and misleading basket). Maybe there are people who just need a small bite to eat before they start their day, but I'm not one of those people. I tend to eat a fairly large, protein-rich meal in the morning. Having been promised a substantial breakfast, I kind of figured we'd only need to worry about budgeting for lunch and dinner, but with such a meager offering, we basically still had to pay for three meals a day. Not nice.

I don't know whether the hot tub out behind the lodge worked, because we ended up not using it. The nights got quite chilly even though it's late June, and it looked like the long cold walk back to the lodge would undo whatever warmth was to be had from a nice long soak!

The spa is quite adorable - just a one-room cabin big enough for two massage tables. My husband and I really loved the couples' massage. The therapists were great - they really worked deeply on the areas we asked for, and just generally let us relax without chatting or making small talk with us. Sometimes you really just want to tune out, and they let us do that.

Back to the staff...when we arrived, we saw an envelope taped to the office door with my name on it and a note saying the key was in the envelope. Well, no key. We opened the door and picked up the phone to call the number given for assistance, and the phone I was holding rang. A lady came in and handed me the key and wished us a nice stay. Not awful, really...just strange! We did not see another hotel staff person (aside from folks puttering in the garden and the waiters at the restaurant) until check-out. Even then, I tried going to the office, ringing the intercom, calling the number given (again, the phone in my hand rang!) and didn't see a soul, so I just left our key on the desk. We finally found one of the managers on the phone in the restaurant, and once he got off the phone he confirmed that it was fine to just leave the key (fine, maybe, but the lack of staff presence left me feeling kind of neglected). He also helped us work out payment for the spa service. There had been a charge to my card the day before, which I guess was the deposit, but it was the wrong card and it said facial, not massage. He refunded the first card and put the correct charge on my other card.

My husband and I were very pleased with the restaurant. The meal was delicious, the view superb, and the service attentive. The dessert that was called blackberry cobbler was more like a muffin with blackberry filling, but still very good. The bunnies hopping around as the sun went down just added to the atmosphere.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank SarahNM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Deer Harbor Inn

Address: 33 Inn Lane, Box 142, Deer Harbor, Orcas Island, WA 98243
Location: United States > Washington > San Juan Islands > Orcas Island > Deer Harbor
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Deer Harbor
Price Range: $173 - $295 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Deer Harbor Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 11
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Also Known As:
Deer Harbor Hotel Deer Harbor
Deer Harbor Inn Orcas Island

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