We stayed here for two nights between Christmas & New Years' Dec 2012. The difficult thing is getting here by the ferry from Anacortes. Ferries are sporatic--make sure you get there between 1 1/2-2 hours early as it's 3 hours (at least) between ferries at this time of year (check the new schedule, which came out Dec 30th as it could be even longer between ferries). We missed the ferry we were hoping to take and sat in line for 1 1/2 hours. We arrived on Orcas Island at night, and it took about 20 minutes to get to the Rosario Resort (although it looks further on the map) and it was not difficult to find. We checked into the resort and they gave us directions to our room, which was a bit difficult to find as it was dark (and past the marina)--do watch out for deer grazing near the road. The outside of 2340 and the door itself looked a bit dated, but inside, the 1 bedroom suite was cozy and somewhat updated. The main area has a full bathroom, a good sized living room with updated furniture, fireplace with log replenished daily, a murphy bed (not very comfortable) and a flat screen tv. It has lots of windows to enjoy the incredible oceanview and a patio out to a private deck, a dining table w/ 4 chairs, a decent sized kitchen with a small fridge, 4 burner stove, microwave and cooking utensils/pans. There is NOT a decent coffee pot (just a one-cup pod-type) but they replenish the coffee daily. Because we had a large group, we asked the front desk if they had a bigger coffee pot. They promptly brought a 4-cup one, which we ended up using our own coffee and papertowel for filters (works great, by the way!). The one-bedroom unit had a large bedroom with it's own full bathroom (a bit dated, but has decent towels and plenty of them), a very comfortable king-sized poster bed, comfy chair for reading, small set of table and chairs, small fridge, another coffee pot, flat screen tv and ipod docking station along with it's own large private deck overlooking the ocean. The bedroom was actually quite cozy.
It's a 5 minute walk from some of the rooms to the main lodge, which was an old mansion built in the early 1900's with an interesting history but has no actual hotel rooms. The main floor has the lobby, a cozy bar area, and a restaurant (where the food was very tasty--try the fries!!), all with stunning oceanviews. The second floor is a museum--where you can wander on your own for free and look at the history of the home thru pictures, furniture and other artifacts. There is also a piano concert by a local pianist on Saturday afternoons at 4pm--and after you are allowed to tour the 3rd floor as well, which is usually closed to the public. There is also an outdoor pool, a small indoor pool, hot tub, a spa and small store with Rosario souvenirs on the lower level. An outdoor pool is also located between the main lodge and some of the residences, although it did not appear to be open at this time of year. The resort has various number of rooms and residences from $89/night and up on the off season, all with gorgeous ocean views. The one-bedroom suites ranged from $129/night--a really great value. The resort is close to the Moran State Park, where there is a small lake where you could kayak or bike if the weather is nice. It's also a 10 minute drive from Eastsound--a quaint little town with amazing shops, a decent sized Island Market for groceries, churches, and numerous restaurants. Although most were open over winter, there were a couple stores/restaurants that were closed for the season from Christmas into the new year, but there was no shortage of choices--especially for coffee. Our favorite coffee was found in the local bookstore--Darvill's Bookstore, which was a great place to hang out, enjoy an AMAZING coffee/latte and find a good read. We kept going back for more...
The island itself is quaint, with warm and friendly residents and adequate amenities for a weekend away. The cell reception is sketchy but you are able to get free wifi at Rosario's Resort and in Eastsound at most of the shops as well.
Leaving the island is easier than getting there. We made sure we were at the ferry 2 hours early...and were 14th in the lineup. There are a couple interesting stores, a coffee shop or two and a restaurant in the old hotel to enjoy while you are waiting for the ferry--it was a great way to pass the time and would be even more enjoyable once the weather clears up and outdoor eating is possible.
Although this is not a 4* resort, I think this is great value for your money. Overlook the outdated exterior and the kitchen/bathroom cabinets/flooring and focus on the amazing oceanviews, the interesting history of the Rosario mansion, and the quiet little town down the road and enjoy your relaxing getaway. The beds are very comfortable and the oceanviews are breathtaking. We definitely will be back!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A historic waterfront resort located on Orcas Island. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Rosario Hotel Eastsound
- Rosario Island
- Rosario Resort Eastsound
- Rosario Resort Orcas Island
- Rosario Resort And Spa Orcas Island/Eastsound, WA