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“Worth every penny and more!!”

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China Beach Retreat
Ranked #5 of 6 Ilwaco B&B and Inns
Reviewed February 8, 2008

Normally my husband and I cannot afford to stay in a place in this price range but this place is completely worth it. We loved the huge glass windows over looking the bay. I watched the tide go out and come back. Even in the winter the view is spectacular, the wildlife abundant and the facilities rejuvenating.

I luxuriated in the huge jetted spa and loved all the unique tile work. The innkeeper took the time to give us a complete tour of the property and we loved each room. They were each so unique and each one invited you to stay promising you comfort and luxury. The living rooms is LARGE and it has a fireplace to keep you cozy. The communal kitchen was very convenient. We were able to put some things in the fridge and get to it anytime we wanted. It is like renting out a complete house. Also, if you are lucky like we were and get to rent one of the rooms and no one else is there it feels like the whole place belongs to you. It is really an amazing place. When we left we had never felt so relaxed, rejuvenated and content.

We are nature buffs and for anyone so inclined that still wants a little luxury this place is perfect. You get everything you need without anything you don't. This place is right on the water of Bakers Bay and the mouth of the Columbia River. The road is above and behind the house hidden by many trees. It is so very quite and out of the way that I felt like we had hidden away from the world there. It was so convenient though. A small store was no more than a mile away in Ilwaco. The road it is on is not often traveled but very convenient and well taken care of. The electronic gate ensures your private getaway. No tourists can go wandering around here to bother you in the summer or winter.

Having only 3 rooms in the main house and of course the Audubon Cottage next door (which we really wish we could have afforded! Talk about luxury!) means even when the place is at full capacity it is not crowded and you only have to share the place with a few people.

I asked the Innkeeper what their policies for China Beach Retreat were and he assured me that they only allow children when a group takes the whole place so that the rest of us that want a quiet retreat are not disturbed. Also, I was glad to hear that they do not allow pets, which means my allergies were not going to get irritated. I love to see and watch wildlife but I also like staying in a place I know is clean.

The best part about China Beach Retreat is that except for when the housekeepers come down to clean there is no one else there. It is a true retreat. Assistance is only a phone call away though but I love that it felt so private.

Each day of our stay we enjoyed the amazing GOURMET Shelburne Inn breakfast. The Shelburne Inn is only a few miles away and they are not well known for their breakfasts for nothing. The innkeeper is also the breakfast chef and I must say I have never had such a divine meal. The staff was attentive but unobtrusive and always there to help answer questions and see what they can do. Breakfast felt like going to a friends house but better since you don't have to help clean up afterward and how many people have such amazing chefs as good friends?

I think we will have to go back and stay in the Audubon Cottage however. We also received a wonderful tour of the Shelburne Inn. We felt like we were walking back in time. We have since stayed at the Shelburne Inn with our children and it was also a unique and memorable experience.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank TexasTude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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31 - 37 of 39 reviews

Reviewed February 6, 2008

A group I am involved with had the opportunity for a small gathering China Beach with overflow at the Shelburne Inn. The rooms at the water side property were quite lovely and spacious with their cheery colors, custom tile and artwork and beautiful decor, which gave the impression that each item was hand selected and placed with care.
Huge windows made the outdoors within close reach and allowed plenty of wildlife watching. This seemingly remote location provided for a very private setting.
The staff were wonderful. Our gathering included a reception with incredible hors d'oeuvres and wines. Owners Laurie and David are very involved with the daily operations and attentive to detail and guest satisfaction. I look forward to a return when I am able to enjoy the peaceful surroundings on a personal level.

  • Stayed: November 2005, traveled on business
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2  Thank pdxbluesgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2008

My wife and I have been coming to the Long Beach Peninsula for years and finally decided to spend a weekend at China Beach. It was fantastic! The view is amazing. It is secluded. The main house is wonderfully appointed--eclectic and luxurious with exquisite carpentry. If you are looking to truly get away from it all in a beautiful and remote part of the United States, this is it.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Searchforperfection
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2007

While watching dawn pour out over nearby marsh grasses, I was startled by a marsh wren hopping next to my feet. We both eye to eye froze in time. China Beach can take you there, to a place out of time. A place in tune with nature. Located on an isolated marsh near the mouth of the Columbia River, the Inn offers stunning views of nearby Cape Disappointment, breakers at the Columbia bar, and distant Oregon mountains. Surreal sunrises can be enjoyed from bed, greatroom, deck or pier.

The cottage has been carefully restored by a local craftsman with an eye for detail. Old stained glass windows have been incorporated in well chosen spots. Beautiful bathrooms feature handmade tiles and hydrotherapy tubs. Regional art and artifacts and an eclectic mix of antique furnishings add to the aesthetics of every room. Expect a homey, well maintained cottage, not an upscale, urbane resort, however. If peace and quiet in an exceptional natural setting are what you want, you will not be disappointed here.

A short drive to the historic Shelbourne Inn gets you to lovingly prepared breakfasts of local, seasonal ingredients. Happily we hit mushroom season and just as happily, owner/artist David Campiche is an avid mushroom collector and chef extraordinaire. And so, breakfast fare included fresh, wild mushroom omelets (Day 1) and wild mushroom frittata (Day 2). Of course many other offerings were available – all of them seasonal, local and fresh.

Fine food and talk are a great way to start a day. Our next happy choice: return to China Beach to relax in peace, breathe fresh coastal air, and watch the world as it is there; or head out to explore one of the many natural or cultural opportunities nearby? We did both on successive days and decided we were definitely coming back here for a longer stay.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank DailyMystery
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2007

Keep going by this one folks. We traveled from Seattle to Northern CA (loved the redwoods!) and this was the worst of the bunch. We stayed in so many wonderful B&Bs. This was not one of them. It was like staying at a college beer house on the edge of a mud flat. 1980 furnishings, no maintenance, doors that are hard to open, musty smell - you get the picture. We paid over $250 for one night - hardly worth the money. The owners must be bankrolling their retirement because they are not investing one dime in this place. I wonder what the WA health department would say about that kitchen!

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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Thank BilliandBob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChinaBeachInnkeepers, Owner at China Beach Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded February 13, 2008

It is truly unfortunate that “BilliandBob” failed to come forward and express their dissatisfaction in person to the innkeepers. They don’t identify themselves so that we can contact them to gain a better understanding of what it is they are talking about, as it remains a mystery. We regret their gross misunderstanding of our collection of furnishings at China Beach Retreat. They referred to these as “1980”. This bed and breakfast is tastefully furnished in a mix of predominantly European and Asian antiques and original art work. We feel their comments are very presumptuous to accuse the owners of “not investing one dime in this place.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Aside from the money that has been continuously invested into this property to improve and upgrade it since 1998, the innkeepers and staff care deeply about guest satisfaction. We are all saddened that we were not given an opportunity to correct whatever may have been wrong with “BilliandBob’s” stay. We have been innkeepers for over thirty years, and while the vast majority of our guests walk away from their lodging and dining experience exceedingly pleased, we recognize that an unhappy guest represents a unique challenge. We pride ourselves on being both caring and attentive hosts, and we do take complaints and suggestions seriously, as we constantly strive to improve our guests’ experience.
We have had thousands of guests over the last decade. Of those, a high percentage return to the retreat on an annual or semi-annual basis. They return first and foremost for the location: the mouth of the Columbia River, a stunning vista praised for its natural beauty and rich history. A visit to our website will afford the browser a glimpse of what China Beach Retreat has to offer as well as an opportunity to read what other guests and publications have said about the experience of staying here. We recently added the Audubon Cottage to the property, which features a collection of fine Audubon prints, original works of art, 19th century stained glass, art glass, two soaking and spa tubs and every comfort that a traveler might expect during a romantic getaway.

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Reviewed October 14, 2007

Just returned from an anniversary weekend at China Beach Retreat. We loved our time there; it is a magical place. The lodgings are splendid, the bedrooms are cozy with amazing views (that you can still see when you lay in bed, as the windows sit high on the wall) and the bathrooms have beautifully detailed custom tilework.

The living room downstairs is quite comfortable, with an interesting collection of both asian antiques and northwest artifacts. The deck and its glorious view of Baker Bay held us so tightly when we first arrived that we didn't move off the deck for three hours.

We much preferred the privacy at China Beach to staying at a more traditional bed and breakfast. It is necessary to drive to the Shelbourne Inn B&B in the morning for your breakfast (8 minutes away?) but really not a big deal at all, especially considering the amount of privacy you are getting in return. And those breakfasts are incredible. Because the mushrooms all popped up this week, we were treated to an amazing collection, gathered by the innkeeper and incorporated into the breakfast menu. My husband and I both think we'd never tasted anything better.

We've stayed in many fantastic places over the years -- the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, the Hotel Matira in Bora Bora, Tassahara Zen Center in Carmel -- so we know a special place when we see it. China Beach is one of those places. Don't miss it.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank PDXPADDLER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2007

$269 fo a shack on the marsh a few blocks from town. No beach here. This tired old shack is split into three rentable rooms and a common area. Very outdated "Sears" type furniture. Dirty. Poorly maintained. The bed we stayed in smelled of mold. Discusting. Broken screen door. Lights that don't work. The kitchen was decorated in early 1970 blue and reds (see photo). Nice view but not worth the money or aggravation to stay here. Avoid, avoid, avoid or you'll feel fooled the way we were.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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Thank Traveling-to-Canada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about China Beach Retreat

Address: 222 Robert Gray Dr SW, PO Box 537, Ilwaco, WA 98624-9165
Location: United States > Washington > Ilwaco
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 6 B&Bs / Inns in Ilwaco
Price Range: $217 - $317 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 3
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