In honour of my husband's 70th birthday, we stayed at The Willows Inn, accompanied by another couple; our best friends. I reserved the Sunrise and Sunset Rooms upstairs in the Main House. The property has a rustic feel to it, wrap around porch and all and provided a lovely serene atmosphere for our special holiday. The service was warm and welcoming. The Sunrise Room, painted Wedgewood Blue, is the larger of the two rooms upstairs and quite comfortable. The Keurig Coffee/Tea Maker was a nice touch; (although we were dismayed to find a used capsule inside the machine), a mini-fridge would have been a welcome addition to store the still water provided. The Sunset Room has a smaller bed, which our friends pronounced uncomfortable and resulted in a lack of sleep. Also, since the walls are paper thin, we could hear the sudden blast of music downstairs that came on at 7:20 a.m. You might want to bring an eye mask, since there are no drapes; only thin sheers covering the window.
We had read about Chef Blaine Wetzel and were thrilled to be able to partake in his tasting menu feast. What an incredible gastronomic experience that was; well worth the journey from Vancouver, B.C. Canada. and exceeding all our expectations. The amuse bouche dishes kept coming and each one was a delightful surprize. Chef Wetzel's fresh creative approach was lovely and every dish was amazing and so artfully presented. He kindly tailored the menu for me to suit my vegetarian/pescatarian needs and that was much appreciated. I must make special mention of the in house bread. It was beyond phenomenal; up there with the best breads I have tasted in Europe. We loved the small portions and unhurried, intimate atmosphere of the restaurant. It was wonderful to be able to meet Chef Wetzel after the meal and personally give him the kudos he deserves. What a fine chef he is.
After such an incredible dining experience, it was a huge step down to have to take breakfast off the property at the Beach Store Cafe, where the food was O.K. but the service mediocre. Our server held the water glasses by the rim where you sip, which is totally unfoodsafe. We do understand the need of The Willows Inn to concentrate on spending the entire day preparing for the evening meal, so I guess there are not a lot of options, unless they did a simple continental breakfast at the cafe on site. A lovely bonus was the free tour the hotel offered of the organic vegetable garden at a farm that was 15 minutes walking distance from the hotel. Fascinating! All in all, we would highly recommend The Willows Inn and Restaurant.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Willows Inn on Lummi Island has become the Northwest's premiere destination for authentic farm to table dining. Come in and experience the culinary magic of our chef, Blaine Wetzel, and find out what eating from your landscape is all about. Savor wines from our extensive selection. Enjoy our elegantly comfortable accommodations. Drink in the views, watch whales, or relax with a cocktail by a blazing fire. Unplug, recharge and experience the Willows Inn--an authentic and affordable San Juan Islands adventure! Offering romantic beachside lodge rooms, cottage, and guest house accommodations and marine experiences. Organic food from Loganita Farm. A car ferry departs at least hourly for the five minute crossing to this scenic island retreat. Less than two hours from Seattle or Vancouver, BC. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Willows Hotel Lummi Island