Last year, at the same time of year, we stayed here.
I thought then, and still think now that it is a great idea for a hotel, and has great promise. Sadly, it's not getting a chance to live up to that potential.
As we did last year, we stayed in the room that the Inn touts as their premier room. Room 3. The room is huge. There are two chairs at a table, and a small rocker next to a 3-seat couch. A king-size bed, a dresser, and a Jacuzzi.
They claim that this room has 2 bathrooms. Well---no it doesn't. One of them has a sink and a toilet. The other has a sink and a small kit-type stall shower (think Lowe's). One bathroom has broken tile around the faucet handles. I told them about that a year ago, and nothing's been done.
There is the now-standard 4-cup coffee pot in the bathroom that has the toilet. There is no refrigerator, nor is there a microwave.
The TV set in the room is smaller than the monitor that most people have on their computer these days. And---get this---it takes two remotes to run this little-bitty TV. One for power and volume, and the other to change channels. There is no working mute button on either remote.
Regarding some of the other amenities that the public has come to expect, don't get your hopes up. There is no wi-fi to be had, and seemingly, no interest to get any. If you want/need to go on-line, you need to go to the Dutch Mothers restaurant three blocks down, to the city library two blocks over, or the windmill coffee shop half a mile away. They don't bother to mention the Starbucks that is about a mile away. I don't need internet access 24/7, but in the evening to check mail would be nice.
Want breakfast? Sorry, not here. The closest place again is Dutch Mothers, which is in fact quite good. You will have a real problem if you're in Lynden on a Sunday though. The town closes Saturday night, and stays closed until Monday. Nothing is open in the mornings other than the churches, and very little any other time of the day. Strangely, nearly none of the national chain locations are open at all on Sunday. Not Starbucks, not McDonald's...you get the idea.
Apparently, the restaurant in the attached Dutch Village Mall used to provide a free breakfast to the Inn's guests. As far I can could tell, that establishment is gone, along with pretty much all the other tenants in the Mall. At least it (the Mall) was not open on the days we were there.
So, if you want breakfast on a Sunday, be prepared to drive nearly to Bellingham to get to the Hilltop Cafe on Hwy 539. It's about 10 miles from the Inn. Again, the food is good, but it's still 10 miles away. Sort of out of the way unless you were planning on going that way anyhow.
The staff that you are likely to see/talk to at the Inn are quite nice. They always have been. The staff you don't see could use some training, and supervision. Specifically, housekeeping.
Don't get me wrong, the room was clean, and smelled clean. I have no issues with that.
Their main speed bump seems to be the coffee pot. On the first morning after we checked in, I went to make coffee. Well, I had to dump the previous day's coffee out of the pot first. Housekeeping didn't bother. When they cleaned the room that afternoon, they didn't bother to re-stock the coffee, and by the time I discovered that, it was too late to get any.
Right about now, you're probably wondering why I couldn't get coffee that evening. Well, it's because this isn't a hotel in the conventional sense. There is no lobby or front desk. The lobby is the Dutch gift shop that is in the base of the windmill. When the store closes, you're SOL. And since this was a Sunday, the store wasn't open at all. Just great. No breakfast, and no coffee until we get leave.
There is a claim that there is a “Night Hostess”, but I have never seen anything to lead me to believe in her.
The day we left, after we got home, my wife mentioned that she thought she had been bitten by something. Upon investigation, she had the 3-in-a row bites that are sometimes associated with bedbug bites. We called the Inn, and they told us they would investigate the room. Shockingly, when they called us back a couple of days later, we were told that they hadn't seen any sign of the little buggers. In all our travels over the last 30 years, this is the only time this has happened to her.
I can't say that they are there, but I believe they are. Your opinion may vary. As I said earlier, the room appeared and smelled clean, with none of the rotten raspberry smell that they are known for.
I suspect you would like to know the cost for the “best room we have”. $119 per night. Really. For $80-$90 a night, you can have a fair-sized TV (with one working remote), one complete bathroom, wi-fi in the room, a microwave, a fridge, coffee, breakfast, and a front desk if you need something.
As much as I really do like the Windmill Inn, this is the last time I'll ever stay here. Since there isn't any other hotel in Lynden worth going to, we'll have to stay in Bellingham next time we come up.
I can no longer recommend this establishment to my friends or anyone else.
And that's a pity.
- Also Known As:
- Dutch Village Hotel Lynden