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“Lovely Getaway”

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Doe Bay Resort & Retreat
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Olga
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Lovely Getaway”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 30, 2012

Doe Bay Resort really has it all, except perhaps luxurious accommodations - but then again, it depends on how you define luxury. For me, lux = being on a glorious bay with hot tubs, decks, lawn chairs enjoying the view; having an easily accessible cup of coffee, and a great restaurant. Beats stuffy hotels with food that did not come from the back yard, no matter how many stars they have. We stayed in Upper Ananda which was not my first choice, but once there, I realized it was an absolutely ideal combination of location and value. No bathroom is a little rough, but then again, it is not NorCal whwere you have to fear bears when you walk out at night in nature. One complaint: it would be easy to add simple curtains on every window, and throw in an extra blanket. Easy and cheap - I was surprised that several times I called they mentioned to bring extra blankets...Come on, folks, invest in some! It is hard to schlep them on airplanes!

But overall - really fabulous. Oh, and communal kitchen is clean and well equipped, a big plus: next time we'll be more prepared for not eating every meal out.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Ivana I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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134 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
96 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 30, 2012

I read the last reviewer's statements thinking, "well yeah!" -- Doe Bay is pretty much a rustic collection of yurts, cabins, and tent sites built into a cliffside area in such a way as to maintain the feeling of being away from everything and to not distract from the natural beauty of the surroundings. If you can't take the errant spider or some dirt, it's probably not the place for you. Many of the yurts and campsites are in absolutely amazing locations, perched right on the cliffs, and the cabins (we stayed in a small one in the Upper Field) provide everything you need to stay comfortable but minimalist. Our very clean small cabin had a very comfortable double bed, a small sink, fridge, and microwave, a small table with two benches, and a small bathroom with surprisingly good water pressure and hot water. The little front porch was a great place to enjoy the morning sunlight and the visiting deer. It was a short walk (past the huge garden) down to the main resort area with the spa, restaurant, general store, and killer views. The food in the restaurant is amazing though pretty pricey. Much of what they serve is sourced in their own garden. We were there for a wedding and the water provided an unbelievably beautiful backdrop for the ceremony and reception. We loved our quiet, idyllic, stressless stay at the resort and hope to return someday. That said, it's not for everyone -- you will likely get a bit dirty or sweaty, there are some hills you'll need to walk up, there is wildlife and there are bugs around, the menu is largely vegetarian, yurts and tents require use of a shared bathroom, and it will be cold at night. If you require a 5-star hotel with an elevator, a rain shower, and plush pillows, this isn't the place for you. If you love the outdoors, you'll love it here. (Note: Free wi-fi across the resort and great cell service if you need to un-escape for a bit...)

Room Tip: Bring a flashlight or headlamp to get around at night.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank cs79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sultan, Washington
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2012

Doe Bay has a very good location. The natural vista is unquestionably first rate, but the resort didn't build that. It is apparent that hippies have grown up and now run run down resorts. I hesitate to even call it a resort. A collection of yurts (really? so seventies) without power and mobile homes at least 30 years old with log cabin facades slapped on would make up most of the dwellings. None of the units had an even floor, none had all of the electrical, bulbs or plumbing all working. Everyone we talked to had at least one problem. The unit stank like the door hadn't been opened for a year although by the guest book it had been a week. Broken windows had tape to hold them together, the dead spider in the sink had company from the one in the tub, the 30 year old worn out area rug had plenty of dirt, but thankfully the bed was clean and comfortable. But the futon in the living room looked like a goodwill reject. For $250 a night this was sickening. Nice resorts in Maui cost less. Even the hot tub was just, well, hot. No Jacuzzi, just hot water. I take issue with anyone who says there is maintenance going on. If there is, it is woefully inadequate and far behind what is needed. I wouldn't pay $50 again for a night in this dump, and would be suspicious of anyone who would. If the scoring system had a minus scale, I couldn't go far enough.

Room Tip: There are no tips for finding a good room because there are none.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank mwhenry16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2012

My first stay at Doe Bay was about 12 years ago. Upon many recommendations, I took an Airporter Shuttle from downtown (they leave from Seatac as well) up to the ferry landing in Anacortes. A beautiful ferry ride later, I land on Orcas Island with my backpack. As a lone female traveler, I was hesitant to hitch a ride but many reassured me that it was an assumed responsibility of the islanders to pick up hitchers. I met some wonderful people this way and 12 years later, followed the same routine.

Doe Bay has since been renovated which is most notable in its cabins but also the clothing optional soaking tubs and sauna. My only criticism is that the amount of chlorine used in the tubs would sometimes burn my eyes. Both times I camped and was thankful for the small guest kitchen available for communal use. My campsite was Lone Pine which has an expansive view over the water. Although there were perfect trees to pitch a hammock tent, it was quite exposed. The nights in July were chilly but not uncomfortable. Perfect for camping! The only sounds came from families occupying the nearby yurts and sea lions slapping the water for play in the evening.

Down the road is a place to get fresh caught oysters, clams, salmon, etc. for a snack before a feast at Doe Bay's own restaurant. Featuring artfully presented locally grown produce (often from their onsite garden) and locally sourced fish, meat, and dairy, it is some of the best food I have ever had chance to enjoy. And I live and dine in NYC. If you want to explore the island, there are some incredible farms nearby, many of which practice permaculture.

With plenty of hiking within distance, kayaking rentals available on site, biking opportunities galore, you could easily spend a few weeks here. Don't miss the seasonally fresh pie available at a number of yummy restaurants in Eastsound, often topped with buttermilk ice cream. Yum! If you happen to need a change of scenery for a day, you can hop a ferry over to Shaw or Lopez for a more rural experience or San Juan for a more populated island.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank GoGreenGuru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
36 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 19, 2012

I stayed at Doe Bay in August of 2011 for 4 days, camping at the Grouse Cove campsite (one of the closest sites to the water), and it was one of my most lovely and idyllic vacations EVER. From the moment I arrived I never wanted to leave, and even extended my stay an extra day. This is no 5 star resort (it is not fancy!), but it IS a charming, rustic, lovely, and peaceful setting for relaxing and enjoying Orcas Island. The shared bathrooms were clean, shared kitchen was a great bonus (and added significant cost-savings for us), and the sauna/baths really made every evening relaxing and fun (especially after long days hiking in Moran State Park and kayaking in East Sound!)! The extra cost (versus camping in a public campground on Orcas) is completely justified by the bathrooms, kitchen, and use of the baths. I only ate at the restaurant once (for breakfast) but it was excellent.

After a 100 degree steamy East Coast summer, being cool during the day and chilly at night was a treat. The shared fire pit and baths were a good place to make friends and stay warm.

This location would be perfect for a wedding or family reunion, as it offers a stunningly beautiful setting and relaxed atmosphere reminiscent of summer camp and days past.

Room Tip: The walk up campsites are great - a bit of a hike, but they provide wheelbarrows, and it's worth...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank JeansFriday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent, Washington
Level Contributor
90 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 10, 2012

If you have the right frame of mind Doe Bay is a wonderful place to stay. It is not a 5 diamond resort. However, it is no longer a "hippie commune" either. The cabins have been worked on - with some new cabins being built. The location is wonderful. There are several different areas interspersed with campsites, yurts/domes and cabins. Each has its advantages and disadvantages (largely a trade-off between view and distance). We stayed in Neptune Yurt, right above the beach. It was nice, clean and functional, but I would have preferred either out of the point or closer to the facilities.

I first went to Doe Bay about 20 years ago and had longed to go back. It fully lived up to my expectations and memories from long ago.

My only complaints were that the soaking tubs close at 10pm and that the back gate to the tubs is locked (making most campers walk around - not long but sort of an inconvenience).

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank scott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Menlo Park
Level Contributor
26 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 11, 2012 via mobile

My wife and I stayed with a friend for two nights and stayed in the Garden View cabin. It was very comfortable and cozy with the wood burning wood stove. This particular cabin did not have a bathroom but I know others do. The community bathroom was a quick 90 second walk and it had very clean facilities. The staff work very hard to make sure the grounds are clean. We took advantage of the community kitchen where we were able to do a little cooking. It was nice to take a soak in the natural hot spring tubs on-site after a beautiful hike to Mt. Constitution.

  • Stayed June 2012
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank BillyBobMenloPark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Doe Bay Resort & Retreat

Property: Doe Bay Resort & Retreat
Address: 107 Doe Bay Rd, Olga, Orcas Island, WA 98279
Location: United States > Washington > San Juan Islands > Orcas Island > Olga
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Olga
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 47
Also Known As:
Doe Bay Resort And Retreat Hotel Olga
Doe Bay Hotel And Retreat

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