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Paradise Inn at Mount Rainier
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All reviewsdining roomnational parkmount rainierpiano playerparking lothistoric lodgevisitor centergift shopprivate bathrooms are smallsnack barsandwichesthe main lodgegreat roomskyline trailfront doorbring your own
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Reviewed October 9, 2012

I have stayed in a number of National Park lodges, so even after reading critical TripAdvisor reviews I thought I had the proper expectations. Unfortunately, this ended up being the worst lodge I have stayed in by far.

The only positive is the location and proximity to trails. While I understand that it's a historic building, there's really no excuse for the poor condition of the rooms. Our initial room was located on the second floor of the annex. The carpet had not been vacuumed, the ceilings were water-damaged and there were brown smeared stains on the bathroom floor tile. The only toiletries provided were shampoo and a bar of soap, and the sink was extremely inconvenient with completely separate handles/faucets for hot and cold. As others have mentioned, the walls are very thin - which may not be an issue if you have quiet respectful neighbors. We did not - we were subjected to numerous arguments and the ensuing make-up throughout the evening. Luckily, the inn was not booked full, so we were able to move to a different room with two singles on the first floor. This room was quiet and cleaner, but still in need of updates. There were water stains on the ceiling tiles and an actual hole around the sprinkler. At least the beds were comfortable.

The main lodge area itself is charming. Dining is overpriced and mediocre at best. Overall, just a huge disappointment.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank LeavesTooOften
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2012

We stayed in this Inn for 3 nights in September.

Room: We stayed in a room with one Queen bed and a bath. As mentioned by others here, the room was a bare minimum. It was quite small and if you've lot of stuff, you may find it difficult walking around. Like the room, all the furniture had a rustic look. The room was clean, nothing to complain there.
The walls, however, were so thin that we could clearly hear every conversation from the neighboring room. If you value your privacy, keep your voice down. Any activity between the sheets is also likely to be noticed by the neighbors which is what we noticed when our neighbors...ahm...got noisy.

Service: They have a lounge, a dining room and a cafeteria. Since everything else is 30 minutes drive away, they charge you exorbitantly for everything. The dining options were limited, service was slow and price was $$$. There was always a line in the cafeteria where staff were slow and items were way over priced.
As an exception, the lounge was actually pretty nice with it's ornate ceilings, wood cut-out furniture and fireplace. If you have time to hang out here with a glass of wine, you may find it very nice. I did.
Trivia: The lounge also hosts a piano which, they say, was played by an US President during his visit to the park. There's also a chair, more like a throne, that weighs 1,500 lbs!

Location: This is the best part of the Inn. It is conveniently and centrally located to all the Paradise area attractions. The Stevens Canyon road was closed so we could not drive Eastwards but if it's open, you can pretty much cover the Northern part of the park by locating yourself here. In the evening, you can sit in the patio and sip on a warm cup of coffee while enjoying the view of the Mt. Rainier or the Tatoosh Range.

All in all, stay here if you don't want to spend your time driving on the winding roads. Just don't expect a HIlton suite and don't expect fair value for your money.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank Abhi0123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2012

This is not one of the fanciest of the National Park lodges but the location, on the side of Mt. Rainier, surrounded by wild flowers, that gorgeous mountain, million dollar views and wonderful hiking trails can't be beaten. The rooms are clean but outdated and a bit worn. No matter, we were comfortable and warm and we had a wonderful time. The restaurant is nothing to write home about but since it's pretty much the only game in town, it will have to do. Since the Paradise area is extremely popular, parking, even for Inn guests, can be a real problem. We were lucky enough to catch the last parking place available in the undersized Inn parking lot. Many people had to park at a distance and catch the shuttle back to the inn. Get there early, especially on weekends.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank parkwife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2012

We visited Paradise twice this summer. Once in early August when there was still a 12 ft high snowdrift below our guestroom window, and then again in mid-September.

First, keep in mind that this is a wilderness lodge for hiking and climbing that is run by the National Park Service. It is not a city hotel and tries not to be. The lodge feels like you stepped back in time about 80 years, but with a few added creature comforts.

The lodge we built about 1916. It has hand hewn beams in a ~40-foot high ceiling grand ballroom with attached 2 building sections that contain the guest rooms. Tables,chairs, a clock, and even a piano are hand-made from local timber from over 80 years ago in the main hall. The guest rooms closest to the lobby were renovated about 4 years ago.

The ~30-foot high ceiling dining hall is large, and the food is most Northwest style with a bit of city flair due to the high quality chefs that are brought in from around the country. Few would be disappointed by the food. I found every meal to be 4/5 stars and had some of the best apple pie I have ever had made by a pastry chef from Georgia.

The guest rooms are less impressive. The rooms are clean with fantastic views, but very small and in a style that is a bit reminiscent of a rustic camp. When I say very small, I mean squeeze around the bed small and stack your luggage 3 high. Best to just bring backpacks and hang them. Leave anything but carry on size bags at home or in your car.

We had a room close to the hotel lobby during our first-stay that had a shared bath down the hall. They provided slippers and there was a sink in the room with hot and cold water. The "ultra-cold" water was a real treat as it was from a local spring. The bed was a small feeling full-size, but was comfortable and quite cozy for 2.

During our second visit, we stayed in a double room in the second attached building with a private bath. It was also quite small and not quite so recently renovated. It was quite a hike with luggage and down stairs to the room from the lobby, but then we discovered that we could drive up right next to the back entrance in time for our departure. This is important to know!

Why go?
It is all about the mountain.

We have hiked 4 sides of Mount Rainier. Each side is different. Each elevation is different. Paradise Inn happens to be at a section of the mountain that is amazing and changes as you change elevation. Plan on both short waterfall walks on your drive up to Paradise and take the scenic view side road option that is clearly marked.

There are trails to lookouts with fantastic views suitable for kids. I saw 2 people rolling baby carriages on one glacier over look trail. They even rolled them over some snow fields without too much difficulty. I would recommend papoose packs to visitors with babies over rolling carriages, but you should still go.
Why would they attempt such a walk? When you see the Glacier lily and Avalanche lily fields breaking through the receding edge of the snow fields and the resulting avalanche of blooms you will understand. Add to this millions of purple-blue lupine, red paintbrush, etc.. and you see how the place got its name.
The real reward comes from trails that go up well above the tree line. On our last hike we did a 11 mile meander up to Pebble creek where you could see Muir Camp (where many climbers start to summit from). Constantly changing views and landscapes are the norm for this hike that starts at Paradise Inn. We saw several glaciers and waterfalls, a bear with 2 cubs, marmot, many other creatures, and much more. The trails are all well maintained, but some are rugged so check with the rangers before you start out for trail status and best destinations/routes as the conditions on the mountain are always changing.

Paradise is definitely a place you want on your bucket list!

Room Tip: Book well ahead. A private bath is worth it. If you are in the back building (attached to lodge), drive your luggage to the back entrance. Do not lug it through the lobby unless you are backpacks only. No elevators, but there are a few rooms that do not require stairs (just not many such rooms). The guestrooms are very small, so think minimal luggage. If you go in the summer, bring a small electric fan to move air into the room. Air is always cool at night in the mountain, but it takes time for the air to get in. Ask for rooms with screens for the windows to keep out insect visitors. Do eat dinner at the lodge restaurant. It is unique and quite good. Breakfast is always good, but Sunday they have a special brunch at the lodge. Just don't overeat before a long hike with a lot of elevation change. August and September are the prime times for wildflowers, and they are truly amazing.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Gary J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2012

We loved staying here. We stayed 3 nights and I wish we ahd stayed one more. The flowers were unreal. The air smelled great. It was so dark at night you could see lots of stars, including shooting stars in August. The room was small and very hot! Ask for a fan. The lobby is a great place to have a cocktail and relax after hiking. We also met nice people during our stay who we will visit with again. Except for the heat of the room, I liked everything about it. Well, one last note, people at the check in desk could have been friendlier. The maanager was nice, as was one of the girls in the cafe. Also, they need an ice machine available to guests. We will be back!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank happyarchitect
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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