We stayed here last night, Saturday, Sept 15, 2012. I took my partner as a surprise for her birthday. I had been to the Inn in the early 80's and stayed in a lagoon room, but always wanted to return and stay in the original building. I'm not going to go into detail about the characteristics of the Inn as many reviewers have already described the property. I was able to book the Captain Whidbey Suite, a large room overlooking Penn Cove. It has a king size canopy bed and a small sitting area. The bed was extremely comfortable with the best pillows I have ever slept on. Two of the four large windows in the room can be propped open for fresh air and to hear the birds. We left the windows open when we went to bed but had to shut them in the middle of the night as someone was sitting on the porch behind the lobby smoking and talking on the phone. Both the conversation and smoke were drifting in our window. It was a minor inconvenience, I was more concerned about someone smoking while sitting on a wooden porch, in a wooden chair, with a 100 year old wooden building at their back. Overall we loved the room and the charm of the Inn. Having the bathrooms in the hall was not an issue as I was aware of it before hand.
The continental breakfast was nice but the croissants were cold with no way to heat them up. (could find no microwave) Maybe removing them a little earlier from the refridgerator would help. As another reviewer mentioned salt and pepper shakers are difficult to find. There were none on any of the tables in the dining room at dinner and only one set in the tavern area for breakfast. I thought about having the hot cereal for breakfast but again, as I couldn't see any microwave to cook it (hot water just doesn't quite do it) so I opted for granola instead. Other than that breakfast was just fine.
I had made dinner reservations for 6:30 so we could watch the sunset. Penn cove is known for their sweet mussels so my partner had wanted to try them. While having a cocktail on the deck earlier we had heard the waitress mention to another guest that they were out of mussels, so we were suprised when our dinner waitress said the crab and the ribs were not available that evening. Guess they got their mussel delivery. She had the mussels and I had the seafood chowder. Both were excellent. The seafood chowder was the best I have had. Rich and flavorful, the broth a little more thin than I am used to for chowder, plenty of chunks of salmon, perfectly cooked scallops (so often they are tough and rubbery in chowder), nice clams and even a few mussels. This was when I first noticed the missing salt and pepper as I like extra pepper on my chowder. I was somewhat surprised the waitress didn't offer some fresh ground pepper with my bowl of chowder as that seems to be the norm these days. My partner had the halibut, slightly overcooked but tasty. The red potatoes that accompanied her meal were delicious. I had previewed the dinner menu when I was making my reservation online and had already decided I wanted the Steak au Poivre (pepper steak). I have had this many times at different places and it's usually coated with cracked peppercorns. Unfortunately, the Steak au Poivre served to me was nothing more than a steak. No cracked peppercorns, no peppercorn sauce, just your standard grilled and seasoned steak. I assume the chef knows what Steak au Poivre is so I'm not sure why my steak wasn't. I did mention to the waitress that there was no pepper on my pepper steak so she brought over the peppermill. Poor substitute but it tasted fine. I thought the quality of the meat was a little low for the price ($28), but it was cooked perfectly. if you are going to have it on the menu as Steak au Poivre, put some poivre on it, otherwise just call it grilled steak. The gnocchi and vegetables that came with my dinner were both cooked and seasoned perfectly. There were only 3-4 other tables occupied during our dinner and we ended up having quite the conversation with several other diners. The evening was made even more special when the waitress brought out a piece of cheesecake and a candle. I guess she had overheard us talking about how we were celebrating my partners birthday. All in all, dinner was a positive experience.
One of the nice touches we noticed was a pile of throw blankets by the door to the deck. A nice touch for a chilly morning or evening on the deck with coffee or a cocktail.
Suggestions for the operators:
1. Put a coat hook for robes in each of the stalls in the mens bathroom upstairs (and women's if needed). You provided us a nice robe but it has to be dropped on the floor when using the toilet.
2. Provide some salt and pepper shakers.
3. Check the recipe for Steak au Poivre.
With a very few minor exceptions our stay at the Captain Whidbey Inn was great. We both enjoyed our visit and will not hesitate to return.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Captain Whidbey Inn is an enchanting log inn that was hand-built in 1907. Located on the shores of Penn Cove inside the Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve, the inn is superbly located for outdoor enthusiasts and those seeking the charm of a historic Northwest town by the sea. Activities popular with guests include hiking, kayaking, cycling, antiquing, horseback riding, fishing, wine-tasting, and beachcombing. With both rustic and modern accommodations, the Captain Whidbey Inn offers three types of lodging: quaint log-walled rooms in the inn itself, romantic private waterfront cabins, and the more modern Lagoon rooms. Overnight stay includes water views from all areas on the property, access to our restaurant, free continental breakfast, free parking and free WiFi access as well as hot tubs and fireplaces in certain units. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Captain Whidbey Hotel Coupeville
- Captain Whidbey Inn
- The Captain Whidbey Inn Whidbey Island/Coupeville, WA