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“You're better off somewhere else.”

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Roche Harbor Resort
Ranked #6 of 11 Hotels in Friday Harbor
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 30, 2013

Thank God my wife and I had misgiving about this place from the start, and sought lodging elsewhere. However, we decided to check this place out, to see if our misgivings were justified. They were. This place is a complete tourist trap. Their prices are outrageous compared to the rest of the island. Their dinner has a hospital cafeteria atmosphere, which the food is not even on par with, and is priced worse than Denny's. The decor is boarder line gaudy and overpriced as well. I didn't see ONE person smile that wasn't paid to. To top it off, the entire "town" reeks like and over used, seldom cleaned outhouse at low tide. Spend your money and time elsewhere.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Nick G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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270 - 276 of 361 reviews

Reviewed April 28, 2013

We booked a family mini vacation with a Groupon coupon, with a day at the spa planned. The experience was great in reserving our room. I was told that we would practically have the resort to ourselves and that they would put us in the condo's with the Harbor view, not the lagoon. Well this is not what happened. We ended up with a lagoon view condo, not bad, but the age is clearly showing on these units. You can stub your toes on the floor because its so unlevel. One of the toilets has leaked so bad in Unit, that the floor boards were rotten. Lamp shades were all dusty, and broken. The noise from the upper unit was so loud that every 45 minuts even my 4 year old was awakened by the toliet being flushed upstairs, she will sleep through almost anything. The staff seemed very unphased by this. Very disappointed by the space - we will book in the new houses next time.

Room Tip: Do not stay in room 123. Stay in the newly build houses is you are looking for a kitchen.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Tara D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2013

They did an amazing job converting the old McMillan home into 4 luxury suites. Our suite had a living room with fireplace, a bedroom with a very comfortable king bed, and a bathroom with both a claw foot tub and a shower.The heated floors are a nice touch. The view of the quaint harbor from our room and deck was calming. Private free parking and free in-room wifi as well. This is a great romantic getaway.

Room Tip: You can park at your door with room 262.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank DennisUSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2013

This resort is spectacularly beautiful, with so much history apparent throughout the entire resort. From the harbor full of boats, to the gardens and the amazing flowers in planters all over, this resort has so much potential. You can read about the history of the resort and the families who owned the resort over the years, as well as the presidents and famous celebrities who have stayed there.
We stayed 2 nights in a waterfront cottage through a Groupon purchase. I, like other reviewers, realized there was not a TV but was expecting the "resort wide wi-fi." This needs to be a little more clear. The cottage was quaint but I'm not sure of the cleanliness of it. If felt much like camping, on steroids. As a family that enjoys camping, it was okay for us. The cottage was nicely equipped with 2 bedrooms (beds were actually comfortable) and 1 oddly placed bathroom in the middle of a bedroom. This is fine for a family, I wouldn't be very comfortable with 2 couples. The grassy area around the park was awesome for the kids to play soccer and the use of the playground was fun. Being April, not much in the resort was going on and the kids were easily bored. We were lucky to have some other kids to hang out with.
The general store prices were very competitive and we were able to get everything from frozen pizza to cold medicine to frisbees for the kids.
Would we go back? Yes, but with different expectations. You are paying for the beauty of this resort, not 5 star accomodations.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank tmaw09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2013

My grandmother first brought me to Roche Harbor when I was five. I can still remember looking up at the Hotel de Haro as we walked up the dock and under the arbor that runs through the formal gardens. The memories of how beautiful and peaceful it was there still resonate with me today.

Over the years I've continued to come back to Roche Harbor again and again. And every single time I am struck by that same sense of awe, that same magical feeling as that very first time. There is really nothing quite like it. I recently celebrated my birthday with a group of dear friends and family, most of whom had not been to Roche Harbor before. Every last one of them was just as taken with the resort and all it's charms as I am. We stayed in the historic cabins, enjoyed a crab feed around the outdoor fire pit, played on the beach with the children and the dogs, strolled through the incredibly picturesque resort, shopped in all four of the stores on site (for a small grocery store their general store is SO well stocked!!), had breakfast at the Lime Kiln Cafe, dinner at McMillians, wandered through the sculpture garden and took the small hike to the mausoleum just to name a few. We also stumbled across an AMAZING distillery not far from the resort - Spy Hop DIstillery, who make ciders and gin from their own homegrown apples and locally sourced produce. Amazingly informative and incredibly tasty! Aside from the amazing beauty of the area the history there is equally impressive - we all got a kick out of seeing John Wayne's favorite bathtub and President Roosevelt's signature in the guest book. Every single day was filled with such a lovely sense of calm and pure joy - not one of us wanted to leave. In fact, we have booked our return trip already! I've traveled all around the world in the 33 years since I first came to Roche Harbor and yet it remains the one place that I will continue to return to time and again.

As if all of this wasn't enough, the staff - every last one of them - was the epitome of kind and helpful. From planning our trip, to getting me into my cabin earlier than expected (because I was so excited to get up there that I caught the early ferry), to the waitstaff at the restaurants, to housekeeping and maintenance, every single person was absolutely busting at the seems with the joyousness and helpfulness that embodies my memories of Roche Harbor.

Room Tip: We had front row historic cabins which provide a stunning view of the harbor and easy access to the...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Jennifer F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2013

My wife and I took advantage of a Groupon to stay for two nights in one of the one-bedroom condos, along with our baby boy. Our guess is that the condos were originally individually owned or perhaps time-shared, as the names of the buildings stenciled on the parking lots were different from the names on the building signs themselves.

No matter the history, our unit was immaculately clean and everything functioned well. The condo buildings themselves are bit older and in need of some exterior sprucing up, but they overlook the harbor and offer anything (or most anything) you'd need for a comfortable stay.

We traveled quickly through Friday Harbor to arrive at the resort, not knowing that our dining options would be limited once on site. I had to drive back to Friday Harbor to buy some dinner for us (at King's Market, very recommended), after paying some reasonably steep prices at the smallish market at the resort for breakfast things. I'd strongly recommend stopping in at King's to buy your meal fixings before continuing on to Roche Harbor, unless you plan on eating at one of the three establishments there. We took our meals either in our condo or in Friday Harbor, so we can't comment on the fare at Roche.

The staff are uniformly pleasant and helpful; the shopping is interesting and likely quite varied in the warmer months (little kiosks dot the wharf but were closed during our visit on Easter Weekend), and it's a very charming little spot for a walk-around on a sunny Saturday morning.

A word on any future Groupons that may come up for this place. The difference between what Roche Harbor charges (it was displayed on our folio, perhaps a slip-up in their system) and what Groupon charged amounted to a commission for the latter that exceeded 40%. We're in the travel business ourselves, and hotel commissions are pretty much standard across the industry at 10%. Shame on Groupon for price-gouging on this particular deal.

That aside, Roche Harbor is a lovely spot at the end of a pleasant and scenic day trip to get there.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank Talquinho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2013

These are cottages built in the 19th century for workers at the lime and cement business that later became the resort. They are somewhat rustic, with a cabin-like feel. They are a short walk from the main resort. They are close to the pool and have a very nice view. They are small, about the size of a hotel suite, with small corner kitchen. The bathroom is a bit funky, very small, very little space to set toiletries down. The wi-fi currently (March 2013) does not reach the cottages. The plus side is reasonable cost for a fairly high-end resort, more privacy than a hotel, and a spectacular setting.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Ross C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Roche Harbor Resort

Address: 248 Reuben Memorial Dr, Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA 98250-8171
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Washington > San Juan Islands > San Juan Island > Friday Harbor
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 11 Hotels in Friday Harbor
Price Range: $95 - $294 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Roche Harbor Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 83
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
San Juan Island historic resort nestled along the shoreline. Guest amenities include marina, three restaurants, kayaking, whale watching, full service spa, pool, playground, bocce ball, tennis courts, and nature trails. Resort center has complimentary wireless internet for all resort guests. Some (not all) of our rooms have microwave, coffee service, refrigerator, and air conditioning. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Roche Harbor Hotel Roche Harbor Village
Roche Harbor Village Hotel
Roche Harbor Village Resort
Roche Harbor Resort Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA

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