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“Fun and convenient”
Review of Earthbox Inn & Spa

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Earthbox Inn & Spa
Ranked #7 of 10 Hotels in Friday Harbor
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed November 11, 2007

Stayed here one night during a camping/sailing trip in the San Juan Islands. We pulled the boat up in the harbor, and were able to walk up to Elements from there. It's an easy walk from town, and they had free bicycles to use! We took advantage of this and rode all through town. It was great fun.

The person at the front desk was really helpful and nice - made great dinner recommendations and let us look at a few rooms before deciding which one we wanted. We looked at two - one was kind of old looking and dingy, but the second was obviously updated and nicer. We chose that one. Again, the beds were comfortable and had nice linens. Another plus was free internet and tea in the lobby.

This place has some of the charms of a small, intimate inn but also has the feel of an old motor lodge - a contradiction in terms, but we enjoyed our stay here overall. It may be worth checking out some of the other options in town if you're really wary....

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank innkeepmendo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 21, 2007

We decided to go to Friday Harbor on the spur of the moment. We called the Monday before and got the last "Sky" room available from Sept. 15-17. It's the room with one king-size bed. We were given good information from the front desk about the ferry schedule and directions to hotel.

When we checked in--we were early and the room wasn't ready--but we did all the paper work and just returned for the key at 3. The front desk was VERY helpful--giving us directions for lunch places and they made dinner reservations for us at Backdoor Kitchen (a great!!!! restaurant) and at Steps Bar and Grill (another great restaurant --but different from Backdoor). Both restaurants used local produce, seafood and meat--chefs at both were very unique in their combinations and presentations--we loved them both for different reasons.

Our room: I was a bit worried when we saw that our room was right next to the housekeeping/laundry room. I was worried about noise and early mornings. But neither was a problem. Elements is an older motel with a great face-lift. The structure still squeaks (water pipes tap, tap, tapping and noisy floor boards) but it just adds to the charm. Rememeber, you are in a small beautiful coastal town--not a urban uptight city--you just go with the flow. We unplugged the noisy small refrigerator at night- we plugged in our ipod (to the furnished ipod machine) and we enjoyed the "quirkiness". The bed and linens were very nice and great quality as were the bath products. The only suggestion I would offer is to buy drapes for the ground floor rooms. The blinds are nice, but when cars park at night the headlights shine directly into the room. An easy fix, i think.

We looked at the San Juan Hotel-and for the price difference, I don't think it's worth it. Elements gave us the "adventure and relaxing" trip we were looking for. We would stay there again.

My only question--we never found the "spa" part of the hotel. There was no information in the binder in the room--so we didn't know if the "spa" part of the hotel was not available off-season. I never asked the front desk--always forgot. Next time I will inquire when we make the reservation.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank 23louise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2007

There is nothing wrong with the property per say. It is composed of three two story buildings which all face a shared parking lot and pool, in other words a stereotypical motel.

My issue with the lodging is that it is portrayed as a hotel when it is really a motel. As other reviews say, the property is recently renovated and the room had fresh paint and relatively new furniture but don't be fooled by the pictures on the website, the rooms look nothing like that. While the room was fairly nicely done it still has the paper thin walls of a motel, we could hear conversations on both sides word for word, and the small cramped bathrooms with plastic tub/shower combo. That being said the front desk was very helpful and the rooms had free WiFi

All in all I'd say the property was great if they were charging motel rates, say below $100 per night. However at $170 per night I'd expect more than a glorified up motel room and for the rates charged you can easily find a nicer property in the same or better location. In fact, there is a Best Western right up Spring Street that looked nicer and was just half the price.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank ubertemp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2007

We were in Friday Harbor for two nights in early August as part of a week's vacation in Washington. We stayed in one of the back buildings on the property on the second floor. It was very quiet and the rooms have recently been renovated. Ours was decorated in very "earthy" tones and had new contemporary furniture. Be aware that there is no air conditioning. This was not a huge issue for us, as it was in the 70's while we were there. But, during the day it got stuff and when we would return to the room, we would need to open windows and use the large fan provided in the room. By evening, it was fine. The hotel staff was friendly and we booked a whale watching trip through them prior to our visit. They suggested the Western Prince 2 out of Friday Harbor and it was wonderful. I would highly recommend this tour group. We also walked into the FH Chamber of Commerce office and the woman there was EXTREMELY helpful. She gave us a map of the island and showed us where all the important stops would be. We saw the lavender farm, the alpaca farm, the sculpture park, the San Juan Vinyard (lovely!), toured all the parks, and just had a wonderful time! I would suggest anyone going to FH stop in their office and get some suggestions. The only thing that would make Elements a better place, would be a continental breakfast. We had to find out own - which isn't hard as it is so close to downtown. Within 2-3 blocks you have several choices. One of the local fellows suggested the bowling alley across the street. (I know...a bowling alley???) But, it was good, fast, and affordable. It was great for a family, as the menu is huge and it was very good. We also ate at the Brewery one night and while service was a bit slow, the food was really great.

Elements does have a pool, hot tub and sauna. They aren't huge, but were never very crowded when we were there. Certainly adequate to warm up or cool off...as the weather dictates.

We would certainly stay here again, if we were in Friday Harbor.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with family
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1  Thank Zamigaos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2007

Our stay at this hotel in Friday Harbor was okay. Primary feature for us was how close it is to the town of Friday Harbor and the Ferry Dock. We walked to the hotel from the Ferry. Also, our room was very clean which was important to us. This is an older hotel/motel type facility that has been refurbished. The grounds are nice and clean and the rooms have been painted with attractive colors and ours was a restful color which we needed after a long drive and ferry ride to get to Friday Harbor. The girl who checked us into the hotel was efficient and worked quickly which we were thankful for. Our room was on the second floor of a rear building and we had to climb the exterior stairs of this building dragging our luggage......but we made it ok. There are no elevators. Amenities in the room were adequate and there was a microwave and small refrigerator which is helpful for keeping drinks. The room was small but our queen beds were very comfortable and bed linens were of good quality. The television was an adequate size and sat inside an armoire. There were two chairs in the room as well so all of this furniture made for a tight fit ! Bathroom was small but clean. It truly showed the age of this place, but it was adequate and clean so we were happy. If I do travel to Friday Harbor again I might want to try another hotel in the area, but if I had to stay at the Elements again , I would. We loved this area and thought the town was scenic and quaint.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with friends
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4  Thank aug30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2007

Hotel was great. It was clean, quiet, and in walking distance to many restaurants and shops, etc.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled with family
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Thank Luv2travelWI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2007

I can't rave enough about this place!
On a whim, I booked a two night stay in an Earth Places room for a July 4th family getaway. When we arrived and found the retro-cool facade of this 60's era hotel still in tact we were impressed, but moreso once we stepped inside our comfy and elegantly understated room.
Also, the check-in process was actually enjoyable. Not only were the front desk staff knowledgeable and helpful, they were HAPPY. Given some of my recent lodging experiences, mostly at much larger, far pricier hotels, it was a breath of fresh air.
We were on ground level in what was most likely the last room available and, although for quality time purposes we usually request two rooms when traveling with the wee one, we found enough space to stretch out, unpack, and get comfy.
When we came back from having dinner at Front Street Ale House (an easy walk from the hotel, even with 5 year old in tow) to change into our suits for swimming in the well-heated indoor pool, we were shocked to find water streaming from the ceiling. My theory, based on frantic yelling and running above us, is that a faucet was left running upstairs.
Concerned that our stay would be at best less comfy, we called the front desk, and were promptly moved to THE WIND PLACES GUEST HOUSE where we enjoyed two-story accommodations, two suite-sized bedrooms (one up, one down,) a lovely bathroom with soaking tub, a modern and fully stocked kitchen, and our own yard - AND our entire stay was discounted by 20%!
SO, yeah. I kind of recommend the Hotel Elements. In fact, I'm gonna book my next stay like right now.

p.s. Have guest services book a whale watching tour out of Roche Harbor for you. We were literally surrounded by orcas on our expedition. Very cool.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with family
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6  Thank chickenears
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Earthbox Inn & Spa

Address: 410 Spring St, Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA 98250-7230 (Formerly Elements Hotel & Spa)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Washington > San Juan Islands > San Juan Island > Friday Harbor
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Green Hotel in Friday Harbor
#5 Family Hotel in Friday Harbor
#6 Romantic Hotel in Friday Harbor
Price Range: $186 - $272 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Earthbox Inn & Spa 2.5*
Number of rooms: 72
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Earthbox Inn & Spa is a delightful blend of cool resort motel and classic vintage motor inn with an indoor pool, full-service spa, stylishly renovated rooms, free wifi, free parking and complimentary bicycles. Centrally located in downtown Friday Harbor, only 4 blocks from the Washington State Ferry. Also enjoy the many outdoor area attractions including kayaking, biking, hiking, and wildlife/whale tours. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Earthbox Motel And Spa
Earthbox Hotel Friday Harbor
Earthbox Motel Friday Harbor
Earthbox Inn & Spa Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA

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