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“Great location, and clean!”
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
Snoqualmie, WA
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Great location, and clean!”
Reviewed August 3, 2008

Just returned from two nights at Elements. We had two queens in a lower floor room #107. Hardwood floors were such a refreshing change! Removes that "cringe" factor when walking on the carpeting that is usually in the rooms. THANK YOU! Our room was very clean and the furnishings were new and updated. Our room had a coffee maker, fridge, and m/w.

Pool was adequate for the kids swimming one night. There is a coffee stand attached to the pool area with a nice patio with chairs and tables.

The grounds were blooming with flowers everywhere and immaculate! Bikes available for use were also a very fun option!

The most valuable feature of Elements is the location. We walked to the grocery two blocks down, the liquor store across the street, the bowling alley, across the street, and all of the restaurants for our meals. It's a fabulous spot for those wanting access to Friday Harbor proper.

We will certainly stay there again....

  • Liked — Cleanliness and location
  • Disliked — Size of room, no space for bags to spread out
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Elderberrygal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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597 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (136)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2008

The idea of a hybrid is great, but Elements fell short in many areas.

First, the night clerk was a bit surly with us upon check-in. When we asked for restaurant recommendations, he would not provide any until we told him exactly what we wanted eat (geez, there aren't that many restaurants on the island!), then got a bit of an attitude when we asked him to split the bill between two credit cards.

We reserved the biggest room on the property, which happend to be right next to the pool/cafe area. The lighting around that area is left on all night and the blinds in our room did little to keep the light out.

Our beds, while relatively comfortable, were the squeakiest I've ever been in - to the point that my traveling companion and I were worried about waking up one another in the night by rolling over.

The gift shop seemed to have a lot of logo clothing, but on closer inspection, it carried only Small and 2X sizes in the sweatshirts.

A couple of times we went to the front office to ask a question. A man working at the desk ignored us. Perhaps he was a manager or bookkeeper working the books, but he could have at least acknowledged us and asked us to wait for the desk clerk to come back.

As isolated incidents these issues are insignificant, but taken all together made the stay less than stellar. The high room rate did not help, either.

Stayed July 2008
Helpful?
1 Thank nov854
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redmond, Washington
2 reviews
Reviewed July 30, 2008

My expectations of Elements Hotel before I arrived had see-sawed: It seemed to be one of the top three hotels on the island and the photos on the website made the rooms look appealing. But then I'd read a recent review describing it as an overpriced, former chain motel just painted over, and I knew exactly what that reviewer was talking about because my only other experience with a boutique hotel was exactly that.

I was very pleasantly surprised---from my arrival and through my stay. It IS a former motel---all the rooms and windows open to the outside and parking is right up to the building. But that's the only reminder of what it may have once been. The decor of the rooms (I was in two) as well as the lobby is unimposing, just a tad rustic, overall pleasant and thoughtfully planned.

A clean hotel room is an absolute must for me---I am very picky---and my room was spotless. Good beds, great pillows. As for the price, it certainly isn't cheap and you certainly pay a premium during peak season, but its rates are competitive with, if not somewhat better than, the two other similar hotels in town.

Lastly, the front desk staff, when they're not busy juggling taking phone reservations, check-ins, and issuing bikes, is all friendly, and knowledgeable, with at least 2-3 locals among them who are especially resourceful.

Non-smokers will be glad to know that smoking is not only prohibited in the rooms, but on every part of the property as well---yes, that includes the outside.

Although I'm rating it 'Excellent', a few improvements to think about:
- Increase front desk staff during peak times of day
- Ceiling fans in all of the rooms; box fans are provided in the 'Earth' rooms, but to use them in the window would cost some privacy in having to open the curtains
- Because of its motel format with doors and windows facing outside, it can be especially noisy. I don't know what, if anything, can be done about this.

Lastly, due to a naming conflict with another chain of hotels, they will be undergoing another name change this fall. This is unfortunate especially because of the number of names the hotel has had in recent years. They need to settle on a name, build it as a brand and stick with it.

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank ShelBetty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington Beach, California
Level Contributor
215 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed July 28, 2008

The Elements Hotel & Spa is a "Hybrid Hotel". It was originally a motel and has exterior doors and convenient parking in front of your room. It is located on Spring Street and very convenient to the harbor, shopping and restaurnats. The grounds have some tables with unbrellas and some chairs.

The rooms have been completely remodeled with modern furniture in soothing colors of grays, blacks and browns. Our room had two very nice leather chairs that matched the platform bed. We had a king-size bed with wonderful bedding and pillows. However, there is too much furniture for the room. Between the end of the bed a the armoire, there is perhaps a 12" space to walk between. The bathroom sink area also houses the microwave, coffee pot and a rod for hanging your clothes. It's a rather strange set-up.

However, my reason for a not so high rating is the noise generated by the housekeeping staff. Unfortunately our room was next to the housekeeping staff area (Room 320) and they talked non-stop. They yelled from one area to another to get someones attention. Forget taking a nap, or sleeping in late.

With that said, our stay was not entirely unpleasant and the location is great. The outside of the property does not "match" the interior. While the furniture in the rooms is lovely, it seems out of place. We did not use the spa facilities.

Stayed July 2008
Helpful?
1 Thank MrsPickle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport Beach, CA
2 reviews
Reviewed July 24, 2008

Simply put, everything we needed for our vacation with our grandson was here at The Elements. Large room with a full kitchen gave us flexiblity on when to eat. Room well appointed. Central location allowed us to walk all over Friday Harbor, very accommodating staff, nice morning coffee bar away from the room. Wireless availability. If we needed something, the hotel folks provided it.

A happy grandfather/Newport Beach, CA

Stayed July 2008
Helpful?
Thank CappyNewportBeach_CA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
seattle
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 13, 2008

We just returned from our second stay at Elements and I decided it was time for a review. My husband and I both LOVE this hotel/motel so much. The rooms are just like they are in the pictures - at least the Sky/Water that we have stayed in. We were there in 80 degree weather - but the room never got too hot. They have these fantastic fans the cool you off (I need to find them). The check-in was flawless as normal - you pay when you get there instead of when you leave and I really like that. I try to describe this hotel to people and the best way to describe it is unique and wonderful. Don't let the outside fool you! This was of course once a motel and from the outside, you would never guess the luxury on the inside. Housekeeping was great, the front desk was always helpful and so so easy to get too off the ferry. Their location is perfect.

For those who believe it is overpriced for what you get - I am not sure they have traveled extensively and let's look at the going rates of a Holiday Inn Express in Walla Walla, WA - 140$! I am not sure what they expect for their money, but we always feel we get our money's worth.

  • Liked — The location & quality of the rooms
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank garrisoncollins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Collins, Colorado
Level Contributor
43 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2008

Very nice room (no ac as mentioned by others), nice pool, excellent location convenient to town and ferry, but I agree it's overpriced for what you get.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — price
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank ProfSue
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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