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Highland Inn of San Juan Island
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Reviews (59)
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14 - 19 of 59 reviews
Reviewed September 27, 2012

My husband and I recently spent 5 days at the Highland Inn of San Juan Island and had the most wonderful time. The Inn is on a forested hill overlooking the Haro Strait with exceptional views of Vancouver Island, ocean views of harbor porpoise, sea birds and orcas. In addition, the Inn itself is beautifully furnished and run by Helen King. Every luxury has been provided. We had breakfast served in our gorgeous room each day--fabulous food every day! In short, we LOVED it and would highly recommend it to anyone.

Room Tip: There are two rooms that open out on a huge deck--you can't go wrong.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Laurette R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bestinnkeeper, Owner at Highland Inn of San Juan Island, responded to this reviewResponded September 29, 2012

I really appreciate you taking the time to write your comments on your stay here at the inn and am
so happy it lived up to your expectations. Staying for five days gives you an opportunity to really unwind and relax and see all the attractions of the island. It also gave us the opportunity to get acquainted. Getting to know my guests from all over the world and from all walks of life is just one of the special benefits of being an innkeeper. I have always enjoyed entertaining and cooking. Raising six children, and running a twelve room in in CA for twelve years was my training ground for this more relaxed way of life. I just want to take this opportunity to respond to comments by another guest. Yes, we do not have a spa here, but there are massage therapists that will come to the inn, and we have several wonderful spas in Friday Harbor, as well as a swimming pool at our wonderful Health Club that is open to the public. Helen King, Innkeeper

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Reviewed September 2, 2012

My wife and I selected the Highland Inn primarily based upon TripAdvisor. A good decision for our trip to the San Juan Islands overall.

To begin, I do understand how some travelers may view Helen's approach or welcome as distant or unwelcoming, but we felt this was a matter of perspective. She was more than accommodating for our two-day stay without being constantly intrusive or obsequious. She generally did not say anything to us during our jaunts out to the island and back to the B&B, but that seemed more than acceptable given her assertion that we could contact her if we needed anything to make our stay more enjoyable. Some people may want a recurring "Welcome Back" when they enter the door, while we were fine with the understanding of her giving us the distance we need to appreciate our trip. I cannot speak to the pine needle criticism; however, I feel that a guest not accustomed to wiping their shoes might find that offensive. In our particular instance, we did not find her emphasis on this rule any detriment to the stay.

In general, the level of service and amenities at the Highland was exceptional. Breakfast was good and hearty. Rooms were large, you had free wi-fi / satellite TV, and the view could not be beat. A nice touch were the hammocks out in the back porch so you could overlook the coast of Victoria Island as the sun fell into the horizon every evening.

Our only criticisms of our trip are minor, but should be noted. The shower's hot water was not very hot (it was more 'very warm'); this could have been a result of the energy conservation methods stated otherwise, but unknown. The jets in the tub were broken and were mentioned to us on arrival. Finally, the pillows perhaps could have been firmer, but that's a nitpick that is near negligible.

We would recommend others stay at the Highland Inn with the understanding of 1) others' TripAdvisor reviews, and 2) each traveler state their needs and concerns to Helen upon booking their time there. Do these two things and there is no better place to stay on San Juan Island.

Room Tip: No fitness center or swimming pool.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jason B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bestinnkeeper, Owner at Highland Inn of San Juan Island, responded to this reviewResponded September 4, 2012

I appreciate your comments and recommendation but wish you had asked for firmer pillows while here. I have a large selection. I use down, but some guests are allergic and am always happy to replace them with others. Also, there is a water heater for your suite only. I will turn the thermostat up on that and would have been happy to do it while you were here. It is a steam bath as well as a shower for twenty minutes of soothing steam heat. The jet tub repair guy doesn't come to the island that often. You were able to use the tub in your bathroom, just without the jets turned on. Also, there is an outdoor hot tub with jets for your use. Sorry for that inconvenience. When guests arrive, as well as discussing the details of the room, their breakfast preferences etc.,I try to make them feel welcome, describing things to do and see, asking if help is needed with dinner plans, and always point out my phone number on the pad by the phone explaining I live upstairs and to not hesitate to call me for any questions or if anything is needed. When not in the kitchen or doing laundry, my office door is always open and guests are welcome to chat. I enjoy that, but also respect their privacy and don't feel they need to check in and out with me. At breakfast, I always like hearing about their previous days activities, how they enjoyed dinner etc. and plans for the day. When the whales are here
or I hear they are on the way to our shoreline, we gather on the deck to watch and listen to the
blowing as they pass by. Guests select my inn for the peace and quiet and privacy I provide.

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Reviewed August 19, 2012

We spent three very memorable days. We were greeted warmly and shown to our room. Each morning we were greeted with a warm "Good Morning" and a wonderful yummy two course breakfast. We could choose where we wanted our breakfast served - dining room, our room, or on the deck. After being out during the day we would come back to our room with fresh cookies
(the best tasting cookies ever) and fruit waiting for us. Helen would always have the towel warmer on so that our towels would be nice and warm after our steam showers. The fridge was stocked with pop, cold water, chilled wine glasses. Helen has really gone all out to make our stay perfect. The views were great. We could sit on our deck and look out and see Victoria, and the Olympic mountains. I would definitey recommend staying here.

Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
Thank Ken B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bestinnkeeper, Owner at Highland Inn of San Juan Island, responded to this reviewResponded August 21, 2012

I forget sometimes what it is like to have this incredible water view to Victoria BC and the Olympics
when guests live inland. Canada has some amazing places to vacation, but I appreciate the fact
that you chose my inn to stay. Thank you so much for writing Trip Advisor about your stay. It means so much to me you took the time and shared your experience here. Glad you enjoyed your
visit here. Helen King, Innkeeper

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Reviewed August 16, 2012

My wife and I needed a trip to relax and reconnect in beautiful surroundings, with no particular schedule or agenda of activities. The Highland Inn was a great choice for this. We got to sample both rooms: they are of nearly identical mirror-image design with some differences in color scheme. We ended up with a slight personal preference for the Haro Strait Suite as its decor was "just the way we would have done it," and its deck was more shaded in the afternoon/early evening. The beds were very comfortable. The view from the room and deck is an eye-popping panorama of water, Olympic Mountains, Victoria BC and Vancouver Island, with many different visual aspects depending on time of day, cloud cover, air clarity and boating activity on the strait. In the morning hummingbirds and other winged creatures flitted about the deck and foliage. Both evenings we spent more than an hour sitting on the deck, watching the sunset and the lights of Victoria come on in the twilight. The breakfasts were very good and served in a friendly and visually appealing way in the dining area (or in your room or on the deck from what I understand). Helen strikes the right balance between attentiveness to guests' needs/wants and respect for their privacy, a talent no doubt informed by her considerable experience in the industry. We recommend it.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Kevin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bestinnkeeper, Owner at Highland Inn of San Juan Island, responded to this reviewResponded August 18, 2012

I appreciate your comments and am so glad you didn't mind the move from one suite to the other
due to availability. It gave you a chance to experience both rooms and now you know which you will chose when you decide to return to the inn. Your description will be so helpful for others who are trying to decide on their vacation plans when searching Trip Advisor for San Juan Island, WA.
Thank you for your stay and taking the time to write. It was a pleasure to have you here as my guests. Helen KIng, Innkeeper

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Reviewed July 25, 2012

This is a perfect place to stay when visiting San Juan Island! There are only two rooms so it is a quiet and very serene place to stay. The rooms are large and extremely well appointed. The deck provides even more space plus beautiful views of Victoria, BC., the Olympic mountain range and local birds enjoying the feeders just off the deck. The Inn is beautifully situated and has everything you need for a memorable stay. The website is accurate and the Innkeeper, Ms. King, is timely and very responsive to inquiries.

Ms. King is the perfect Innkeeper. She provides sage advice, is knowledgable and up to date about happenings on the island and professionally gauges her clients needs and wishes. She very nicely inquired about any allergies and preferences regarding meals. Ms. King provides gracious hospitality and we thought her breakafsts and the afternoon snacks were works of art.

We had the best sleep, the best breakfast, the best location and the best views of anyone else on the island!

John and Catherine Knox

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Catherine K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bestinnkeeper, Owner at Highland Inn of San Juan Island, responded to this reviewResponded July 27, 2012

I appreciate the comments you posted on Trip Advisor to confirm all the advantages of staying here at the Highland Inn. It's always best to exceed expectations than to have guests disappointed. The Orca whales visited us here again in the Salish Sea most of the afternoon yesterday. Such a treat for those that have never seen them...and for those of us that live here too! Thank you for your stay. I enjoyed having you as my guests.
Helen King, Innkeeper

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