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“Good location, impressive breakfasts but overpriced for standard of accomodation.”
Review of Tucker House Inn

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Tucker House Inn
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Friday Harbor
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed August 17, 2010

Our family of 5 (children aged 8,6,4) from the UK stayed in the Log Cabin, which we chose because it was the only room available that would sleep 5. We knew it would be cosy but when we had squeezed the folding bed in (slightly under a table) there wasn't much room left at all. The log cabin decor was quaint but slightly tired and in need of investment for the pricing level of the room. We were pleased to be provided with a range of snacks as well as milk and orange juice and the fresh home baked cookies every day were a treat! In the kitchen the saucepans were quite worn, and there were only 3 water glasses and 1 wine glass, so we had to use mugs which is not what we would have expected for the price of the accomodation.
On the first morning we had breakfast in our room as the sittings in the breakfast room were full. This arrived 20 minutes later than the arranged time. On the second and third mornings we ate in the breakfast room and the meal was delicious, varied and really set us up for the day. Unfortunately although the host kindly provided more child friendly options for our children, they were not as open to the new foods as us adults so we ended up supplementing with food from the supermarket for them. It would have been good if some simple cereals or bread had been available for them to choose.
All in all it was a good place to stay - the location is handy within Friday Harbour because we could walk everywhere but were not so central it was noisy. And our host kindly arranged a whale watching visit for us ahead of our trip so we were guaranteed a place. If the standard of the room and fittings had been as high as the breakfasts, it would have been worth the premium price.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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Thank HelenandNeilUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 17, 2010

I just stayed here for 3 nights with my family. I want to preface my review with the "with my family" because most of my comments will be negatively skewed based on that and do not want to diminish the property as a whole. That said there are a few other service issues to address.

We stayed in the Grnadmother's Cottage/Victoria's Flower Garden which is a very nice 2 bedroom suite with a kitchen, breakfast area and living room. Tons of space and very well decorated. It also has a ground floor access in the lower house which makes it very easy to get into and access. Please note this suite has 2 names which is interesting because it is really only one complete unit (I assume at one time it wasn't). We were given 4 keys to this room with no real explanation. an explanation would have been nice because unbeknownst to us they were two separate sets of keys for two different locks. We ended up locking ourselves out one night because we took the wrong set. We had to call for them to get us in after dinner one night (no one on duty at night). Not a major complaint but that should be explained upon check-in.

The reason it wasn't explained upon check-in is because noone works at the desk after about 6:30 p.m. Considering we arrived on a popular ferry that docks at 7:00 I think they should pay someone for another hour to wait. It's not like we arrived in the middle of the night (and there were other envelopes there for people who hadn't arrived so were clearly not a strange case by arriving at 7:00). In fairnesss again, they did respond quickly via email and telephone to ensure everything was taken care of but these types of properties pride themselves on service. I never met someone other than the cleaning staff during my 3 nights (who one day failed to clean one of the rooms or clean up the brekfast).

I also had an issue with certain unexplained events that directly involved my room. First, no one ever told me they hired someone to paint my door and frotn porch entryway for 2 days during my stay (starting at 7:00 am). No one from the property explained this to me at any time, before or after. We just woke up to find a man on a ladder at the window next to our bed. Similarly, no one told us at anytime that on a random Wednesday afternoon there would be a wedding taking place in fornt of our room that we had to trapse through. We were fine with it but it was unfair to the wedding party and we felt like idiots. Once again, no explanation in advance or any advice.

These items above are slightly nitpicky and partially unique to my stay so I do want to preface that.

Now my big issue. I travel alone with my wife plenty of times. I also travel with my kids. they are different trips with different accomodations. This property held itself as being family friendly. They advertise cribs and high-chairs. They shouldn't. It's not fair to the families and not fair to the people travelling without kids. For starters our crib was stained in vomit and obviously hadn't been cleaned in quite some time. Since my daughter was tired (and we travel with our own sheets) we just dealt with it rather than summoning somone from off-premises to remedy.

Also upon check-in (again no one at the desk, just a letter) we were informed for the first time (after 6 months of reservations and multiple emails in advance) that our children were not welcome in the dining room and that our breakfast would instead be brought us in our suite after everyone had already eaten upstairs. We were also told that it would be brought down at 9:00. We would have liked it earlier, but again, no one to talk to. They also failed to bring it before 9:15 any of our days. Also they don't tell you in advance what the menu is so you can decide whetehr to stick around or not or just leave and start your day. I would have said something but frankly we didn't want to hassle with bothering anyone as we were put off by the letter and lack of on-site personnel. In fairness again to the property, the breakfast was very good (the one day we ate it), and so were the late afternoon snacks. They also stock the fridge with orange juice, espresso and milk.

In sum, this property is very nice and very convenient to the shops and restaurants in Friday Harbor. It is also on a quiet street despite it's extremely close proximity to the main streets. I wouldn't stay here with kids and think they should staff their front desk during hours when people might need them.

Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
Thank eschule
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2010

I met my daughter on San Juan Island for some great sightseeing, hiking and relaxation for my 65th Birthday, There was champagne,fresh baked cookies and chocolates awaiting our arrival in our most lovely room with a fireplace and magnificent bathroom. My daughter kept on asking what kind of mattress it was as it was so comfortable! As we had a short time on the island, we spent most of our time away from the inn, but everyone was helpful and the location was best in terms of convenience (other ferries; rentals, etc.).
The three-course gourmet breakfasts were amazing! Everything was so freshly prepared and with the best local ingredients. These innkeepers work hard to please!
Probably the best perk was the bicycles and helmets that were available to all the guests and no extra charge. Our ride in the morning around Friday Harbor was one of the major highlights of our trip.
Our only regret is that our stay was too short on the island. There was so much more to see and so much more hiking to do. We hope to return!

  • Stayed: August 2010
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Thank redgoose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2010

We enjoyed the Victoria's Garden Suite, but there were disappointing aspects.
First, there wasn't much of a flower garden, as most of it had been dug up.
Secondly, the reception was lukewarm at best, almost hostile. We were shown the suite and she forgot to tell us about the heating mechanism, which meant we spent a very cold first night.
Second the breakfasts were inedible. First morning polenta with mezican topping. Yuck!Second morning pancakes looked good but were underdone inside. More yuck!
There was no way to communicate with the owners, as no phone in the cottage, or anywhere else. Owners do not live on premises.
Nice touches such as hand made soap. But they would do better to focus on basics, like heat and cooked food. Staff definitely needs more training.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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Thank rosebery7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2010

We spent three nights at the Tucker House, Evening Star room. It's very near the center of Friday Harbor and the ferry landing. No harbor view, but the rooms are very comfortable and the overall feel of the place is very welcoming. Our room had both a nice sitting area and a balcony, which we liked. The bed was comfortable, there is a HUGE tub with jets as well as a shower, fresh cookies are on the table for check-in and left every day. There is a kitchen in the main house guests can use for coffee and tea, use of the refrigerator or microwave, etc. Good bikes are available to guests for free. Most spectacular, though, are the breakfasts. These guys really care about breakfast, and it is wonderful. Not sure I've ever had dessert for breakfast before, but it's a fine idea. We would gladly return to the Tucker House.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Mike_in_CO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2010

First, the positives: We stayed in Victoria's Flower Garden, which had very comfortable beds and a full kitchen. Staff was friendly and helpful. Great recommendations for things to do on the island. We were allowed to drop our bags since we arrived early. Our teens enjoyed the hot tub after a day of touring.

However . . . .
the place looks like it has seen better days. Peeling paint, dirty skylights, broken footboard on the bed, no light in the closet, no hooks at all in one of the very small bathrooms.

Housekeeping needs to actually keep house. Even though we were on vacation, we loaded and ran the dishwasher in the morning. When we came back, housekeeping had not unloaded the dishwasher, nor had they cleaned out the coffee pot. We ended up doing all of our own dishes during our stay.

We were given 4 cookies each afternoon. A nice touch, but there were five of us, and we were paying for 5 people. Likewise, we were given about 8 oz. of orange juice in the fridge, for 5 people.

Breakfast was tasty and included quiche or pancakes, fruit, 1/2 sausage each, and five slices of a breakfast dessert. I'm not a big eater, but I thought 1/2 sausage each was a bit stingy and I also would have much preferred whole grain toast or a bagel to a dessert in the morning. (There were no bread products available.)

The towels were ancient (and clearly had been washed with fabric softener, so they were not absorbent at all). All of them should be thrown out and replaced.

We paid quite a lot to stay at the Tucker House. If we hadn't, I might have overlooked the above. But at top prices, service and amenities should be better.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with family
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Thank DCTracy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harrison_Innkeeper, Manager at Tucker House Inn, responded to this reviewResponded July 25, 2010

Thank you for taking the time to write about your stay. Victoria’s Flower Garden has been lovingly restored by us over the last few years including new hardwood flooring throughout the suite, new tile in the baths, new kitchen and paint throughout the suite. The antique bed in the main bedroom was purchased from an Island family and is period to the house! The priority for our renovations of this 1898 historic house was the guest suites followed by the exterior. After a new roof and replacement windows, the exterior is currently getting a new paint job complete with siding restoration and new decks.

Our housekeepers attend to all our rooms daily. Sometimes guests forget to remove their do not disturb sign. Out of respect for guests’ privacy we do not enter the room for daily service. Unfortunately, that sounds like what happened during your stay. Next time, let us know when you return from your day if we overlooked your room. I feel a bit helpless now to make it right.
Our breakfast is three courses and includes fruit, yoghurt and granola; a hot entrée of the day and dessert. We do our best to offer a wide variety each day to appeal to all of our guests. Many of our guests remark that they don’t even think about lunch! For our guests dining in the café, there is an endless supply of beverages including orange juice, coffee and tea. For those opting for room delivery, we ask if you need any refills when we deliver the tray. We also refill the milk, juice and coffee during our housekeeping service each day.

As a Green Hotel on San Juan Island, we are eco-minded. We have made many changes to our service to preserve our Island’s fragile ecosystem. We recently purchased white green cotton towels that have more surface area so they absorb more water but use less water for cleaning and are faster drying.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2010

We booked relatively last minute and while the room was not cheap, it wasn't any more expensive than the nice hotels and was a much better expereince. We had the Log Cabin and it was a large beautiful room with kitchen and loads of extra space. Breakfast was three courses, all of which were fresh, tasty, and well-presented. Who knew you could have dessert with breakfast?! The fact that it is an easy walk from town and the ferry terminal makes it even better. Leave the car in Anacortes and walk on the ferry. I also enjoyed our breakfast guests - fun and easy conversation around the table. Our hosts were nice and helpful.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank daviddri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tucker House Inn

Address: 275 C St, Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA 98250-8098
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Washington > San Juan Islands > San Juan Island > Friday Harbor
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Friday Harbor
Price Range: $199 - $369 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Tucker House Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 10
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Also Known As:
Tucker House Hotel Friday Harbor
Tucker House Inn Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA

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