Everyone knows that you only get one chance to make a first impression. My first impression was that the Guemes Island Resort looked more like a practical sporting retreat with rustic camping rather than a resort. Everything following revealed that they need to learn about hospitality etiquette. First of all you don't charge a guest the full amount until they check out. I was charged before we even were given the keys to our cabin.
Next we were told that our Deluxe Cabin wasn't ready and that the hot tub needed to be adjusted. We decided to go with the flow and take a walk around the grounds and give the staff some time to take care of these last minute adjustments.
As you walk around the property you have to admit that the scenery is beautiful and peaceful. However the layout of the cabins don't really allow for much privacy. Also the placement of large garbage dumpsters somewhat centrally located give the place a camp ground feeling.
To bring this to a point, they still were adjusting the hot tub thirty minutes later postponing our arrival close to an hour.
The next disappointment was the cedar Sauna. We had reserved the sauna two days in advance and we were assured that it would be ready at 6pm. You may guess by the first part of this review that the Sauna was not ready in fact it was stone cold.
This now brings us to the Steam Shower in the Deluxe cabin. It is DANGEROUS!!! There isn't a verbal warning nor written warning that can justify that it has been INSTALLED INCORRECTLY. Meaning, when you advertise that the cabin comes with a large tiled steam shower it should be exactly that. And it should be safe.
Instead the standing area of the steam shower is about a two and half wide by three foot rectangle. It is very easy to burn yourself in such a SMALL space. In fact my fiance did burn herself. And I am positive that in any Steam Shower Installation Manual there is specific warnings written for the sole purpose of preventing such situations in the first place.
So let's fast forward to the next day at check out. We explain to the receptionist that despite the circumstances we did make the best of our time. We said we would like to talk with owner and go over the details. And for the prices they are asking this seemed like more than a reasonable request.
We felt that if we could make a slight compromise on the price, that would leave everyone feeling as though they obtained something positive over all. She told us he would be in soon and he would call shortly.
We ended up talking with the receptionist again. And she said that he was not around and that he wasn't interested on compromising on anything despite all that had happened.
I told her that we would stop payment on the credit card if he refused to resolve the situation in a respectful and rational manner. After that statement, he was on the line in less than thirty seconds.
I explained to him that it is never up to the guest to come find the owner. In fact why had he not introduced himself in the first place upon our arrival? He was there checking in on the hot tub and pointing to where the sauna was. And that if there is ever any problem it is up to him and his staff to work through to find a solution.
These are the principles that separate good business from poor business practices. The fortunate thing about the state of Washington and the west coast in general is that there are many scenic retreats and resorts that also don't over capitalize on what they offer.
The places that are up front and run their place with pride and respect are the ones people come back to. In this case I feel Mark and his staff need some time to work through the kinks in the line. Perhaps in time they will get it together. And in the meantime not neglect nor avoid their responsibilities to their customers.
David A. Smith
What a great place to call home for 5 days! The location & views are amazing. The accommodations are fabulous. The management & staff are all wonderful & treated us like family. The crabbing was great, the food in town & on the island was all good. Really enjoyed the relaxation of days that included strolling on the beach, taking hikes up to Guemes Mountain, making great dinners in the stylish new cabin, hot tubs & bonfires at night... what more could you ask for. Be prepared to get inspired & want to return soon! I'm already looking forward to my return to Guemes Island Resort.
Had a fantastic experience at Guemes Island Resort. Staff was friendly, professional and took care of our every needs quickly. Our cabin was awesome: clea, cozy, awesome views of the Puget Sound and Mt. Baker, and the hot tub was over the top! Crabbing, pods of orca, walks on the beach... this place has it all!
And don't bring wine, they've got a killer selection on site.
Where do I begin?! It was romance + freedom + rustic luxury + amazing staff + awe-inspiring ocean and island views + awesome hot tub + fully stocked cooking tools in kitchen (I like to cook!) + bonfire on the beach + an unbeatable price for what you get.
Having stayed in many places around the world that were big luxury resorts to small boutique hotels to everything in between... Guemes Island Resort ranks up there with my top 2 all-time favorite places. (One other being outside Negril, Jamaica and the other in Morella, Spain.) To boot, the price to stay (in my mind) is ridiculously LOW compared to what you get. I'm shocked it doesn't cost more to stay there.
My boyfriend and I were talking about when to re-book before we even left. We even reviewed our work schedules to see if it was feasible to stay longer... which we couldn't pull off. But we wanted to! It was absolute paradise. My boyfriend's exact words were "I'm tickled pink over this place. It's like a utopia."
What's nice is that, if you ever see other guests, they are like-minded and friendly people. Guemes Island Resort must attract only the friendliest and coolest people.
And the gift/food shop/office is perfect a healthy snack, nibbles for a picnic, a great selection of small batch beers and wines, as well as sake. I bought a few t-shirts there as future gifts for family. and frankly, if you never went grocery shopping before your arrival... it seemed as though they have everything you'd need for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack.
I highly recommend the new cabins. We stayed in a newly built, high-design eco friendly cabin with private hot tub and steam shower. It would seem like the perfect place to honeymoon.
Run, don't walk to make your reservations. What a blast. It was such wonderful bliss and freedom and rejuvination... exactly what a vacation should do.
Guemes Island is a great place to stay, but for the price of a week stay at this resort in a cramped cabin with only a wood stove for heat, you can easily find one of many vacation homes for rent on the island. Many of these are beach front. We stayed at this resort for years until we discovered that we could rent a beachfront home for the same price. It's a no brainer. Visit Guemes, you'll love it, just look into staying elsewhere.
Guemes Island Resort is a gem of a destination that we were lucky to find. Unlike some of the other San Juan Islands, Guemes has maintained the slow paced, laid back vibe that makes it a wonderfully relaxing place to vacation. The resort itself maintains its rustic feel but has had many improvements over the past year or two giving it the ability to accomodate any type of person. Our cabin was very clean and although the cabins are quite small, they have everything you need. We toured the new yurts added to the property and will likely "rough" it in one of those on our next visit. The new sauna is first class and the on site general store is a perfect addition as well (Tremendous beer, sake and wine selection). We didn't get to use their new wood fired, salt water hot tub on site but will definately look to rent that next time we visit. Every staff member we encountered was very friendy and we'll definately return again this year.
The views out your window are spectacular and one cannot help but relax when listening to the gentle lapping of water at the shore. The accommodations are rustic, yet comfortable and quaint. The kitchens are totally equipped with everything you need and there is a pile of stocked wood to keep your fireplace blazing for the length of your stay. The owners are incredibly attentive and friendly. I highly recommend Guemes Island Resort!
what would you do if encountered with unparalled beauty, impeccable accomadations and a place of spiritual power? fully embrace and emerce yourself in this paradise found. i discovered guemes from a friend who had sang the praises of this special place and its unique proprietors. the accomodations exceedeed my expectations and i was suprised to find a variety of resort experiences available for all types of guests. not only were the facilties up to date but they were environmentally concious and innovative. ocean front property has its benefits and never more so than here @ GIR. boat trips, kayaks and the occasional chartered dive trips offer many options from casual beach walker to the most ambitious ocean adventuers. the owners were eager to meet every request of the guests and were friendly and extemely knowledgable about local ecology, history and community activities. we decided to return next year in hopes of seeing an orca pod on one of the seasonally offered chartered boat trips. we can't wait for the hospitality, scenery, and serenity offered by the guemes island resort experience... see you next year, signed...very happy, coming back!
This place is great. From the views of Mt. Baker over the islands and water, to the eagles soaring over head, the seals and porpoise out front in the bay.
It's like taking a step back in time to a rustic beach/fishing resort. We have been coming for years, but this year we were pleasantly surprised to find that the place had been remodeled and updated. The cabins are simple but clean with lots of character. Our family comes twice a year once in the summer to go crabbing and enjoy the great weather, and again in the winter to for the peace and quiet. Nothing is more beautiful than watching the moon rise over Jack Island (a nature conservancy Island)from our cabin and seeing the water sparkling in the moonlight. A great place to go on a long beach walk, where you might find a few shiny agates. The folks there are friendly and helpful. They also offer free of charge kayaks, rowboats, and a sauna. Two of the folks that work at the resort even lent us there bikes so that we could go for a ride on this beautiful little island. Simply a magical place.
Be prepared to be pay a late fee of $40-45 if you take a ferry later than the 6:30 p.m. run on a weekday. The managers/owners are part of a boycott of ferry service going past 6:30 p.m. on weekdays and will charge guests at check-in for taking a later ferry. Also, be prepared to pay for your entire stay up front at check-in and for each adult to sign a page long liability waiver (they're afraid of being sued if you injure yourself during your stay) and to sign one for your kids and even your dog! When was the last time you had to sign legal documents to be allowed to check in to a resort/hotel/motel? They won't give you keys to your cabin (ours was reserved a year in advance) without this. When we finally were given keys to our cabin - after signing all our rights away - we found used soap in the bathroom and food scraps in the kitchen drain (yuk!). This used to be a great place to stay, especially for families. Apparently new owners/managers don't have any experience in the resort business. If you want to visit Guemes Island, stay in Anacortes and take a day trip.
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