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“Excellent Choice for a Weekend getaway”
Review of Semiahmoo Resort

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Semiahmoo Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Blaine
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 June 2014

My wife and I had a great time in May at this great location. We went on the Living Social offer of 2 night stay and it included a drink and appetiizer. The venue was quite close to where we live and very reasonable. The beds were amazing and some of the best we have ever slept in.
The swimming pool was great and the sauna and steam room great too! This place is very beautiful and can be a super location for a kid friendly family holiday or a romantic getaway.
The restaurants were excellent and the oysters are so fresh! We will definitely go back again as the staff were 1st rate and it was a very welcoming place.
Alan, Surrey BC

Room Tip: Try to get a room with a view of the ocean.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Alan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ousmane D, Assistant General Manager at Semiahmoo Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 2 June 2014

Dear Alan R

5//5 rating, along with a title as being “excellent”. We are appreciative and we value the great feedback. You became a fan of Semiahmoo resort and we love your cheering.
As always it is great to distinguish the staff as they are the resort’s prime asset.
We hope to have you escape to Semiahmoo soon.
At your service,

Ousmane Diop
Assistant General Manager
Semiahmoo Resort Golf and Spa

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Reviewed 29 May 2014

In some ways, Semiahmoo should get at least four stars, but there are mitigating circumstances why they do not -- and the explanation lies ahead, so please, read on, reader.

To explain the above mixed headline, I was a professional travel writer and travel public relations consultant for almost 25 years before retiring in 2010. I visited and toured dozens of countries and cities, stayed at umpteen resorts, went on cruises on ships from very large to very small, flew into backcountry wilderness lodges, did white water river rafting from Alaska to South America, rode camels and trekked across deserts, stayed with the indigenous peoples of both Australia and New Zealand, kayaked through glacier ice, explored the U.S. of 75 to 80 years ago on a 6,500 mile long back roads trip in a 1957 T-Bird, and rode trains across Canada and the U.S., all in search of story material to photograph and write about for various newspapers and magazines.

There's a lot to like out there in the world of travel, because it's like opening a door or window to the world -- but there are also some things not to like. A couple of the practices I strongly dislike from some hotels and some resorts is billing your card in advance, as soon as you make the reservation. They are holding onto your money from the very beginning and putting it to work for them. And you are charged immediately, no matter that it may be months in advance before you stay at the resort or hotel.

Another is hidden fees, such as the baloney so-called "resort fees". These are fees you are charged in addition to your room, and you are usually not aware of these sneaky fees until you check out and by then it is far too late. It makes no difference at all if you didn't use the spa, (for which you always pay extra anyway) you didn't check out any of their sports equipment, you didn't use their pool, or hot tubs, and you didn't play a round of golf (for which you always pay extra, often a hefty extra fee).

Semiahmoo resort opened last summer after about nine or ten months of being closed while the new owners rennovated and upgraded it. And they poured millions into doing so, and now the place looks a lot fresher, with beautiful hanging baskets, nice landscaping, lovely rooms with very thick memory foam mattresses, etc. Our room offered a lovely view of the water and distant islands, but only if you are in your room, or standing on your sun deck (only second floor rooms have sun decks). And why is that? Because if you sit down in the sundeck chairs, the huge, 4 x 10" or 12" beam that serves as the horizontal cap rail across the sundeck at the top of the cable wiring, blocked out all of the horizon and several degrees above and below the waterline if you are sitting in a sundeck chair. This is patently huge overkill in the safety department. Vertical slats or safety glass -- connected to a 4x4" cap rail would have been plenty, and would allow for people sitting on the sundecks to see much more of the view instead of bending down to look under it, or standing up to look over the huge railing. We used to have this same problem at our oceanfront condo in Lincoln City untill the new management ripped out all the old huge railings and substituted the glass and smaller cap rail, a huge improvement.

On the plus side, they have a new restaurant next to the old Packers cafe, which is beautifully done -- great decore, with lots of glass and bleached wood, very light and airy, an excellent example of blending the Northwest room decor to fit with its surroundings of water and sky. We enjoyed a lighter meal of fish and chips and excellent seafood chowder in Packers, and a lighter breakfast of custard filled rolls and fresh fruit in the new cafe. And the hostesses and servers were very polite and friendly at both places.

So far so good with only a minor quibble about the sun deck cap rail blocking the view. BUT -- then came checkout, and our $169 waterfront view room with king bed was now all of a sudden $203.02!!!! Where did all of that extra $34.02 in charges come from? It came in the form of taxes -- two different kinds of taxes, which between them amounted to 10.5%. Ah, but that amounts to $17.74 and only takes the room price up to $186.74. So where did the rest of it come from? The sneaky, unpublished, hidden fee that no one told us about -- the dreaded "Resort Fee" of $15. And then they tax you on the $15.00 for another $1.28!

The "Resort Fee" is the fee you pay to play, and the fee you still pay even if you didn't play -- which we did not. I wanted a print out of my bill at check out to see why the room price was what it was, but the woman on duty said she couldn't give me an accounting -- or a print out. Oh, really? That was a first. She said I would have to contact Expedia and deal with them, not Semiahmoo, about the charges. But when I called back after returning home, and told a different receptionist I thought I had been overcharged, he told us about the resort fees, and that fee includes just about everything the resort offers, including -- are you ready for this? --- having beach fires (which they did not have while we were there after Memorial Day) and providing a parking space for your car!!!! That's right, he said that having a place to park your car is considered a resort amenity at Semiahmoo, believe it or not, and you gotta pay. So why don't they tell you all this up front ??? It's because they are afraid you may object and take your business elsewhere. And why don't they then just add it to the room price Well, because, he said, that would "screw up the room price accounting." The translation for that is that $169 for a waterfront view, king bed room, does sound a lot better than the same room for $184.00. Shame, shame, Semiahmo.

As mentioned at the beginning, I've been to a lot of hotels and resorts around the world, and while a few do sneak in these kinds of sneaky, unpublished fees, the majority did not. If you are paying for your manicure, your facial, your spa treatment, why must the resort tack on an additional fee for having this amenity? And likewise if they are associated with or have a golf course, either public or private for which you have to pay healthy greens fees to play, why must you pay extra on top of that to the hotel? And thousands of hotels and motels provide swimming pools and/or hot tubs and do not charge for having them. All of this greed in "nickel and dime-ing" us just leaves a kind of a bad taste in the mouth, and that is too bad, because Semiahmoo does have some nice things going for it, included a terrific location right on the beach. So you decide if you want to stay there or not, but if you do, just beware -- your bill is going to be a lot more than you thought.

Room Tip: If it is a specail occasion, as it was for us (our 47th wedding anniversary), spring for the extra b...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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5  Thank ThorneBirdGT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ousmane D, Assistant General Manager at Semiahmoo Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2014

Dear Guest,
Thank you for the detailed review of your recent experience at Semiahmoo Resort. We love to hear both accolades, as well as suggestions for improvements, and greatly value input from someone who has traveled so extensively.
We are glad to hear that you enjoyed our refreshed landscaping, the "lovely rooms with very thick memory foam mattresses," and our newly renovated Pierside Kitchen and Packers Lounge. Our culinary staff is committed to creating the best dining experience for our guests, and I am happy to read that your meals and service were top-notch.
We are sorry to read that you are dissatisfied with our resort fee. We believe this fee allows us to offer the amenities and activities which enhance the Semiahmoo experience. In addition to our health club and pool facilities, we are able to offer daily newspapers, WIFI, weekend bonfires, movies in our Discovery Theater, and sports equipment. Rather than charging for each individual amenity, we have created one all-inclusive fee, which offers a better value to our guests. That being said, we do value your feedback, and consider guest suggestions extremely helpful as we continue to evolve and grow.
Thank you for taking the time to review your Semiahmoo experience. We appreciate your comments, and hope we have the opportunity to serve you again.
Regards,
Ousmane Diop
Assistant General Manager

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Reviewed 28 May 2014

I cannot tell you how much I love this place. The location is amazing. The service top notch. Great food. Heavenly beds. Get an ocean view room it makes all the difference. I would live at Semiahmoo if I could.

  • Stayed: May 2014
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Thank Allyson J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ousmane D, Assistant General Manager at Semiahmoo Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 31 May 2014

Dear Allyson

Thank you for your accolades and for the great rating on TripAdvisor. We can certainly echo your desire to live at Semiahmoo. Great combination of location, gourmet food, service and staff is what we are offering you when you choose Semiahmoo resort as your destination. The “Heavenly beds” are unquestionably to remember from your experience as they are top of the line from Simmons with a Plush Pillow Top bedding wrapped in luxury linens.
Are you ready to “live” at the resort?

See you soon as we look forward to make it "magical" again for you.

Ousmane Diop
Assistant General Manager
Semiahmoo resort Golf and Spa

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2014

My Husband and my self have stayed here 4 times over the past 5 years and every time it has been outstanding!
The staff is polite and accommodating but not intrusive. the onsite pub has great food ant reasonable "resort cost". The Spa! the wonderful pools and massage and pedicures! 5star all the way!
lots of beautiful places to walk if the weather is clear the views of the Pugent sound are like no other. This property is on a jetty of land so there is water all around for a ocean girl like me, Pure heaven!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled on business
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Thank Msgardenkeeper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ousmane D, Assistant General Manager at Semiahmoo Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 31 May 2014

Dear Guest!

It is a delight to read your description of Semiahmoo being “heavenly”. 5 star all the way could have been another title so thank you for sharing the experience via TripAdvisor.
Once more doing the eloge of the staff is something we look forward to read when receiving feedback.
We look forward to continue reaching our potential and make your escape to your resort ‘”a pure heaven”.

Best Regards,

Ousmane Diop
Assistant General Manager
Semiahmoo resort Golf and Spa

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2014

I stayed 3 nights over Memorial Day weekend. I golfed all day so while I took a look at the resort facilities I made no use of them. I ate and drank at the Packers Bar the three nights I was there. The staff behind the bar was terrific. The place was very busy yet they never failed to catch people's eye, engage in conversation when appropriate or ignore the wait staff coming for drinks. I had custom drinks, salad dressings and dips for the fries based on my whim. The staff actually seemed to enjoy the working environment. Or they are great at faking it, but it made my nights fun. Try the desserts as well. The Rhubarb Tart was especially good. There was good music 2 nights. The room was large and comfortable. I had a balcony room with parking lot view. I did not care about that as I was not there for the room.

I may return with my wife next time. She would like the resort services and there are numerous public spaces inside and out to just sit and zen.

I want to criticize what seems to be a growing industry practice. I was quoted a $128 room rate. On top of that I expected the usual taxes. I just left my last morning without paying attention to the bill but saw on the emailed bill that I was charged a $15 "Resort Fee" for each of the three nights. I just did a dummy online reservation to see where this may have shown up in the booking process. It shows up just before the final payment under a link called "View Price Breakdown". But it does not say "Resort Fee". It just says "Fees" before "Room Tax". So the "Fee" is kind of deceptively ambiguous, suggesting not the fault of the resort. So shame on me for not having been more careful during the booking process but shame on the resort for this hard to find, deceptive practice. It won't stop me from returning but it leaves a bad taste. I would have more respect if they put the fee up front with an explanation of how they justify it.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
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2  Thank jmstravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ousmane D, Assistant General Manager at Semiahmoo Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2014

Dear Guest,
Thank you for sharing about your recent stay at Semiahmoo Resort.
We love to hear about positive experiences, and loved reading about your experience in Packers Bar. I am happy to hear that you received the warm and engaging service we pride ourselves in delivering to our guests. Thank you for sharing such high praises for our culinary staff. Our staff is committed to making each guest feel as welcome and cared for as you felt during your stay.
I am sorry you were felt deceived by our resort fee. Allow me to explain our reasoning for the fee, and some of the amenities it allows us to offer. Our Resort Fee enables us to offer amenities such as daily newspapers, weekend movies and bonfires, sports and recreation equipment, and our pool and health club facilities. By offering our resort amenities at an all-inclusive fee, we can offer a better value to our guests, rather than charging a separate fee for each activity and/or amenity. We are sorry to read that the fee left a "bad taste" for you, and will consider your experience and feedback as we move forward and continue to strive for complete guest satisfaction.
Thank you for taking the time to review your Semiahmoo experience. We do hope you return with your wife to share some of the experiences that make Semiahmoo such a special place.
Best Regards,
Ousmane Diop
Assistant General Manager
Semiahmoo Resort Golf and Spa

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2014

With ownership changing hands a couple times over the years at Semiahmoo I really didn't know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised. The property is in great shape having experienced a mini makeover. Rooms were priced right, the restaurants were serving fresh food with good staff and the grounds were in great shape making for an enjoyable Seattle getaway weekend. Bravo on all fronts!

  • Stayed: May 2014
    • Value
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Thank Duane0621
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ousmane D, Assistant General Manager at Semiahmoo Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2014

Dear Guest,
Thank you for your wonderful review of your recent visit to Semiahmoo Resort! we are happy to hear that you were pleasantly surprised during your stay. As you mentioned, the property has been undergoing an extensive renovation without disturbing the guest experience. A new restaurant and a beautifully revived bar, our grounds refreshed, and our entrance enhanced with a newly constructed porte cochere. Last month, we began a renewal of our guest rooms, which are receiving new carpet, wallpaper, furniture, restroom fixtures, to name a few. These enhancements are all part of our commitment to restore Semiahmoo Resort to the four diamond destination resort so many guests treasure.
We hope that our property and staff continue to surprise and delight you during our renewal.
See you soon,
Ousmane Diop
Assistant General Manager
Semiahmoo Resort Golf and Spa

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 May 2014

I had outstanding relaxation experience. My room was very clean and neat all the time. Customer service of front desk, restaurant, Spa and room service were outstanding!
For Spa, thank you “Denae” for your lovely service, the body wrap was out of description, not to forget your sweet smile and professional service.
Food & Wine! OOH LAA! What can I say! “PierSide Kitchen” is a different scenario! I felt I was watching a ballet show! They work in harmony, respect, and each one enjoys what he’s/she’s doing! I was there in a peak time, and I watched, thinking they will miss up something, but .. None! Everything was perfect.

The servants, managers and chefs were “outstanding”. Even security! Who would think security are friendly and smiling!
Heart full smiles are what each individual welcome you with…
Great job “Semiahmoo” , keep up the good work… !!


Alia.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank Merida H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ousmane D, Assistant General Manager at Semiahmoo Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 31 May 2014

Dear Alia,

Your posting is on the list for the most refreshing one! We felt that we were reading the example of an epic culinary and service related stanza. Let me borrow your “OOH LAA” that reminds me Cisco Morris, the enthusiast, and passionate master gardener from Seattle. The newly open Pierside Kitchen is certainly an experience by itself. We will make sure to share all your accolades and description with the entire team as they are a token of encouragement, loyalty and support.
The outstanding service of Denae at the Spa has been echoed and we are pleased to have her on our team!
Thank you for your cheers and we look forward to welcome back soon!

Best Regards,


Ousmane Diop
Assistant General Manager
Semiahmoo resort Golf and Spa

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Semiahmoo Resort

Address: 9565 Semiahmoo Pkwy, Blaine, WA 98230-9326
Region: United States > Washington > Blaine
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Blaine
Price Range: £102 - £182 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Semiahmoo Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 212
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the Spit between Semiahmoo Bay and Drayton Harbor-two hours North of Seattle and 45 minutes south of Vancouver-Semiahmoo Resort is a distinctive, regional destination retreat. Comfortable accommodations, amazing recreational choices, unexpected amenities and superb service bespeak Semiahmoo’s seaside hospitality. ... more   less 
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TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, TripOnline SA, Expedia, Hotels.com, Cancelon, Ebookers and 5viajes2012 S.L. so you can book your Semiahmoo Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Semiahmoo Resort Washington/Blaine

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