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“Wedding venue review: spectacular location, staff needs a little boost”

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Rosario Resort and Spa
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Eastsound
Certificate of Excellence
Seattle, Washington
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Wedding venue review: spectacular location, staff needs a little boost”
Reviewed 8 January 2012

My husband and I were married at Rosario Resort in September 2011. We couldn't have asked for a more perfect setting for an outdoor wedding venue (Point Lawn) with on-site reception option (Discovery House), and nearby accommodations for our guests (Rosario, Orcas Suites, and Cascade Harbor; plus Outlook Inn in Eastsound). We had a large wedding (250+ guests) and it was a great place to accommodate our size. It was hands-down the perfect setting, especially given that the weekend was blessed with 75 degree sunshine. A light breeze, sailboats gliding over blue waters, birds in the trees....you get the point. This is what Rosario has going for it, and why it continues to be such a popular resort in spite of recent ownership changes and management issues.

Also, we loved the history of the Moran Mansion and Moran State Park, and made sure our guests were aware of the "vintage" nature of some of the buildings. It has charm, if you get my drift. For example, our first visit was the year before when we were considering Rosario, and the mansion was buffeted with 60 mph winds and sideways rain (and still, Rosario is beautiful in a storm!). However, a few of the windows were quite leaky, and there was water damage on the wood window sills. Also, we stayed in the Round House over our wedding weekend, and there were plenty of cobwebs and spiders making their home inside the room. Part of this is the age of the buildings, and the nature of the island. In the interim, Rosario did repair part of the roof at Discovery House, and put in a beautiful new deck. However, a lot of the repairs seem to be emergency rather than long-term planned overhauls. Although it does sound like some new investments are going in now.

As for the management of its wedding services, Rosario could stand to have a few more dedicated staff and customer service trainings. All of the staff at Rosario are extremely hard working, friendly, and helpful. However, our wedding maxed out the facility, which we had warned them about repeatedly, but it didn't seem to register until the actual guests started showing up and it was too late to change some things. The poor wait staff were running around trying to get orders filled in the restaurant, make espresso, clean dishes, and keep smiling. On my wedding day, my sister literally had to wait for 30 minutes to get me an espresso because there was only one very sweet but overworked girl serving 4+ tables and making all the drinks, managing orders, etc.

We hired a day-of wedding coordinator which helped immensely with some of the details that Rosario should have taken care of but hadn't (setting up chairs for the wedding at Point Lawn!?). She pointed this out, and Rosario promptly responded and got the chairs set up, but it was the little things we had to keep asking/reminding them about. Also, our minister from on-island was aware of some of the under-staffing help and stepped in for last minute things as well - setting up a table for the readers, for example. In the future, Rosario staff would benefit from some sort of general protocol for what is expected by a paying wedding party, when things should get done, who to contact, etc. They do have a basic information form, but a lot of the details needed to be repeatedly ironed out.

Overall, I would not change anything about our wedding at Rosario. All of our guests raved about it, and most of this review is for those considering Rosario for their wedding. The extra help from other on-island local vendors combined with Rosario's staff made it a successful event. I'm not sure how things are changing for 2012, but I recommend Rosario as a wedding location - just be sure to ask every single question and clarify every detail at least 3 times, otherwise it may not happen.

Feel free to contact me if you have specific questions.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank bethyp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RosarioResort, General Manager at Rosario Resort and Spa, responded to this review, 20 January 2012
I’d like to thank this bride for taking the time to review her wedding experience at Rosario Resort & Spa. It is so nice to hear that Rosario was the perfect setting and she would not change anything about her wedding at Rosario. Most importantly, it is wonderful that out our hard working, friendly staff is recognized. Thank you!

Our staff spends a great deal of time helping wedding couples plan their special day; however, due to our limited size and staff levels the last few years, we took great care in marketing and contracting weddings as “facility rental” only. Anything beyond basic set-up required third party vendors. We were very clear that the facility rental did not include additional wedding services, but unfortunately, this review shows that expectations were not met and I apologize.

I would like future brides and wedding planners to know we are excited to announce increased room availability, staff size and wedding services, including catering, in 2012 and beyond.

To address specific comments in this review, chair set-up is our responsibility. We schedule chair set up to be 3 hours before a ceremony. In this case it was morning when the wedding coordinator wondered why the chairs were not set up for a 3 pm ceremony.

There should be no cobwebs and spiders in our rooms, no matter how old the building. I certainly appreciate guests letting me know of situations like this during their visit so it can be addressed immediately. I take direct responsibility for any “management issues” that may arise and I encourage guests to contact me at anytime.

Finally, I would like to believe, based on recent trip advisor reviews and guest feedback, that Rosario Resort & Spa continues to be a popular resort because of, not in spite of, recent ownership changes.

We all enjoyed working hard for this wedding, as they are a delightful couple with a fun group of family and friends. I look forward to their return (1st anniversary?)!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (187)
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English first
Birmingham, Alabama
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 November 2011

Went to a wedding this fall that was held at Rosario's and i can't say enough about the charm and beauty of this place. I mean Orcas make it pretty easy to have a good time no matter where you stay but Rosario's had all the class of a 5 star hotel but with the coziness of a small b&b. Our room faced the water and the sunsets were out of this world. It is pricey but if you have the money its worth the stay.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank jonsey77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carpinteria, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 30 October 2011

Just as the original builder stated over a century ago: "a delightful place in which to regain health- physical, mental, and spiritual." Quiet and secluded enough to have deer on the lawn, yet close enough to boating, trails, restaurants & quaint island spots to give the vacationer complete control over the type of adventure.
The mason is opulent, and a fascinating self-guided tour, though the rooms are 1970's era (?) "resort" style. The off-season price, though, was astoundingly good. The restaurant & bar are pleasant & upscale, but not above hosting a WorldSeries Happy Hour when we were there.
We weren't able to get in all the hiking we had planned, due to a sudden rainstorm, but the mansion offered plenty of indoor relaxation opportunities.
Would love to come again!

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank po11ock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Snohomish, Washington
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 October 2011

We have visited Rosario on our boat for the past 20 years and have seen the ups & downs. We stayed at the marina for 3 days in August and were very impressed with all the the improvements and upgrades since our last visit 2 years ago. The staff was extremely friendly and went out of their way to offer that extra touch. The current owners are doing a wonderful job in restoring Rosario to her original beauty. It is a stunning setting and the resort is definitely a gem. We enjoyed the pools, the work out room and the waterfront cafe. It was a grand time and we're looking forward to our next visit.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank EnjoysAdventure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 October 2011

My husband and I arrived by seaplane for the weekend of Sept 30, 2011 and enjoyed every minute of our stay. We had reserved the only room available (2 queen beds) with some hesitation, and it was refreshingly spacious compared to the hotel in Seattle we had just come from. Very clean room and grounds. Massage and swimming are a must. The music room presentation is quite informative. I attended the 90 minute strength class and it was geared for beginners. Be sure to ask a few questions before you go so you understand if it's a good fit for you. Unless you're here to be completely still, you'll want to rent a car to explore Moran State park and the little towns on the island. We are glad we included Rosario in our vacation agenda.

Room Tip: Call the hotel directly - they are so helpful and willing to answer all questions.
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Amber A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arlington, VIrginia
Level 6 Contributor
189 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2011

What more can you ask for than a room with a large balcony overlooking the bay? We had a large suite which provided more than enough room for the two of us. Orcas Island isn't big so you aren't very far from all the sights. Moran State Park is next to the resort property. And, if you're in for a little hike, you can walk right up to the lakes.

Be sure to ask for a room close to the lodge, otherwise it is a short hike, most of it up and down hill.

Breakfast is not included but one can dine in the lodge or at the Grill, which offers faster fare. Or, drive down to Olga's, about 2 miles from the resort, and have one of their outsized sticky buns. They also offer other organic breakfast items. We had lunch there and returned for breakfast. It's worth the trip.

Be sure to take in the free piano and organ concert which is offered most afternoons. Attendees will get a concert and a short history on the resort, as well as access to the upper part of the museum.

Room Tip: Get a room close to the lodge unless you want extra exercise every day. Some of the rooms are locat...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank fussylady001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 September 2011

This was a exceptional resort The Rosario Resort & Spa offer breathtaking views from the upper residences. Great pools, spa and historical interests of the Mansion & Moran State Park close by. The restaurant & food was very good. Loved this place. Marina very beautiful and access to Rosario w/Kenmore Air on seaplane is on my trip next year.

Room Tip: Choose the Upper Residences with breathe takinf views
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank inhistimeprayer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rosario Resort and Spa

Property: Rosario Resort and Spa
Address: 1400 Rosario Rd, Eastsound, Orcas Island, WA 98245-8570
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Washington > San Juan Islands > Orcas Island > Eastsound
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Eastsound
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Rosario Resort and Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 104
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A historic waterfront resort located on Orcas Island. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rosario Hotel Eastsound
Rosario Island
Rosario Resort Eastsound
Rosario Resort Orcas Island
Rosario Resort And Spa Orcas Island/Eastsound, Washington

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