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.
- 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