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“Excellent!”

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Once In A Blue Moon Farm
Williamsburg, Virginia
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Excellent!”
Reviewed 15 August 2013

Our family of 4 stayed in the Alpaca Suite last week. The owner Shana and her son were very welcoming and warm. We felt comfortable wondering the property and took advantage of seeing all we could see. The friendly goats were especially fun for the kids. The cottage was so warm and cozy and the decorations were charming.! We stayed for 3 nights and only wish it could have been more. It's obvious how well cared for the animals are and how hard the owners work. We highly recommend this charming farm for any type of traveler. Thanks Shana for an awesome experience!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank sid09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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17 reviews from our community

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English first
Edmonds, Washington, United States
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 August 2013

I am sorry to say that although there is a certain charm at being on the farm and it was fun to see the animals, expected more for the high rates.
About the worst customer service I have ever had in that the owner seemed to be too busy to deal with the guests. very cold reception, had to walk a block from the car to the room, we had to take our own garbage with us ?! Although there was a coffee maker there was no coffee(and we were 5 miles from a store), If this is a self-serve type of room then the rates need to be lowered----- just really negatve and cold customer services (no customer service?) Sad because it could be made to be a really nice place with a little focus. I got the feeling that owners were trying to run both a farm and an inn and it was too much for them.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank Bonnie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ZachOIBM, Your Everything at Once In A Blue Moon Farm, responded to this review, 8 June 2017
Hello Bonnie,

I'm sorry we couldn't meet your expectations. Though for future guests, please read through our Rental Agreement and be familiar with our website as many of these expectations and subsequent disappointments are addressed there and I will address them below as well. I hope this response helps future travelers. If you have any questions please ask us. We are here to help and want everyone to have an enjoyable experience on our farm. If you're miserable, we are miserable and vice versa! No one wants that, trust me!

You are right we are running a working family farm! Though your expectations and description of our farm of being an Inn are incorrect. There are Inns and B&B's on the island that come with an atmosphere expected from those kinds of accommodations. Our farm offers Vacation Rentals and we do not try to disguise that. Being that they are Vacation Rentals we do not have the same services or amenities as an Inn and this is what should be expected at Once in a Blue Moon Farm. We do not have a staff. This is owner operated by our family and the lodging is just a portion of our operations. We started as a farm. As you mentioned and I want to emphasize it, we are running a farm. We are sharing our family farm with the guests. If you're looking for an Inn there are plenty of farm like properties providing that experience, and they charge far more than we do and they offer different amenities than we do. I can give anyone a recommendation for one of these "Farms" and yes I will put farm in quotes. Our average room rate is $200 - $225/nt for two people. There are additional person charges for over two people. If you want to talk dollars, those prices do not even cover the costs of operation. The profit margins are non-existent in farming and vacation rentals. That is the reality. It pays to help keep the farm afloat as another source of income and we thoroughly enjoy sharing our passions with guests. We're not in it for the money, as there is none. Our tourist season is only about 10 weeks. Not only are our rooms worth that price based on the quality of the rooms from their design to the finish materials and mattresses, but the experience of the farm is also included. Come here for that experience. Come here to listen to sounds, to interact with the animals, sleep in room made with old barnwood from 1882, and get a sense of a lifestyle in a disappearing environment. If you just need a hotel style room with hotel service, go stay at a hotel. In Eastsound on Orcas Island they start at about $200/nt and while you get front desk reception, a robe, and access to a restaurant there is no historic 35 acre farm and the experience to accompany that stay. A Best Western is roughly $189/nt for two people. The Garden Room, our most economical room, is roughly the same price. Choose the experience you want and set your expectations according to where you chose to lodge.

We do provide ground and whole bean coffee now, but still find most travelers prefer their own. Many of our grounds get wasted or go stale in the rooms. Just one example of the many wastes in tourism. Can you imagine the waste a Hotel generates?! Our rooms are appointed with kitchenettes or full kitchens and guests provide their own pantry items and food. This is a rural island and we are not located near a corner grocery store. Our location can be seen on a map. See our FAQ page on the website as this might answer some of your questions. Our location is actually quite convenient as many vacation rentals can be as far as 50 minutes or more from the ferry or stores. We also have complimentary farm products when available, farm products to purchase, and guests have the opportunity to enjoy 35 acres or pasture, timber, orchards, animals, and views. If those are not your style then this is not your place!!!

Garbage: This is in our polices posted on the website and in the rental agreement which everyone signs to finalize their reservation. If there is a policy you disagree with then please choose to stay somewhere else. By signing our rental agreement, you've agreed to follow our policies and guidelines, just as you've agreed to TripAdvisor's policy to sign up for this site. There are many reasons we ask for a Leave No Trace policy with garbage. 1) Garbage service is extremely expensive in the islands. It costs roughly $400/ton (for self service, not even pick-up service) vs. $90/ton on the mainland. We decided to allow our customers a choice. They can remove their garbage themselves or they can pay a fee for us to remove it. We did not want to increase the price of all the rooms so everyone must absorb the costs associated with waste on a remote island. 2) Removing your own garbage is a common vacation rental policy. For example all Windemere Real Estate Vacation Rentals on Orcas Island have a zero garbage policy. We are not alone in this policy. 3) We believe in minimizing our waste impact. We strive to live Cradle to Cradle and re-use as much possible here. Whether it is an island mentality or just our own personal environmental beliefs, we feel people should be aware of the waste they generate while on vacation in an effort to see their impact. Guests often create more waste while on vacation than when at home. We strongly believe in sustainability here and that is made clear on our website. 4) We offer compost bins for all food waste so your trash shouldn't be stinky. We find most people end up leaving with minimal garbage and mainly recyclables. Food waste is put in our compost or fed to the chickens.

Parking: This is also addressed on our website and in the Rental Agreement, but thanks for bringing it up here. Being a rural area and a farm, we do not provide parking like a Motel and we are not a motel. We have a gated and fenced farm to keep deer out and our animals in, as well as to provide security. We wanted to have a minimal footprint with paved areas and we only have one parking area. Sadly, you do need to walk through beautiful pastures, past tranquilly grazing animals, a majestic historic orchard and hay barn from the 1800’s, and a large pond teeming with wild birds to get to your room. For some it is an enjoyable experience. Others may prefer an asphalt jungle and concrete causeway, but here we value and take pride in the language of the landscape. That being said, we allow loading and unloading next to the rooms as well as parking for people with limited mobility. I don't know many places on Orcas Island that have parking next to their room. Our walk is no longer than from the parking lot at the main hotel on the island to their front desk and subsequently to the rooms. So even if you stayed at the hotel, sounds like you would have been unhappy with the parking situation! Oh well! I hear Motel 6 has great parking to room access.

All the best,

Zach
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Eastsound hotels

San Francisco, California
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 November 2012

My family and I stayed at Once in a Blue Moon Farm in September. This was our first time on Orcas Island and we enjoyed every moment. We stayed in the Alpaca Suite, which is aptly named since the very cool alpacas live in the pasture behind the suite. In addition to a very comfy bed, with great pillows (it's hard to find a place that has great pillows and a comfortable mattress. I guess we're a little like Goldilocks and this time it was "just right".) It was spotless and nicely decorated. The sleeping loft was perfect for our teenage son who loved vaulting up the stairs (which are widely set apart, so it wouldn't be good for a toddler or little one) Shana, the owner made us feel so welcome from the moment I contacted her to arrange the stay and through our entire trip. It's a working farm and she works very, very hard, but she always had time to give us tips on where to eat, or sightsee. I would definitely recommend Once In A Blue Moon farm and I would stay there again. I do needle felting and it was nice to buy some beautiful wool roving from Shana that came from her llama.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank AlexandraL2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2012

My adult daughter and I loved our two-night stay at Once in a Blue Moon in the barn loft. It was very clean, has wonderful decor, comfy beds and all the kitchen essentials, including a dozen fresh organic eggs in the frig! We wandered around the farm on our own and met the horses, chickens and goats. We missed trying to feed an apple to the alpacas, but could see them from our loft.The owner and her gardens were delightful. We'll be back!

Room Tip: The stairs are steep up to the barn loft...but the view was worth it!
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank DawnStr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tucson, Arizona
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2012

Not sure where to start but,

1) Odd arrival with cold, and what felt like it was a chore for the owner to greet us??

2) Large entry gates to farm closed, and no one or signs to direct you to your rooms, left sitting in our car out front wondering where to go?

Had to call twice, first time was disconnected?? to ask where do we come in??

3) Owner acted as if we were taking up her time on arrival!

4) Negitive mood with staff / family

5) No soap, shampoo, coffee, or maid service

6) Overpriced!!!!

7) Property very run down, and deferred landscape maintenance.

8) No Thank You, or Goodbye

Room Tip: somewhere else!!!
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank kimpo_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ZachOIBM, Your Everything at Once In A Blue Moon Farm, responded to this review, 8 June 2017
Hello Kimpo_10,

We have some reoccurring themes, which is nice to see so we may address them on our farm. Thank you for sharing your Blue Mood experience. It sounds to me that a sterile and stale hotel with underpaid and overworked staff, many of whom are illegal, at your service would probably be a better fit for you.

1) We don't have a front desk or reception, so maybe it is odd. Though we are not an Inn or a Hotel. Vacation rentals typically don't have a front desk. If you don't let us know your time of arrival we can't stand around waiting at the gates. We have other farm work to do and family to take care of. We are working on trying to solve this and any suggestions would be welcomed. People often come at all hours, which can be problematic. So far we've found the best way to deal with this is to email us or call and let us know the time you plan on arriving. Then we can show you into your room and acquaint you with the property. It would be unwise for us to let people just come in and start walking around. Not only is it a liability with farm machinery and equipment in operation, but also you might get lost on the farm and wind up in an unwanted situation.

2a) This is a rural area. Gates are there to keep deer and non-lodging guests out as well as keep animals and kids in. The farm is a private residence and not open to the public. The gates are to help prevent anyone from just walking into the farm. They are essentially our front desk. It's for our security and yours.

2b) Cell phone reception is spotty in the islands. This has to do with being in a rural area. We tell our guests about this prior to your arrival and frankly we never really thought it to be the end of the world. Do you remember when we didn’t even have cellphones or smartphones? Or TripAdvisor? How would you be able to instantly save the world with your reviews and complaints?! I’d ask Verizon to apologize to you, but they care less than I do. Please plan accordingly and arrange your check in time before arriving at the front gates.

3) and 4) I'm sorry if your experience was negative. I assure you it was not our intent and that is not who we are.

5) We are a Vacation Rental. Our Policies and Rental Agreement outline each of these things you mentioned here. The rooms always have body soap and hand soap. We now provide coffee. We still do not provide shampoo. We are not a Hotel. We do not provide maid service and never have and never will. So I find all of these complaints odd. I don't go to an Ice Cream Shop and ask for a Banh Mi. It's not on the menu. Please read our “menu" before booking. If you do not like our policies or rental agreement, please make the choice to stay elsewhere. We are not forcing you to stay here. On your dates we turned people away who might have enjoyed themselves. Everyone lost out!

6) We are comfortable with our pricing and value, but thanks for sharing. You’re being cheap. A Motel8 can get close to $200/nt for two people and no offense to Motel8, but we are worth more than that. Tell your friends not to stay here. And their friend's friends. You are probably against the $15/hr minimum wage movement too. Just a minor did bit; housekeepers get $30/hr here. Except at the hotels and resorts on the island where they pay most of their staff close to the State minimum wage at $9/hr, because they use a lot of foreign workers on visas.

7) You must have a fabulous garden! I'm sorry but I don't have time to respond to this. This is not Martha Stewart's farm, nor are we trying to be, and I'm not sure what your expectations are. We have many photos posted on our website and are constantly adding current photos daily to social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram that show what our farm is. It is beautiful. We’ve had professional photographers come here and request to take stock footage. We’ve had photos of our farm in national magazines, books, and even in an Amazon web series. That’s enough to tell me I’m not delusional and it’s not as grim as your eyes see it.

8) Again we try to stay involved with all of our guests. Our check out process is very simple. Keys are left in the room and the guest leaves by 11am. The vacation rentals are dispersed throughout the property and as previously mentioned we do not have a front desk like a hotel. If we see you packing up and leaving then of course we say goodbye and thank you. Unfortunately sometimes we are unavailable or the guest leaving is unavailable or we simply didn't see you leaving because we were with another guest or feeding the animals or doing something else. We try to send personal "thank you" emails to all of our guests, but sometimes we don't get to everyone. We don't do automated emails. But by the sounds of it, you would still not have been pleased.

Lastly we were not the right fit for one another. This is not just a Hotel you book on Expedia. We are not a McDonalds where everything is standard. If you prefer those experiences please make that choice prior to booking. If you're not familiar with the website and our policies, please ask us questions and make sure this is the right fit. Then we can all avoid the "Blue Mood."

All the best,

Zach
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 June 2012

To stay on this farm was a wonderful and memorable experience! Our daughter is 3 years old and she loves animals, so staying on a farm seemed like a very fun thing to do.

We stayed in the Alpaca suite, which was a little inconvenient for a couple with a 3 year old. Although there is a sleeping loft, we felt it was more safe to all cuddle up in the queen bed. our daughter kicks around a lot so this was not an ideal situation. Wish we brought our aerobed for this very reason! The suite is a fun suite though, for families with children old enough to enjoy it. It was very clean, very nice. I loved how there were mirrors outside of the room so others can use one while the bathroom was occupied. May seem like a small thing but it makes a HUGE difference when getting ready in the morning! There is a kitchenette which made it much more comfortable and convenient to stay in.

Shana (the owner) was not on the property during the time that we stayed. She was very quick to respond to any of my voicemails/emails. she was very accommodating. Her son, Zach, offered a farm tour in her stead. He was so friendly and sweet with our daughter. He had her feed the chickens, alpacas and nubian goats. He gave us a bit of history about the farm.

Shana sent us home with a free dozen eggs from her lovely chickens, which are free range/pasture raised. They are delicious! We ended up buying 4 more dozen to take home to last us for the month until we return for another visit.

Beware when staying on the farm....usually mommy and daddy are early risers but since we were on vacation, we were really looking forward to sleeping in. Very difficult to do on the farm! The animals start moving around and rustling around 4:30 am or so. That was the only downside for us.

All in all, this was such a fun stay. Lovely and friendly people on the farm. I have told all of our friends about it and we are looking forward to our next visit.

Thanks Shana and Zach for making it such a lovely stay! Bring your families to this farm for an unforgettable experience!

Room Tip: Alpaca suite is very good for a family that has older children that can enjoy the loft area. It has...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank mswendymc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 20 August 2011

This is a unique place to stay, especially for urban kids! Wake up to the rooster crow...quiet and beautiful. Convenient location!

  • Stayed August 2011
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Idtelegirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Once In A Blue Moon Farm

Property: Once In A Blue Moon Farm
Address: 412 Eastman Rd, Eastsound, Orcas Island, WA 98245-9389
Region: United States > Washington > San Juan Islands > Orcas Island > Eastsound
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 11 Speciality Lodging in Eastsound
Number of rooms: 1
Also Known As:
Once In A Blue Moon Farm Orcas Island/Eastsound, Washington

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