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“If you can pay $30 more, don't stay there.”
Review of The Orca Inn

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The Orca Inn
Ranked #10 of 10 Hotels in Friday Harbor
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“If you can pay $30 more, don't stay there.”
Reviewed 22 August 2013

It was advertised it won't effect you wallet, and that's true, but you can hear everything, can't sleep. We stayed one night, not a big deal, more nights? No way. It is what it is. The price for the location on Friday Harbor is very good, and we are not picky about the hotels, but the noise is too laud.
Coffee in the morning is a joke, if I was an owner, would not even offer that kind of drip coffee. If you can't offer a real coffee don't offer anything.
Also, needs a better ventilation.
Would recommend only for one night if you have no money or a choice.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank renaldas k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
orcainn, Manager at The Orca Inn, responded to this review, 24 August 2013
We're sorry you didn't enjoy your stay.
Like you, we are dismayed that common courtesy has become a casualty in this era. When we hear noisy guests, we try to step in. Also, we make rounds each night to make sure it's quiet after 11 p.m.
As for our free coffee, we have thought about following your advice. Before we took over in December, there was no coffee service. It would be cheaper and easier for us to do away with the free coffee altogether. However, we have so many guests who enjoy our coffee and our free home-baked cookies that we're going to continue both for now. If you visit again in the future, there is a terrific espresso and coffee shop on the corner, a block away, that sells really good Joe for those with a more discerning palate.
We're not sure what more we could do ventilation-wise. Unlike many hotels on the island, every one of our rooms has air conditioning, including fresh air vents. Also, all of our large windows will open. Every room has a bathroom, and every bathroom has an exhaust fan.
We're glad you agree that our rates won't hurt your wallet. We can't be all things to all people, but we can promise a clean room and the best hotel rate on San Juan Island.
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266 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
Date | Rating
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English first
Burien, Washington
Level Contributor
504 reviews
183 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 262 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2013

The room was small and not fancy. BUT everything was well maintained. New. The night we were there it was very quiet. Not a place where you want to hang out. In our case we got in late and were there only to sleep before another Orca trip the next morning. So, it was great. $70 for a couple on a Saturday night in August in the San Juans! And there were homemade cookies at check in made by the owners mother. A very friendly place.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Angeles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
orcainn, Manager at The Orca Inn, responded to this review, 24 August 2013
Thanks for the positive review!
As you pointed out, we have upgraded to new air conditioners in most of the rooms, installed new carpet just 3 months ago, and have done quite a bit of painting. We're pleased that you noticed!
You are absolutely right, most of our rooms are very small (although for just $20-30 more we offer King rooms when available that are twice the size). You are also dead-on about being a clean place to sleep in between the many island adventures like whale watching, kayaking, and zip lining. It's easier to afford those things when you aren't paying a fortune for a hotel room.
By the way, Mom says thanks for the kind words about her Orca cookies!
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Olympia, Washington
Level Contributor
41 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2013

Friends and I recently stayed here. The rooms were old, but the beds were comfortable, air conditioning and good water pressure. The only downside is the walls are thin. Other guests can be noisy. If you need a clean place to sleep and shower, this is it.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Debbie200804
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
orcainn, Manager at The Orca Inn, responded to this review, 24 August 2013
We enjoyed your review! Short, sweet, and accurate.
The walls can seem a little thin when you have obnoxious neighbors. We haven't figured out what to do about that yet, but we're working on it.
Thanks!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canton, Ohio
Level Contributor
21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2013

Exactly how advertised. Great place to lie your head after an amazing day enjoying God's creation. Clean. Efficient. Comfy. And owners are wonderful hardworking people. Not a place to spend a lot of time.. But with the beauty outside why would you?? Don't be afraid to book a room here... And we usually stay at places like the Westin but didn't want to pay the exhorbitant prices everywhere else!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cmost
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
orcainn, Manager at The Orca Inn, responded to this review, 24 August 2013
If we were to write our own review, this would be it!
There is so much to see on and around San Juan Island. If all you need is a clean place to sleep without the frills, we are it. And because our rates are so low, you have more money to spend on those amazing adventures.
Thanks for saying it so well, Cmost!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kansas City, Kansas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2013

Orca Inn was inexpensive, mostly clean, hotel staff was friendly and accomodating. It is what one should expect for $70 in a popular travel spot. A few negatives, the rooms were very small, bathroom door hinges squeaked, and a light fixture would not stay on the wall.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TW217
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
orcainn, Manager at The Orca Inn, responded to this review, 24 August 2013
Thanks for taking the time to do a review.
You are right, the rooms are small (although we do have several larger rooms for just a few dollars more).
Sorry about the squeaky door. It's a common occurrence in the Pacific Northwest. As soon as we know about it, we're like Dorothy on the Tin Man. (Yes, we managed to weave a Wizard of Oz reference into Trip Advisor).
As for that suicidal wall sconce shade...we replaced the decorative bolt and all is well. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Mateo, California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2013

Other reviewers have nailed this small, affordable motel. We reserved a "mini-suite".. I wonder if we are using the same language to communicate....One TINY room with a split bathroom. The queen bed was nice and comfortable, the problem is it took up 93% of the room. Luggage had to be on the floor and my wife had to crawl over me to get out of bed.. The good news is it is amazingly affordable! $74.00/nite including taxes. Home baked sugar cookies are given to the guests as they check in. There are bike racks for bikes, and you may not take your bike into your room. No phones, and the TV has only the basic local programming. All of that said, it allows you to have extra money for the great restaurants in town. (The Place and Backdoor are good examples.) The room was clean and special towels were provided to clean your windshield or your bike without dirtying good towels. Although fresh coffee is provided at the desk, very good espresso is just at the corner.

Room Tip: It appears that these are converted barracks from WWII, rooms are assigned. Reservatioons would be...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
orcainn, Manager at The Orca Inn, responded to this review, 24 August 2013
A "mini-suite"?
Whoever came up with that term regarding our hotel should be snapped in the behind with a wet towel!
We can't find that phrase on any of our marketing materials. If you spot it again, could you please email us and let us know so we can get it fixed?
We don't have any mini suites. Micro rooms, yes. Mini suites, no.
You are absolutely correct, our queen beds take up most of the space in the rooms (other than the desk, microwave, refrigerator, and TV). Our King rooms are a little more spacious.
The buildings kind of look like barracks, but certainly not from "The Great War." They were built in the 1980's and used in Alaska, and placed here in the mid 1990's.
You are spot-on about saving money on a hotel room to use at one of the 42 restaurants located on San Juan Island (most in downtown Friday Harbor).
We're glad you recognize that we are a bargain, with clean rooms, free coffee, and Mom's delicious Orca cookies.
Thanks again for staying with us!
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Bakersfield, California
Level Contributor
88 reviews
85 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2013

I rate this motel on the basis of location, accomadtion/service, and price. This motel hits two out of three. The location is pretty dreamy, especially if you don't mind a bit of a walk. It's at the top of the town of Friday Harbor, a brisk 10 min walk into town. It is also situated right next to the delicious San Juan Bakery, which was my morning coffee stop. The location would work even if you are planning to walk on/off the ferry, as many who stayed here did.

Price: you can't beat this price on the San Juan Islands unless you are camping or sleeping on a friends' couch. For $69/ night at the peak of summer you can get a queen bed in a modest room. By modest, I do mean practically bare minimum. There is a 3/4 bath, a mini fridge, a queen bed and a microwave, but that's it. The joke around the place was, "there's no room in the room." The wifi is free but it doesn't reach the room, so you have to go out and mingle with the neighbors at the single picnic table, which is okay, since you don't want to be in the teensy room anyway. The motel is a redone army barracks or Quonset hut, literally.

Accomdations/Service: just know what you are getting into. This isn't a luxurious stay, it's a place to sleep. Their motto is literally "Spend a night, not a fortune." It's a good place to sleep. It's clean, the people here care. They provide coffee at the front desk as well as home made sugar cookies. But, the room really gives you just the minimum. There is no in-room hair dryer, so bring your own if needed. However, the place is so affordable that you can literally rent two rooms for your party for less than staying anywhere else on this island. I'm sure it's the only way some of us could ever come to San Juan. Don't let the price deter you, just know what you're getting!

Room Tip: Be sure to request two beds and try to get a room near the office in hope that you may actually get...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lara W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Orca Inn

Property: The Orca Inn
Address: 770 Mullis St, Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA 98250-8083
Region: United States > Washington > San Juan Islands > San Juan Island > Friday Harbor
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Friday Harbor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — The Orca Inn 2*
Number of rooms: 65
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Spend a night...Not a fortune! It's really simple: Smaller Rooms = Smaller Rates. At The Orca Inn, we are proud to offer the smallest rooms in the state of Washington! Which means we have the lowest hotel room rates on San Juan Island. (Of course, for just a few dollars more, we have larger King and Double Queen rooms). With the money you save, you can spend more on amazing whale watching tours, incredible kayak trips, and other island adventures that you will remember for a lifetime. As Mr. Carson once said, "The business of life is the acquisition of memories." And at the Orca Inn, business is good! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Orca Hotel Friday Harbor
The Orca Inn Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, San Juan Islands

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