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“Clean, yet reasonably priced”
Review of The Orca Inn

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The Orca Inn
Ranked #10 of 10 Hotels in Friday Harbor
Sulphur Springs, Texas
Level Contributor
41 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Clean, yet reasonably priced”
Reviewed 11 October 2013

If you are looking for a clean place to sleep on San Juan Island, this is your place. It's resembles a bunch of double wide trailer houses, with rooms barely big enough to get a bed in. Don't expect a 5 star hotel, but if you just want a clean place to sleep, the Orca Inn is the cheapest place in Friday Harbor. Then you can afford to take a whale tour.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Keith L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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262 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
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Seattle
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 October 2013

yes the rooms are small but look at the rates!
clean and quiet
when they asked me why I was there I told them it was my birthday
on the counter were orca shaped butter cookies that the gentleman told me his Mom makes fresh EVERYDAY!
a few hours later there was a knock on my door from someone from the front desk. I thought my tv was too loud.
No, it was Connie from the front desk with a heart shaped chocolate frosted cake that she made with a candle and little candies on a silver tray just for me!
you will never get that kind of customer appreciation at any other hotel
Im highly impressed !!
thanks Connie

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank lilmcgil45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Texas
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 September 2013

The room was small, good for two. Had fridge and TV, coffee available in the managers office! We stayed three nights, and were gone most of the days and evenings, so it did not really matter. It is a 15 minute walk to Friday Harbor wharf. There is a very nice grocery store next door. Avoid rooms that back up to supermarket parking lot!.

Room Tip: The rooms that back up to the supermarket have to listen to the garbage truck that picks up the dump...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank elops_saurus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
254 reviews
102 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 154 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 September 2013

If we had not read the motel and reviewers' information, we would have been taken aback by the lack of space but as we had, it was fine for a couple of nights. We would have given it a "Good" but there is not such a rating.
We had a queen room and found that we could move the bed over enough at night so that we could both get out of bed and into the toilet fairly easily. The bed needed to go back against the wall for daytime moving around.
The bed was firm and comfortable. The a/ c was a bit noisy and we wondered if it could cope with really hot weather, but it masked noise from the next door rooms and outside. The airport is very close but no flying at night, so not a problem.
There was TV, fridge and microwave. There were drawers in a desk. The shower and toilet are in a small room. And the basin and hanging space in a mirror alcove - the noise from next door was worst ( but not excessive) from there as no " insulation" space as it were. This alcove had a good vanity shelf and mirror + a second mirror on a side partition. If the latter had been in the bedroom, congestion could have been eased by allowing two people to use a mirror at the same time.
Wifi though free, only reached a few rooms, or you had to sit in the corridor outside the office, though a staff member said if the weather was really bad, she would open a bedroom within range for us to use. Basically, we just used wifi in a cafe.
Though doubtless very practical, the wood panelling and dark furnishings throughout the room, made it dark and a bit dreary: lighter colors would have been brighter and made the rooms look larger.
Staff were very welcoming and helpful.

Room Tip: If you want wi fi, ask to be near the office and within wifi range.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank FandRD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vero Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
111 reviews
91 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 September 2013

This motel is basically a double wide trailer cut up into 10 rooms. For one person it is ok, but for two people you cannot walk around without bumping into your partner. The walls are paper thin and you can hear your neighbors talking, showering, etc. The hot water is limited and we ran out halfway through our shower.

The room does have good a/c, a small fridge and microwave, and TV.

The office opens at 8 am. The office staff/owners are very nice. They have coffee in the mornings.

We will not stay here again.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Georden7 W
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, 23 September 2013
We're sorry you didn't enjoy your stay with us.
We understand that our economy hotel isn't for everyone. You are absolutely right, our rooms are small, but that's how we're able to offer the best rate on the island.
We try very hard to let people know that our rooms are small - we even give the dimensions (11' x 14') on our website. We also have larger rooms available for just a few dollars more to accommodate those who need more space. We're sorry if they weren't available during your stay.
Also, to clarify, our hotel buildings are not "double wide trailers." They are self-contained housing units previously used in Alaska that were brought down by barge and reassembled with spacious hallways, a pitched roof, and attractive siding.
Every room has its own hot water heater, so your neighbor isn't using up your hot water. Some guests run out when trying to take multiple showers, but the heaters recharge in a hurry (about 20 minutes).
Again, we're sorry you didn't enjoy your stay.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Friday Harbor hotels

Des Moines, Iowa, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 September 2013

We stayed here during a trip to Friday Harbor in mid-September, 2013. We chose The Orca Inn because it was the least expensive option on the island with decent reviews. We were very pleased with our stay, the whole hotel was older, but spotless. The Orca Inn is probably not for everyone. The room was very small – the size of a small bedroom, with a tiny bathroom. That’s it. Though, since we spent the majority of our time exploring the island and enjoying Friday Harbor, we just slept in the room, so it fit our needs perfectly. I’d recommend the Orca Inn to those who don’t mind a cramped space if they are going to save some money. On our limited budget, we were able to use the money we didn’t spend on a bed on delicious crab cakes, good beer and shopping at unique shops.
Also – the staff at the Orca Inn was great. Again, no frills, but very accommodating and kind, plus quick. It’s a “mom and pop” kind of place, but the service was efficient, not lacking. And, the owner’s mother bakes homemade sugar cookies (in the shape of an orca) each morning for guests. Have a few – they’re delicious!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jess 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, 20 September 2013
Thank you so much for the kind review!
You described our place perfectly. The Micro rooms are small (although we have larger King and Double Queen rooms available), but very clean. We're so glad you noticed!
And you are exactly right, the hotel is not for everyone, but it's perfect for those who are going out and enjoying everything San Juan Island has to offer. Best of all, as you so accurately pointed out, staying with us saves you money that can then be spent on fun things to do and the great restaurants in Friday Harbor.
Thanks for staying with us, and sharing your review!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
moab
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 September 2013

We rated this motel as the second worse during our tour in north western Canada & USA. During our tour that was for 44 days we stayed at 30 motels.
The room was very big but it was joint of 2 small rooms. So we had 2 of everything, 2 sowers, 2 toilets etc. There is no breakfast although it is declared as B&B motel. The room is shabby, brown and depressing. I was just disgusted to take a shower.
The only benefit is that is close to the harbor, but San Juan is small and every thing is close by.
It is not worth the money you pay.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nurith H
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, 20 September 2013
Thanks so much for referring to our Double Queen room as "big." That's the first time such an adjective has ever been used in reference to any of our rooms, so we appreciate it.
It's also the first time anyone has complained about having 2 bathrooms and 2 showers (which are only available in our Double Queen rooms). We're not sure why that's a bad thing, but we're sorry you didn't like it.
We don't offer a breakfast, and never have (although we're looking at that option this winter). Nowhere in our literature or website do we claim to be a bed and breakfast, nor do we claim to offer a breakfast, although we added free coffee and cookies this summer. We frequently come up under "bed and breakfast" searches because of our size and low price. (We also show up under "hostel" on occasion because of our price, but we're definitely not a hostel, either). We're sorry you were confused.
We're also sorry you felt that we are "not worth the money you pay." We are the most reasonably priced hotel on the island (by a lot), and work hard to provide the best possible experience for that low price. We definitely believe we are worth more than we charge. In fact, through our recent research, we have discovered that not only are we the lowest price on San Juan Island, but we have one of the lowest hotel rates in all of northwest Washington. Our rooms are small, but they're clean. But we know we're not for everyone.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
Phone Number:
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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