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“great place to stay in Friday Harbor!”
Review of The Orca Inn

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The Orca Inn
Ranked #11 of 11 Hotels in Friday Harbor
Reviewed 1 June 2014

This hotel is a great place to stay.... very warm and friendly and we loved it. Great location to the ferry and shops. Please ignore some of the less than positive reviews. The bad review by Dawn Hubbard (dehmeh) really bothered me. I think that review is just phony. Pay attention to the positive reviews and when you're looking for a great place to stay in Friday Harbor, give this place a shot!

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank wowweevacation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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189 - 195 of 294 reviews

Reviewed 20 May 2014

Just returned from three nights at this Inn. I used it as a base for touring the Island on my bike. It's basic; however, it is clean and has all of the amenities you need with a bike rack close to the office where you can lock up your bike. For a few dollars more than camping on the Island it saves packing your camping gear in your panniers and sleeping on the ground.

There is a 24/7 steady loud compressor noise from the grocery store located directly behind the Inn that could be annoying to some. I found by running the air conditioner/fan/heater system in the room it comfortably drowned out the sound.

The managers Nanci and Morris, and their staff are all friendly and great to deal with. If you are looking for a nice clean, friendly and economical place to stay well biking the island this is it.

For the purpose that I used the Inn for it gets high marks!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
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2  Thank Range_Rider_15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
orcainn, Manager at The Orca Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 21 May 2014

Thank you for the kind words!
The grocery store is problematic, but it only affects a handful of rooms (most of which we don't rent unless we're nearly full).
We're sorry you had to endure that, but so grateful that you have the kind of uplifting approach to life that didn't let a little noise ruin what was otherwise such a positive experience.
By the way...please explain to my wife and co-manager Coni who "Nanci" is. Otherwise, I might be trying out one of the Micro Full rooms for myself. ;-)

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2014

What’s not to like about the Orca? First, the location is great – a very short drive from the ferry dock, close to restaurants, coffee shops and a two-screen theatre and with a large supermarket next door (Friday Harbor Marketplace, though there’s absolutely no signage to identify it as such). The inn is set back from the road, so you hear no sounds of traffic.
As we were staying just one night on our way to the Skagit Valley and again on the return trip a couple of days later, we opted for a micro full room. It is indeed small, as is clear from the photos on the inn’s website, but with a comfortable bed, fridge, microwave and shower, it had everything we needed.

On both occasions we were in building 6, which is opposite the office. Our first room, No. 61, was at the back of the building, away from the parking lot, consequently very quiet. The second time we stayed, we were across the hall in No. 60, looking onto the parking lot and the office. If you have a choice, ask not to be put on that side of the hall. The venetian blind (there’s no curtain) does not block out the very bright security light left on all night outside the office. And if someone with a noisy vehicle parks it outside your window and starts it up at 6 a.m., as happened with us, you will surely be awakened. Also, I’d ask not to be put in a room adjacent to another guest, if space allows. The driver of the noisy vehicle kept his TV on till about 3 a.m. (probably fell asleep with it on), and although it wasn’t particularly loud, we could make out every word of the infomercials through the thin wall. As we were the only people staying at the inn that night, apart from someone in another building, I’m not sure why we were put side by side.

It’s worth noting that every room has its own water heater, so the only way you’ll run out of hot water is if you use it all yourself. We had plenty for two back-to-back showers in our first room, but in the second room the water turned cold partway through the first, quite brief, shower. The notice posted on the bathroom door says wait time for another tank to heat up is 20-25 minutes.

Despite the cautions about light, noise and water, I’d go back again because overall, we had a good experience. The inn’s motto, “Spend a night, not a fortune,” pretty much tells you this isn’t going to be the Four Seasons. Orca Inn started life as accommodation for oil workers in Alaska. When it was no longer needed there, it was shipped to Friday Harbor and reassembled to provide the island’s only budget motel option. It still has something of the bunkhouse in its décor, but we actually found that quite appealing. If I were staying longer than a night, I’d probably choose a bigger room. We were shown a King room, which was about twice the size of our micro full and had an enormous bathroom.

One other asset the motel has is its manager couple, both very friendly and helpful. They not only provided a road map for the island but marked up a route and explained the highlights so we’d be sure not to miss anything, including the daily eagle feeding. At 5 p.m. at the junction of Roche Harbor Road and Westcott Drive somebody shows up to feed the island’s eagle population. This is probably as close as you’ll get to so many of these birds at one time.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Tripsterchick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2014 via mobile

We have recently stayed at the Orca inn for a couple of nights and found it to be really good value for San juan. For me the important thing is that it is clean and the beds are comfy.It ticks both of these boxes. Yes the rooms are quite small and the walls quite thin but we weren't planning on spending much time there apart from to sleep.

Stayed: April 2014
3  Thank sirtravellotLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2014

Just returning from spending the weekend in Friday Harbor, and I have never been more excited to get home and write a review to show both my appreciation for the great experience, and hopefully let everyone else find this Jewel on Friday Harbor.

Here is our story. We are a high school varsity team that were traveling for road games, and making a stop in Friday Harbor. We booked rooms for the entire team at Orca Inn, both for its location, very convenient to the Ferry, but truthfully, as others have mentioned, because it was an inexpensive option for Friday Harbor.

The Inn itself was as expected, and older property, but clean, safe and convenient. While the hotel was nothing spectacular of its own, and normally would have been just another place , for another game, for one night, thanks to the amazing staff, this became one of our all time favorite stays anywhere.

We arrived at the office to check in, to be greeted by a large, Hand Made sign welcoming the team to the Inn, with our school name and logo, and a large bag of home made "orca cookies", which to a team of high school baseball players at 10:00pm at night were very popular and appreciated.

While expressing our appreciation for the sign and kind thoughts, they noted the logo's on our uniforms were slightly different they had found in their research. Not to go into the details, they had use the logo of the named school, but to reflect our status as a combined school team, we have a logo to represent both schools participation.

To our surprise, when we went to check out in the morning, the hand made sign had been modified and updated to recognize both schools, and they even brought out the Orca Mascot so we could get a team picture to remember the Inn, the staff and our trip.

While this all probably sounds silly, if they are this focused making sure a bunch of high school boys have a great experience, even if it means staying late for us and putting in extra time late at night or early in the morning. I'm very comfortable recommending them to you and being confident they will go out of their way to make sure you have the best experience possible.

Save your money, as they say all the rooms look the same when the lights are out, and stay with the Orca Inn.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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7  Thank PNWtravelerSeattle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2014

We stayed in a tiny room with a small double bed, but it had all we needed-- fridge,microwave,shower,great heat and lighting.Good location a 5min walk from ferry and very quiet if you ask for a quiet room in the middle row six. This is work camp modular acco mmodation with rooms off a central indoor corridor. The buildings were brought down from Exxon Valdese to provide the only budget accommodation on San Juan Island.The parking lot is huge,there is the biggest grocery store in town right next door,and the front desk people are very helpful, Do not miss the home made Orca shape cookies! All is well kept up,clean and tidy.

Room Tip: If you want a big room you will have to pay more! Rooms in the central rows avoid traffic noise from...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Yvonne C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2014 via mobile

The Orca Inn is run by the sweetest people. The inn is clean and by far, the most reasonable. The location is great. We took a taxi when we got off the ferry, but after that, we always walked. I would give them extra stars, if I could. It is not a "boutique spa" hotel but very comfortable and ran. The price was what enticed us and we were not disappointed.

Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
2  Thank ttu2479
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

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:
Ranked #11 of 11 Hotels in Friday Harbor
Price Range: £53 - £71 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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