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“Mixed Review!”

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Harrison House Suites
Ranked #4 of 17 Friday Harbor B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
68 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Mixed Review!”
Reviewed 19 September 2012

I, too, like a previous reviewer have mixed reviews about our stay at the Harrison House. I'll start with the negatives. We were a group of 5 ladies enjoying our first trip to the San Juans. In booking the Lopez Suite which the web site says can accommodate 8, we felt we would have plenty of room for 5. Not really! 3 of the beds were crowded into a very small bedroom which did not leave much room for "spreading out" and/or luggage. This entire suite would be best for a family of 4. If one of the 3 beds in the tiny bedroom were removed, there would be room for a much needed dresser. Also, 2 of the 3 beds could use a new mattress. We did mention the hard mattress to housekeeping and they did bring up a comforter to make it softer (they were out of feather tops) and it did help some. The suite furnishings were antique-ish and fine by my standards but the sofa was in need of cleaning or re-upholstering. The TV was an afterthought but given the age and lay-out of the suite, they located it as best they could. Like a previous post, our suite was minus some art work as evidenced by "naked nails" on the wall. The balcony was too small to really spend time out on it and the door was hard to close and lock. Also we were not given the option of having breakfast in the garden cafe which was a lovely setting BUT it was nice to not have to dress for breakfast since it was delivered to our room. Now for the good things. The location was great and the views of the harbor and marina from our suite were fantastic. Watching the ferry come in, sailboats go out, and float planes take off while having breakfast was very nice! The three breakfasts were very tasty and ample for my appetite. We also looked forward to the home-baked cookies every afternoon. The specialty lotions and soaps were also a nice touch as were the robes! The concierge was also a nice feature and we used it to book reservations at Coho Restaurant (amazing!) and they set up an awesome whale-watching charter for us. Anna Maria was a very gracious hostess both by email and in person. Bottom line ~ Would I stay there again? Maybe, but not as a group of 5 in the Lopez suite.

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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank RhondaMathis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Harrison_Innkeeper, Owner at Harrison House Suites, responded to this review, 25 September 2012
Rhonda,

Thank you for staying with us and writing about your stay. The Lopez Suite is popular with families and girlfriend getaways since it has 5 individual beds so friends or siblings do not have to share a bed. The water view is also a draw. For those who prefer a bit more space and room to spread out, the San Juan Suite on the ground level might have been a better choice.
When guests ask us on the phone which one we like better, our response is always, “It depends.” During the summer months, with the long summer days, guests spend very little time in their suite as they are enjoying all the activities the island has to offer. During the quieter time of year, guests tend to hunker down in their suite as their focus is less action and adventure, but relaxation and romance.

So we might have led you down the wrong path on the phone with our recommending the Lopez Suite. You might have been happier with the San Juan Suite giving you 3 bedrooms, a living room, dining room, eat in kitchen and deck to spread out with. We just had another group of ladies stay in the Lopez Suite this week and it worked out just fine for them. So every group is different.

We had a small window earlier this week when the Lopez suite wasn’t rented and had the sofa shampooed. We met with the new photographer earlier this week to finalize the new artwork in the suite. It was unfortunate that our previous photographer gave us notice during the busy Labor Day weekend that he needed his work back. We usually transition our local artwork before or the season ends.

We hope that we will have the pleasure of hosting you back and will do our very best to match your group to the accommodation that will best meet your needs.

Fondly,

Anna Maria
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224 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
North Plains, Oregon
1 review
Reviewed 17 September 2012

Welcoming and gracious staff greeted us. Easy walk from the ferry landing, yet still quiet. Yummy cookies and chocolates were waiting in our quaint room with large private bathroom (jacuzzi tub). We felt very spoiled the whole time. Lovely toilietries that made you feel relaxed and rejuvenated. Breakfast was a multi course affair with wonderful company and scrumptious food! We stayed at a different bed and breakfast on each island we stopped at in the San Juans and this was by far the best! It was exactly what every establishment should aspire to be! The staff was truly caring and courteous! Highly recommend "dove in the window" room.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Amy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
31 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 September 2012

Harrison House Suites / Tucker House is a short walk up the hill from the ferry and convenient to Friday Harbor shops and dining. This is primarily why we chose this B and B over others as it's close to everything and we did not bring a car. It is two ( or three ) Victorian Houses occupying most of the block. It's a large place with lots of guests. Maybe that's why it didn't feel very homey.

We stayed in the Friday Harbor Suite which was nicely appointed with ample closet space, small sofa which didn't look like it converts to a bed, fireplace, 2 LCDs, assorted small tables and chairs, hot tub, bbq grill and kitchenette. They supply " starters " like OJ, coffee, milk, popcorn, granola bars. Breakfast was terrific, the daily cookies were scrumptious ! And the bottle of anniversary champagne was a very nice gesture as was the reduced rate received when booking 4 nights or more. The complimentary bikes are a nice touch.

I have mixed feelings about this place and it's hard to put my finger on it. Suffice to say that it lacked warmth. All business. That's not a bad thing but at the same time you want a bit more personality. Otherwise , go to an impersonal hotel right ? We never actually met our innkeepers as they were not around much. We did see alot of staff coming and going. One thing that did bother me was the handyman sanding and painting our stairs and deck during our stay. I'm surprized I didn't get any wet paint on me as I brushed by them coming and going.

The San Juan Islands are amazingly beautiful and we will return. We may try other accommodations next time for less money. It was very expensive even with the discount.
We had an excellent dinner at The Place right on the harbor and also at Backdoor Kitchen.

Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank pwrightnm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Harrison_Innkeeper, Owner at Harrison House Suites, responded to this review, 25 September 2012
Thank you for staying with us and taking the time to write about your stay.

While we are considered a B&B, since we serve breakfast, we are more like an Inn or boutique hotel due to our size. Between the Harrison House and our neighbor property, the Tucker House, we have 15 separate guest rooms, suites and cottages. Since the properties are spread out over 3/4 of a city block, they don’t appear that busy even during the height of the season.

Our innkeepers do their best to balance our guests privacy with warm, friendly service and hospitality. Each morning two or three of our innkeepers were preparing breakfast and serving you in the Garden Cafe.

Our innkeepers wear a lot of hats. After breakfast, we split off to attend to other duties at the Inns, guest services, breakfast prep or tending to the outside gardens. We are only a phone call away if you need anything and there is always at least one innkeeper in the café preparing food for the next morning’s breakfast.

We are sorry if we inconvenienced you with our touch up painting. We try to be good stewards of these 100 year old historic wooden buildings. Located one block off the harbor in the damp conditions of the Pacific Northwest, they need regular upkeep and maintenance to keep their beautiful façade intact. Unfortunately, exterior painting is one project that we cannot do during the winter season. We do our best to wait until the tail end of the summer season when our guest load is lightest and before the weather breaks to schedule this work. We balance guests and weather. Our contractors who we have worked with for the last 8 seasons, do their job with the upmost sensitivity to our guests’ privacy.

We take guest feedback and comments seriously and share them with our team at our monthly meetings. There we have an opportunity to brainstorm ways to tweak our systems and procedures in response to guest comments. Our goal is to provide an excellent customer service experience.

With kind regards and our thanks for writing,

Anna Maria
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
1 review
Reviewed 11 September 2012

We had the best time at Tucker House! We stayed for one night over labor day weekend in one of the cottages for a girls weekend with my mom and sister. It was super cute and great "escape" from our every day life. We appreciated the homey decor and lovely touches like afternoon cookies, hot tub on our patio, breakfast, amazing organic bath products, opportunity to borrow bikes, and great tips on what to do around the island. We had plenty of space and found the cottage to be very well kept. The only drawback was that the bathroom was pretty small which was tough with 3 women! But, we really loved this B&B and would definitely stay at Tucker House again!

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank TravelDiva828
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arnold, Missouri
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 September 2012

With my son getting back from his deployment in Afghanistan we traveled from Missouri to welcome him back and were looking forward to a relaxing staying in Friday Harbor. We stayed in the Lopez Suite of the Harrison House Suites @ $360/night. These are not "plush" nor "retro" accommodations as advertised. Please take a good look at the pictures because again these are not "chique" or "upscale" as advertised.
To begin with in the master bedroom/living room there was no dresser to put our clothes away, there was a desk next to the bed but one of the handles was broke, there was only an armoire that had no shelves. The other bedroom had three beds, only one of which was sleep-able, and again no dresser. So for 4 days we had to live out of our suitcase. In the bathroom the toilet seat was stained yellow, the floor was uneven between the kitchen/bathroom/living area creating many instances of tripping/slipping, there were nails, which had been painted over, sticking out of the walls where pictures had been removed, the microfiber sofa was stained, the TV was attached to the wall with the VCR/DVD player atop the armoire with all the cords hanging down plugging into and extension cord sticking out of the floor, and the door to the "deck" was hard to close and could not be locked.
We should have read the fine print a little closer when we made the reservation, having to pay the remaining balance in full 7 days in advance should have raised a red flag. I have traveled in 49 states and have never had to do this. Once we arrived it was quite clear why we had to pay in advance as we would have turned around and left after seeing these accommodations.
For $360/night we were very, very disappointed

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank David J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Harrison_Innkeeper, Owner at Harrison House Suites, responded to this review, 15 September 2012
David,

Thank you for staying with us and taking the time to write about your stay. We are glad that you had were able to have a family vacation after your son’s return here in Friday Harbor.

The Lopez Suite is an upper level 2 bedroom/1 bath suite in the historic Craftsman house. It enjoys lovely views of the harbor where you can watch the ferry and the sea planes come and go throughout the day. We are sorry that you didn’t enjoy your accommodations. The suite is a popular choice for families or girlfriend getaways since it has 5 separate beds. When we installed the new hardwood and tile, it was a challenge as the house had settled over the last century. We installed a slight ramp between the tile and hardwood which guests navigate with ease. We host rotating art on our walls from local artists. Unfortunately, your stay coincided with the change from one artist to another. We didn’t want to disturb your family during your short 3 night stay with your son to hang the new art. We apologize that the walls were bare during your visit.

We did our best to work with your family in changing your reservation when your son’s deployment dates changed. We waived any cancellation and change fees. We did warn you that as the summer got underway we would have less latitude to keep moving the reservation if your son’s dates changed again as our inventory would be limited.

We have found that taking care of payment in advance streamlines the check-in and check-out process. Many of our guests arrive on the same ferry and we want to get them to their suites as soon as possible so that they can settle in, relax and start their holiday. Handling payment at that point would delay check-in with a line of guests waiting. Conversely, check-out is also not ideal as guests are leaving to catch the ferry and prefer not to wait for this transaction.

We hope that you enjoyed your whale watch charter that our concierge set up for you.

Thank you for your comments.

Anna Maria
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North Carolina
Level Contributor
339 reviews
79 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 196 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 September 2012

We stayed for two nights in the Friday Harbor suite. This hotel is close to the harbor/ferry but far enough away to provide some tranquility. We walked to the commercial area of Friday Harbor and only used our car once while staying on the island. The suite is very modern and spacious. The staff is very friendly and accommodating. We were not able to make the sit-down breakfasts, but they did provide us with to-go breakfasts with specific food we requested. There is also a free laundry on site, which is great if you need to clean the sea water our of your clothes. The suite we stayed in did not have A/C, probably because you rarely need it. We did have one hot afternoon, but there is a ceiling fan and screened windows and doors to help with circulating air.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank cemckeon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
oregon
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2012

We stayed in the Shaw Suite and it was disappointing. The Shaw was large, but very weirdly laid out in that it had a lot of open space, but the main bed was crammed in a corner. The view was of the parking lot, as the room appeared to be in the basement of a larger house. Our breakfast was delivered to the room. Though the owner indicates it is the guest's choice, we were given no choice; rather when we asked why we weren't going to the dining room for breakfast, we were basically given no answer, so we have to assume there was no room at the dining table. We stay at B&B's for the camaraderie at breakfast with all of the guests, so this was a big disappointment.

The welcoming cookie and truffle were great, but breakfast was disappointing. A very small fruit plate (nothing like what's on the website), a couple of lukewarm pancakes with two berries on top, a tiny cup of granola with no yogurt, and a cheesecake for desert.

The owner indicates this a "budget" option, but I don't consider $223 dollars budget accommodations. I stayed elsewhere on the islands for much less with much nicer rooms and better (some great) breakfasts.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank OregonGardener
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Harrison_Innkeeper, Owner at Harrison House Suites, responded to this review, 12 September 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write about your stay. As we read your comments, we are sad that you didn’t communicate your preferences while you were here. Most of your concerns could have easily been addressed if we would have known.

The Shaw Suite is a nautical themed suite on the ground level of the historic craftsman-style house. It received a major renovation this spring (2012) including a brand new bath with a solid surface walk-in shower and vanity, tile floor and wood wainscoting.

Most of our guests prefer having breakfast delivered to them each morning. If you would have preferred to dine in our café, please let us know. We would have done our best to fit you in at least one of the 2 days during your stay. Our café seating is limited and is first come first served. We offer priority seating for guests staying in guest rooms, without kitchens, who do not have the option of room service.

Breakfast is the highlight of our guests’ stay and changes daily. You must be referring to our lemon ricotta pancakes. We serve them 3 to an order with a side of chicken apple sausage. We have never had a guest request seconds, but we could have easily brought another stack. We leave milk, juice, coffee and teas in your kitchen’s suite to enjoy with your breakfast. If you would have preferred yoghurt instead of milk, we could have easily delivered it with your breakfast tray.

The Harrison House is an ideal base for island exploration and convenient to the ferry landing, shops and restaurants in Friday Harbor. Since everything has to arrive on the island via ferry or plane, the prices on the islands are more than the mainland reflecting the added transportation costs. In-town properties are more expensive than those not as conveniently located to Friday Harbor’s historic downtown core. In addition to our accommodations and three course breakfasts, our rates include our other amenities: hand crafted skin care products, fully stocked kitchens, high quality linens and bathrobes, and complementary bicycles and kayaks, wi-fi and parking.
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Additional Information about Harrison House Suites

Property: Harrison House Suites
Address: 235 C St, Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA 98250-8098
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Washington > San Juan Islands > San Juan Island > Friday Harbor
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 17 B&Bs / Inns in Friday Harbor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Harrison House Suites, conveniently located steps from the Friday Harbor ferry landing and the downtown core, is an upscale inn with six suites. Each are fully furnished and appointed with full kitchens and private baths. Many have fire places, private hot tubs, and views of the water. Start your day each morning with breakfast delivered to your door. The Inn is the perfect base for your San Juan Island holiday and accommodates weddings, retreats, families traveling together and your furbaby. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Harrison House Suites Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, San Juan Islands

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