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“Romantic Getaway to Highland Inn” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Highland Inn of San Juan Island

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Highland Inn of San Juan Island
Ranked #11 of 17 Friday Harbor B&B and Inns
Düsseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Romantic Getaway to Highland Inn”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 May 2013

We were very well taken care of at Helen's Highland Inn! She was there when we needed her to be but remained discreet and unseen during most of our stay. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast in our jammies right in the room. The view was incredible and if the weather had been better, we would have spent more time on the deck and in the quaint front yard. Compared to other inns, this one is a bit pricier but I think it was completely worth it!

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jessica F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bestinnkeeper, Owner at Highland Inn of San Juan Island, responded to this review, 23 May 2013
Thank you for writing your comments about your stay here at the Highland Inn of San Juan Island.
It is so rewarding when guests find me from so far away! Glad you enjoyed your stay. We had
unusually cool weather while you were here and sorry the Orca Whales didn't come while you were here, but they are back now! J-pod with the other two pods over due for the summer season.
Helen King, Innkeeper
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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60 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Baird, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 May 2013

We are just back from a trip to Washington and San Juan Island. To say we were pleased with our stay with Helen is an understatement. I don't really know where to begin with a review. Before we even left on our trip, we received not just emails, but a letter from Helen with lots of information and easy to follow directions about how to get to her B & B. She made great recommendations about where to eat in Friday Harbor after we got to the island on the ferry. We arrived fairly late, but Helen was very accommodating and before long, we were all settled in. The room is exactly like it is described. We were overwhelmed by the view, refreshed by Helen's cookies and relaxed by the steam shower. The room was clean and comfortable. We felt right at home with all the furnishings. The images on the internet of the room are exactly as we found it. Breakfast was great both days of our stay. She even personalized it the first morning, since we are from Texas, by serving huevos rancheros! We valued the conversations with her over breakfast and found her to be very hospitable but not obtrusive. The live views from the webcam on her website are exactly what we saw from the wonderful deck. We even watched a pair of bald eagles while eating breakfast on our second morning. In every way, a great place to stay.

Room Tip: Either room in wonderful.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Allen W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bestinnkeeper, Owner at Highland Inn of San Juan Island, responded to this review, 3 May 2013
How I enjoyed having you here at the inn and am so sorry the Orcas Whales didn't show up for you. Three groups were here the day after you left. You must come back again and stay longer, and perhaps later in the season. Mid May through the end of October is the best season for viewing them here. Spring is here with Clematis and Rhodies in bloom and fishing boats out
hauling in salmon. Our sweet little red fox has been around and sat on the front door mat for hours looking in the front door window last night and followed guests down the stone walk.
Thank you for your stay and your kind comments. It was my pleasure to serve you. Helen King
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White Rock, British Columbia, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 February 2013

The incredible views are matched by the beautiful attention paid to the smallest detail in both the room and the house. One of the most comfortable rooms we have ever stayed in with both a fabulous steam shower and jetted tub. The attention by Helen was perfect: attentive without being intrusive, helpful in terms of finding restaurants and places to visit but letting us make our own choices, available but allowing us our privacy. It was a wonderful retreat for us and can recommend it without any reservation.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Haro Strait Suite on Helen's recommendation we loved it.
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank dhc1948
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bestinnkeeper, Owner at Highland Inn of San Juan Island, responded to this review, 23 February 2013
I appreciate your comments about your stay here. It was my pleasure having you as guests and happy that you chose the inn for your getaway vacation. In searching for that special place, the comments on Trip Advisor helped you make this B&B your choice. Glad you weren't disappointed!
Helen King, Innkeeper
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carmel, CA
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 February 2013

I'm way behind in writing a review for this wonderful B&B. My husband and I spent three weeks on a road trip from central California to the NW May 2012. I did a ton of research to find the dozens of places in which we stayed along the way. Although this B&B had mixed reviews, I chose it knowing that everyone is different, everyone has different expectations, everyone has had different travel experiences, etc. What is important to some is not to others. We found Helen King to be the consummate hostess who has the B&B business "down to a tee", with every detail attended to. We've spent many a night in B&B's with more luxury and a lot less service. We felt right at home, we were even offered the use of Helen's washer/dryer as we were the only mid-week guests at the Inn. (We had a lot of laundry, so we went into town to use the Laundromat.) Breakfasts were scrumptious, very filling, often we didn't need lunch. Helen made wonderful suggestions for where to go, what to do and see, including the fabulous Museum of Glass in Tacoma for our trip southward back home. I chose this Inn over the noisy, more cramped accommodations in the town of Friday Harbour. The rooms are large and nicely appointed. AND, the view! Spectacular!

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank connieconsumer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bestinnkeeper, Owner at Highland Inn of San Juan Island, responded to this review, 7 February 2013
What a nice surprise to get your comments on Trip Advisor today. I remember your visit so well
and glad you enjoyed the Glass Museum on your way south. You were delightful guests and the comments are particularly welcome after the previous recent post. I am still upset about that. It is so hard to erase this kind of criticism. I can't help but think something else was going on with those guests and recall a lot of pacing up and down the deck and the fact they cancelled both plans to go whale watching, and to go on to Orcas Island for the night after leaving here which had nothing to do with their stay here. I can only hope I will have a string of favorable comments like yours to move that one down the list! It has been rather quiet time here and I am looking forward to couples coming for the weekend and next week to celebrate Valentine's Day. There is simply not a more romantic, peaceful, cozy spot to celebrate it by a nice fire. Still some Orca Whales passing by but looking forward to daily visits in May. Thank you so much for writing about your stay. Hopefully, you can return some day. Helen King,
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Richland, Washington
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 November 2012

We spent two nights at the Highland Inn this week based on a recommendation in Karen Brown's book on Pacific NW itineraries. When we got there we saw the Inn is on the market for sale by owner & found out it has been off & on for a while. Perhaps that explains some reviewers & our own observations about Mrs. King's approach which we felt was lacking in warmth, condescending and rude at times - it felt like her heart is not in the business anymore. Having stayed at B & B's all over the world, we still have great memories of other experiences years ago based solely on the warmth and welcoming attitude exuded by certain Innkeepers and believe that can make or break the experience. First we completely agree with other reviewers that the property is lovely & the views are breath taking which is why we gave an overall higher rating. However, we feel the furnishings are dated & tired, jets in the tub were still not working. What is really disturbing is the lack of cleanliness - the sink & tub looked dirty & had hair in them which of course meant we did not use the tub at all although we had planned to, the toilet had stains, the sheets did not feel fresh and the pillows are in abysmal shape. The promised tea upon arrival did not materialize - not sure why, but she had left 2 cookies on a plate along with some fresh fruit which we appreciated. Breakfast was so-so when compared with the two nights prior at a different Inn on Whidbey Island where it was really gourmet, multi-course, hot and delicious. We hope she is able to sell the property soon and move on with her plans.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kris S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bestinnkeeper, Owner at Highland Inn of San Juan Island, responded to this review, 12 November 2012
I am floored by these comments! Their arrival was past tea time the first day, though cookies were in the room and I advised them that tea things and instant hot water were available at the living room counter. Had she asked for tea, I would have been more than happy to prepare it. I discussed dinner plans with them and recommended several restaurants, but they did not go out, and instead ate the fruit in their room and a box of granola bars I found in their trash. I served a two course breakfast in their suite at the time of their choice both mornings catering to their vegetarian needs. One morning was fresh sauteed pears with bananas, yogurt and granola, followed by a hot egg entree and breads plus juice and hot beverage. I helped with plans to go whale watching on their arrival, but they cancelled those plans the next morning and went to Orcas Island for the day instead and didn't return until late the second night. I assure you all sinks, tubs, and showers are cleaned with Lysol bathroom cleaner, each day, and had she felt they were not clean enough, she should have told me and I would have been happy to clean them again instead of just waiting to post it on the internet. There is a "bubble scrubbber" in the toilet and it is brushed each day as well so I'm not sure what she means about stains. The repair man says in order to fix the leaking jet in the tub, I need to tear out the
outside wall in order to get to it. Most guests don't mind the fact they can use the tub, just not with the jets, especially with a steam shower and outdoor hot tub with jets. I iron all the pillow cases and the top sheet so linens are ALWAYS fresh and clean. I have a large selection of pillows, soft/firm/down/dacron etc. which I am happy to provide for the asking. Nothing is tired or shabby. I'm not sure what she means by that, as she didn't say what:
We had several discussions about Santa Cruz, where I had a 12 room inn for twelve years before coming here to the island. He had been a professor there at one time. All was very pleasant. She did say, "Does Karen Brown know you are selling the inn?" and had several personal questions I was not eager to discuss, so perhaps that is why she felt I was not too cordial. On departure, I asked if they enjoyed their stay and wished them a safe journey home. I had NO clue they were unhappy or felt there were any problems during their visit here. I am SO sorry, and hate to hear that guests had anything but a wonderful experience here at the inn. I love having guests and cooking is a passion of mine. I do try to please!
Helen King, Innkeeper
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 October 2012

If you idea of perfection is a quiet two room inn, with a spacious comfortable suite and a 180 degree view up and down the bay with the mountains of Vancouver Island in the distance and glorious sunsets, this is the place for you. The. Innkeeper, Helen King, is welcoming, happy to point out where to go for dinner or which whale watching boat to choose, and serves an elegant breakfast. We weren't lucky enough to see the local pods of Orcas when we were there, but they are often just below the house. Having stated at bigger hotels earlier in our trip it was especially nice to relax in an inn that makes you feel at home.

Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank philipladd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bestinnkeeper, Owner at Highland Inn of San Juan Island, responded to this review, 12 October 2012
A peaceful home atmosphere is what I try to provide for my guests. Your review is appreciated, sent from your lap top even before departing the inn! Staying here was a result of searching the net. when planning your lovely trip across Canada, to Victoria, BC and then to the San Juan Islands. These comments help others decide to come here with your honest enthusiasm for the inn. Thank you for your stay and for taking the time to write Trip Advisor. Helen King, Innkeeper
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San Rafael, California
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 September 2012

My husband and I recently spent 5 days at the Highland Inn of San Juan Island and had the most wonderful time. The Inn is on a forested hill overlooking the Haro Strait with exceptional views of Vancouver Island, ocean views of harbor porpoise, sea birds and orcas. In addition, the Inn itself is beautifully furnished and run by Helen King. Every luxury has been provided. We had breakfast served in our gorgeous room each day--fabulous food every day! In short, we LOVED it and would highly recommend it to anyone.

Room Tip: There are two rooms that open out on a huge deck--you can't go wrong.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Laurette R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bestinnkeeper, Owner at Highland Inn of San Juan Island, responded to this review, 29 September 2012
I really appreciate you taking the time to write your comments on your stay here at the inn and am
so happy it lived up to your expectations. Staying for five days gives you an opportunity to really unwind and relax and see all the attractions of the island. It also gave us the opportunity to get acquainted. Getting to know my guests from all over the world and from all walks of life is just one of the special benefits of being an innkeeper. I have always enjoyed entertaining and cooking. Raising six children, and running a twelve room in in CA for twelve years was my training ground for this more relaxed way of life. I just want to take this opportunity to respond to comments by another guest. Yes, we do not have a spa here, but there are massage therapists that will come to the inn, and we have several wonderful spas in Friday Harbor, as well as a swimming pool at our wonderful Health Club that is open to the public. Helen King, Innkeeper
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Additional Information about Highland Inn of San Juan Island

Property: Highland Inn of San Juan Island
Address: 439 Hannah Rd, P.O. Box 135 (mailing), Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA 98250-8884
Region: United States > Washington > San Juan Islands > San Juan Island > Friday Harbor
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 17 B&Bs / Inns in Friday Harbor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
West side view from 88 ft veranda to Victoria, BC and the Olympics overlooking the Haro Straits. Orca whales, sunsets and stargazing. Full breakfast in your room or the inn dining room, 8 to 10. Daily afternoon tea and Mrs. King's cookies. Wood burning fireplaces, king beds, satellite TV, wireless connection, private marble bath with jet tub and steam bath shower. Inn of the month T&L, awarded 4 Kisses by Best Places to Kiss. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Highland Inn Of San Juan Island Friday Harbor, San Juan Islands

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