This review is based on only one stay at Doe Bay and I was camping at Doe Bay Fest this summer so I didn't get to stay in the cabins or yurts that dot the grounds. However I wanted to comment on a few things that really jumped out at me.
FIrst and foremost the setting on Doe Bay is spectacularly beautiful. The grounds are on rocky bluffs on the East side of Orcas Island looking towards Blakely, Cypress and SInclair Islands. Views over Doe Bay and Otter Cove are just quintessential San Juans. There is nothing like them. The grounds consist of the central part of the resort (which we were calling the village) with its general store, cafe, yoga studio and cabins. There is also a lawn near the retreat house which is where the main Doe Bay stage is and the gardens and message cabins are there. There are also paths into the woods up and down the bay to the further reaches of the property with quiet yurts.
Secondly the restaurant and outdoor patio were charming and the food there was remarkably good -- particularly breakfast. I have I suppose the ordinary prejudices about vegetarian cuisine but the food at Doe Bay was delicious, well seasoned, attractively presented and satisfying.
Third, I very much enjoyed the spa complex. I did not opt for a message during my stay (although with the camping it might have been a nice option). However I did use the soaking tubs and large dry sauna. Of the three tubs, two are hot and one is warm. There is also a shower and hose providing options for a cooler, or even cold, rinse. There are not separate facilities for men and women and the area is clothing optional so if you are shy when it comes to nudity they may not be for you but I had no hangups with it. It was all very friendly and relaxing and the setting in the woods with views from the deck and tubs over the cove are magnificent. My only feedback to management re: the tubs is please open them just a bit earlier! I would love to get up on a crisp morning at 6 or 7 o'clock and have a hot soak or sauna. However the facilities do not open until 8 or 9 am as I recall.
On the accommodations I would say that again I did not stay in them. I did use the bath houses and shared kitchen one morning to get coffee heated propery (my camp stove is a piece of crap). From what I could tell the accommodations are rustic. However think of this as more of a grown up version of the camps of your youth (think Stehekin more than Tahoe) and you will be in the right mindset. This is a place where you come to relax, enjoy the natural beauty of the area, enjoy your friends, make new friends, listen to some music (even apart from the festival they have weekly music in the restaurant), take a walk, visit Moran state park, or kayak in the cove.
I am giving an overall 4 star review because I was camping at a festival so again I did not have the experience of a real room and bed and my sleep was average. I though service overall was good (which is something I think given the extraordinary stresses of the festival). The location and spa facilities were excellent and overall I thought the value of my stay was excellent.
I look forward to getting up again to get the whole Doe Bay experience.
- Also Known As:
- Doe Bay Resort And Retreat Hotel Olga
- Doe Bay Hotel And Retreat