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“Gorgeous resort. Good first stay”

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Doe Bay Resort & Retreat
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Olga
Seattle, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
179 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
“Gorgeous resort. Good first stay”
Reviewed 23 November 2011

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.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank klsalas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Pacific Northwest, USA
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 November 2011

Four of us had a delicious dinner at the Doe Bay Cafe last week. Our waiter was knowledgeable about the wines and brought us tastings of two she recommended. We shared a bowl of clams to begin - served in a broth flavored with fennel, tomato and thyme - they were excellent. For dinner three of us were tempted by the scallop entree and my husband chose the gnocchi. The scallops were perfectly cooked, seared brown on the outside but moist and tender inside. Served on a squash puree with some kale and other veggies in the center - it was fantastic and gluten-free. The potato gnocchi entree was also a hit - served in a sauce flavored with chanterelles, fennel and thyme topped with a soft poached farm egg. Very satisfying meal that was not inexpensive but on par with other similar restaurants on Orcas, like Ship Bay Inn and New Leaf Cafe. My travel blog, www.travelsketchwrite.com has more thoughts and photos on traveling and eating gluten-free.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank travelsketchwrite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Petersburg, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
95 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 October 2011

I would not use the word “resort” to describe this complex. It consists of a number of unkempt cabins and negligible, questionable, “recreational facilities”. The cabin we stayed in was very poorly maintained. The furnishings were minimal. The bed was old and amazingly noising. The squeaking woke us up all night. There was no TV, radio, or even an alarm clock. The kitchenette was pitiful. Dishes consisted of one dinner plate, one salad plate, and one saucer – all mismatched. There was one cup, two old scratched plastic drinking cups, and one dollar-store style very large plastic bowl. There were two mismatched pots and one small sauté pan. This was everything available for two people to use to prepare and eat each meal. There was no restaurant on the premises for regular meals. One of the screens on the windows was missing, and another was bent and did not cover the window opening. The only ceiling fixture in the cabin had a burnt out bulb – or did not function for some other reason. The bathroom was TINY and did not have a sink. Face washing, teeth brushing etc. had to be done in the kitchenette. The hot water was almost completely unpredictable making dishwashing and showers challenging - to say the least. And the entire cabin was covered in a thick layer of dust. It was completely inexcusable. The “resort” advertises amenities which either don’t exist or are unusable for many of the cabins because the place is not developed – i.e. there is no maintained/marked pathway through the complex. The small general store/office on the premises has limited supplies for purchase significantly marked up over prices in other stores on the island. The cherry on top of this “sundae” is it very inconveniently located on the far end of the island. We passed a dozen fabulous alternative accommodations getting to this gem. It was indeed peaceful and quiet - but that was not nearly enough to cover the rental fee, I would NEVER recommend this place to anyone else, and will certainly NEVER return there again.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kumack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orlando
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 October 2011

We loved most everything. The cabin was probably the worlds smallest cabin, but the resort setting is beautiful and the Doe Bay Cafe is awesome. We would have given the resort a big thumbs up if not for our last night there. Make sure when you book that the resort is not having an 'event'. The wedding that took place the last night we were there was loud well into the night, and our cabin (Bhakti) was not even near the event tent. Not exactly the peaceful place we were looking for. Also due to the wedding the yoga class was cancelled and the Cafe was closed to guests.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank weezytravelbug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2011

The view from the resort was impressive,but nothing else,The cabin we stayed in was moldy and mattress smelled of mold,no co2 units or smoke alarm exposed wiring.A few of the screens which were on were ripped and bent.Insects infested the inside cabin.I talked with the cleaning maid and her response was IT is what it is...........There are nicer places to stay on the Island,Don't waste your money on this dump!

Room Tip: Find another resort than that one
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Pam L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Doe Bay Resort & Retreat

Property: Doe Bay Resort & Retreat
Address: 107 Doe Bay Rd, Olga, Orcas Island, WA 98279
Region: United States > Washington > San Juan Islands > Orcas Island > Olga
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Olga
Price range (per night): $76 - $139
Number of rooms: 47
Also Known As:
Doe Bay Resort And Retreat Hotel Olga
Doe Bay Hotel And Retreat

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