San Juan Island Resorts

by Joy Uyeno

Located in the Salish Sea between Washington State and Vancouver Canada, the San Juan Islands welcome nature-loving guests with cozy resorts that reflect the Northwest culture. Guests who want to retreat to the spa and indulge in organic meals will find themselves just as satisfied as those interested in fishing and hiking. The resorts on the San Juan Islands cater to travelers who want to relax in nature.

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Rosario Resort

The Rosario Resort is located on the San Juan island of Orcas. The resort offers 116 guest rooms with one king bed or two queen beds, and all rooms have balconies or patios with sliding doors that lead out to views of the water. The hotel has four two-bedroom suites called "The Residences," which are 1,250-square-foot spaces, each with a fireplace, full kitchen, washer and dryer, deck, and two en suite bathrooms. The spa features massages, facials and body treatments, and also houses the fitness center and indoor lap pool. Rosario Resort also has two outdoor pools that are open through the summer. Guests can dine at the Quilted Pig, which serves food prepared with locally grown, seasonal ingredients. The Cascade Bay Grill & Dockside Store serves casual fare, while the Moran room serves cocktails by a large stone fireplace.

Lakedale Resort

The Lakedale Resort sits on an 82-acre property and features 10 guest rooms in the lodge, six log cabins, a three-bedroom lake house, and 13 "canvas cabins" that are a cross between cabins and tents (Lakedale refers to these glamorous campgrounds as "glampgrounds"). The three lakes on the property are famous for trout fishing, swimming and canoeing. Frommers refers to the Lakedale Resort as San Juan Island's "favorite campground" and says, "Think of it as summer camp for the entire family." Guests of the lodge receive a complimentary breakfast.

Roche Harbor Resort

At Roche Harbor Resort, guests can choose from a variety of accommodations, including guest rooms at the Hotel de Haro, which was originally built in 1886; rooms at Quarryman Hall, the resort's boutique hotel; the McMillan Suites, which are spacious accommodations with separate living and sleeping spaces; condos; townhouses; and The Village Homes. The Afterglow Spa is located in Quarryman Hall and offers hydrotherapy, massage, skin and nail treatments. San Juan Outfitters takes guests directly from Roche Harbor on whale watching and kayak expeditions. McMillin's Dining Room is the resort's fine dining establishment, which serves an assortment of meat and seafood dishes prepared with local ingredients. It was awarded Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence from 2006 through 2010. Mardona Grill is the resort's casual waterfront restaurant, Lime Kiln Cafe is a diner-style establishment located at the end of the wharf, and the Beachtree Espresso Bar is the place to stop for a drink or an ice cream cone.

Snug Harbor Marina Resort

The Snug Harbor Marina Resort is located on Mitchell Bay on San Juan Island. It features three cabins and an expansive campground. All guests are given complimentary access to the gas barbecue grills and crab cookers. The campground has forest sites with kayak and boat launching on site, as well as bathrooms. Snug Harbor offers kayak tours from its private docks, whale watching tours on a catamaran, and fishing with helpful instruction from staff. This is a low-frills resort that offers basic accommodations for those who love the outdoors and want to commune with nature in a serene, private setting.

About the Author

Joy Uyeno has been writing about travel, food, fashion, culture and finance since 2005. For three years she wrote a column for the "Honolulu Star-Bulletin" aimed at young and first-time travelers. Her writing has appeared in several local and national publications, including the 2008 anthology "Honolulu Stories." She holds a Master of Arts in writing and publishing from Emerson College.