STAY on the waterfront

1. Alderbrook Resort and Spa
It has the feel of a midcentury resort in the Poconos, but the towering Douglas firs are 100 percent Northwest. The hotel, celebrating its centennial this year, keeps guests on property with badminton on the lawn, an expansive spa menu, and killer lobster mac and cheese in the restaurant. Room to Request Two Waterfront Corner King rooms look out onto the elbow of Hood Canal and the Olympics.

2. Inn at Langley 
Though the restaurant helmed by former Palace Kitchen chef Matt Costello is the site’s biggest draw, the 28-room hotel is one of the swankiest accommodations on Whidbey Island. Rooms have jetted tubs, wood-burning fireplaces, and views of the Saratoga Passage just past a narrow wooden boardwalk. Room to Request The Saratoga master suite is apartment size at 1,500 square feet, with a full kitchen, bamboo floors, and a private deck.

3. Inn at Port Gardner 
The Everett hotel’s marina location is perfect for a quick jaunt to Jetty Island, but it also means the occasional industrial noise from the working waterfront. Room to Request The Port Gardner Suite on the third floor has a hot tub on its private deck. 

4. Inn at Port Ludlow 
As part of a resort comprised of a golf course and marina, the beachfront hotel is nevertheless a sedate retreat in a nook just off the top of Hood Canal. All rooms have gas fireplaces and whirlpool tubs, and the downstairs Fireside Restaurant has, appropriately, a large stone fireplace. Room to Request The third-floor Queen Bay Suite, located at the end of the building, has a pair of balconies to view the marina and Olympic Mountains.

5. La Conner Channel Lodge
The town of La Conner sits in a delta south of Anacortes, home to fewer than a thousand residents and a popular base for Skagit Valley Tulip Festival trips. The cedar-shake inn has a whiff of bed-and-breakfast-style hominess. Room to Request All six waterfront rooms on the third floor have equal-size balconies; might as well ask for the southernmost one, nearest the rust-red Rainbow Bridge over the Swinomish Channel. 

Published: May 2013