I love the uniqueness of this B&B. There's nothing quite like staying on a wooden boat in the middle of a marina among the San Juan islands, with all the interesting and quirky qualities of boat life (I'm a big fan of tiny house living!) So if you're adventurous and want something different from the usual B&B or hotel, this is a great fit.
I stayed in the Forward Stateroom with my 80 year old mother and we enjoyed our stay. The room has a large living area, tiny bathroom (it's a boat, after all) and decent sized sleeping area. There is a set of steep, oddly curved steps to get down to the rooms that are a bit tricky (don't bump your head!) but my mom was able to navigate them without too much trouble. The breakfast served above deck every morning was hearty and tasty, and the coffee was good. The innkeeper Laura is friendly and made sure to accommodate any dietary needs.
That being said, the boat is in desperate need of a thorough cleaning and makeover, especially if the $224/night charge is going to stay in place, because at the moment you're just paying for the unique quality of staying on a boat and the great location. This lovely boat is basically falling apart. Everywhere you look there are crumbling bits, stains and dirt. Nothing looks clean and fresh. Aside from the beautiful bones of the boat itself, it's like being in a cheap motel.
The carpeting in the Stateroom is a patchwork of dirty carpet squares, with oddly shaped bits stuck in the corners to fill the spaces, all of them just laid on top of plywood flooring. The extra blankets, pillows and bedding are shoved into a large cabinet, and I wasn't convinced they were cleaned often. The bathroom shower has dirty, stained tiles.
There's an old, small refrigerator upstairs in the galley that doesn't work any more and is used as a "cupboard" - I opened it and it was covered in mold and smelled gross. It needs to be thrown out and replaced with a few clean, sanitary open shelves in the space it occupies. The main refrigerator outside on the deck was in similar shape and needs to be replaced or thoroughly cleaned. All of the seat cushions on the deck are stained and rather dirty.
Please note that the water gets turned off between 12midnight-5am, but we were not informed of this. My mom got up at 3am to use the bathroom to find that the toilet wouldn't flush and there was no water from the sink. When I mentioned it to Laura the next morning, thinking something must have broken, she told me sorry, but because I was in such a hurry at check in (see below re checking in) she must have forgotten to tell me. Except our shipmates in the other cabin weren't told either, and there are a couple other reviews here from months ago who had the same experience.
The website also needs to be updated as it clearly states that the Forward Stateroom has a marine queen bed and a twin bunk. That is false: there's only a marine queen bed. I had to sleep in the living room on the extremely narrow couch. The second night I put the two couch cushions on the floor (one cushion is longer than the other) and at least I had a decent sized place to sleep.
Laura is friendly enough, and perhaps she was having a bad day or had some personal stress, but I was reprimanded twice the day I checked in. I arrived with my bag, and stated that I wanted to check in and then go back to my friend's boat to gather my 80 year old mother and her luggage and bring her back. But Laura made it clear that I "must" sit and listen to her spiel on the history of the boat, otherwise I wouldn't be allowed to stay on board. Aye aye Captain. Under normal circumstances I'd be happy to learn these interesting details, but my mom was sitting and waiting for me to get her, so I just wanted to check in, learn the basics regarding how to flush the toilet, the time of breakfast, etc. and then go get my mom. So I sat upstairs for a good 20 minutes, listening politely to the story of how she purchased the boat, including her first date in the boat with her husband, until I nicely asked if I could put my bag downstairs and see the room. When we went downstairs I walked into the bedroom because I wanted to see the layout and if there would be any issues for my mom. Laura rudely scolded me as if I was 8 years old and said I couldn't go into the bedroom yet, I needed to stay put while she continued her missive. I've never experienced something like this before from an inn keeper greeting their guest. After she showed me how to use the toilet, I wanted to repeat the steps to make sure I knew them properly so I could explain it clearly to my mom, and she said "I guess since you are in such a hurry you didn't listen to my instructions." Wow. Brought me back to my days in grade school with the crotchety nuns. And this had already been after 30-40 minutes of checking in while my mom was sitting on another boat waiting for me to get her.
This place is definitely a unique experience, but it needs lots of cleaning and repairs to bring it up to the quality that I expect for the price being charged.
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- Also Known As:
- Wharfside Bed And Breakfast Aboard The Slowseason Friday Harbor, WA - San Juan Island