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Washington Cascade Mountains and Valleys

Fodor's Review


Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating
  • Approved

Oct 20, 2014

Very Close to Nisqually Entrance of Mt. Rainier

My spouse and I stayed at Alexander’s Inn for one night on a Saturday evening in early August 2014. We made a reservation request on-line, and someone from Alexander’s Inn called us to discuss room availability. Even prior to the telephone call, we knew that our room options were limited. We decided to stay near Rainier just two weeks prior to our trip, and finding a room in a desirable location at that late date (on a busy summer Saturday night)

proved difficult. However, Alexander’s Inn came to our rescue! Alexander’s Inn is located less than two miles from the Nisqually entrance to Mount Rainier National Park. Although the Inn is technically located in Ashford, it is a few miles drive to “town”, which contains a post office, general store, and two casual restaurants. The Copper Creek Inn is somewhat close to Alexander’s Inn, approximately a 20-minute walk (over a distance of 1.25 miles). Alexander’s Inn has twelve rooms arranged on two floors. From the front of the property, a unique octagonal three-story turret is visible, along with a waterwheel, small pond, and gardens. The rear of the property contains a serene pond and Jacuzzi / hot tub. A patio on one side of the pond contains tables and chairs (where you can enjoy lunch or a drink); although no reclining lounge chairs are available. Complimentary off-street parking exists. Common areas inside the hotel include a large parlor, where you can use the hotel computer, play a game, read a book, socialize, or enjoy the fireplace. Located off the parlor is a small television room, where a console table holds complimentary drinks that vary with the time of day (coffee in the morning, water in the afternoon, and wine during cocktail hour). The entry room that houses the front desk also contains a gift shop that sells unique items. Of its twelve rooms, only two rooms remained when we made our booking: The Upper Tower Suite and the Lower Tower Suite. (Perhaps not coincidentally, those two rooms are the most expensive per night.) Both rooms are located in the octagonal turret. The Lower Tower Suite is located on the ground floor, and the Upper is located on the second and third floors. The Upper Tower Suite has its bedroom on the third floor, and its sitting room and bathroom on the second floor, with steep, ladder-type stairs between levels. Because of those steep stairs, we chose the Lower Tower Suite instead because it was all on one level. The bathroom in our room was tiny and old-fashioned, including crinkly paper-wrapped drinking glasses. The bathroom had a tiny sink, toilet, and bathtub / shower combination. The hotel supplied minimal toiletries: a tiny bottle of generic combination shampoo / conditioner, a generic body bar soap, and a tiny bar of Gilchrist & Soames oatmeal facial soap (which guests could also purchase in the lobby gift shop.) We do not recall seeing a hair dryer. The living room was small, warm, and stuffy. No air-conditioning is available in the guest rooms at this hotel. A single French door with mini-blinds led to the small wooden covered porch. Had we opened that door, we could have gotten airflow into the living room, but because the door had no screen, at twilight, bats came dangerously close to flying into the room. We used a real key to access the front door to this room, although the door was difficult to open and to lock. One of the living room wall was covered with pictures and other Victorian accents, but in our opinion, the decor in this hotel should follow the concept of “less is more” to achieve a more modern streamlined effect. The bedroom area was the best feature of the Lower Tower Suite. The bedroom was located in the turret, and cedar wood paneling enclosed the walls and ceiling. Dusty blue tapestry fabric bedding covered the metal (not brass) bed, but it was only a queen-size (not a king-size as we usually reserve). The other furniture in the bedroom room was white wicker, including two small side tables and a dresser on which sat an oscillating fan. One window contained another fan, and in the evening, it cooled the room nicely. Neither the bedroom nor the living room had a clock, radio, or television. Furthermore, no cellular telephone service is available in the Inn or around it; however, complimentary Wi-Fi compensates in a small way. Breakfast is included with your room rate. Before guests retire for the night, the inn requests that they indicate the time at which they plan to eat breakfast. The advance schedule allows the Inn to staff the restaurant properly. When we sat down for breakfast, each place setting contained a plate set with a fruit muffin and sliced fresh fruit (cantaloupe and honeydew). Then guests choose an entree from the menu such as the daily special (which was an egg scramble with bacon, tomatoes, and mushrooms), regular eggs (any style), or French toast. The restaurant serves the egg dishes with potatoes and your choice of toast or English muffin. Juice and coffee are also included. We ate dinner at Alexander’s Inn restaurant the evening prior. (Alternate dining choices in the Ashford area are not plentiful, although the Copper Creek Inn is nearby.) We began our dinner with complimentary bread and butter, followed by entrees of scallops (accompanied by potato hash and green beans) and home-made pasta. For dessert, we shared panna cotta topped with locally picked blackberries. The restaurant offers only indoor seating (in two different rooms) for breakfast and dinner, although you can dine outdoors near the pond for lunch. Wait staff was friendly. The restaurant accepts reservations by telephone or in person, although reservations were not required on the Saturday evening that we dined. We feel fortunate to have found a room at Alexander’s Inn on such short notice. Granted, the room was expensive and the atmosphere a bit rustic, but the location was fantastic after our day spent touring Mount Rainier National Park. It is a fabulous location to spend the night prior to visiting the park so that you can enter the park entrance at Longmire bright and early. The addition of dining and spa services at this property make it a self-contained oasis.

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