On a slight bluff overlooking Fairhaven Village Green and just up the street from Port of Bellingham's south terminal, this charming, historic inn overlooks Bellingham Bay; the bayview rooms have balconies and gas fireplaces, and a suite has French doors dividing a bedroom and sitting area. On a clear day the eye ranges all the way to the San Juans. It's only a short walk to Fairhaven's shops, bookstores, galleries, pubs, and restaurants, and a trail running from downtown Bellingham to the waterfront and Padden Creek passes in front of the inn.
Oct 20, 2014
My spouse and I spent two nights at the Fairhaven Village Inn in late July 2014. We booked our stay on-line using the hotel website. Prior to our stay, we e-mailed the hotel staff, who happily answered questions. This hotel enjoys an excellent location in historic and charming Fairhaven, directly across from the Village Green. The hotel is located near the water; however, it does not enjoy a water view, even from the balcony rooms. Business occupy
several metal buildings on land positioned between the hotel and the water. In addition, when the building project is complete, a three-story structure on adjacent land will further obscure the view. The hotel building hosts three independent business on the street level: Magdalena’s Creperie, Daphne’s Bar (wine and cheese), and Paws a While gift shop. Nearby restaurants include Archer Ale House, Jalapenos Mexican Restaurant, Big Pie Pizza, and Colophon Cafe. Village Books, a huge two-story bookstore, and several other shops, are accessible through the Village Green. A large local chain grocery store called Haggen is a 7-minute, quarter-mile walk from the hotel. Other shops and services are located within a three-block radius of the Fairhaven Village Inn. Odd-numbered rooms on the waterside of the hotel have balconies, whereas even-numbered rooms on the Village Green side do not. However, all guests can access the second-floor outdoor terrace area. The terrace contains tables, chairs, umbrellas, and potted plants. One morning, we carried our breakfast there to dine outdoors. According to the lodging map in the hotel directory, Rooms 211 and 311 appear smaller than the other 19 rooms because of the positioning of the fire stairs. Room 302, the only suite in the hotel, offers the most space. The Fairhaven Village Inn offers complimentary parking in a small lot behind the hotel. Guests access the parking lot from the lower basement level, where a conference room and vending machines are located. The hotel has a driveway area where guests can wait for a taxi, but have the front desk call for you because taxis do not drive around the streets of Fairhaven looking for fares. A taxi to the airport cost about $40; the same approximate fare applies to the Bolt / public city bus station on Cordova Street near the Bellis Fair Mall. The Amtrak / Greyhound and Alaska Ferry terminals are walkable from the hotel, on paved sidewalks with only one or two streets to cross. The hotel offers coffee, tea, and hot cocoa 24 hours a day in the library located off the lobby and near the front desk. In the library, guests can relax, read a book, or play a game. No fitness center nor business center exists, but the front desk attendant can print boarding passes and post outgoing mail. A table across from the front desk and next to the tall brick fireplace contains brochures and informational material. The front desk often sets out freshly baked cookies for guests. Even though this property has only three floors (plus the basement level), it has a nice-sized elevator. This property forbids smoking anywhere, and it bans burning candles inside of guest rooms. Also located off the high-ceilinged lobby is the breakfast / morning room, where the hotel serves a mostly Continental breakfast. The offerings were the same on both mornings that we dined: yogurt (packaged) with house-made mixed berry topping. Guests could also use the berry topping to cover Belgian waffles that the breakfast attendant prepares upon request. The breakfast also included hard-cooked eggs, fresh fruit (like apples and oranges), two kinds of artisan bread (from a local bakery), two kinds of muffins (which appeared to be house-made), and English muffins. Several kinds of cold cereal were available, along with two kinds of juice, coffee, tea, and water. We were pleased with the breakfast. It was healthy and it did not tempt guests to overeat. We splurged on the Fairhaven Village Inn’s only Suite. Room number 302 was one of the most comfortable rooms in which we have stayed! The living area was huge, with windows that overlooked the Village Green and a smaller window that faced the bay. The living room contained a comfortable sofa and loveseat near the armoire that held the flat-screen TV. The room also included a desk and chair (Wi-Fi is complimentary) and a large dining table for eight+ people. One corner of the living area featured two reclining armchairs positioned in front of a gas fireplace. The room contained several small tables, one of which held the coffee service, lots of glassware, and a corkscrew. (An old-fashioned bottle opener was mounted to the vanity in the bathroom.) The lighting in the rooms was fantastic! Hotel rooms are never as bright as we would like, but our suite at the Fairhaven Village Inn exceeded our wishes! The suite contained many different types of lights: a chandelier over the dining table, wall sconces near the fireplace, recessed lighting near the entry way and sofa, and regular table lamps. The walls and woodwork looked (and smelled) freshly painted, and the textured carpet in the living room and bedroom areas was clean. The bedroom was small in comparison to the living area. It featured a king-size bed, two nightstands, an armoire with another flat-screen TV, and a stuffed reclining lounge chair. The linens, blanket, and pillows were high quality. The hotel even thought to provide a throw blanket on the bedroom chaise to cover yourself while you watched TV. The bathroom layout was Jack-and-Jill style. The door from the living room featured a curtained French-door entrance to the soaking bathtub area (the bathtub was not Jacuzzi-style), and a sliding door led from the bedroom area (which actually doubled as the closet door in the bedroom). A regular door connected the bathtub area and the regular bathroom area, which contained a shower / bathtub combination, sink, and toilet. This hotel was generous with towels: a basket with four+ towels was positioned next to the soaking bathtub, and in the “real” bathroom, a brass and glass bookshelf held many towels of different sizes. A fluffy bath mat was placed on the tile floor in front of each bathtub. Toiletries made by Essential Elements (99% natural from San Francisco in a rosemary / mint scent) included body lotion, shampoo, conditioner, two kinds of soap (facial and body), cotton balls and Q-tips, shower cap, and make-up remover packets. The hair dryer is attached to the bathroom wall. The closet held bathrobes (but no slippers), and it held an iron, ironing board, and an extra blanket and pillow. The room contained no mini-bar / mini-fridge or safe. The Suite had no balcony, but it was worth the trade-off for the spacious room. The ceilings were high, which made the room seem even larger. Both our Suite and the Fairhaven Village Inn itself offered many homey touches that make a second stay a must if we ever visit Bellingham.