by Shelley Sharp
Staying at a bed and breakfast like the Tucker House Inn and Harrison House Suites is the perfect choice of lodging when you need a relaxing escape. You can find B&Bs almost anywhere you travel, and they often provide much better value because your morning meal is included. From personalized attention, thoughtful amenities, to delicious food, there are many reasons to choose guest houses over hotels and vacation rentals.
When you stay at a hotel, you generally get very little bang for your buck. Your sterile room will probably be on the small side. You might have to pay for parking and wifi. There may be a resort fee. If you are really lucky, you may get a uninspired continental breakfast. These extras can add up bringing the total for your stay to upwards of $100 above the room rate.
When you book a night at a bed and breakfast, not only will you get a good night’s sleep, you will also receive the “extras” free of charge. The large majority of B&Bs now offer high speed internet, free parking and snacks, and complimentary coffee and other drinks – let alone breakfast! At the Inns of the San Juan Island Inn Collection, you will find free use of bikes and an outdoor hot tub. Your innkeepers also act as your personal concierges and can assist with your travel plans.
2. Unique Rooms
When you stay in a hotel, you might not be able to discern the room at your Hilton from the room in your Marriott. Not so when you choose to stay at a bed and breakfast. Not only will your suite in Maine be different from your room in Austin, each will be unique within the property itself. Some guest houses have fun room themes. You may end up in the Roy Rogers room, morning glory-themed hide-away, or sunrise suite .
At the Tucker House Inn, choose from Evening Star, Goose in the Pond, or Secret Passage, among 15 others. Because rooms are individually decorated, and sometimes up winding staircases or in carriage houses, bed and breakfast lodging choices have character. Some inns also offer unique experiences such as sleeping in a teepee or feeding farm animals. During certain times of the year, The Tucker House Inn offers cooking classes with our own Chef Jessica, or Tim and Ryan, chefs at Coho Restaurant.
3. Rich History
Many B&Bs boast interesting histories that can help shape images and tell stories about the local area and families that lived there. In the U.S. South, for example, you will find many inns that were once plantation homes. In Morocco, you can choose an opulent suite in a darr or riad. Or in France, a fairy-tale castle. In New Mexico, a bedroom of a famous artist or author. In San Francisco, a historic fire station. There are B&Bs that were stops on the Underground Railroad. The Tucker House Inn was built by Entrepreneur/Businessman Clarence M. Tucker, who travelled to San Juan Island in 1898 to build and operate a grist mill: https://www.tuckerhouse.com/about-us/. Needless to say, your experience will be more rich knowing you are sleeping in the very place that local history was made. Honestly, can the Holiday Inn make the same claim?
4. Personal Attention
Have you ever stayed at a hotel where you couldn’t find someone to help you? This happened to me in Orlando. I watched as the staff huddled and laughed in a corner behind the front desk, not bothering to acknowledge me for upwards of five minutes. This is unlikely to happen at a bed and breakfast like the Harrison House Suites. Instead, innkeepers like Patrick and myself go the extra mile to make sure you feel welcome and comfortable by anticipating your needs before you arrive. Along with Vanessa and Matia, we work to help as much or little as you decide.
Need to schedule a kayak tour? We’re on it! Want to dine at Coho Restaurant? We’ll book it! Need a to-go breakfast for an early departure? We’ll make and deliver it! Want to cozy up in your room? We won’t disturb you! Because guest inns are almost always smaller than hotels, you are able to receive a higher level of attention and assistance. Whether you need tips on what to do in our area or just have questions about our on-site amenities, never feel too shy to ask. We innkeepers serve as great local experts and love to give you insight on what to see, do, and eat in Friday Harbor and on San Juan Island. We want your stay to be so memorable so you’ll return for a future visit!
5. Supporting a Local Economy
Small businesses are mainstays of their communities, and an important source of quality local jobs. In a 2017 survey of the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), 70 percent surveyed said small hotel, guest houses, and bed and breakfast jobs provide some of the greatest opportunities, benefits, and wages within the tourism industry. They also noted that small lodging options support their communities through increased tax revenue, capital investment, tourism-related development and promotion, civic leadership, and charitable contributions, and sponsorships. In the town of Friday Harbor, tourism and hospitality is the largest sector of our local economy. By staying at the Tucker House Inn and Harrison House Suites, you keeping local residents employed, farms in business, and our shops and restaurants from closing their doors.
Be Our Guest
As previous or potential guests of the San Juan Island Inn Collection, you have already made the decision to stay at a bed and breakfast vs. a hotel. Your choice is probably based on our wonderful breakfast, unique choice of guest suites, and fantastic location. Now you know there’s more behind your choice that leads towards thoughtful and intentional lodging selections wherever you travel. For the staff at the Tucker House Inn and Harrison House Suites, it’s a pleasure to meet and interact with each and every one of you during your stay.