North of Seattle yet south of Vancouver, British Columbia lies the idyllic waterfront town of La Conner in Skagit County, Washington. Surrounded by inlet waters of the Salish Sea and the Swinomish Channel, the historic downtown district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. During the month of April, La Conner is also host to most of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.
Often voted as the most perfect Washington state weekend getaway destination, the town is ideally situated on the doorstep of the San Juan Islands and snow-capped coastal mountains, providing ample opportunities for boating, kayaking, fishing, biking, hiking, birding and photography. Plus, there are several fine art galleries that grace the town streets and culinary delights to please the palate.
The La Conner Channel Lodge entryway is quintessential Pacific Northwest architecture, with a flagstone entryway, cedar-shake siding and an inviting river-rock fireplace in the lobby. A library alcove off to the side of the lobby provides an excellent indoor view of the marina or a spot to cozily catch up on your reading. A baby grand piano is conveniently placed close by for those who want to play the keys. On Friday and Saturday evenings, gifted pianists play for guests.
The lodge has 31 rooms all with private waterfront balconies or patios. Of these there are 13 King Jacuzzi suites just right for a romantic getaway. The finest accommodations are the three luxury executive suites. Both Indoor and outdoor conference space is available for those on a business retreat, photo workshop or other group endeavor.
La Conner Channel Lodge commands prime real estate with its location on the marina. I was pleasantly surprised when I walked out of my patio room #105 at Channel Lodge, showcasing a boutique view of the marina. Unfortunately, the cold winter weather of January prevented me from enjoying the outside chairs and the waterfront view for any prolonged period.
My queen-sized bedroom suite was ample, with a gas fireplace and two cozy stuffed chairs, writing desk, vanity and separate tub/shower with a floor vent to ensure proper heat during the colder months. It was quite welcome after I came back from a day of photographing eagles on the water while raining.
Also included is complimentary Wi-Fi and parking, flat-screen TV/DVD player, mini refrigerator, A/C units in room, in-room coffee and tea as well as lobby coffee and an assortment of cookies at night and in the morning. Continental breakfast is included and served on the second floor daily. Expect an assortment of fresh fruits, pastries, eggs and house-made granola.
Rates fluctuate based on season and day of the week/weekend, running generally between $177 to $189 per night. A daily $4-dollar resort fee is added. As might be expected, spring and summer are high season. You can make your reservations directly with the hotel’s website or compare rates and book through Hotels.com or Expedia.
Hotel review by Albuquerque-based travel & food writer/photographer Karin Leperi, who paid for a 2-night stay in conjunction with a January photography workshop. All photos and text by Karin Leperi.