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The Friday Harbor Suites proved to be a great option for our family of five while visiting San Juan Island. While many lodgings right at the harbor offer smaller rooms, with few sleeping more than two or four people, many of the island's vacation rentals that would offer up more space for a group such as ours lie much farther out.
At the Friday Harbor Suites, just a stroll up the road from Friday Harbor itself, we had plenty of space to sprawl, plus our own kitchenette. From there, we had no problem walking to the Friday Harbor shops, our choice of restaurants, and the "Sunken Park" with our stroller. The staff was also armed with loads of useful information and tips concerning where to take the kids to eat and which sightseeing activities might be best- suited for us.
Our 1-bedroom suite slept 4 in beds, and stood ready with a portacrib that is provided free by the hotel on request. The kitchen was equipped with a microwave, dishes, and a full-size refrigerator with freezer, but had no stove. This wasn't a problem for me as I was not looking forward to cooking more than "microwave cuisine," but keep it in mind if you plan to do much cooking.
The small bar with its two bar stools was perfect for setting up the laptop with free wireless Internet access where our 1-year-old couldn't reach it. There was also a dining area adjacent to kitchen with table and three chairs, which was useful for both snacking with the kids and doodling during our stay.
The living room was furnished with a fold-out queen sofa sleeper that, though it seemed a bit tired, was perfectly adequate for the kids. There was also a reading chair, TV, and a small gas fireplace. In the bedroom, we found a full-size closet with two hotel robes awaiting us, a queen bed, TV in an armoire, and there was still space enough for the hotel's small crib (complimentary on request, with linens).
We also appreciated that there were phones in both the bedroom and the kitchen, so we could simply disconnect the phone in our room and let our little one make his calls knowing that phone in kitchen was still functional but out of reach.
While the second-story rooms have balconies that look very nice, it was helpful for our family to be on the ground level, where we could take advantage of our patio with doors opening onto a grassy lawn where the kids could run and play. Bonus? A couple of young friends came out to join the fun while we relaxed in our patio chairs and looked on.
The hotel's complimentary breakfast can be quite helpful for a family of 4 or 5, not just in the savings over eating out but in also having so many options to suit individual tastes. Each morning we had options both hot and cold, and between the scrambled eggs eggs and breakfast meats, make-your-own waffles, cereals and yogurts, fresh fruit, bagels and toast, and baby-friendly instant oatmeal, we covered the bases. There is also a microwave available to you if you need it for warming any snacks you may have along for your tot (though you'll have one in your suite as well). You can enjoy your breakfast indoors or out on the patio, or try upstairs on the second story balcony.
Tip: Bring your travel mugs and load up with the complimentary coffee in the lobby before setting out to explore the island in the mornings.
We also really enjoyed the nice BIG Jacuzzi outside, which is 3 feet deep with a bench all the way around, and though they don't widely advertise it as such, we found it to be perfect for kids. The setting for the Jacuzzi was also quite pleasant, out in the courtyard with lavenders, ruby hydrangeas, and benches for more seating. My advice? Bring your robes from the room and enjoy a little time both in and out of the Jacuzzi.
Did we enjoy our stay at the Best Western Inn & Suites Friday Harbor? Yes. Would we recommend it to a friend? Yes. Would we stay there again? Yes.
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