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Earthbox Inn & Spa 2.5

Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, San Juan Islands

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • In central Friday Harbor, a five-minute walk from the ferry
  • Comfy rooms with microwaves, flat-screen TVs, and coffeemakers
  • Small, heated indoor pool, plus a sauna and a whirlpool
  • Pleasant day spa offering hot stone massages, reiki, and facials
  • Seasonal coffee shop with breakfast items
  • Free loaner bikes and tiny fitness room with some natural light
  • Free Wi-Fi and outdoor parking
  • Pet-friendly -- up to two dogs per room, for a nightly fee
  • Conference room for up to 100 guests; catering available
  • Free shuttle service to the ferry and the airport

Cons

  • Not all rooms have AC (but fans provided)
  • Some complaints of thin walls between rooms
  • Tiny gym has just a few machines
  • No full restaurant on-site

Bottom Line

The lower-middle-range Earthbox Inn & Spa is a quaint, updated motel located in the heart of downtown Friday Harbor, walking distance to ferries, dining, and shopping. Its 72 rooms are simple but comfortable, and feature an array of great amenities, including free Wi-Fi, microwaves, mini-fridges, and coffeemakers. There is also a two-bedroom house with a full kitchen and ample seating space. Despite its run-of-the-mill appearance on the outside, it has a number of perks for a motel: a heated indoor pool complete with a whirlpool and a sauna, a basic gym, and a day spa offering massages, salon services, and reiki sessions. Rates are right for the area, and free Wi-Fi, parking, loaner bikes, and shuttle service to/from the ferry and the airport add value. Friday Harbor Suites is generally cheaper and offers free hot breakfast, but it's less contemporary.

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Scene

Dog-friendly, former motel with pleasant interiors and great amenities

Formerly a basic motel, the Earthbox has retained its unassuming vibe, with exterior entrances overlooking a parking lot, and straightforward interiors. As can be expected of a motor inn, the exterior is plain and nondescript, but the property has been fully updated inside. Though it’s still not quite stylish, the earth-tone color scheme, comfortable seating, and wood accents make common spaces inviting, plus cozy touches such as a fireplace and free coffee make the lobby a pleasant spot to hang out. The outdoor patio, furnished with tables, chairs, and umbrellas, is a favorite among guests when the weather is nice. The Earthbox’s location just a couple of blocks from the action in the downtown area of Friday Harbor attracts couples and families (often with their dogs in tow) seeking something reasonably priced near dining and the ferry landing.

Overall, the Earthbox Inn & Spa is simple, but it offers perks not always available at lower-middle-range properties, in particular a solid spa and heated indoor pool. However, travelers not planning on using the on-site facilities may want to check out the Island Inn at 123 West, which is cheaper and has more stylish rooms with similar amenities. Families wanting a more rural experience may prefer the Lakedale Resort at Three Lakes, a charming lakefront property catering to those seeking an upscale camping experience, complete with canvas cabins, cottages, and lodge rooms. 

Location

Central location in downtown Friday Harbor, walking distance to the ferry landing and restaurants

The Earthbox Inn & Spa is located in the heart of downtown Friday Harbor, within easy walking distance of art galleries, dozens of shops, and many restaurants. The ferry landing is a five-minute walk away, and the hotel offers free pickup and drop-off services on request to all guests. Most city-center attractions -- including the family-friendly Whale Museum and San Juan Historical Museum -- can be reached in less than 10 minutes on foot. Other island attractions, such as Lime Kiln Point State Park, San Juan National Historical Park, and San Juan Islands Sculpture Park, are all about a 20-minute drive from the hotel. Friday Harbor Airport is just a five-minute drive away, and guests can request airport transfers free of charge. There is ample free parking on-site. 

Rooms

Simple, comfortable rooms with solid amenities, free Wi-Fi, and basic bathrooms 

The hotel has 72 rooms spread over several two-story buildings. Since changing hands in 2003, rooms have been updated several times in different stages, and though interiors are overall simple, the earth-tone palette (or bluish hues, depending on room category), brown walls, and clean lines make spaces inviting and more contemporary than the average motor inn room. Units on the top floor have carpet in an attempt to muffle noise from footsteps and luggage, while rooms downstairs have laminate flooring, which lends them a more modern feel. Entry-level Water Place rooms are on the small side (with just enough space for a queen bed, armchair, and sideboard), but have additional perks, such as a jetted tub or small private deck. 

Rooms are well-equipped, featuring free Wi-Fi, mini-fridges, coffeemakers, microwaves, and flat-screen TVs. Only some rooms have air-conditioning, but fans are available on request and are generally enough to keep rooms cool during the warmest days of the year. Sea Place units and the two-bedroom Wind Place are outfitted with full kitchens, complete with stovetops and full-sized fridges. Basic bathrooms are clean and have shower/tub combos (the Wind Place has a separate shower and soaking tub), spacious sink areas that are sometimes outside the toilet and shower area, and eco-friendly lavender toiletries from a local farm.

Some guests have complained that walls between rooms are thin.

Features

Heated indoor pool, tiny gym, loaner bikes, day spa, and seasonal coffee shop

For a former motel, the Earthbox Inn & Spa has a surprising array of well-regarded amenities. Though small, the heated indoor pool is a definite highlight here, complete with a whirlpool, free towels, and a dry sauna. The adjacent fitness room is tiny, with just a few cardio and strength-training machines. Several loaner bikes can be borrowed to explore Friday Harbor and the surrounding areas. Another excellent feature of this property is its spa, which offers a great treatment menu, including hot stone massages, body wraps, facials, nail services, and reiki sessions. 

The hotel lacks a full restaurant, but there is a seasonal coffee shop with outdoor seating serving breakfast items, as well as hot and cold drinks and pastries. Free coffee is always available in the lobby as well. The hotel has a single conference room for up to 100 guests (75 if seated), and offers a professional kitchen for catering on-site events. 

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Things You Should Know About Earthbox Inn & Spa

Address

410 Spring St, Friday Harbor, Washington 98250-7230, United States

Phone

(360) 378-4000

Room Types

  • Earth Place
  • Sea Place
  • Sky Place
  • Sun Place
  • Water Place
  • Wind Place

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