This was not just a hotel stay in beautiful surroundings, but also a nice spa experience and a local history lesson. Loved my time at Rosario Resort.
It’s situated in a beautiful cove on Orcas Island – Robert Moran, shipbuilder and Seattle Mayor sure knew where to build his retirement house. The manor (built between 1906 and 1909) still stands today, and although you cannot stay there (guest rooms are located in separate buildings), you can visit it as a museum on a self-guided tour, see the living quarters with period furniture and impressive oval music room with real organ! There are Saturday night music concerts here, would be nice to go sometime.
Another unique feature of the mansion in a swimming pool, located on its lower level – this whole area is now turned into a spa, complete with jacuzzi hot tub, dry sauna and treatments. The layout is a bit weird by modern standards, with changing rooms, showers and restrooms all in different places, not connecting to each other (it’s a historic mansion, after all; I guess they could not just do whatever they wanted when renovating, had to squeeze all the facilities into existing spaces). The pool itself though is lovely – I think it’s the cutest pool I’ve been to in my life. Not big, but with character, I don’t know if it dates from the Moran era or is a later addition, but you can feel the history there. I also liked how they’ve set up specific times for families with children, and at other times there will be no children in the pool, so that adults looking for peace and quiet can get some. I wish more hotels with swimming pools would implement this idea. Oh, and they use salt water in the pool and hot tub.
The restaurants are also located inside the mansion, and the food is good (I had dinner at Moran Lounge and breakfast at The Mansion Restaurant). The room I stayed at was in a building a short drive away up the hill, offering nice ocean views from the balcony. It’s just a regular hotel room, and apart from the view there’s nothing too fancy or exceptional about it, but the price is affordable. I’m not sure if I’ll be staying here overnight again, but I will sure be back to Rosario’s mansion for a swim and a bite next time I find myself on Orcas island.