Alderbrook Resort & Spa
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Historical Traveler Reviews Alderbrook Resort & Spa Union
This was our third visit to Alderbrook (see review "A mixed bag"). We went back (despite the service and food) because of the beautiful setting and lack of other decent accomodation on the Hood Canal. This time we brought the kids and stayed in a two-bedroom cabin. We found the service to have improved, with friendly, efficient check-in and quick response to requests. Though the hotel was full and busy we did not notice the noise as much in the cabins, as they are away from the meeting rooms.
Yes, the cabins could have been a bit cleaner, and the food still is hit or miss in the restaurant. I ordered risotto as an entree and got bland white rice for $18, but my spouse's entree was fresh and well prepared. The kids loved the pool and hot tub, which were perfect after a long day of hiking. The kitchenettes in the cabins are a plus since you don't have to eat as often in the "restaurant".
I don't know if I would go to Alderbrook as a destination, but if you're out on the eastern part of the Olympic Peninsula this is the nicest place to stay. I rated it high not because it compares to the Four Seasons or anything, but because they have apparently heard the complaints and are trying to improve.
Breathtaking surroundings, scary practices!
We found this resort to be quite lovely, but did not feel that it lived up their self-described 'recreated in four star luxury' website description, with the exception of the $400 per night cabin rates. There was dried food in the slats on the kitchen table, dead bugs behind the blinds, and dirty dishes left in the dishwasher from a prior guest. The location is peaceful, beautiful, soothing, the motel and cabins tasteful and relaxing. Sadly, the service does not live up to one's expectations, or their perceived reputation.
One should be especially cautious of their key policy. Though much has been updated and remodeled, there is no card key system, only old-fashioned brass keys. Upon check-in and asking for more than one key, the clerk told me that there was only one for the four of us, tapping on the key to show me the Do Not Duplicate imprint and explaining it was their only master (?) key. Naturally, it occurred to all of us that if the hotel did not have additional keys, in all likelihood a prior guest did. Upon check-out, we turned in the one and only brass key, received a paid in full receipt and left.
A month later, my credit card statement arrived with a $50 "missing cabin key" fee charged to my account, a full day after receiving my paid in full receipt. Budget highway motels with a key deposit policy make you aware of the necessity of getting a signed receipt for returning your key. In a place of the supposed caliber of the Alderbrook, I never dreamed that I should get a receipt specifically stating that I had returned it, and relied on the paid in full one they had handed me. Be very careful!
Alderbrook gets an "A" for service, scenery but not management or construction
This is a newly remodeled destination resort on Hood Canal. The resort offers a panoramic post card view of the Olympic Mountains, water, birds (including eagles).
The view is spectacular, the decor soothing and tasteful. Waterfalls and water sculpture set in beautiful landscaping compliments the stunning view.
The service is excellent. Requests are filled in a nanosecond.
However, in such luxury resorts, a guest notices the little details that can add to or detract from a visit.
These were our observations:
The room walls are thin, which is surprising for a place that prides itself as a soothing and relaxing getaway. It is also surprising that the room lights and furniture are of cheap construction, not what you would expect of a resort that bills itself as "first class." For example, the desklight and lamps were flimsy, as was the desk. The desk light was broken when we entered our room, although the staff fixed it immediately.
The bed however was very comfortable.
There was only one trash can in several big rooms which was also surprising and inconvenient. Was it an oversight? We don't think the resort was trying to skimp on such a small item but one that adds to guest convenience.
Also, the coffee in our room was stale. It was literally undrinkable. Again, this is surprising in a deluxe resort lodge, especially in the Northwest- a Coffee Mecca. The stale coffee was not the fault of the housekeepers who were very attentive.
The coffee is kept in canisters and a coffee press and kettle are provided. Better management would have taken inventory and ensured that canisters with old coffee were replaced. Or, better yet, a coffee pot with good old foil sealed packages would solve the problem. Having to bother housekeeping for a new coffee press every time you wanted to make another pot, was a pain. (I don't think the goal was to discourage guests from drinking coffee and I don't think the Resort was trying to be cheap. I think it was poor management.)
On the whole, it was a shame that walls and furniture of this gorgeous resort were skimped on, but at least the latter can be improved as can the resort's management. Excellent service and surroundings should have management to match.
Amazing stay for Birthday / Concert Weekend!
My Mom and I would like to express our personal heartfelt love for a very memorable and glorious Labor Day weekend. Our Christopher Cross 'Sailabration' weekend at the Alderbrook Resort was indescribable. My Mom will long remember her 83'rd birthday. It was a great pleasure to meet so many wonderful people including Christopher Cross himself. Everyone, including the staff, were so friendly and treated us like queens. I will look forward to following the Resort's calender of events and possibly spending another 'award-winning' concert weekend at the Alderbrook Resort and Spa in the near future. What a wonderful wonderful stay!
Lovely Rooms & Lodge, Service & Cuisine Need Help
My husband and I stayed for a weekend getaway to celebrate our anniversary. We loved the room: excellent high quality sheets, beautiful (though small) bath with great amenities, lovely new looking decor, nice robes in great condition. We also loved the lodge: spectacular setting, public rooms, garden. The bonfires lit at night outside around comfy armchairs was a great touch. Very romantic.
The service was extremely hit or miss. Every time we went to the restaurant we were ignored by the hostesses--who couldn't seem to manage even a small greeting. Seems like they were very overtaxed and undertrained. Our waiter was excellent, however--and steered us to the best menu items without hesitation. Other notes re: service--glass desktop had fingerprints from others; bathtub could have been cleaner; hair dryer did not work. Doors slam *loudly* which is too bad given the otherwise extremely quiet setting.
Food and wine really needs someone who knows what they're doing. The white wine list, for example, shows very little knowledge of grapes, regions, etc. They could use some consulting from Seattle. The food was expensive ($150 for dinner for two with 1 appetizer, drinks, a bottle of wine, two entrees, and 1 dessert), and was only so-so. My husband ordered Ahi with a soy glaze: the result was ahi in a (lot of) sauce that tasted like straight soy sauce mixed with sugar. I had salmon with israeli couscous which lacked salt and flavor. The fish itself though was excellent on both counts.
We would definitely go back again for the setting and decor. But hope the service and cuisine/wine list can be improved.
Bad service, but nice resort
Hello, my name is Jennifer and I recently stayed at the Alderbrook resort with my mom. I am writing this letter because I am concerned with the service we received. I had never been to the resort before, and I was so excited to take my mom there to relax and be treated with great service. When we entered, there was no one there to open the door for us as we struggled in with our bags. On your website and brochure it boasts that the staff has been trained by the best and finest staff in the world, yet they treated us like we were a nuisance. We walked up to the front desk, expecting a friendly, professional greeting, but instead were given a glance up from the computer and a monotone "Hi". I asked if we could check in an hour early and the girl scolded us and responded with, "IF it's ready." I felt like a little kid who had been punished. She looked disgruntled, sighed, and said she would call the maid to see if they could clean it. She said it would be a few minutes if we would like to wait. We sat in the lobby and waited, and waited...and waited for at least 40 minutes. I think she basically forgot about us so I had to go up and ask again. We could also hear her complaining to another staff member about different things, such as how tired she was, etc. I decided to ask again, and a different staff member was there, who was much nicer. She said our room WAS ready! Finally, we got to our room and decided to sit on the balcony. About 15 minutes later our hotel door burst open and scared us to death, then slammed closed. I then heard a knock at the door and a woman said she needed to check our snack bar and didn't know we had checked in. Nice communication between staff members! We could have been naked!
That night we decided to go to the restuarant. I had called several days before our reservation to check the price range of the dinner meals. A man told me it was $10-$25 for a dinner entree. When we sat down we were shocked to see the meals all $25 and over! It is as if the staff members don't know what is going on and can't figure out basic things. We decided to order the steamed clams and the roasted tomato salad. They were out of clams (at 7:00 pm!) and the salad was $9 and had 5 tiny tomatos and a mound of arugula.
The next morning we had our coffee in our room and wanted more so we called the front desk and asked for a new carafe. We also asked for creamer. They said, "Right Away!" We waited 45 minutes to an hour and had to call back twice! What were they doing, milking the cow? I don't understand how such simple requests are so hard for a world class luxury hotel! On our way home, we stopped at Kentucky Fried Chicken and the service there was 100% better! They were welcoming, friendly, and professional! If your service is not up to par with a fast-food restaurant, I think there is a problem! We loved the hotel room and amenities, but were very disappointed with the service. I just wanted to write this to let you know of this important matter.
Very pleasant resort but unprofessional practices
This is a beautifully renovated resort but the professionalism of some resort practices does not match the magnificent surroundings. My wife and I made a reservation for a one-night weekend getaway. The best rates we could find were on Expedia and they still were close to rack rates. We chose the top-of-the-line (and naturally more expensive) room with unobstructed Hood Canal and Olympic mountain views. We decided to pay extra for a great view with a balcony becuase of the long days this time of year and because we could only stay one night we decided to splurge. Because we made the reservation only a few days in advance, we would be charged for the room even if we cancelled. Fair enough, that was disclosed, but for the kind of money we were paying I expected no tricks.
Well, we showed up and after waiting in line for a while a very pleasant clerk gave us the key to our unit. We found it but it was not the view room that we had paid for. It was a two-bedroom cabin with a kitchenette. It faced a very pleasant large grassy courtyard along with other cabins. It definitely was not waterfront; you could see part of the water from the front porch but couldn't see the mountains at all. This was not what we had reserved and paid for. If we had kids with us or if we were going to be staying longer, then the cabin with its kitchenette would be nice. But that's not what we wanted.
So back to the front desk and another wait in line. I politely told the clerk that the cabin was not what we had reserved and paid for; I showed her my reservation confirmation. The clerk then lectured me that I had received an "upgrade" (whether I wanted one or not) and showed me the resort's brochure to prove that the rack rate for the cabins was a little bit higher than for the waterfront rooms. Whatever!! We didn't want a cabin with no view and I certainly didn't need a lecture as precious minutes of our getaway slipped away. The clerk said it was then probably Expedia's fault and I should expect such things if I use "outside" reservation services. What the?!?!? This was getting annoying.
With a sigh the clerk finally said she would speak to the manager to see if something could be done. She acted like I was asking for some special favor instead of the room they had promised me in exchange for more than two hundred of our hard-earned dollars! Well, after 10 more minutes (this is now 45 minutes after we first showed up at the resort), it turns out that a waterfront room was available after all. Now wary, I asked if I could look at the room first. Well, the room we finally were given was exactly as promised and it was beautiful. It was spotless and nicely furnished. It had nice touches like an empty refrigerator discreetly hidden in a cabinet instead of one of those obnoxious mini bars. My wife and I finally opened our bottle of Champagne and enjoyed the fabulous view from the deck. The rest of our stay was great...we enjoyed a nice (but expensive) dinner in the restaurant downstairs and after dinner went for a swim in the large glass-enclosed pool overlooking the water. Very nice.
I guess my problem with this place was the management's attitude. There was never any apology or acknowledgement that the resort had put us through some inconvenience through no fault of our own. Instead I was made to feel like I had done something wrong and had caused them a great deal of trouble. For the rates this place is charging, customers deserve better. By the way, add $10 to any quoted room rate for the mandatory "resort fee," whatever that is.
Having said all this, we'll probably be back because the physical surroundings are so nice. If the rates were a little less and the management more professional, I would give five stars instead of three.
First Visit - Needs improvement
We arrived early (before the 4 pm check in) and were told our room would be ready in about an hour, after an hour relaxing on the beach and enjoying the extraordinary views, we checked with the front desk to find out our room would be ready in another half hour, we spent time in the comfortable lobby, reading and enjoying the fireplace, after another 45 minutes, after seeing a number of another arrivals check in to their rooms, we inquired again about our room status, the answer was a brusque "No". The front desk staff seemed to very young and inexperienced and less than professional. Average age seemed to be about 20.
We decided to work out in the small but well appointed exercise room and returned to finally check into our room. The King size bed and Water view room was beautiful and nicely decorated, rather small but comfortable. We had to overlook the minor housekeeping oversights, including used ear swabs on the bathroom floor and waste paper next to the bed.
Dinner at the Hotel restaurant was good not great, however the atmosphere was loud and busy, not what I would consider romantic or intimate at all. The wait staff was pleasant but very young.
Overall the hotel was very quiet, but we were awakened a few times by kids running around and numerous slamming doors. Walls were very thin; we can hear all our neighbors' conversations and TV.
We enjoyed the hotels coffee the next morning, had to call housekeeping to get cream, and then they delivered a sugary sweet French Vanilla cream that masked any coffee flavor at all, the French press in the room was a great touch. Brunch was a mixed bag, semi warm food, overpriced nothing special.
Wonderful Stay at Alderbrook
We spent two nights the last week of February, 2005, and it was lovely. Our room had a view of the Cascades and Hood Canal plus modern amenities and decor. The kids loved the pool and large jacuzzi plus we liked the new sauna and steam room. The Spa is top notch and the staff friendly. Our hot stone massages were very good. The restaurant served excellent food and they had kids menus. The location seems remote and is a great getaway. We've gone to Semiahmoo in Blaine for years but they recently limited their Jacuzzi to adults only and their pool is outside, that's why we tried something new. We highly recommend this resort.
Loved the Alderbrook!
We live in the Seattle area and wanted to get away to somewhere really nice and relaxing, but not have to get on an airplane. So we found the new Alderbrook Resort & Spa on the Hood Canal. It was about a 2 hr. drive, but beautiful once you get off the main freeways. The views were spectacular as the resort is situated right on the water and the Olympic mountain range is right there, in all its glory! It's truly a beautiful setting and the resort has a very lodge-like feel, but at the same time is very modern...the rooms reminded us of The W Hotel in many ways--very nicely appointed. So, after having breakfast in the restaurant, which overlooks the water and mountains, we spent the morning swimming in the glass enclosed pool, which is also right on the water, and getting pampered with some fantastic SPA treatments...we'll be back, we loved it!!!
TripAdvisor Reviews Alderbrook Resort & Spa Union
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