Where to stay in Olympic National Forest
June 17, 2008 5:22 PM   Subscribe

Please share your favorite lodgings in/near Olympic National Park.

We are planning a family reunion for the summer of 2009, and we've decided to go to Olympic National Park. There are lots of different places to stay, and I'm having a hard time sorting out the best spots. Some of the places that have been suggested are Lake Crescent Lodge, Lake Quinault Lodge and Kalaloch Lodge. Reviews on tripadvisor.com are rather mixed. Please share your experiences of these lodges or suggest another place.

We will be a group of 10 people ranging in age from 1 to 74, wanting 5 separate sleeping spaces. A few of us might be up for serious camping, but most of us will want rooms with beds and en-suite baths.
posted by ambrosia to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total)
Mrs. Director and I stayed at Lake Crescent Lodge a few years back. Here's the deal with that place. It originated as a hunting lodge which is the main building. The restaurant is nice and above average in price -- definitely not a diner-type.

There are a few rooms upstairs in the original lodge. That's where we stayed. It is not modern but has character. The doors are thin so you hear everything going on in the hall and the adjoining room. The bathroom and shower are communal to the floor.

There are also some other buildings with rooms that are newer but we enjoyed the experience of the old lodge even if we had to be extra quiet. If you want these rooms you have to ask for them.

We both agree that we would stay there again if we can get rooms in the old lodge but have no interest in the more generic 'cottages'.
posted by trinity8-director at 5:39 PM on June 17, 2008

My twin sister, brother in law and I stayed in a cabin in Kalaloch Lodge as a splurge a few years back. I wasn't particularly impressed with the cabin itself as far as decor, but I remember that it was very roomy and we loved having a kitchen and fireplace. The bed room has two queen beds and the living room had a pull out couch. A family could easily fit here. The main reason we chose the lodge was because it was pet-friendly and we could bring our dog, which added tremendously to the experience.

The advantage of staying here is purely location, location, location. You have the most fabulous sunset views overlooking the Pacific. You can drive your car down to the beaches and let the dog loose. You can even have fires on the beach using the driftwood. ( You might want to doublecheck if you can still do this.)

We only had one meal at the lodge and I thought it was fine, if not a bit overpriced, but it's not like you can run into a McDonald's down the street. There isn't one. We mostly used the kitchen in our cabin and saved money (and ate better).
posted by HeyAllie at 5:55 PM on June 17, 2008

My husband and I went to Lake Quinault Lodge for our honeymoon and ended up leaving after one night. The room we were given was on the first floor and very noisy (the windows opened onto a field where kids were running around making lots of noise and the room was right next to some sort of big air conditioner compressor) and the bathtub was yucky---very rust-stained. The restaurant was on the spendy side (not so surprising given the location).

It might be ok for the kind of family trip you're describing (although my recollection was that it was also on the expensive side of things), but it definitely wasn't the mellow place we'd been hoping for for our (3-day) honeymoon. (We ended up driving to the Long Beach Peninsula and staying at the China Beach Retreat, which was lovely.)
posted by leahwrenn at 6:01 PM on June 17, 2008

My family (parents & two adult kids) stayed in a cottage last summer at Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort. The cottages were, unfortunately, kind of on the small side for four people; but given that you'll have an average of two people per cabin, it shouldn't be as bad. Other than that, we liked it fine; the hot springs were a good way to relax after a day or two of hiking, and the free breakfast buffet was a nice feature, too.
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:00 PM on June 17, 2008

When we did our trip to Olympic National Park, we stayed at a Best Western in Port Angeles. It was okay - about what you would expect.

National Park Lodging, sadly, is expensive, poorly-maintained, not secure, and noisy. It really is sad. The upside, of course, is that hopefully you will not be spending much time in your room as the area is so beautiful. Definitely go see Hurricane Ridge and the Hoh Rainforest.
posted by Ostara at 8:49 PM on June 17, 2008

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