Cruising northwest in Orcas Island’s East Sound, the white Moran Mansion of Rosario Resort & Spa comes into view off in the distance and grows larger as you approach. The grand century-old mansion turned hotel resort was built as the private residence of Seattle shipbuilder and two-time Seattle mayor Robert Moran. Located approximately 80-miles north of Seattle on 30 acres of Orcas Island waterfront, it houses the popular marina, resort, and spa with 104 guest rooms and scenic water and mountain views. In 1978, it was listed on the National Register of Historical Places.
Moran built Rosario with Arts and Crafts ideals in mind – time spent with family, a respect for nature, and a return to quality hand craftsmanship lost in the industrial revolution. A hundred years later, San Juan County has approved the Rosario Resort’s Master Plan for Redevelopment which preserves Moran’s legacy and renews resort operations for the enjoyment of the community and visitors for Rosario’s next one hundred years.
Here is what’s new for the 2017 season:
- The marina has a new“U” dock configuration – keeping you away from the rocks
- New docks – with more 50-amp power
- Wider slips and wider fairway
- Rebuilt marina family pool and showers
- Enlarged Cascade Bay Grill patio seating
- Newly renovated outdoor adult pool
Rosario Resort & Spa
If you haven’t visited in the past couple years, the first thing you will notice is the extension to the rock breakwater. A concrete floating wave attenuator, extending eastward, has been added to better protect the moorage. The extension also provides additional moorage and a seaplane landing float.
The marina was originally built for Moran’s 132-foot Yacht Sanwan, and this past winter’s renovation started from the seabed up. All the old pilings were removed allowing a new “U” shaped dock configuration.
“I have been at Rosario for many years and the old docks were older than I am,” said Christopher Peacock, Rosario Resort & Spa General Manager. “I am sure our marina guests will be happy with the new “U” shape configuration which will allow boats to enter our slips down a deeper center channel.”
There are 30 slips, with expanded side ties now available. We also noticed wider moorage slips and more distance between the ends of the finger (88-feet), provided plenty of room for maneuvering when docking.
Marina personnel monitor VHF channel 78A and request that arriving boaters call prior to entering the marina for slip assignment. Dock personnel will be on hand to assist with your lines.
You can also download a PDF of the marina HERE.
Seasonal Rates and Amenities
Seasonal summer rates from May 26 to September 15, are $2 per foot, with a minimum charge of $52 for boats under 30-feet, includes 30- or 50-amp power (with more 50-amp power available), Wi-Fi, unlimited water, access to the – rebuilt this season – outdoor Marina Family Pool and showers, the use of which is included in the moorage fee for up to four people. Many slips are available to book online, but if there appears to be no availability, Rosario Resort suggests that you call the Harbormaster’s office for availability.
Located adjacent to the marina is the seasonal Cascade Bay Grill and Store. Rosario’s outdoor dining is popular with boaters and the Grill’s patio seating has been enlarged. Visitors can enjoy oysters, grilled salmon, crab, fish & chips, brats, pizza, salads, and burgers. The adjacent Store offers espresso drinks, to-go breakfast items, groceries, ice, apparel, gifts and basic supplies.
Rosario Resort & Spa
A visit is not complete without taking some time to stroll around the resort’s elegant gardens and pathways, it’s a pleasant way to spend the afternoon. In the morning and evening, it’s common to see deer roaming the grounds. Guest can also take a self-guided tour of the mansion.
The Spa at Rosario is located on the garden level of the Moran Mansion, and moorage guests may use the facilities, including the historic indoor therapeutic pool and newly refurbished outdoor adult pool for a daily fee of $10, plus tax, per person, valid until noon the following day.
You cannot mention the mansion without talking about its centerpiece, the grand music room, and museum. It features a two-story 1913 Aeolian Pipe Organ, a 1900 Steinway piano, a Belgian stain-glass window, and two mezzanine libraries overlooking a Tiffany chandelier.
There is also a dry sauna, fitness center, exercise classes and therapeutic service – including massages, facials, manicures and pedicures.
Dine in Luxury
Happy Hour (aka: Oyster Hour) is fireside with cocktails and small bites in the rich mahogany turn-of-the-century setting of the original living room of the magnificent mansion, now the Morgan Lounge. Happy Hour can be followed by a delectable meal prepared by Executive Chief Raymond Southern and his staff at The Mansion Restaurant. The restaurant is located on the mansion’s veranda overlooking East Sound and features local produce, meats, and seafood.
When do you want to go to Rosario Resort & Spa?
A newly renovated marina and swimming pools, the expanded Cascade Grill for casual dining, the Mansion Restaurant for fine dining, and a spa to give your body a special treat. All of this, along with a classical historic resort make Rosario Resort & Spa a destination worth considering this year. When you go, consider making a reservation. This season they will be very busy.
Want to read more by Deane? Click HERE.
Note: Like many newly renovated marinas, the docks at Rosario’s marina have a new electrical system that sets a new standard for safety and meets the current government requirements. The system includes an Equipment Leakage Circuit Interrupter (ELCI)that can trip depending on your boat’s electrical system. For more information on this situation, see the article Don’t Get Tripped-Up by New Shore Power.