It’s late afternoon, and I’m chilling on the red brick porch connected to my room at the Waterfront Inn in Gig Harbor, Washington. Twenty feet away is the shoreline with boats and a few seals cruising through the water. There is also a shared over-the-water-deck with plenty of lounging chairs and a dock with kayaks and one sailboat. I didn’t cruise in and tie up at the dock today, but guests of the Waterfront Inn can do just that. Their dock always has space for one boat (depending on size and tides), which is a unique way to experience the “cabin to cabin” lifestyle.
This boutique inn has plenty to offer boaters:
- Space for one boat at the dock (sometimes more)
- With a room stay, additional guests may also stay on the boat (keep in mind there are no services on the docks)
- Harbor view rooms
- Personalized service from the innkeeper
- Complimentary use of kayaks
- Within walking distance of restaurants, a museum, water activities, and a small market
The Waterfront Inn Rooms & Amenities
The Waterfront Inn has seven rooms with a range of bed sizes. The Crow’s Nest, Regatta Room and Boathouse King ($179 to $269) are on ground level and have a red brick patio that open up to a small yard. The three rooms share access to a communal area with coffee, tea, cups, toaster, refrigerator, and microwave. There is also the Admiral’s Suite ($189 to $279), the partial view Quartermaster Suite. ($129 to $219), the Lookout ($179 to $259), and the Wheelhouse ($149 to $239). For groups of six, there is the Captain’s Quarters which includes two king bedrooms, the Lookout, the Wheelhouse, two bathrooms, a living and dining room and a kitchenette ($319 – $459).
The rooms have a private entrance and bath, a water view, a river rock gas fireplace, a flat screen TV, DVD player, a sitting area, and a Jacuzzi tub. There is also a large deck with tables, chairs and love seats, which is perfect for socializing and enjoying the scenery on those amazing Pacific Northwest days. On the docks, are complimentary kayaks and several life vests.
The inn does not serve breakfast, but guests of the inn receive a 10% discount at Morso Wine Bar and Devoted Kiss. The Marketplace Grill offers a 15% discount for breakfast on weekends only. And, Anthony’s Homeport will “give you special service” if you tell them you are staying at the inn.
For those arriving by boat, the docks are around 9 feet at low tide, and boats can only get there on a four to five-foot tide. Please call ahead and talk with the innkeeper about the size of your boat and any docking logistics. If you are traveling with more than two in your party, part of the group may also stay on the boat, as long as someone is also staying in a room. Just be aware that there are no services like water or electricity on the docks.
Tip: If you are arriving by car, parking is a little tricky. It is best to park on the street in front of the inn first, and at check-in, the innkeeper will tell you the best way to park.
Tip: Certain rooms have an age range for children.
Tip: A release form must be signed to use the complimentary kayaks.
Tip: The Waterfront Inn cannot accommodate pets.
The Waterfront Inn Review
For my hosted stay, I stayed in the Regatta Room, which is the middle room on the ground level. The room was very cozy with soft linens, a sitting area with a gas fireplace, a flat-screen TV, and a bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub. The shared common area is through the bathroom.
When I arrived, the TV had soft music playing and a welcome note listed local activities and dining, including restaurants that gave guests of the inn a discount. What was the first thing I did? I opened the double doors to my room and gazed at the harbor with a cup of hot tea in hand.
The Waterfront Inn Highlights
An inn with a dock: The inn’s dock is a nice feature for boaters that want to have their boat close. And, as noted above, as long as someone is staying at a room in the inn, part of the boating party can also stay on the boat, which is a great alternative when traveling with parents and friends less familiar with the boating lifestyle.
The innkeeper: The full-time innkeeper prides herself on offering “personalized service” and making sure everyone is satisfied with their stay. If you have specific needs or would like help arranging for a special occasion please let her know ahead of time.
A room and the view: For me, the highlight of the room was the harbor view and the way the room was situated to take it in from every angle, like the bed, the lounging chairs, and the brick patio.
Location: Gig Harbor is a very walkable town and has lots of great shops and dining. There are a handful of stores, restaurants, and activities all within walking distance from the Waterfront Inn like Anthony’s Homeport, Morso’s Wine Bar, Devoted Kiss, Lee’s SUP, Finholm’s Market & Deli, and the 100-steps up Finholm View Climb which has a great view of Mt. Rainier on clear day. An 8-minute walk is The Gourmet Burger Shop, JW’s, and the Harbor History Museum. A 25-minute walk is the downtown area, and in the summer, there is also a trolley. Rides are .50, and $1 for all day, and they go uptown. A 15-minute Uber ride away is Olalla Vineyard & Winery.
Note: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodations for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.
Lara Dunning is a member of the Waggoner Cruising Guide team and has made one trip up the Inside Passage to Ketchikan, AK. She is enthusiastic about small town living, and you can read more about her discoveries at Small Town Washington. She has been published in Bainbridge Island Magazine, Northwest Travel & Life Magazine, Wander With Wonder, and Whidbey Life Magazine.