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No more breakfast at Willows Inn

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berber May 11, 2014 10:08 PM

I'm not sure when they changed this, as I've read reviews from just a few months ago that discussed breakfast being included in the room rate. However, nothing was mention at checkin (although the front desk lady did mention she just moved to the island), so I inquired during dinner and was told breakfast was not included in the room rate. Nothing was mentioned about how this was a recent change to the policy and google still lists them as a bed and breakfast. While dinner was amazing, I was really disappointed that breakfast wasn't a part of the $300/night off-season rate. Especially since I know that breakfast at the Willows Inn used to be spectacular and was recently cut to just an average B&B breakfast spread. Not sure why they would cut out the breakfast offering all-together.

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    venice4504 RE: berber May 12, 2014 08:16 AM

    There was some talk about the same thing on this thread just a few months ago:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9105...

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      christy319 RE: berber May 13, 2014 12:50 PM

      Tell them!!! Email or post on their FB page or something. I already complained in advance of my stay in a few weeks, since on other other visits breakfast was so divine it was almost the highlight of the stay. They raised their dinner prices, too, so now its more expensive for less.

      Did you eat breakfast there? When I called a couple months ago they told me it was now $25/pp (!!!). But they keep changing this, so I'm wondering what you had and what you paid for it.

      2 Replies
      1. re: christy319
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        berber RE: christy319 May 13, 2014 04:48 PM

        No, we didn't bother having breakfast there because I was so bummed that no sort of breakfast or voucher was included in the room rate. We only stayed one night, so we waited until we were in Bellingham to eat.

        I'm also very confused about dinner prices since nothing is written anywhere, and I need to email to get an itemized receipt since DH was too timid during checkout to carefully check out everything. First, I'm still not sure about whether Inn guests are supposed to pay at the restaurant or if it will be added to the room bill. We waited a while after they brought the last bite (caramels) and a take-home menu of the night, but no receipt was brought up to us so we just left. During checkout, I saw a post-it note that said we left without paying so it was added to our room bill. Sounds like you're supposed to pay at the restaurant.

        We didn't order wine pairings, but when you arrive they give you a cocktail list (without prices) which we ordered off of. They never went around for a second order, so initially it seemed like cocktails were included. Upon being seated, a pour of cider was offered and we accepted, and the glass was automatically refilled throughout the night. Not sure if you are charged/pour.

        Ultimately the restaurant charge that was on our room bill came out to $380ish, which I thought included tip. Then I found an additional tip charge for $65 added later. No clue how these numbers were calculated since nothing has a price on it, but basically expect dinner for 2 to run over $200pp without wine/juice pairings.

        1. re: berber
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          christy319 RE: berber May 15, 2014 10:10 AM

          I know we've paid for everything when we checked out, but I think they did bring a bill to the table, and we added tip, then just said to charge it to our room. I know they sit down with you when you check out and go over all the charges. I guess this is good but if everyone is checking out at once it means you end up waiting a while.

          It's probably a good idea to give them that feedback, too. I think Willows is constantly evolving, and they could easily make changes that would have prevented your confusion.

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        Christine Vallejo RE: berber Jun 8, 2014 10:38 PM

        There was no mention of breakfast being included on their website, so I emailed to verify. We are early risers and don't care to wait around until 8:30 or so to eat breakfast. We left before the concierge was there, and our bill was emailed to us. Check carefully. We were charged 2x for dinner. The extra charge was removed promptly after I emailed.

        We had an extraordinary meal. Although we live close by, we opted to spend the night there and enjoyed a bottle of champagne along with the complimentary cider.

        Picture above (or below) of one of my favorite snacks of the evening - the halibut skin. Kale chip was also exquisite. Least favorite was the grass fed lamb; I get a "liver" taste whenever I eat grass fed lamb of beef.

         
        1 Reply
        1. re: Christine Vallejo
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          christy319 RE: Christine Vallejo Jun 9, 2014 08:54 AM

          I don't typically like fish skin so I was scared of this halibut skin thing but it was delicious. I don't know what the filling was but it was great. I did a pescetarian menu but my husband agreed the two meat dishes ie the lamb were his least favorite courses.

        2. LotusRapper RE: berber Jun 9, 2014 07:55 AM

          Too bad :-/

          I'm planning for an early Fall booking there to celebrate my 20th. So are they only offering a "just an average B&B breakfast spread" or are you saying there is NO breakfast at all now ? I hope it's at least the former, it'd be a PITA to have to go offsite just to get brekkie.

          2 Replies
          1. re: LotusRapper
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            cmvbbay RE: LotusRapper Jun 9, 2014 08:17 AM

            Breakfast is not included.

            Last week, beverages and pastries were available at the Willows in their Taproot Cave and a full breakfast at the Beach Store Café.

            I booked the Sunset room, it had a great view, and it was located above the lobby area of the Inn. It was a smallish room, queen size bed, shower, but it was fine for us. It was also one of the least expensive of the accommodations offered. We don't spend much time in rooms when we travel.

            (Sorry - just noticed I have two Chowhound log-ins.)

            Note: I went to The French Laundry with the Chowhound group back in 2003. Can't say that I favor TFL over The Willows - both equally good for the time and the place.

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              christy319 RE: cmvbbay Jun 9, 2014 08:56 AM

              Yeah, I've been to Per Se three times and I think I might put Willows over it. Willows is just more FUN, more relaxed, I love how there's always an amazing sunset and everyone starts running outside to take photos. And you don't feel so obscenely stuffed at the end. No tums needed at Willows.

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            christy319 RE: berber Jun 9, 2014 08:51 AM

            We were there this weekend and had such an extraordinary dinner I kind of forgave them about the breakfast thing. They also were extremely generous with the wine.

            We went downstairs to the Taproot Café and bought "The Willows" breakfast, which was a platter with a bunch of different house made things, from granola to gravlax to a biscuit to a soft boiled egg. You can order these things a la carte. Given the summer prices of rooms I do think they should set up something simple in the lobby, even just granola, milk and fruit, along with the coffee that's there.

             
             
             
            4 Replies
            1. re: christy319
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              cmvbbay RE: christy319 Jun 9, 2014 09:23 AM

              You must've had the same menu we had. I am torn on the desserts: very suitable for the menu and location but was hoping for something baked or...hard to say...just different? Maybe when more berries are in season.

              Willows was definitely more noisy than TFL. The room was also warm.

              1. re: cmvbbay
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                christy319 RE: cmvbbay Jun 9, 2014 11:08 AM

                The rosehip-salmonberry dish I posted was by far the best dessert I've had there. In 3 visits they just haven't been noteworthy. I'm not much of a sweets person so this doesn't actually bother me; I'd rather have them make the effort in the savory category, since I can get dessert or baked goods a million places in Seattle.

                1. re: christy319
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                  cmvbbay RE: christy319 Jun 9, 2014 11:57 AM

                  That was a good dessert but I would've liked a small baked fruit something. Was not a fan of the hazelnuts and chestnuts. I've never liked roasted chestnuts, fail to see the big attraction (other than a hand warmer) when we are traveling in Italy.

                  1. re: cmvbbay
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                    christy319 RE: cmvbbay Jun 10, 2014 01:01 PM

                    Oh, I really liked the chestnut thing, but I do like chestnuts--especially chestnut soup and ice cream (not together), which we see in France in season.

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