BLAINE, Wash. As we drove the last mile to Resort Semiahmoo along a
deserted two-lane split, my family and I wondered what awaited us
at the end of the road. It didn’t take us long to find out we were
in for a treat.
The dominant manmade feature on an 1,100-acre natural wildlife
preserve, Resort Semiahmoo is located on the Puget Sound Coastline
of Northwestern Washington, 100 miles north of Seattle and one mile
across the water from White Rock, British Columbia. A
salmon-packing cannery operated here from the late 1800s until the
1970s. We got a wonderful sense of the area’s history as we
strolled past pilings of the old pier and perused historic photos
lining the hotel’s walls.
But Resort Semiahmoo is anything but old. The AAA Four-Diamond
property features 198 guest rooms with such modern amenities as
Internet access and two-line cordless phones. It just completed a
$5 million renovation.
Now the resort feels like the quintessential Pacific Northwest
getaway warm, welcoming and classy without being stuffy. We were
even allowed to bring our dog, which cost only $50 for the entire
Weather dictates activities at the resort. On sunny days, guests
head outside for tennis, sailing, kayaking and whale watching on
Semiahmoo Bay. The marina rents rollerblades and bikes, and you can
play volleyball and croquet on the lawn by the beach. If you want
to venture off-property, the staff will arrange rafting in the
summer and skiing in the winter.
But even in the fall, when the weather tends to be foggy, we
found the natural setting to be enchanting. As we walked along the
bike path, we saw an eagle perched in a lone tree. During our
stroll along the docks we caught the eye of a harbor seal. After
our walk we warmed up inside while playing board games. Before long
we were settled in the Seaview Lobby for a game of checkers by the
The spa includes a workout area, an indoor-outdoor pool and a
Jacuzzi. Massage therapists offered a long menu of treatments.
Evenings at the resort bring friendly gatherings such as guitar
sing-a-longs in the lobby and free family movies with popcorn in
the theater. Packers restaurant, notable for its central wooden bar
and 15-foot-high oceanview windows, serves pub fare and local
microbrews, while the more formal Stars restaurant presents fish
and meat entrees and regional wines.
By the end of our visit, we agreed that Resort Semiahmoo had
everything we needed for a memorable weekend with the family.