Fairhaven Village Inn Named Pacific Northwest’s Top-Rated Family Hotel

Top-Rated Family Hotel
The Fairhaven Village Inn was recently recognized as the Pacific Northwest’s Top-Rated Family Hotel by ABC News. Photo credit: Libby Liming.

Tucked into a corner of Fairhaven, across from the Village Green and within walking distance to the Alaska State Ferry docks, sits the picturesque Fairhaven Village Inn. A privately-owned hidden gem, this 22-room hotel is identified by a tiny green sign hanging from the second story and a gold-leaf “1200” painted on the transom window above the front doors. But don’t let its humble nature fool you. This local inn was recently named the Pacific Northwest’s Top-Rated Family Hotel by ABC News.

ABC News worked with Family Vacation Critic to name the top-rated hotels in each of the 10 top vacation spots in the US, compiling opinions from Family Vacation Critic’s members and requiring an employee of Family Vacation Critic to visit the location.

Top-Rated Family Hotel
The Fairhaven Village Inn entrance is a welcoming scene, complete with hanging baskets overflowing with fragrant flowers. Photo credit: Libby Liming.

Out of the 600 properties that were reviewed and considered, Fairhaven Village Inn was named as the Pacific Northwest’s Top-Rated Family Hotel.

How the Shannons came to Bellingham

When Connie Shannon and her husband Gene purchased the inn in 2004, they never dreamed that their little hotel would be featured on a major news network. Connie was a children’s librarian and worked for a book publisher for years and Gene owned commercial properties in the Midwest. They decided they were ready for a change and followed their daughter across the country as she attended grad school at Western Washington University.

Connie and Gene didn’t originally move to Bellingham to run the inn. The adventurous couple took a look at several properties in the area but the “happiness meter” always dialed into the Fairhaven Village Inn.

“When we bought the inn,” Connie says, “Village Books wasn’t there; those condos and shops weren’t there.” Fairhaven has continued to grow around them over the last 12 years, becoming a very family-friendly place.

How the ABC coverage has impacted the Inn

“It’s humbling, and also kind of intimidating,” Connie laughs, regarding their national recognition. “We always pay careful attention [to our guests],and now we feel like everyone is watching!”

Top-Rated Family Hotel
The bed in one of Fairhaven Village Inn’s 22 guest rooms. Photo credit: Libby Liming.

She says it’s great for them to be included in this list alongside hotels like Legoland in Florida and the Four Seasons in Chicago. “At the end of the day,” Connie states, “traveling families are looking for something simple and something that will appeal to everyone.” adding that the Fairhaven Village Inn’s library and collection of board and card games — along with their adorable breakfast nook with its black and white tiled floor — are a definite draw for families.

Connie shared an endearing story about a dad who showed up with his two young boys late one night to the hotel. The boys were becoming a bit rowdy in the lobby, so dad tried to contain them by shooing them into the library as he checked in at the front desk. As the boys explored the library, Connie (who was passing through the lobby) could hear them shouting “Oh hey! Candyland!” Grandparents have played Twister with their grandchildren in that library, or a guest unearths a favorite poem or a travel writer’s secret tip. Sometimes simple is golden.

If you prefer to play your games outside or you’re visiting the Fairhaven Village Inn during one of our gorgeous Pacific Northwest summers, there are four city parks within a decent walking distance of the hotel, as well as some great walking trails and hiking. The waterfront is nearby, as is the Community Boating Center. Fairhaven Bike is around the corner for convenient bike rentals, and Rocket Donuts serves ACME Ice Cream. It is a short hike up Harris Avenue for that after-dinner treat.

Top-Rated Family Hotel
The lobby of the Fairhaven Village Inn, as seen from the front doors. The library is visible at the far end, beyond the desk. Photo credit: Libby Liming.

On summer Saturdays, you can even open up your window and watch the movies on the Village Green from the park-side hotel rooms. Don’t have a park-side room? Grab a blanket and head for the gorgeous deck that juts out over the inn’s driveway. Pick up some popcorn and snacks from the Haggen store up the road and you’ve got the best seats in the house.

With a plethora of family-friendly activities in the surrounding area and a marvelous place to lay your head after participating in all said activities, Fairhaven Village Inn is getting some much-deserved press coverage for their delightful accommodations and top notch service.

Fairhaven Village Inn
1200 10th St
Bellingham, WA 98225



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