Rosario Resort and Spa on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands won for Best Oceanside Resort and Best Renewed Hotel in Evening's Best Northwest Escapes viewer's poll. Technically, this resort is on the Salish Sea, but we’re not complaining.
The property used to be a retirement home for Seattle shipping magnate and mayor, Robert Moran - the man who helped the city rebuild after the Great Seattle Fire. Now it’s a getaway with modern, luxury suites and a full service marina.
The home that Moran built – the Moran Mansion – now houses a historical museum, a spa with a saltwater soaking pool, a lounge and a restaurant. The Mansion Restaurant’s executive chef, Raymond Southern, prepares San Juan Island foraged, farmed and grown cuisine that is as perfect as the view from the dining room.
The Moran Mansion also makes its own music – a 1913 Aeolian pipe organ with more than 1,900 pipes wraps around a mezzanine music room. And Rosario’s GM, Christopher Peacock, plays it like a virtuoso.
Robert Moran built this island getaway under doctor’s orders. He was told he only had months to live, and needed to slow down. Moran built this unique retirement home between 1906 and 1909, then retired to the San Juan Islands. Moran proved his doctor wrong, enjoying island life until passing away in 1943.