BELLINGHAM, Wash. — The first thing you see when you arrive at Hotel Bellwether is the Lighthouse Suite.
The second thing you see is the official hotel greeter, a canine concierge. “Her name’s Bella. She's a French Spaniel, her name is Bella, and she has this warm welcoming way about her,” said GM Jim Haupt. Bella lives with him when she’s not welcoming guests.
The personalized - by Bella - pet package that comes complete with doggy bed, bowl and treats is just one of the many things that sets this Bellingham boutique hotel apart.
Haupt grew up in this area, and he's proud of this place he's been running for more than 7 years.
"It's a very relaxed hotel. The service is very important to us, we make it warm and friendly. People feel like they're visiting someone's home – a home that has 66 rooms!”
Rooms are designed with couples in mind. Most have king sized beds so comfortable, some guests can't leave them behind:
"I think we probably sell three mattresses a week,” said Haupt.
Another unique feature: a 300 square foot cellar that offers a world of wine and a hideaway dining experience. But the regular tables at the hotel's Lighthouse Bar & Grill are special too, combining water views with well crafted locally sourced meals.
Most rooms have fireplaces, and they seem to be everywhere you turn in the public spaces too. There are more fireplaces than guest rooms, Haupt says; he estimates about 70. Even the hospitality bar is unusual: Most everything in it is Bellingham made - right down to the bath bomb!
Almost all rooms have balconies, some look over the marina - Hotel Bellwether has a private dock for guests who come by boat.
Though it’s not an official aid to navigation, this hotel is best known for its iconic three-story Lighthouse Suite.
"This is one of the most unique accommodations in the state of Washington or on the West Coast,” said Haupt.
This 900 square foot retreat has every amenity inside, and a 360-degree view from the top of the tower.
"So many people ask us, is this a real lighthouse? Of course we say it's a real lighthouse!” laughed Haupt.
The Lighthouse Suite might be the obvious attraction. But inside and out, what truly makes Hotel Bellwether special is that it has perfected the basics, and makes guests feel better than 'right at home'. Haupt says the secret is his team, and his hotel’s location. "It's so beautiful here, the community of Bellingham is so welcoming and friendly, we have all the ingredients to make this hotel spectacular."
Hotel Bellwether | 1 Bellwether Way, Bellingham WA 98225 | (360) 392-3100