My family loves to vacation in Vancouver, BC. Each time we drive up, we pass the exit for Semiahmoo Resort and each time I tell my husband, “Hey, we should check out Semiahmoo sometime.” So, we I had the opportunity to bring my family to Semiahmoo Resort & Spa for the weekend, I jumped on it! Semiahmoo Resort was just voted the Northwest’s Best Resort in the December 2016 issue of Seattle Magazine and now I know why.
The resort is located a bit off the freeway with lots of turns. Thankfully, there is plenty of signage along the roads making it really easy to find the resort. It was dark by the time we got there, but we could tell that the view would be really spectacular had we arrived during the daylight. We drove past a golf course before arriving at the resort. Again, there was plenty of signage to tell us how to get to the lobby.
As soon as I entered the lobby, I noticed that the air smelled like cinnamon tea! It was so yummy and comforting! The front desk staff were so incredibly friendly! We’d had a long day, so it was such a relief to be greeted so warmly. They got us set up very quickly and we were off to check out the digs.
We LOVED our room at Semiahmoo! We had the Waterview Deluxe Double Queen room, which was great since we had both kids traveling with us. They also provided us with a pack and play for our baby. We ended up using our DockATot instead because our baby was in the midst of his 4-month sleep regression (yes our vacation timing was impeccable.) I found the beds to be quite comfortable. They featured Simmons® Beautyrest Black™ Georgetown™ Plush Pillow Top bedding and we got as much rest as we could with the sleep regression going on.
The room also included ESA (Environmentally Sensitive Amenities) bath amenities, terry-lined bathrobes; hairdryer; Keurig K-Cup® brewing system; ironing board and iron; 42″ HDTV, functional desk/work area; room safes, micro fridge, USB power charging station; Digital Radio phone with charging extensions and WiFi. We were able to borrow an iPad charger from the front desk, which was immensely helpful! The clock was a bit bright and lit up the room at night.
The only thing that was missing was bottled water. I don’t remember staying in a hotel in the past couple of years that didn’t provide a couple of complimentary bottles of water. With the air being so dry, my husband and I were insatiably thirsty and so we relied heavily on the tap water.
Overall, I found our room to be very quiet at night. However, during the day when it was nap time, all we could hear was the sounds of little kid footsteps above us running from one side of their room to the next. It was a good reminder for us to opt for ground floors when we travel with our kids. Also the doors are quite loud and woke our baby anytime someone entered to left.
My son was ecstatic when he saw that the staff had brought matchbox cars and a play mat for him to use during our stay! I was thrilled because I hastily filled a Ziploc bag with some random trucks and trains and threw them in our suitcase, crossing my fingers that it would occupy him. They were the perfect addition to the playmat. Now that my oldest is 3 years old, I’m realizing how important it is to have things in the room to occupy him while we are tending to his brother or getting ready. I really hate using our iPad in hotel rooms for long periods, so this was a much better option for us!
The first night we arrived, we decided to check out their movie theater. Discovery Theater offers a 156” HD projector and 50 comfortable leather chairs. Our oldest had fallen asleep on the drive to Semiahmoo and was wide awake by the time we settled into the room. We got there about 15 minutes after the movie was supposed to have started. The seats are really comfortable and there was plenty of leg room. It turns out that the movie that was supposed to be shown that night was missing, so they brought some alternatives. Our son was starting to yawn, so we took this as our cue to head back to the room and settle in for the night.
Our first morning, we decided to try the Pierside Kitchen. I loved that we didn’t have to walk outside at all. Semiahmoo is a bit of a maze inside, but they have tons of signage so it was really easy to find the restaurant. They had an extensive breakfast buffet that included fruit, pastries, meats, potatoes, pancakes, eggs, yogurt, cereal and more. Our server recommended that we do the buffet for our son because kids under 5 eat free. My son got some berry yogurt, Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, a blueberry muffin and some eggs and he was a happy camper. My husband also did the breakfast buffet and raved about the cantaloupe and prosciutto as well as the bagels and lox. I wasn’t super hungry, so I had the lemon pancakes which were tasty!
After breakfast, we decided to explore the resort a bit more. They had a nice veranda where we could let our son run around. The coolest thing is that we could see the Peace Arch border crossing into Canada! I’ve only seen while driving through the border, so it was pretty spectacular to see the line of cars slowly passing from one country to the other.
We got chilly pretty quickly (as we had not dressed for outside weather) so we hustled inside to explore. The lobby is quite spacious with lots of seating. We found a room that had a chest of board games and we decided to check it out. The family-friendly games included Apples to Apples Junior, Monopoly, Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Jenga, Life, Pictionary Junior, Uno, Yahtzee and more!
My son tried out about 5 different games, including Candyland. We’ve only really done puzzles with him, so it was fun to hear him make up rules and use the board games to play in a different way. The room itself was quite relaxing as there were large windows overlooking Canada and the water in between.
I had the opportunity to get a tour of Semiahmoo, which was immensely helpful. We started in the Spa, which is the portal to the indoor/outdoor pool, hot tub, sauna, steam room, fitness center and more. I learned that they have an indoor golf simulator that should be up and running by the time this is posted. They also have a fitness center upstairs that features an indoor track. They also have a fitness room that offers classes (like Zumba and Pilates) throughout the day. The indoor tennis/basketball court is quite large and I was told it’s the next area to be renovated. We went in January, when the weather was a bit cold. However, we were told that in the Summer, they offer beach volleyball,croquet, corn hole, and soccer. Plus, the golf courses are open! My husband and son went in the indoor/outdoor heated pool and I couldn’t believe they lasted an hour. They grabbed a pool noodle and my son learned how to kick and propel himself around the pool. There were some other flotation devices available, as well.
I wasn’t feeling very well, so my husband took both boys out for lunch at Packer’s. We are big fans of oysters and he was thrilled to discover they offered kumamotos and kushi oysters. He says they were delicious! He also enjoyed the lamb burger. My son had the peanut butter and jelly sandwich and french fries. They were a hit with him!
Nap time came along and my husband stayed in the room with our sleeping kiddos while I headed to the Spa for a Hydrating Sea Flora Facial. I was warmly greeted by staff and given slippers and a key to the women’s locker room. Once I had changed into the Spa robe, I headed to their relaxation area. There was a cozy fireplace, lots of comfy seating, plus they offered lemon water and trail mix. It reminded me a lot of the Spa at the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, B.C. I was fully relaxed by the time my esthetician came to collect me. She was very gentle and explained that SEAFLORA is a luxurious Organic Seaweed Skin and Body care line that is hand-harvested from the cold, clean Pacific Northwest coastline. I had never tried it before, but we’ve had a very cold, dry Northwest winter and my skin was not coping well. The facial itself was immensely relaxing. I’ve had facials in the past at other spas and they always tell me exactly what they are putting on my face and why each time they put anything on me. I was surprised that after chatting for a bit, not explanation was given for what was happening. However, I was enjoying my child-free hour of spa heaven too much to really be bothered. Afterward, I was told that I was welcome to use the steam room or sauna and take as long as I’d like in their relaxation area. I sipped on some lemon water and took some meditative breaths before opting to get dressed and check on my family.
The second night, we decided to check out the bon fire instead of the movie. I mean, how often can we go to a beach fire, especially in January? I wasn’t feeling very well, so my husband popped our baby in our Tula carrier and took our 3-year-old out our back door to find the bon fire while I rested in the room. They told us they start the bon fires “at dusk” which really meant 8 p.m. Thankfully, there was enough interest that they started the fire around 7:30 p.m. When they got back, my son told me all about roasting marshmallows and how some folks put their marshmallows directly in the fire but he didn’t want to do that. My husband chatted with the other guests at the bon fire and he had a great time! I heard a lot about s’mores the entire next day!
On our final morning, we opted to try out the in-room dining. The breakfast page was missing from our Hotel Directory but I was able to find it on their website really easily. I ordered the Eggs Benedict, my husband had the Sweet Potato and Sausage Hash and we ordered the Fresh Fruit, Yogurt and Granola kids breakfast for our son. The menu had mentioned that it could take up to 45 minutes for room service, however our food arrived about 15 minutes later. All of our food tasted great and it was really nice to take a leisurely morning. Our son likes to move around when he eats, so this was a great alternative to having him sit in the restaurant. The only thing missing was a spoon, but we managed just fine with a fork.
After breakfast, I took the kids out for a beach walk while my husband packed everything up. My oldest loved walking on the beach and throwing rocks into the water. He asked if it was okay for him to walk into the water since he was wearing his rain boots. He was elated when I told him it was okay and he cautiously got his boots wet. Then he threw a bunch of rocks one at a time into the water. By the time we headed to our car, the rain started. It was a nice way to signal our trip was coming to a close. My husband and I were very thankful that we didn’t need to deal with any ferries to get home. Plus, we had the option of hitting the Seattle Premium Outlets in Tulalip (had our kids been awake.)
Top 10 Things for Families to Know about Semiahmoo Resort & Spa
- Kids under 5 eat free at the restaurants and with room service.
- They have a heated indoor/outdoor pool (kids must be 6 or older to use the hot tub).
- Guests receive one hour free of either a bike, kayak, or paddleboard rental (which is great for testing out a family activity.)
- The indoor tennis/basketball court is a great place for kids to burn off some energy, especially during the chillier seasons.
- The staff will start the bon fire earlier than 8 p.m. if there is enough interest.
- There is a microwave available next to the ice machine.
- They have a family bathroom located near Pierside Kitchen that has a changing table and is very clean. The sink does not have a step stool, so be prepared to lift smaller kids.
- They offer a family movie night on Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. Discovery Theater is available for guest use depending on availability and they have more than 100 family-friendly films.
- It takes about 90 minutes to get to from Seattle (but I’d allow an extra hour if you are heading up on Friday night.)
- Visit in late May/early June for all the summer festivities without the summer crowds!
I received complimentary room, spa service and select meals from Semiahmoo Resort & Spa for review purposes. All opinions are my own.