Matching the charm and vibe of an inn with its idyllic location creates a beautiful experience for guests fortunate enough to book a stay there. Such is the case at the Old Consulate Inn on the Olympic Peninsula in Port Townsend, WA. Visitors are not likely to accidentally find Port Townsend or Old Consulate Inn, but both are well worth including in a future itinerary when visiting the Seattle area.
Fortunate location and interesting history
Old Consulate Inn, at 313 Walker Street, is situated on a hill in a quiet residential neighborhood, with a wraparound porch providing views of the well-kept grounds, the green space in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse, the waters of Puget Sound and the haze of the Olympic Mountains in the far background. The clock in the tower on top of the courthouse chimes the hour both day and night, but oscillating brass fans are located in each room, and ear plugs are available on request. You are unlikely to notice unless you are sitting on the porch or sleeping with your window open. Both the inn and the courthouse are more than 125 years old. The architecture reflects its Victorian past and contributes to its listing as a National Historic Landmark.
Frank Hastings started construction on the home in 1887, believing that Port Townsend was about to become a boom town. The boom didn’t happen, and Mr. Hastings was financially unable to complete the home. It was bought at auction by Mr. Owen Olsen and eventually completed in 1907. To create extra income, the Olsen family opened the home to boarders. One of those boarders was August Dudenhausen, then the acting vice-consul of Germany. The name of the inn came from that part of its history.
Rooms with period furnishings and numerous amenities
In addition to having a romantic setting that warranted its inclusion on a list of “The Best Places to Kiss in the Northwest,” Old Consulate Inn offers eight well-appointed rooms for guests. There are no televisions to mar the peace and quiet. This is specifically designed for adults who want to relax, unwind and watch the world go by. The policies state that “well-behaved children over the age of 14” are welcome as guests with their parents. All rooms have private baths, blow dryers and toiletries from Townsend Bay Soap Company, a local business. There is complimentary Wi-Fi and individual thermostat controls. A small basket of homemade fudge magically appears at your door before bedtime. The furnishings, wallpapers and color scheme are in keeping with the historic period of the house as it was originally.
Available perks for all guests to use and enjoy
Every afternoon, homemade cookies, tea, coffee, espresso and hot cocoa are available in the dining room. The library has a computer, several tablets for guests to use and books of poetry, fiction and history. The billiard room in the basement has games and puzzles of all kinds, and the parlor has a grand piano, a harp and other musical instruments guests are encouraged to play. In addition to the wraparound porch, a gazebo invites guests to rest and relax, and there’s a covered bike rack.
The inn is committed to energy conservation and other green efforts with LED lights, recycled paper goods and refillable soap pumps.
Because of the inn’s architecture, it is not handicap-accessible, but one room is available for guests with a dog for an additional 25 USD per night.
An excellent breakfast served with elegance and flair
Innkeepers Cindy Madsen and Nathan Barnett are gracious to help guests navigate around Port Townsend by giving directions and making suggestions for sightseeing and eating, but they absolutely excel at breakfast time. Plenty of crystal, china and silver grace the dining room table as guests make their way in promptly at 9:00 a.m. every morning. Cindy is an expert about wines and has experience as a chef and as a hotel manager. She chooses the breakfast menus and prepares the lavish meal for her guests. Nathan, with his outgoing, entertaining personality, serves the guests, answers their questions and contributes to lively conversation. He loves history, music and the arts.
Ms. Madsen is happy to accommodate guests with food allergies or dietary restrictions. Just be sure to make those known when you reserve your room. She strives to use fresh, healthy and locally-sourced produce as much as possible.
The three courses of breakfast are likely to begin with fruit and muffins, then an egg dish and followed with pancakes, a waffle or French toast. All are prepared with a gourmet flair. By popular request, Ms. Madsen will soon launch the Old Consulate Inn Cookbook. A recipe for cherry clafouti appears on the inn’s website now as an example of delicious offerings to come.
Old Consulate Inn increases the ambiance and charm of Port Townsend
Port Townsend, Washington is a charming town surrounded on three sides by water. It is a mecca for artists and lovers of boats. Even though the population is less than 10,000, there is much to draw visitors to this beautiful spot only a couple of hours from Seattle. The Wooden Boat Festival and the Port Townsend Film Festival are just two of many events on their tourism website. A major advantage is the presence of Old Consulate Inn for those wanting to stay overnight or longer. It is clean, comfortable and homey, and the breakfasts are spectacular. You will feel as if you’ve stepped into another century and are guaranteed to savor the slow pace and environment.
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