Shoreline inns offer a blue view
June 9, 2008 · Updated 7:04 PM
Wing Point, Point White getaways boast waterfront solace.
Striped curtains frame the windows of the Bainbridge Island Beach Cottages main room, its simply painted white wooden walls and a pine floor.
A claw-footed bathtub sits under a window looking out onto the water and Point White across the way.
It has a real old Bainbridge Island feel. Its a place you could rent at the beach and feel comfortable, innkeeper Julie Schulte says. You dont have to worry about bringing anything.
Generations past, Seattleites summered in cottages on Bainbridges shoreline, and two bed and breakfast inns Bainbridge Island Beach Cottage at Point White, and Abode on the Sea in Wing Point offer an experience that hark back to those days.
Visitors to Abode on the Sea enter via a separate entrance to an apartment one level below the main house. The view opens to the mouth of Eagle Harbor where ferries and pleasure boats pass regularly. On clear days, Mt. Rainier and the Olympic Mountains come into view; steps lead down to the beach.
Owners Claes and Jenny Hagstromer decided to convert the mother-in-law suite into a B&B last September, encouraged by their friend Schulte who opened her own establishment in 2003.
Opening the inn was not such a leap for the Hagstromers. Jenny brings 28 years of customer service experience at Nordstrom, and was familiar with the bed and breakfast experience from her own travels.
When I was 23, I stayed in a B&B in Dover (England) with my parents, Jenny said. I enjoyed the coziness.
The apartment has a summery feel with large windows looking out on the water. Its decorated with European antiques collected by Jenny in Europe and from Claes native Sweden. The bedroom boasts a queen-size bedstead of rosewood with carved ribbons and flowers next to a handsome mahogany wardrobe with double full-length mirrors.
The full kitchen and woodstove in the sitting room round out creature comforts. Guests are provided bicycles and can pedal to Winslow in 10 minutes. And kayaks are ready to be pushed off for an afternoon on the water.
Guest are provided breakfast things and can interact with their innkeepers as much or as little as they like.
Some people (guests) we never see and others knock on the door to ask questions and talk, Claes said.
Guests at both B&Bs include travelers for family reunions and weddings, visiting in-laws, weekend couples from Seattle and people looking to buy on the island.
Claes says one guest was an author from Texas looking for a quiet retreat, and later told them he did the best writing hes ever done here.
Schultes cottage, built in the 1930s, is much like a place she would stay with her husband and 6-year-old daughter Jill.
The cottage sleeps two adults and one or two children. A barbecue and lounging chairs sit on the front patio. The beach, just a stones throw away, invites guests to take out the cottage kite or play on the shore.
When I travel, I like to stay at B&Bs that give privacy, but also (let me) stay in a neighborhood, Schulte said. When you have kids, its nice to stay in a cottage and not worry about noise.
Lynwood Center is a three-minute walk away, and visitors can find food and supplies, restaurants, a movie house and a bus that goes into Winslow.
Schulte finds her guests are interested in exploring the island, hiking and visiting art galleries. Quite a few visiting grandparents come to stay, and bring their island grandchildren over to play.
Before moving to Bainbridge, Schulte had done marketing for a hotel chain. Having a B&B allows her to earn an income while staying home with her daughter; her husband commutes to Kirkland for work.
For her guests, she says, I want them to slow down and relax and smell the sea air and get away from their hurried lifestyle.
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Abode on the Sea is located at 11295 Wing Point Drive. Rates are $125-175 a night. For more information, call 941-9747 or see www.bainbridgelodging.com/inns/52.html.
Bainbridge Island Beach Cottage is located at 4323 Pleasant Beach Drive. Rates are $150-175 a night. For more information, call 999-9655 or see www.bainbridgebeachcottage.com.