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Whittaker’s Bunkhouse in Ashford, WA

Whittaker’s Bunkhouse in Ashford, WA

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Company Info:

Rating: 3.73

Address: 30205 State Route 706 E, Ashford, WA, 98304

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    Comments (15):

    1. Christopher T.
    Spent the night here with my wife and 7-year-old after a day hiking the mountain.  It was literally the only bed available in the area on two days notice and I went in with proper expectations after reading the other reviews.  Not a Hilton...check.  Sparse accommodations...check.  Spongy old mattresses...check.  How about beds on wheels that roll way too easily across the hardwood floors when you least want them to.  There's also the fire alarm system control board that clicks and flashes all night long...ANNOYING!  But worst of all was the absence of screens on the windows leaving us with two options...sleep in an uncomfortably warm room with the windows closed or be eaten alive by blood-thirsty insects swarming through the open unscreened  window.  Oh, and one of the portable electric fans in the room had a broken blade which made it unoperable (but entertaining to watch.)  I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.  I have no problem with BASIC, but get the basics right.  Maybe my review applies ONLY to room L33, but I doubt the trend ends at the door.

    24/08/10 | Link | Rating: 2.0
    2. Damon C.
    So you've come to the Pacific Northwest and you want to climb the big mountain, huh?  That's right.  You saw Rainier in the distance and you called up the best guide service around (That's RMI, in case you didn't know) and told them to haul you up there and back.  Now you just need somewhere to crash before, and maybe even after the big event.

    Well look no further than Whittaker's Bunkhouse *right next door* to RMI basecamp.  That's probably the best feature of this place.  Well that and the free wireless for the the geek in all of us.  However, that's not to say those are the only good features.

    The stay was pleasant with friendly front desk staff as were most of the people staying there.  The rooms were nice and clean and, though sparse, got the job done exceedingly well.  I suppose the climb up to 14,410 ft could have deluded my judgment but have no fear, I stayed there before the climb as well!  

    I stayed in a couple different private rooms as well as the bunkhouse and enjoyed both experiences.  This is no Hilton, but I think it's a perfect fit for the target audience - those looking for something a little simpler in the wilderness or as a waypoint in heading to the big mountain next door.

    If you go, you can try telling them Damon C sent you...but I doubt it will actually get you anywhere. ;-)

    18/07/07 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    3. Whitney k.
    I stayed here with my partner for 3 nights and it was so wonderful! I just wish I could be there right now. It was so cozy and so nice in the cottage. The gas fireplace really heated the place up. It was fun to read the paper make a nice breakfast and have a cup of coffee on the porch. The only thing i would warn about is that you can hear the cars driving by since it isn't that far off of the road. Can't wait to go back!

    08/12/10 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    4. Angela H.
    Whittaker's Bunkhouse was the first stop on our day-trip to Mt. Rainier National Park.  Ostensibly, it was a bathroom stop, but you could also pick up some food, grab some souvenirs from the small gift shop, watch people getting ready for the summit up to Mt. Rainier, or like we did, grab some huckleberry ice cream from the cafe.

    This was my first taste of anything huckleberry and at 9 am, it seemed a little early for ice cream, but boy, am I glad I sprang for a cup.  The ice cream is made by Dreyer's but I can't seem to find it anywhere here in the Bay Area (if anyone knows, please let me know!).  The huckleberry tastes a little like blackberry, but it seems more fragrant and perhaps just a bit more tart.

    I'd certainly stop in again for the huckleberry ice cream, but for you adventure-seekers, Whittaker's Bunkhouse seems to be the best start point for those on the way up the summit.  While we were there, people were learning how to tie harnesses and how to stay safe on the mountain.  Apparently, the guides that work here are legendary - I guess if you're risking your life climbing the mountain, you're going to want the best.  I'd be back!

    05/08/08 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    5. Kevin G.
    Clean room, comfortable beds, good price and walking distance to Whittaker Mountaineering, RMI guiding services and the bus shuttle to Mt. Rainier.

    27/08/11 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    6. Denice R.
    Kelly C and I stopped here to stretch the limbs and grab some caffeine before the long road back to Seattle. The cafe is a cute, intimate, relaxing space to read, hang out and chat, or sit quietly with a book. There's one pay-for-use computer (no free time with coffee purchase). Our service was super friendly, oh and the breakfasts look good, too. The bunkhouse rooms look clean, tidy, and functional (some with private baths, some with shared) and have wi-fi. Snowshoe and x-country ski packages are available.

    05/09/09 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    7. Marianne B.
    We stayed in room #3 which had a private bath and carpeting.  Awesome location for hiking in southeast portion of Mt. Rainier. Great prices and options for accommodations. No fridge available for storing any food, but with a store close by you don't really need to worry about all that. The heater works great considering how small it is. Plenty of space in the room, but limited storage for things with no closet. Bed is a little old and lumpy, but it works. Breakfast in the cafe left a little something to be desired, but it got the day started. Will definitely come back here again when visiting Mt. Rainier.

    10/06/11 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    8. Stephen H.
    Best lodging deal near Mt. Rainier NP.  This basic place is no Hilton, like other reviewers mentioned - it is full of uniqueness and energy, that's why!  This place is simple and clean, very comfortable.  No TV's in the rooms, large room sizes.  The decor fits in well with the surroundings.  The place does not try to pamper you, but simply takes pride in what they do do: provide a simple living space.

    The cabin itself is quite old, originally used by loggers when they were razing the trees in that area of the cascades, and they left when all the trees were cut down.  The bunkhouse was abandoned and nearly destroyed when Lou Whittaker, famous mountain climber, rescued it and rebuilt it into it's current manifestation as a hotel.

    31/12/09 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    9. Bryan W.
    This place is pretty much a joke.

    Let's see... Apart from the amateur hour they call a pizza and burger joint here--operated by friendly but ultimately frustrating staff (except burger flipper girl, who was smart and should have traded places with the witless high school cant pour me a beer order taker/cashier) -- the average burgers were just ... yep, average, and they've been out of pizza crust (which accounts for more than half their entire menu board-- and reports from others that they've remained pizzaless for 4 consecutive days).

    But I digress... So far (since sleeping here is impossible), I've killed probably half a dozen HUGE stinging ants (like an inch or more long with Africa-sized mandibles!!) in our Bunkhouse room.

    One had wings and was flying around. Looked like a huge black wasp, but on closer inspection, it was definitely a mutant giant ant. The others were wingless and crawling the bathroom floor and countertop, and one even made it up into my bed onto my arm. Barefoot to the bathroom for a middle of the night pee? Not if you want to be able to walk tomorrow.

    The windows, as another reviewer said, are tiny, and inexplicably have no screens so as to absolutely ENSURE you cant sleep because of all the bugs that fly in out here 'in the woods', and it has been 90 degrees in this goddamn room all day and nite. It got only slightly better at around midnight, but its still cooking in here.

    In fact, our cheap ass, broke ass Walgreen's stand 'fan' is about the only thing about this place that doesn't blow.

    Skip this place and go somewhere thats been even slightly cared for since the 1960s and you'll be better off. The history of the place is great, but today's reality of it sucks. It's 2012, people. Not good enough by a mile, even for a no-frills place. Bafflingly crappy.

    Note: Theres no AT&T or Verizon coverage here, either. (Dream on, Sprint customers.) Back to food: no sides of substantial things like fries or rings or wings or hearty soups for starving climbers... Weird. Beer selection's not bad, tho. Espresso: tasty. Ice cream: rad.

    09/07/12 | Link | Rating: 1.0
    10. Lisa H.
    Good enough for an overnight stay! Great location in proximity to the Nisqually park entrance on the south west corner of the park. Clean, simple rooms, $93 w/ tax for a room with 2 twin beds. No fridge, but thankfully had a nice and toasty heater. Rolled in late around midnight, and was able to pick up the keys at the office - was just a little concerned that they were in an envelope taped to the door instead of a safer place.

    Couple notes: Keep in mind that the porch that wraps around the building is hollow and creates a lot of noise. In the morning, our neighbors left early and it seriously sounded like they were purposely trodding around trying to wake everyone up. Also, beware of running hot water in the sink and the shower at the same time - the shower gets EXTREMELY hot.

    24/09/11 | Link | Rating: 3.0
    11. Brittany S.
    If you're okay with no frills (no tv, simple décor, the heat is off until you occupy the room, outdoor entrance to room), Whitaker's Bunkhouse is the place for you. It's just what I wanted - $65 for a queen with an en suite bathroom - and clean - and wifi - no complaints here. I've actually come to find that I enjoy accommodations without tvs more than those with. It really changes the way your evenings look - especially when your alone - in my case, the peacefulness is welcomed with open arms. Another big factor Whitaker's has going for itself, quite possibly the biggest, is that it is located just a few (4 to 6) miles down the road from the entrance of Mt.Rainier National Park and with that, there are plenty of nofrill eateries in the area (see Copper Creek Inn review) to go along with your nofrills room.

    A few of my favorite parts about the stay: 1.) absolutely no cell phone service (reality check: I'm not that important), 2.) the shower water stayed as hot as I wanted it for as long as I wanted it, 3.) the wooden floors of the porch outside the rooms have a gentle creek when people walk down them - 5 stars for charm, 4.) Whitaker's boasts an on-site coffee shop/sweets shop complete with chai and blackberry ice cream and lastly, 5.) The wall art is so ugly it's cute.

    I'd definitely stay here again and recommend it to others. Let's be honest, it's hard to beat $65 with that location And cleanliness.

    26/03/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    12. Seth L.
    Visited the cafe a few times. It features Tully's coffee, which is pretty good. They also have ice cream, which is a nice treat. Also available are various bakery items and simple hot foods. There are a few tables inside. The outdoor porch seats are nice in the summer. The staff is friendly.

    All in all, a nice place to stop on the way to/from the park.

    03/03/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    13. Bruce M.
    Like many national park destinations, accommodations near Mount Rainier tend to be either luxurious and pricey or cheap and, uh... cheap. I picked this place because I wanted to be near Mount Rainier and have decent but frugal accommodations. Well, they got the frugal part down: With tax my room cost under $100 per night.  

    My room was smallish and done in a rustic style with lots of unfinished pine. So far, so good. The carpet looked like it was once quite nice, some years and a few dozen stains ago. The mattress, too, was  probably once pretty good -- most likely around the time Bill Clinton left the White House. There was no closet and very little drawer space, just half a dozen hooks from which to hang clothes.

    The bathroom, alas, looked like something from a Motel 6 that had received bare minimum maintenance for decades. The enclosure around the tub/shower combo was in several sections that appeared to have come apart and been badly glued together, likely more than once. What caulking there was around the tub (not much) had black mold in multiple places.

    The wood plank walkway in front of the rooms and the fact that the only windows faced the walkway and courtyard assured lots of noise at all hours, since mountain climbers get up early. There was a hot tub, which looked nasty and reeked so intensely of chlorine that it almost knocked me over. I did not try it.

    The front desk doubles as a cafe, staffed usually by two young women who seemed not to know obvious stuff, like a good place to get a sandwich to tuck in one's backpack (it turned out there were two choices within 100 yards). The cafe had a very limited menu: coffee, smoothies, oatmeal, cold cereal and assorted quasi-Egg McMuffin type breakfast sandwiches. These all seemed to be pre-made and rewarmed when you order. Not great, but a functional quick/cheap breakfast.

    All in all, a barely tolerable experience. But I'm not sure there is anything better nearby without spending lots more.

    Oh, and there's a big sign in the room warning of a $100 charge if any items are left in the room when you leave. Really? $100 if I forget my toothbrush?!?!? Yikes.

    31/07/14 | Link | Rating: 2.0
    14. Steph L.
    I'm sitting in my room, I checked in earlier today.

    I figured since I have wifi, writing a review would be a fun idea!

    No mobile service.
    No room service.

    This bunkhouse is the perfect place to stay if the following are your requirements:

    - clean
    - rooms have heaters
    - hot showers plus clean towels
    - close to Rainier and local climb companies
    - gear shops nearby
    - you can get food and water on-site
    - wifi available if you feel the urge to Yelp or send emails

    This place has its charm and there are so many stories waiting to be told and heard.

    Stay here if you are looking for comfortable and affordable lodging with a laid back Ashford vibe. :)

    18/05/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    15. Meilee A.
    Whittaker's Bunkhouse has a quaint atmosphere with great curb appeal. I love the wrap around porch and flowers in the spring and summer. They have a terrific Pacific Northwest vibe here! The cafe might be the only spot around to grab a latte. They also make smoothies and shakes. The breakfast menu is light. Try a breakfast burrito.

    12/05/15 | Link | Rating: 5.0