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Skiff Point Guesthouse and Retreat

Chautauqua at Skiff Point on Bainbridge Island

Once the site of a glamorous hotel and as well as host for entertainments, lectures, and adult education in the turn-of-the-twentieth-century chautauqua style, the Skiff Point area was an important destination.

People arrived by one of the Mosquito Fleet* ferries or by steamer as island roads were rudimentary. Later the hotel’s expansive property facing Manitou Beach, north of Skiff point, became a private school, then a naval-themed prep academy, and finally was converted to its present use – a nursing home.

Skiff Point marks the northern point of Murden Cove, site of a World War I gun emplacement and home to thousands of sand dollars and moon snails. Walk the shallow cove carefully at low tide as the delicate sand dollars sit on their edge, covered with tiny purple tentacles to filter the tide for food. “When the hops were grown in Duwamish Valley,” writes Dave and Alice Shorett, “tribes came from as far as Canada to harvest hops, using Skiff Point as one of their stopping points.”

The community of Rolling Bay, a local hub for the Sunrise, Skiff Point and Manitou Beach area, holds one of the island’s most delightful stores, Bay Hay and Feed. Housed next to what was, and still is, the post office and located at the corner of Valley Road and Sunrise Drive, Bay Hay has preserved its historic nature while maintaining an eclectic inventory in their country store worthy of a special trip.

Stop in at Bay Hay to purchase feed for your goats or buy chicks in the spring, browse for shoes and clothing, or housewares and gifts. Pick up one of their iconic tee-shirts or sweatshirts, a sure sign you are an islander at heart, and stroll through their nursery with coffee and a sandwich in hand. Friends from off-island always request a stop at fascinating Bay Hay when they visit.

Lodging resources in the Rolling Bay area include these amazing vacation rentals:

Skiff Point Guesthouse and Retreat with two charming self-contained units with Puget Sound views and loft sleeping as well as a convenient separate meeting room for up to 20.

Eagle’s Perch Guesthouse farther north along Sunrise Drive with stunning views of Puget Sound from Mt. Baker to Mt. Rainier, perfect for a family reunion or girl’s weekend with 3 bedrooms, a hot tub on the deck and a large living room for great conversation.

Kellerman Creek, a delightful self-catering Hawaiian-themed studio as well as access to one of the best breakfast cooks on the island – your host Jean Kellerman.

Information Resources:

  • *Mosquito Fleet:  passenger ferries that plied the Puget Sound during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Each shoreline community on Bainbridge Island had a store and ferry dock.  Water travel was much easier than overland on slippery, muddy island roads.
  • Walks on Bainbridge by Dave & Alice Shorett, p. 46.
  • Picture Bainbridge, Bainbridge Island Historical Society, p. 139-146
The Bainbridge Island Lodging Association is a group of more than 20 lodges, inns, guesthouses, suites, boutique hotels, cottages, and B&B’s on Bainbridge Island, WA. BILA is dedicated to bringing you quality accommodation on a beautiful island. Visit our website for events and experiences, and of course, for your vacation rentals.

Enjoying Dusk on Puget Sound

What can be more beautiful than watching the low winter light on the Puget Sound? The exquisite gloaming that comes early this time of year just begs for us to stop, have a cup of tea or glass of wine and watch nature’s miracle.

The gradual shift from crisp illumination with a pink sunset tinge into a warm blue hazy scrim obscures imperfection and shrouds our differences with in dusk that reminds us we are in the Pacific Northwest. Observed, that view offers the peaceful thought that night shrouds our differences and within our space, light inside that serves as the campfire that becomes a place of security and communion.

Down a long winding country lane on Bainbridge Island’s eastern shore is Eagle’s Perch Guest Retreat. It’s spectacular view is hidden, revealed only as you walk into the great-room and kitchen. If you are lucky and “the mountain is out,” you will have a breathtaking view of Mt. Rainier. Turn to the left, and Mt. Baker, the next volcano north, shows its snow-cap above the Cascades. The property is aptly named as an eagle family nests to the left of the deck and scans the boating traffic on Sound from a tree on the right – offering us a hint of nature’s grace.  Eagle’s Perch Guest Retreat includes three bedrooms, a full kitchen and laundry, beautiful great-room for extended family visits to the island, for writing groups and class reunions. Space to gather and space to retreat.  For winter stalwarts and summer celebrants, the deck sports a large hot tub. A BBQ, plenty of seating, and the stunning view of the Cascade Mountains and the shipping lanes of the Puget Sound top off this lovely high-bank waterfront property.

For the more gregarious, Kellerman Creek reflects the warm nature of its hostess, Jean Kellerman. A complete catered breakfast from Jean’s dining room overlooking Puget Sound is the perfect way to get a great start on the day, and to get to know Bainbridge Island as well as Jean’s links to other islands where she has lived. A long-time resident of Hawaii, Jean’s studio guesthouse reflects that connection with gorgeous Hawaiian quilts, prints, and gracious ambiance. Kellerman Creek guesthouse is a perfect couple’s intimate get-away — warm, gracious, and welcoming.

Working our way south towards Winslow, Skiff Point Guesthouse and Retreat is one of the few properties that offers both accommodation and a separate meeting room. Skiff Point includes two guesthouses, each with a cozy loft bedroom, beautiful and thoughtful appointments, and stunning high-bank views of the Puget Sound. Sunsets on Mt. Baker will add golden light to the already golden atmosphere of Skiff Point Guesthouse and Retreat. Skiff Point’s meeting room is suitable for executive retreats and workshops, making the package offered at Skiff Point Guesthouse and Retreat unique among privately-owned and owner-operated accommodation on Bainbridge Island. Skiff Point is close enough to town for excursions and wine tasting, but far enough away to enjoy the intimacy of the shipping lane on Puget Sound view. What a perfect way to work through stress-inducing issues that executive retreats entail in a peace-inducing setting and after-work ambiance?

Feel the mantle of tranquility descend as you walk out on one of these the decks, a glass of exceptional wine from Bainbridge Island’s growing wine industry, and watch dusk descent on our little slice of Puget Sound. Welcome to Bainbridge Island.

The Bainbridge Island Lodging Association is a group of more than 20 lodges, inns, guesthouses, suites, boutique hotels, cottages, and B&B’s on Bainbridge Island, WA. BILA is dedicated to bringing you quality accommodation on a beautiful island. Visit our website for events and experiences, and of course, for your vacation rentals.
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