Fairhaven's New Arrival is the Fairest of them All
By Chris McBeath
Fairhaven, the historical suburb of Bellingham, is a picturesque village on the water where the turn-of-the-century brick buildings now house pastry shops, galleries, and gift boutiques.
In the Knights of Pythias Hall, the original Masonic Hall, you'll find a delightful coffee shop. There's a book store which regularly schedules poetry and other readings, a double decker bus that dishes up traditional Fish and Chips and places where home-made fudge and old-fashioned candies are pried from glass bottles and carefully weighed into small white paper bags. Browsing through Fairhaven is a delight and even on rainy days, a visit to Paint Expressions, a paint-your-own ceramic studio that adjoins the Abbey Garden Tea Room, will wile away wet weather.
The newest arrival to this charming hamlet is The Chrysalis Inn and Spa. Lying at the edge of Bellingham Bay, The Chrysalis is the perfect place for romantic getaways, small business meetings and personal rejuvenation. Open in early April, The Chrysalis is a sanctuary on the water. Each of its 43 rooms are superbly equipped with fireplaces, window seats and either a double soaking or whirlpool tub that overlook the bay or have a built in screen that opens to the fireplace, TV and harbor views beyond. And the microfibre robes, lined in soft terry toweling, feel like silk. What luxury!
The entire inn hints to an Asian feel, combining bamboo table mats and China slate floors with clean, open architecture which invites the outdoors inside. For example, the restaurant-styled wine-bar is an elegantly casual room that serves a breakfast buffet in the morning, imaginative tapas at night alongside floor to ceiling views of the Bay. Below its deck lies a forgotten shoreline and a fascinating mosaic of old pilings that emerge from the water like sentinels of Fairhaven's once-thriving cannery although all they carry today are long necked loons drying their wings in the sun.
Harmony is what a stay at the Chrysalis is all about and nowhere is it best experienced than in the spa. Here's where you'll find eight treatment rooms offering safe haven for a variety of facials and massages including aromatherapy, Hot Stone massage, shiatsu, and reflexology. There's a hydrotherapy tub and vichy shower for more extensive, water-based therapies, exceptionally well equipped changing rooms for men and women, as well as a relaxation area overlooking the bay.
Located next to Boulevard Park, The Chrysalis is an ideal starting point to explore the area on foot via a Trail system that takes visitors, dog walkers and cyclists all the way from Fairhaven to downtown Bellingham. Bikes, kayaks and canoes are available for rent in the village and for more adventurous travelers, there are whale watching expeditions as well as a nearby ferry (walk on passengers only) to Victoria, Rosario Resort on Orcas Island or Friday Harbour on San Juan Island. Sailing through the Southern Gulf Islands is a spectacular trip in itself. When combined with a few hours meandering the ports of call, these mini-cruises create a perfect day's outing, especially when home is the pampering care of The Chrysalis.
If You Go:
The Chrysalis Inn & Spa at the Pier
804 - 10th Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
Tel: (360) 756-1005
Web site: www.thechrysalisinn.com
Take Interstate 5 towards Bellingham to exit 250
Follow Old Fairhaven Parkway west approximately 1.5 miles
turn left at the light at 12th and follow 12th as it turns into 11th Street until you get to Bennett
Turn left (West) on Bennett
The Chrysalis Inn & Spa is on 10th between Taylor and Bennett
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