Shaded by old-growth firs on the banks of Washington’s Penn Cove is Captain Whidbey, a fresh take on a centennial lodge. The historic destination has been many things—a boarding house, post office, and even a girls’ school—and is now a 30-room escape just north of Seattle.
Brothers Mike and Matt French joined forces with designer and architect Eric Cheong of Portland, Oregon-based North 45 Projects to create a sophisticated summer camp environment where new and old blend seamlessly.
In the lagoon suites, Cheong applied a Scandinavian aesthetic bedecked with handwoven quilts and cashmere carpets. Guests can also opt to slumber in the rustic lodge rooms, which have remained largely unchanged since 1907, where bathrooms are shared and the worn floorboards creak underfoot.
The property’s four cabins provide the most secluded stay, each with a different atmosphere crafted in collaboration with local designers and retailers. “We wanted the cabins to be a set of characters,” says Cheong. “We don’t have an ego-driven narrative about our projects and tend toward things that build a sense of community.”
Stacked river stones form a behemoth dual-facing fireplace in the communal lounge area, and Cheong chose sofas in varying shades of green, dark wood furnishings, and historical photographs to completethe warm, muted space. The inn’s connection to the water is evident from the restaurant, where an extended deck provides sweeping vistas across the sound.
“We see the lodge as a historic ship run aground,” says Cheong, “but living a new life, focusing on the dark, brooding, natural colors of the sea.”
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 30 rooms, including 4 cottages (11-28m2) (118-323 sq ft) • hotel opened: 1907 • interior design: Eric Cheong (Portland) • bathroom manities: LaConnor ✅ free on-site parking • no pets allowed • 24-hour front desk