Stanwood Hotel: A Cozy Mix of Old & New
Author: Wade T Oberlin | Photos: Jake Campbell
The Stanwood Hotel and Saloon is situated on a crossroad before taking the bridge to Camano Island just west of Arlington, and is infamous for its paranormal sightings, but over the years and after a few renovations, the Stanwood is seen as another quality hotel along the Western Washington coast.
The amenities of the Stanwood Hotel are modern but the look and feel is of a past period, a bygone age, a testament to another time that remains welcoming with slight updates to the decor and the relaxing advent of Wi-Fi.
The word saloon brings images of the Old West to mind, and the Stanwood Saloon fits the bill. You’ve most likely seen this sort of watering hole present on television… think Paint Your Wagon, Butch Cassidy or maybe Red Dead Redemption 2 but with the added benefit of modern civility and karaoke competitions.
But what sort of sinister force still occupies these storied walls, behind the billiard balls, electronic dart boards and those iconic swinging doors?
“It’s actually been quiet recently,” says part-owner Marilyn Guthrie. “We renovated in 2006 and have five small rooms available that were said to have been haunted. There were a number of paranormal types and ghosthunters around when we were restoring the building, but most of that ghostly activity is gone.”
And so are most of the investigators. These days the Stanwood Hotel is booked solid by those interested in a pleasant stay, a cozy room booked around $125 a night with breakfast in the morning. Each room comes with one queen bed, a flat screen TV, internet connection. If you are interested in staying, it will be necessary to schedule in advance.
It’s good to know that the spirits have become friendly and that business is good. Hearing tales of all this haunting works up an appetite. The food at the Stanwood is great too, with monster half-pound hamburgers and prime rib sandwiches being the local favorites at the Saloon bar.
The Stanwood Saloon is a hopping spot for singing karaoke pop covers, darts, billiards and of course, swapping ghost stories. There’s even an old timey player piano.
Getting to the bottom of the Stanwood’s paranormal mysteries is just as easy as booking a room at the Stanwood Hotel ahead of time. Their quiet and quaint website gives a homey impression, even with the stories of hauntings and paranormal investigations. If you don’t book a room, the Saloon is still worth a visit when you decide to “investigate” Stanwood for yourself.
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Stanwood Hotel and Saloon
26926 102nd Avenue NW
Stanwood, Washington 98292