[Interview by Mallory Peterson]
Dan Currier of the Garden Isle Bed and Breakfast and Vacation Home in beautiful Whidbey Island, Washington was a lot of fun to interview. He shared about his unique location, being on one of the largest islands in the continental United States, and some of the best things he has done for his bed and breakfast. In addition Dan shed some light on how he would have added a hot tub to his business a lot sooner than he did. This incredibly well-seasoned innkeeper has been operating his bed and breakfast with his wife Darrellyn for 20 years and still going strong.
Our central location on the island is ideal for visiting the island’s state parks and beaches, or great for day trips to Seattle, the San Juan Islands, the Olympic Peninsula, Canada and more.
Q: What is unique about your bed & breakfast?
A: Location and character distinguish our B&B from others on the Island. Our cottages and vacation home overlook the historic 1853 district of the quaint seaside town of Coupeville. The property is located directly across the street from the town park, within easy walking distance to the wharf, beach, and all of the local shops and restaurants. Our central location on the island is ideal for visiting the island’s state parks and beaches, or great for day trips to Seattle, the San Juan Islands, the Olympic Peninsula, Canada and more.
Our cottages are unique in that they are located on two lovely acres, with the vacation home overlooking the entire estate. The vacation home’s large front windows offer views of Penn Cove, with Mount Baker and the Cascade Mountains framing the horizon.
The character provided by the open spaces allow our guests to enjoy their privacy, but still experience the amenities of being in town and allows them to enjoy all the festivals, art walks, parades and the farmers market that take place throughout the year.
Q: What is your signature breakfast?
A: Guests are provided a continental breakfast in their private cottages, which allows them to wake up in the morning and eat whenever they like. Our signature breakfast typically consists of homemade pastries (cinnamon rolls, muffins or banana bread,) cereal, fresh fruit, and an assortment of beverages.
Q: What is your motto?
A: Many of our guests have never been to the Northwest or Whidbey Island. It has always been very important to me to make them feel welcomed to the island and also informed of the unique sights, locales and restaurants they can visit and explore during their stay on the island. Allowing them to make better use of their time ensures that when they return home, they can tell their friends about the great experiences and we can anticipate them returning again.
Q: What would you say is the best thing you have done for your business?
A: Improving our technology by switching to an online reservation system has really increased the amount of reservations we are able to close. Guests can confirm availability and reserve dates anytime, anywhere, which has really helped us keep up with online trends.
Q: What recent challenges have you overcome?
A: Over the past two years, I have remodeled both cottages to reflect a coastal living-type theme.
Q: What did you do before you started your business?
A: I worked for Seattle Pacific University’s Casey Conference Center on Whidbey Island from 1978 to 2000, where I helped to manage the maintenance at the conference center facilities which housed over 550 people. In 2000, I started a tour business which I ran for four years, called Whidbey Tours, and provided guided bus tours of our beautiful island. Currently, along with our B&B, I help my wife run a Montessori School which we have owned and operated since 1990.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I enjoy sailing in my free time and because we live on an island surrounded by some of the best sail boating areas in the world, I try to do it as often as possible. I sail with my friends just about every week, year round, weather permitting. Each year, Whidbey Island hosts one of the top ten sailing regattas in the country.
Did you know?
Whidbey Island is located just an hour and a half North of Seattle and was considered one of the top dream vacation destinations in the world by authors of a special travel magazine put out by Life Magazine in 2008. Located on the Puget Sound, Whidbey Island was also one of the first areas to be settled in the Northwest.