To stay true to the history of Captain Whidbey, Cheong also worked with local archives to identify and keep historic photos and meaningful furniture at Captain Whidbey, adding that every family who has ever owned the property still lives on the island. He names the works of Rudolph Schindler and Mira Nakashima as inspirations for the Inn’s rooms, which range from nautical log cabin rooms at the main lodge to Scandinavian-inspired, modern spaces at the lagoon-side wood cottages, to complete cabin takeovers by Filson, Glasswing, We The Nomads and Edit Whidbey. Inside, original pine wood paneling is combined with warm, primary colors, cashmere carpet, locally-woven blankets and cedar-scented bath products by Seattle-based brands.

“Why Washington’s Whidbey Island Is the Pacific Northwest Getaway to Know Now”


Brothers Matt and Mike French, the visionaries behind the effortlessly hip Pioneertown Motel in the Southern California desert, have a knack for turning off-the-grid places into magnets of cool. Last spring, the duo, along with Ace Hotel Group alum Eric Cheong, reimagined a historic inn on Washington’s sleepy Whidbey Island.

The result: an adult summer camp with salty-dog, nautical soul. Set on the shore of Penn’s Cove, Captain Whidbey’s accommodations include a Captain’s Suite above the main tavern, where you can spot whales from your bed; and secluded cabins, each curated by a distinctive Northwest designer, such as Filson.

“Pretend You’re in a Wes Anderson Movie at This Whidbey Island Escape”


The result: an adult summer camp with a Moby Dick-meets-Moonrise Kingdom vibe. There are vintage photos on the walls, plus an original stone fireplace anchoring the lobby and a logo inspired by the handwriting of a past owner’s wife. Upstairs, 12 lodge rooms still have creaky floorboards, shared bathrooms, and a library of classic sea tales, but now there’s also a rotary phone with a direct line to the bar down below. Across the street, 14 Lagoon rooms have a Scandi sensibility with interiors influenced by Mira Nakashima and Aino Aalto. And just above the shores of Penn Cove, four private cabins have each been outfitted by Pacific Northwest tastemakers including Filson and Whidbey’s own modern mercantile, Edit. The property is full of hidden secrets, ranging from secluded firepits and hammocks to a poem written in Morse code along the bar. DJ brunches and sunset happy hours have been big hits for both locals and out-of-towners.

“A Long Weekend on Whidbey Island, the Playground of the Pacific Northwest”