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Cabana Club Condominium

Blaine, WA 98230-9024 PHONE: 1-360-371-2511 Map it / View Street Address
2.0 out of 5
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Featured Review: Cabana Club Condominium

by David C. Meyers 
First printed in Nov/Dec 2007

We had always wanted to vacation in the Pacific Northwest after reading in TimeSharing Today the commentaries of those who have had the opportunity. After years of waiting, the opportunity finally arose with an opening at the Cabana Club Condominiums in Birch Bay, WA, a tiny community 7 miles south of Blaine which is directly on the border with British Colombia.

We arrived by plane in Seattle and were eager to get the 100-mile trek to Birch Bay behind us. What a mistake it was to think that Friday afternoon travel would be pleasant on the only highway north. After three hours, we had traveled 40 miles. (There are pockets in the day in which traffic flows well). In approaching our destination, we noticed how rustic and undeveloped the area was. Commercialism has overlooked this place. In fact, the village was pretty derelict.

Birch Bay has many older shoreline cottages with newer construction inland. There are a couple of larger resorts but shopping was limited to convenient stores and a few boutiques. The Cabana Club is across the street from the bay and a block from a public access. A direct view is blocked by shoreline houses. Needless to say, we headed to Blaine for our marketing at a very pleasant Cost Cutter Market. Blaine also has some pretty good restaurants.

The Cabana Club is a modest twostory resort with a mixture of permanent residents and timeshare units. It appeared to be built in the 70's and decorated in the 80's. Other than a well-stocked kitchen, the whole place was basic. We were somewhat embarrassed, as we had invited our parents to share this two bedroom, one bath unit which did not reach Interval International standards in our opinion. The resort has no services, no telephone, no maid, no welcome package, and no programs. There is a grill, an outdoor pool, a hot tub, a sauna, and a game room. The back of the property is bordered by a lovely creek. The view, however, is spoiled by a junky bus that appeared to be a permanent residence.

There are many things of interest in the immediate area. All state parks, including the one a mile down the road, are free. The International Peace Arch and park in Blaine is a hidden gem that most people simply drive by. There is rich farming in the immediate area, so vegetable stands, dairies, and artisan cheeses are available. Clams are abundant and are good in either restaurants or steamed at home. The town of Lynden is nearby, boasting an authentic Dutch heritage and atmosphere. There are lots of good shops and a great bakery. Bellingham is 12 miles south and has a nice Old Towne section.

Further afield is Mt. Baker which is certainly worth a day trip. Even in June, the snow was a factor at the peak as it feeds beautiful mountain streams. We were also hoping to explore Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands, but that will have to wait for another trip. Ferry schedules, length of travel, and cost ($100.00 /person from Bellingham) make day trips difficult. The whole area is much larger than we had anticipated.

The best ferry package we found was 45 minutes to the north at Tsawassen. We arose very early to catch the first sailing. For $60.00, a couple can take a car to Vancouver Island (one way). The ferry had five decks, was immaculate, very comfortable, and had some shops. The 90- minute voyage was itself an adventure as the ship passed through islands with eagles, herons, and gorgeous scenery. On the island, the capitol City of Victoria is worth a day with a lovely harbor, museums, shops, and government buildings.

Another day should be reserved for the legendary Butchart Gardens.

The City of Vancouver is up the coast and could also command several days to explore. The Sky Train, available at many stations well out of town, is the best way to enter the city if foot travel is acceptable. Both in Victoria and Vancouver, water taxis are a fun and efficient way to get from point to point.

Overall, our June visit was pleasant with cool and crisp weather inland and refreshing breezes on the shore. (A jacket should be carried at all times as climate changes are rapid.) If we returned, we probably would look for a different home base. In fact, this area is so big that a touring vacation might be preferable.

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The condos are drafty and musty. There is no fresh air circulation. The furnishings and appliances are outdated. The "owners" and board members have a sense of entitlement. [more]

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Cabana Club Condominium is also known as:

  • Cabana Club
  • Cabana Club Condominium Hotel
  • Cabana Club Condominiums
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