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The Villa
705 N. 5th Street
Tacoma, WA 98403
888-572-1157
The Villa Web Site

July 2001

Welcome to www.weloveourlife.com. This is our page dedicated to our experiences while staying at the Villa in Tacoma, Washington.


Accommodations Amenities Food Bar/Lounge Service Attractions Dining Nightlife Weather Tips

Accommodations

The Villa is an immaculate yet relaxed mansion in the historic district of Tacoma. There are lots of windows and lots of pastels. Lori observed Becky had used one of her favorite colors - peach - on many of the walls. We have been to inns where we were afraid to touch anything, but the Villa was just the opposite. It was very welcoming and uplifting.

There were beautiful hardwood floors throughout, and we were careful not to roll our luggage because we did not want to leave any marks on them. If you are a gardener or appreciate plants, you will love this place. The plantings were exquisite. We learned the Villa had been a stop on the Gardens of Tacoma tour.

We stayed in the Caserta room. Our room was painted a color that was hard to define - somewhat terracotta with white accents. The furniture as white, and we had a comfortable queen-size bed with high-quality sheets that felt as if they embraced us. There was no air conditioning, but the weather in mid-summer appears to be comfortable in Tacoma, and the ceiling fan did nicely.

In fact, we found ourselves pulling the windows shut during the night. There was a large, cheerful bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub in front of a picture window that overlooked part of the gorgeous garden. The bathroom had a separate shower, a toilet with a half-wall of glass block around it for privacy, and a pedestal sink. Our hosts had thoughtfully provided plenty of thirsty towel, bath salts, and additional bath accessories such as olive oil soap and lotion. The bathroom lights were on dimmers.

Inn Amenities

Becky (one of the innkeepers) showed us around the public portion of the Villa. There is a guest fridge in the kitchen with wine, beer, soft drinks, and spring water, as well as snacks. We had just braved horrenodous traffic from SeaTac airport to the Villa, so we relaxed with a glass of local Washington wine, then put on our bathing suits and headed out to the spa on the deck. It was a beautiful day, and we noted how scenic the surrounding area was. It was a Marquis spa for two (we have a Marquis spa at home). On the lower level of the adjoining carriage house, the Villa has an exercise room with an adjoining bathroom, as well as a sort of lounge/salon with a big screen tv that can be used by guests who are entertaining. We also noted by reading the guestbook in our room that the salon had also been used in the past for catered events for guests.

Inn Food

We awoke refreshed and had no problem being ready for the 8 a.m. breakfast we had requested. Becky served breakfast on the huge wood slab table in the dining room. The first course was fresh raspberries and cream, accompanied by big, buttery croissants. The second course consisted of very good individually baked egg and cheese dishes with potatoes on the bottom, with a side of pepper bacon. A fellow guest was pregnant and had requested a special breakfast, and Becky accommodated her smilingly. The food was excellent, one of the best breakfasts we had during our Pacific Northwest trip.

Inn Bar/Lounge

The Villa does not operate a bar or lounge but has a guest refrigerator that is stocked with local beer and wine, as well as bottled water and soft drinks. Guests may help themselves.

Inn People/Service

Lori had spoken to Greg (the other innkeeper; this is a husband-and-wife operation) on the phone at length when planning the trip, and Greg had been most helpful. Both Greg and Becky are very friendly, helpful, and welcoming. They clearly like what they do and take great pride in sharing their home with their guests. We highly recommend this bed & breakfast to anyone in Tacoma on business or pleasure

Area/Attractions

We didn't really explore Tacoma, other than going out for dinner. We had just arrived on the west coast of the US after a 6-hour flight and had chosen this location as a place to relax and spend our first night before continuing on our Pacific Northwest trip. The few parts of the city that we saw and drove through appeared to have been revitalized and the waterfront was a nice, clean area. If you are staying at The Villa, Becky and Greg would be able to provide suggestions on area activities.

Dining

C.I. Shenanigan's - 3017 Ruston Way, Tacoma, WA (253-752-8899)
C.I. Shenanigan's Home Page
From the outside, we initially thought it would be something like TGI Friday's, but when we went inside, we found it was much nicer. The hostess gave us a table in the back with a view over the water (we could have eaten outside, but it was bright, and we chose our table with a view instead). There was lots of wood, and we were in a huge booth in the atrium area of the restaurant. We were looking at the wine list, but when the waiter asked if Keith would like an icy cold Hefeweizen, Keith opted to try Bighorn's version. It was a local beer, icy as promised, and was very tasty. Lori settled for a glass of Hogue chardonnay. We were hungry, and ordered appetizers: thai lettuce wraps for Keith, and coconut prawns for Lori. Both were great and could have served as entrees. For his entree, Keith chose lemon grass and curry chicken (he asked them to hold the shrimp). Lori ordered the pound of Alaskan king crab legs, and it came with a big baked potato with fresh bacon, sour cream, and chives. We split the vanilla creme brulee for dessert, and Keith had a snifter of Patron Silver and Lori had her usual Sambuca on the rocks. The service was good, and the food was fresh and creative, served in a gracious atmosphere. We enjoyed our dinner.

Nightlife

After dinner, we walked along the water nextdoor to Ram Restaurant and Big Horn Brewing. Once inside, we headed to the bar. It was two stories high, with lots of wood and windows. We noticed something that was to remain a common denominator during our trip - Pacific Northwest architects know the scenery is a major attraction and seem to use windows as a major design factor. Some neon proclaimed this to be "Washington's Tallest Bar." Keith tried the Belgian Wit. He was also happy to see that had a good selection of sipping tequilas, including Hussong's and Del Dueno. They had a large 9-monitor tv.

Weather

This is the Pacific Northwest. Although this region gets a lot of rain, July is usually one of the drier months, and the humidity is generally low. Daytime highs in mid-summer are in the 70s, and lows in the low 60s to high 50s. It is a very pleasant time of year to visit.

Tips/Suggestions

Bring a bathing suit if you are staying at The Villa so you can take advantage of the outdoor spa. Although dinner reservations in Tacoma did not seem to be necessary in mid-week, it may be a good idea to make a reservation on the weekend.