The Discovery Inn

The Discovery Inn strives to provide its guests with comfortable hotel rooms at affordable rates. The hotel's friendly staff is passionate about providing guests with excellent customer service. If your travels bring you to Friday Harbor we truly hope to see you here.


The hotel, formerly known as Imperial Gardens, was purchased by Jim Smith in the early 80's. It was then renamed the Island Lodge and eventually became the Discovery Inn. During the three decades of his ownership, he enlisted the help of his parents, children and good friends to manage the hotel. Over four generations have worked at the Inn - from grandparents to grandkids.

Today, the Discovery Inn is owned and operated by his family as well as a dedicated team of talented staff that are passionate about providing guests with genuine Island hospitality.


The Discovery Inn would be nothing without its dedicated staff. Our guests tell us they return to the hotel because of how friendly everyone is. Our team endeavors to make each and every guest's stay enjoyable.


We believe in supporting the special community in which we do business. The Discovery Inn is a member of the San Juan Chamber of Commerce, San Juan Visitor Bureau and proud sponsor of the Whale Museum.


Our rooms feature a variety of photographs that showcase our Island's incredible beauty and unique history. Historical photographs were provided by San Juan Historical Society.

Green Efforts

We have worked hard to make changes and implement practices that reduce our hotel's impact on the environment.

The Discovery Inn recently underwent a renovation that helped reduce the hotel's impact on the environment. The following is a list of changes made during the renovation process, as well as practices and policies that have been impleted so we can be kinder to our planet.

Water Conservation:

  • Our guest bathrooms were designed to ensure water conservation. Low-flow toilets, low-flow showerheads and low-flow faucet aerators were installed.
  • We offer optional linen and towel reuse programs to guests staying multiple nights. Cards encouraging this program are placed in each of our guest bathrooms.
  • We do not water general grounds areas or lawns.
  • Flower planters now have low volume drip irrigation systems in place, which can be adjusted according to seasonal needs/times to encourage less evaporation and waste.

Energy and Lighting:

  • Property light bulbs were replaced with compact fluorescent light or halogen light bulbs.
  • Programmable sensors/timers were installed for lighting in low traffic areas.
  • Many electronics and appliances were replaced and now have energy saving features, such as Energy Star.
  • Unconditional spaces are maintained, sealed and insulation is replaced as needed.
  • Energy efficient, double-pane windows meeting Energy Star requirements were installed.
  • Attic and ceiling fans to promote air circulation in place of air conditioning units were installed.


  • Clearly marked recycling receptacles were added in the following areas: office/administrative area, lobby/registration, and guest rooms.
  • Use two-sided printing and copying for guest communication at check-in and in rooms.

Reduce property waste:

  • Paperless confirmations are sent to all guests.
  • Unused amenities are recycled through the Global Soap Project a program that has reached 31 countries, creating a positive health impact.
  • Stained room towels are recycled into colorful spa towels.
  • Used paper is reused for drafts, scratch paper or internal memos.
  • Unused portions of toilet paper rolls from guest rooms are reused in administrative areas.

General practices to show our environmental commitment:

  • Weeds are picked by hand rather than using herbicides (weed killers).
  • Organic pest control, fertilizers and soil amendments are used.
  • Carpets in guest rooms are made from 75% recycled materials.
  • All replaced electronics and appliances are donated to local thrift stores.
  • Old linens are donated to Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.