New hotel/apartment going into Bellingham’s former Melody Hall

A hotel/apartment hybrid is close to opening in the north part of town.

The Orca Inn is scheduled to open in late May or early June at 4071 Home Road, off Northwest Avenue. The upper level of the former Melody Hall will have 14 loft apartments, while the lower level will have 16 hotel rooms, said Michael Watters, who owns the building.

He likens it to a boutique hotel with the flexibility of apartment units for longer stays. The apartments could be used in a variety of situations, including for someone building or remodeling a house or construction workers in the area for a big project. Longer-term leases are available.

The hotel rooms will have kitchenettes and other amenities like wifi, but costs will be kept down by not having features like a recreation room, swimming pool or restaurant, said Tony Dhariwal, who will be operating the Orca Inn. One-bedroom room rates will be around $60 a night.

Watters emphasized that the focus will be to have clean hotel rooms, embracing more of a micro-living format or the Airbnb room concept.

“This is for those who just need a simple room at a low price,” Watters said.

Watters is working on a similar concept near the intersection of Meridian Street and East Bakerview Road, next to Lorenzo’s Mexican Restaurant. It’s currently in the permitting phase, and he hopes to gets started with construction in the fall.

The Orca Inn’s website is under construction. For now, more details can be found by going to and typing “Orca Inn” in the search engine or by calling 206-348-4196 or emailing