Updated on July 1, 2020. Please check back often because–you know–things are changing all the time…

Due to the recent spikes of Covid-19 in the USA, we decided that the most prudent course of action would be to hold the 2020 Chanticleer Authors Conference and the 2019 CIBA ceremonies virtually via ZOOM.

Because the conference will be held virtually, we decided to change the dates to September 8 – 13, 2020 so that attendees and presenters would not have to ZOOM on Labor Day Weekend. All sessions will be recorded for later viewing and as many sessions as possible will be LIVE!

Please be patient with us we PIVOT and put together a new schedule. Please check back often.  Click here to see the VIRTUAL but LIVE CIBA Ceremony Schedule.

Thank you, Kiffer and Sharon and the Chanticleer Team 

Updated on June 25, 2020. Please check back often as we will keep this page updated. 

Information about the CAC20 Conference and the 2019 Chanticleer International Book Awards Ceremony.

The Coronavirus (Covid-19) necessitates that certain protocols need to be followed and adhered for the safety of attendees, Hotel Bellwether staff, presenters, and Chanticleer Team members along with others.

As of today, this is the plan—and it could change again. 

The number of attendees will be limited to 45 to adhere to the State of Washington Covid-19 Guidelines and mandates of Whatcom County.

CAC (sessions, presentations, awards ceremony, etc.) will be available on LIVE Private ZOOM. Those who register for ZOOM participation will also have access to all videos and podcasts to review at their leisure at any time in the future. Each session will have an interaction time.

We will hold all sessions in the Hotel Bellwether Ballroom to allow for social distancing recommendations. The 4,437-square-foot ballroom can easily accommodate 250 guests.

The ballroom also has a generous 795 ft. water view open air terrace with that looks out over  Bellingham Bay, the harbor, the San Juan Islands. and   The doors  can be opened for fresh sea breezes

Attendees are welcome to form their “Bubbles” for table assignments. Examples of Bubbles would be people who have decided to travel and room together.

Here is an article about Covid Bubbles from MIT. https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/05/09/1001547/coronavirus-bubble-pod-quaranteam-social-distancing-negotiation/

After hours cocktails (a tradition of the CACs) will take place in the Ballroom and will be available for late night.

We will also have live music available on Friday evening entertainment.

Meals will be served by the Bellwether Staff. This year, we will not be able to offer the ever popular buffets. However, we will email you about choices and selections.

This information is for those of you who have not visited the Hotel Bellwether that should help to put your mind at ease.

  • The Hotel Bellwether only has sixty rooms. It is a family owned business.
  • There is plenty of open space for fresh air and walks.
  • It is “Lifestyle Preferred” Hotel — highly rated!

Photography by Amy Parsons

We will begin working on the schedule of exciting presenters.

Please check back frequently for the latest updates!

Below is Information prior to June 25, 2020

Lodging & Travel Information for the Chanticleer Authors Conference 2020: September 3, 4, 5, and 6, 2020

Master Classes on Thursday, September 3, 2020. 

Conference Location: Hotel Bellwether, Bellingham, Wash.

Click here for an informational page concerning Health and Safety Guidelines Regarding CAC 20 and the Covid-19 Virus (aka Coronavirus).

{Scroll Down to See Lodging Information}

Air Travel:

Brand NEW:  Paine Airfield in Everett, Wash.  Avoid the Seattle traffic plus cut down the drive time or shuttle time. https://www.painefield.com/

CALL LETTERS to search for flights are   PAE

Fly into either Seattle, Wash. (Seatac) with easy ground transportation (scroll down) to Bellingham, Wash.

Or direct into  Bellingham, Wash. (BLI) from some major West Coast cities (LAX, Los Vegas, Hawaii, Portland, etc.)

If you are flying internationally, you may want to fly into Vancouver, British Columbia — ( a shorter drive south to Bellingham than Seattle. HOWEVER, there is a border crossing that can add hours to the drive time if you do not have a NEXUS pass or a GLOBAL Pass.

Call Letters are YVR

Lodging arrangements and payments must be made directly by CAC attendee with his/her lodging selection.

Lodging at conference site: The Hotel Bellwether


Hotel Bellwether – Photo by Elaine Dillon

The luxurious Hotel Bellwether is offering a conference rate starting at approx.   These are awesome rates for a holiday weekend in Bellingham  ($229 per night for non-water views.  Executive SP/MP/DPs $259. Deluxe Bay View Rooms $339  Junior Suites $389

Conference rates are available on most rooms to CAC20 attendees. Please call the hotel, at 360-392-3100, and ask for the Chanticleer Conference Rate. Rates do not include tax.

The Hotel Bellwether is a luxury waterfront hotel overlooking Bellingham Marina and Bay is close to shops and restaurants. Rooms have gas fireplaces, imported Italian furniture, whirlpool tubs, free WiFi, flat-screen TVs, and DVD players, plus private balconies or patios.  There are a restaurant and bar along with a fitness center, and jogging trails that lead down to the sea. Free underground parking is available.

Lodging at Oxford Suites

Oxford Hotel and Suites  (near the Mall)  360-676-1400

The Oxford Hotel is offering  Chanticleer Authors Conference attendees a wonderful rate that also includes a complimentary full breakfast buffet as well as an evening reception, which includes soup and salad as well as 2 drink tickets for beer, wine, or soda each night a CAC attendee stays with the Oxford. Free parking and WiFi are also available along with pool sauna, steam room, hot tub, 24–hour fitness center. The Oxford is within walking distance of the Bellis Fair Mall (Macy’s, Sephora, Target, etc.) and many restaurants and fast food places.


They also offer an airport shuttle from the Bellingham International Airport to the hotel but do call for more info and to schedule. Fees may apply.


The Oxford Suites discounted their rates for CAC20. The rates are:  (They are offering same rates for this popular holiday weekend! Thank you Oxford Suites! ) 

$125 Studio King Suite – One king bed and a pull out sofa sleeper (sleeps 4 people)
$135 Studio Double Queen Suite – Two queen beds (sleeps 4 people)
Oxford Hotel and Suites  (near the Mall)  360-676-1400

The rates are valid until Friday, March 20, 2020. To book your reservation please call the hotel at 360.676.1400 and mention the Chanticleer Authors Conference or email Nicole at Nicolel@oxfordsuites.com.


And remember, Bellingham has UBER and LYFT, so you can party with us at the afterparties and then make it back to The Oxford. The two establishments are approximately 3.5 miles (10 minutes via Squalicum Parkway).


The NEW Holiday Inn at the Bellingham Airport with FREE SHUTTLE To and From Hotel Bellwether is included and so is the Breakfast Buffet for $114 per night. 

The new Holiday Inn at the Bellingham Airport is extending a wonderful opportunity to attendees of the Chanticleer Authors Conference. And this hotel is known for its excellent dining!

They are offering a limited number of rooms (two queen beds rooms and rooms with a king bed and sofa sleeper) at an excellent rate of $114 per night. The rate includes the breakfast buffet and shuttle service to and from the Holiday Inn to the Hotel Bellwether and to and from the Bellingham International Airport.  You don’t have to pay until you arrive at the hotel to reserve your room.

Click here for the direct link with the offer for accommodations at this very modern hotel complete with photos and amenities listed.



The Heliotrope Lodge 

A PNW Classic – the Heliotrope Motel

The Heliotrope Motel has just 16 rooms. It is a transformation of a 1950s motel into modern Pacific Northwest lodging. The Heliotrope Hotel is in the center of it all, located less than a mile from Bellingham’s downtown core, a haven at the heart of things to settle in after you’ve gone out.  The Heliotrope is a one-of-a-kind hotel, offering a sense of place unique to the PNW region, setting it apart from the lack of individuality of larger hotel chains.  It is reasonably priced. You must call and ask for the Chanticleer Conference rate  360-201-2914




Other nearby lodgings:

The Guest House, a Red Lion Inn on Lakeway, is offering lodging starting at $66 per night. All bookings include a complimentary hot breakfast with eggs, bacon, waffles, bagels, yogurt, muffins, cereal, etc. and juice and coffee/tea. Rooms include Internet access, Cable TV, Refrigerator, Coffee Maker, and Hair Dryer.  The Guest House is 3.6 miles from the front door of the Bellwether Hotel (less than ten minutes by car – no highway). Complimentary airport shuttle between Bellingham Airport and The Guest House (9 to 5 daily, please confirm time and date with front desk). Free parking.

Please call the hotel directly to make reservations at (360) 671-9600. Ask for the Chanticleer Authors Conference rate and room block.

The Bellair Airport Shuttle drops coming up from SeaTac (Seattle International  Airport) drops off across the street at the Four Points Sheraton — it is a busy intersection but there are crosswalks.  Fred Meyers is also across the street and also a Whole Foods.

Guest House

The Guest House, a Red Lion Inn, Lakeway Avenue, Bellingham

Four Points Sheraton on Lakeway and Hwy 5  360-671-1011  The Airport Shuttle from SeaTac picks up and drops off here.

The Chrysalis Inn and Spa (Fairhaven)   360-756-1005  (luxurious)

Fairhaven Village Inn (Fairhaven)  360 – 733-1311  (quaint and located in Fairhaven Village)

SpringHill Suites by Marriott   360-714-9600

VRBO   (Make sure that you do not reserve a place that is far away or dependent upon ferries. For instance, Lummi Island is almost two hours away.)  I would consider Whatcom Falls, Lake Whatcom, Silver Beach, and Sudden Valley too far to drive or Uber. Look for a place near Central Bellingham or near the University. You are welcome to check with me (Kiffer) before confirming.

Warning [Note: We cannot recommend any motels, hotels, or lodgings that are located on Samish Way. We advise not to book lodging in this area.]


UBER: download the Uber app on your smartphone before you leave on your trip. Bellingham is very Uber friendly.

LYFT: download the Lyft app

Taxi Services: Yellow Cab 360-733-8294, Your Cab Company 360 746-4943, Blue Cab 360-734-3787

Airporter Shuttle / Bellair Charters:  http://www.airporter.com/  1-866-235-5247

This shuttle service will get you from Seatac to Bellingham and back. Comfortable ride.

Air Travel:
You can fly directly into Bellingham International Airport (BLI) and take a shuttle or rental car to the Hotel Bellwether (a 13-minute drive).
Or, you can fly into Seattle’s SeaTac Airport (SEA), which may cost less, and either:
  • Rent a car and drive up to Bellingham
  • Take the BOLT Bus from Seattle Train Station to Bellingham ($15 ). Use the light rail to go from SeaTac to downtown Seattle Train Station.
  • Take the Airporter Shuttle from SeaTac to Bellingham (close to both hotels)

For more information, please contact us at info@ChantiReviews.com


Things to Do While You are Visiting Bellingham, Wash – the Pacific Northwest –Chanticleer Authors Conference, Awards Banquet, and Book Fair

Chuckanut Drive – world-famous drive along the Salish Sea starts just south of Fairhaven. It is a curvy and narrow scenic two-lane drive. 21 miles of vistas with pullouts.

OYSTERS & SEAFOOD – from the Source – Taylor Shellfish


Larrabee State Park is also on this drive.


Breweries galore! Boundary Bay Brewery, Chuckanut Brewery, Kulshan Brewery, Wander Brewery, — you get the picture.

Bellingham is the Beer Snob capital of the U.S. and we are proud of it.  To hang out with the cool kids, go to The Redlight on State St.

Historic Fairhaven Village with Village Books, boutiques and art galleries, gourmet pizzerias, bistros and eateries, and, of course, a great pub – Archer’s Alehouse (Kiffer says this place has the best food in B’ham. You can find live jazz in Fairhaven at Skylark’s on Saturday nights – 8 p.m. to midnight. Le Chat Noir for a drink in a hip place. Also, The Gainesbarre, is tres chic bar for natural wines & beers.

It is HALIBUT season! If you love halibut, then order it and get it fresh from the local fisherman at the area restaurants.

It is TULIP season! Take a short drive down to Skagit County to see fields and fields of tulips – the most outside of Holland! Treat yourself to some fresh tulips – they are for sale everywhere.


Mount Baker Drive – there is still a lot of snow on the road up to Mount Baker, but it is a beautiful drive.


Pickford Art Film Theatre, Whatcom Museum – Downtown,

UpFront Comedy Theater – Ryan Stiles,


Bike rentals at Fairhaven Village, Paddle Board Rentals, small boat rentals – Fairhaven Boat Coop, decent golf courses are available.

Bellingham Bay – Did you know that some of “The Deadliest Catch” fleet is based out of Bellingham?  You can walk the docks to see the fishing fleet prepare for the season or walk the docks to gander at the sailboats.

When you have worked up an appetite, head to Nicky’s Bella Marina for the best fish and chips in town and a cold local brew! This is “a joint” where the locals hang out along with some crews from the “Deadliest Catch” fleet.

Boulevard Park a great walk that is ADA, kid, and dog-friendly that is right on the waterfront adjacent to Fairhaven Village. Stop by and get a coffee at Wood’s Coffee.

Kiffer’s suggestions for Dining Out

Downtown Café, Avenue Bread, OVN Pizza, D’Anna’s, Black Cat /Le Chat Noir, Archer’s Alehouse, Twin Sisters Biergarten, Boundary Bay, Nicky’s,  Mount Bakery, The Lighthouse Grill (Bellwether),  Anthony’s, Hearthfire, Blue Fin Sushi,  Chuckanut Brewery.

We have UBER for transportation – download the app if you haven’t done so already for an UBER convenient way to get around.

We can also recommend BLUE Cab.   360-734-3787

Whale Watching/San Juan Island Touring:  Enjoy a sunny day on the water.

Mount Baker Theatre: Historic Performance Venue.

The SPARK museum of Electrical Invention: See a display of innovations that changed the course of human history.

Downtown Bellingham: Shops and restaurants.

Historic Fairhaven: Home of one of the best indie bookstores in the country Village Books.

Plus countless natural wonders: Mount Baker, Lake Whatcom, Whatcom Falls, Boulevard Park to name a few.

We hope you enjoy your visit and discover a little bit of why Bellingham, WA was ranked as one of the greatest American cities for writers.