Washington offers alluring accommodations as beautiful and varied as the state itself
written by Corinne Whiting
For every dreamy destination across the Washington map, we could find just as many personal travel styles. While some wanderers plan getaways around revitalizing rest and quiet luxury, others choose to be closer to the outdoors in more rustic digs. We’ve culled a list of different options throughout the state, with the hope that you’ll discover the perfect post-adventure spot to suit your style—lodging for every travel personality.
For the Lodge Lover
Located 80 scenic miles east of Seattle, Suncadia offers a family-friendly hub on 6,000 acres of forested Cascade mountain terrain. The grand lodge here has 254 guest suites and penthouses (the highlight being their panoramic views). The sprawling property features more than 40 miles of hiking and biking trails, three golf courses, several wining and dining options, and an on-site spa with saunas and four outdoor mineral baths. After taking advantage of the region’s natural beauty—and Suncadia tours such as snowshoe-and-brew excursions—adventurers refuel at cafes and pubs that line the main street of nearby historic Roslyn.
ALDERBROOK RESORT & SPA
This waterside haven, located two hours west of Seattle (via car and/or ferry), can be found nestled among sweet-smelling pines. It offers everything one might ask of a proper lodge—a main lobby gathering space, two resident cats and sixteen cozy cottages with fireplaces. There are also seventy-seven guest rooms in the lodge, a restaurant that shows off the foraging talents of the resort’s culinary team, and elevated amenities ranging from an indoor heated pool to onsite spa. The remote Hood Canal location is part of the 88-acre property’s allure, meaning guests never have to leave the resort’s cozy indoor spaces and nature trails. Two reasons to leave the Alderbrook campus are the nearby Union City Market and the tasty Hama Hama Oyster Saloon.
The Columbia River Gorge’s iconic Skamania Lodge lures nature lovers to its 175 wooded acres on the border of Oregon. Reminiscent of buildings from the early 1900s, the four-story Cascadian-style lodge features high-pitched roofs, plenty of timber and native stone. While many guests enjoy the regional draw of craft breweries, wineries and water activities such as windsurfing, on-site perks include an aerial park, zip lines, an axe-throwing area and a loop fitness trail with five stations and seventeen activities. Newly renovated guest rooms exhibit Native American-inspired designs and local photography that sheds light on this storied destination. Perks range from cozy fireplaces to private balconies with gorge views. Feeling playful? Book a tree house with a twist (we’re talking about lavish queen beds)—the ultimate spot to rest your head among the towering trees.
For the Quick Getaway Artist
On its beautiful Seattle Southside property, Cedarbrook Lodge simultaneously keeps guests within city limits—and helps them feel as though they’ve been whisked off to a secluded getaway. Tucked onto 18 acres of naturally restored wetlands, this resort is only a stone’s throw from Sea-Tac Airport, and it provides flyers with a complimentary shuttle. All Cedarbrook stays are enhanced by homey guest rooms, Northwest-inspired breakfasts, snacks in airy living rooms and access to an outdoor hot tub. Copperleaf Restaurant serves seasonal fare that’s been locally sourced (with many ingredients grown in the garden out back). The lodge’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint is evidenced by such efforts as on-site composting and a reclamation pond.
LODGES ON VASHON
An island escape that’s only a twenty-minute ferry from West Seattle, Vashon proves an easy getaway for those wanting to relax with minimal commute time. These contemporary lodges feature hip, minimalist décor, keyless-entry technology, king beds, gas fireplaces and local products (from soaps to coffee) that show off the work of some of the island’s finest artisans. Dreamy communal spaces—both indoors and out—are coveted places to curl up with a book, strum a guitar or socialize with friends.
TULALIP RESORT CASINO
About forty-five minutes north of Seattle, a surprise getaway destination with stunning mountain views rises just off I-5. Tulalip Resort Casino attracts visitors for its plentiful gaming offerings. But it also dazzles with luxurious accommodations, numerous dining options (eight in total, including Blackfish, known for its traditionally prepared salmon), a rejuvenating spa and the fascinating Hibulb Cultural Center and its 50-acre natural history preserve, a place to honor and learn about the Tulalip people and their neighboring communities. Tulalip Resort’s recently refreshed 370 guest rooms have modern amenities and vibrant Coast Salish artwork and textures.
For The Pleasure Seeker
Those looking for an excuse to unplug will delight in the prime location of Eritage Resort, a sun-kissed, wine country retreat where the day begins lazily with the chirps of birds and lull of neighboring tractors. This newer Eastern Washington gem consists of ten luxury suites and ten lakeside bungalows with private decks. While the on-site restaurant has seasonal tasting menus that showcase a connection to local family farmers and suppliers, the in-room dining menu allows guests to eat in their own serene space—or by the pool during summer months.
This adults-only riverside retreat brings authentic wellness concepts from the Alps to the heart of Washington’s favorite faux-Bavarian town. Guests start the day with a European breakfast spread (think eggs any style, German sausage and potatoes, freshly baked breads and barista-crafted espresso) before lounging on the lobby terrace, unwinding in the library and indulging in a wellness area that has decadent nap rooms, saunas, plunge pools, a swim-out saltwater pool, and indoor and outdoor spas. Elegant comfort defines the resort’s fifty-five rooms, many of which offer hand-carved marble soaking bathtubs and French doors that open to exquisite mountain views.
This undeniably romantic destination, celebrating its twentieth year in 2020, is located twenty-five minutes east of Seattle in the heart of Woodinville wine country. On 5 beautifully landscaped acres, guests sink into luxurious Northwest-inspired spaces—every guest room and suite has a stone fireplace and soaking tub designed for two. There is no shortage of activities to be found, thanks to the bounty of nearby tasting rooms and the Sammamish River Trail running adjacent to the property (Willows keeps bikes on hand to borrow). The recently renovated spa now has an outdoor sauna to complement the relaxation pool, and Barking Frog continues to be hailed as one of Woodinville’s most desirable restaurants.
NEW + NOTABLE
Washington casinos have much to celebrate in 2020
With twenty-seven casinos in Washington, there’s always something new going on. Here are a few developments.
The Muckleshoot Casino announced in October that it will be an official partner and sponsor of the new National Hockey League team coming to Seattle. The NHL team will have its home games in New Arena, a renovation of the existing KeyArena in the Seattle Center, and the team will begin playing in the 2021-22 season.
The partnership will mean the casino’s brand presence at the arena, as well as a program that will introduce hockey to Native American kids in the Puget Sound area. The Auburn-based casino, meanwhile, is in the midst of an expansion that will be complete this year, including a 20,000-square-foot events center, a “pre-function promenade” with a glass wall, three new fast-casual restaurants and a bar, more gaming area and a cultural center.
In 2021, the Tulalip Tribes will open a new $125 million Quil Ceda Creek Nightclub & Casino off I-5 in Tulalip, north of Everett. The more than 125,000-square-foot casino will also feature a parking garage and 1,500 gaming machines.
In Blyn, the Jamestown S’klallam tribe is in the process of building a new hotel at the site of the 7 Cedars Casino. The first phase of the project, slated to be completed in spring 2020, will showcase a 100-room, five-story resort with each floor featuring a different element.
Finally, the Emerald Queen Casino just got bigger. The Tacoma casino, operated by the Puyallup tribe, has a new casino right next to the original and brings 310,000 square feet of gaming. The new casino, which opened in December, is being hailed as a Las Vegas-style facility, with a 2,000-seat concert venue. This year, the casino plans to add a new hotel and spa to the property, plus a rooftop restaurant.
For the Adventurous Spirit
IRON SPRINGS RESORT
Fewer than three hours from the big-city bustle of Seattle, the rugged coast lures beachcombers and clamdiggers to its wide-open spaces and driftwood-dotted beaches. Iron Springs consists of twenty-five cozy, dog-friendly cabins on 25 acres, with another 100 acres across the road that has a mile-long hiking trail winding past old-growth stumps, and beautiful trees and fauna. Each cabin has a wood-burning stove or fireplace as well as a full-sized kitchen. For those craving true off-the-grid simplicity: remote Cabin 28 comes with no cable, WiFi or phone access.
SAN JUAN ISLAND
Near Roche Harbor, Lakedale Resort at Three Lakes—situated on 82 acres with three spring water lakes—is an ideal spot to disconnect and glide onto island time. Accommodations here range from simple lodge guestrooms to basic campsites, but the experience of glamping in a canvas cabin or canvas cottage (from May through November) or in a yurt (year-round) offers a fresh way to commune with nature. Highlights of this upgraded tent experience include breakfast served in the mess tent, a comfortable bed with flannel duvet, s’mores-ready fire ring, and “Toasty Toes” turndown service, meaning the decadent delivery of hot water bottles to the “front porch” every evening. In summer months, Washington chefs and winemakers partner for special Gourmet Glamping feasts.
Road-tripping enthusiasts love the service offered by Seattle-based Peace Vans Rentals, a fleet of custom camping vehicles, and Peace Vans Outfitters, a one-stop-shop for curated, camping gear rentals (LED lighting, awnings, heaters and more). Vintage vehicles such as classic VW camper vans have been refurbished with modern-day amenities, and now the fleet is growing its availability of custom Mercedes Metris camper vans, too. In 2020, customers have the option to travel as far as Los Angeles, and one of the VW vintage buses is being converted into a fully electric vehicle.