Wednesday, May 23 , 2018, 5:55 pm | Overcast 62º

 
 
 
 

Judy Crowell: Salish Lodge & Spa Near Seattle an Idyllic Getaway

From its sense of tranquility and stunning views to its hillside apiary, some might say the Snoqualmie, Wash., inn is the bee's knees

[Click here for a Noozhawk photo gallery of Salish Lodge & Spa.]

Salish Lodge & Spa in Snoqualmie, Wash., is one of those places that the travel gods sometimes reward you with when you least expect it.

Booked at the tail end of a driving tour of the Northwest, I had chosen it because of its 30-minute drive from the Seattle airport, to connect with an early-morning flight. In other words, I wasn’t expecting much. Boy, was I surprised!

Built in 1916, this eight-room inn served as a rest stop for travelers journeying over Snoqualmie Pass in the North Cascade Range. They came for the famous country breakfasts and stayed to marvel at the Snoqualmie Falls and river, formed by ice and glacier debris flow more than 10,000 years ago. As they approached, they were greeted by the roar of whitewater over granite cliffs, the staggering power of water plunging 268 feet down into a 65-foot-deep pool.

Completely remodeled and reopened in 1988, Salish Lodge is perched above this unchanged wonder of nature, a short walk yet miles away in terms of milieu from this major Washington tourist attraction. More than 1.5 million people come each year to view the falls, the hydroelectric power plants and the lovely two-acre park, with free viewing and parking from dawn until dusk. If it all looks familiar, you may recognize it for its appearance in the cult TV series Twin Peaks.

A soothing aroma of cedar and a sense of tranquility greet you as you enter the lodge and spa. Each of the charming 84 guest rooms has a wood-burning fireplace and a two-person Jacuzzi soaking tub. The rooms ooze Pacific Northwest charm and make it very easy to simply stay inside, particularly during the November through March rainy season.

I loved walking through the park at dusk on a cloudy, misty evening and would not have been the least shocked to encounter Heathcliff, deep in melancholy along the windswept moors. It has that Wuthering Heights aura.

Too many awards to list have been bestowed on Salish Lodge, many recognizing its romantic atmosphere: Condé Nast listed it as No. 49 in Readers Choice Top 100 Hotels; Wine Spectator, Best of Award of Excellence for 21 consecutive years; Most Romantic, Best Place to Kiss, Best Place to Propose, Best Place to Spend Your Wedding Night. You get the picture.

The Dining Room with its stunning views of the falls and river features farm-fresh seasonal ingredients and epicurean dining. World-famous country breakfasts include Salish honey from heaven poured from on high over buttery homemade biscuits.

Which brings me to the bees. Beginning with a four-hive, 120,000-honeybee apiary producing 600 pounds of honey, the hillside apiary now includes an organic vegetable garden, herb garden, fields of wildflowers and an ever-growing contingency of buzzing bees and hives. The spa also utilizes this ambrosia, choosing herbs such as rosemary, lavender, basil and mint to blend with the honey, creating a custom scrub.

Yes, there’s life and activity outside this idyllic getaway. The TPC is the only Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course in the Pacific Northwest; and there’s fishing, hiking, horseback riding, biking, skiing and rafting from leisurely floats to thrilling rapids. Snoqualmie is also home to the Northwest Railway Museum and a veritable graveyard of once-grand railroad cars.

The Woodman Lodge, a holdover from a bygone era and restored as a tribute to hardworking pioneers who worked harvesting timber, mining coal and building a railroad, is a great place for grilled steaks and slow-roasted prime rib. A five-minute drive into this sleepy little town was delightful, but I couldn’t wait to get back to Salish Lodge, with its cascading waterfall, cozy rooms, inviting library, tempting gift shop, therapeutic spa and honey bees.

I never did figure out if bees actually have knees — or where exactly that marvelous 1920s phrase came from — but I can tell you without equivocation that Salish Lodge is indeed the bee’s knees.

— Judy Crowell is a Noozhawk contributing writer, author, freelance travel writer and part-time Santa Barbara resident. She can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). The opinions expressed are her own.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >