I recently had the privilege of staying at Salish Lodge & Spa. Located just a quick 30 minutes from downtown Seattle in Snoqualmie, Washington, I found myself driving along winding, tree lined streets, and unable to believe something so naturally beautiful is so easily accessible. As you drive in, you already know you’re in for a treat. With a beautiful entry way of hanging baskets, manicured trees and a large fountain, the feeling of relaxation and escape is instant.
Walking in to the lobby, you find plenty of plush chairs and a grand stone fireplace. I was really excited to get settled in and start exploring! After a bit of a sour note with a not-so-welcoming front desk staff, I was checked in and the rest of my stay was nothing but wonderful and graciously hospitable, from the bartender & waitress, to the spa staff & general manager.
Lucky for my puppy, Lexii, she was invited to spend the evening with me as Salish happily welcomes pets! For a luxury resort, I expected the “pet friendly” rooms to be equally as clean & lovely as the non-pet rooms. Walking in, you could tell there was no difference, except for the adorable food and water bowls set in the corner (with a treat of course!) and ground floor access for ease of bathroom trips. My dog was in heaven. I don’t think I’ll be able to go anywhere now without making sure it’s one of many dog friendly destinations first!
The room itself was adorned with natural elements, including photos of a foggy forest and a slice of a tree hung on the wall. The decor was in green, brown and neutral tones, reflecting the lodge’s commitment to nature and the Pacific Northwest and the bathroom was just as lovely with neutral tile, a shower with two heads, and Bvulgari toiletries.
After settling in, we headed up to The Attic for their signature Queen’s Kiss cocktail. At $18, they are a bit pricey but feature their limited edition honey vodka from Glass Distillery, shaken with ice & served straight up with a tuberose-mist. The mist creates a strong perfume and floral flavor; quite delicious and incredibly unique! Recently renovated, The Attic is beautifully “lodge chic” with dark wood, metal, leather and vaulted ceilings. With a great happy hour, they are often packed with both out-of-towners enjoying the neighboring Falls and locals alike.
Another wonderful perk of staying at Salish Lodge & Spa is the spa! Complimentary use of two soaking pools, a steam room and sauna are available to all guests of the hotel, a huge plus when you see how relaxing and beautiful they are. If you aren’t a guest of the hotel but book a spa service, you’re also welcome to those areas. I was disappointed that I didn’t get to capitalize fully on this, but I was treated to two unique spa experiences including the Vischy Shower, a feature of the newly installed DermaLife Spa Jet followed by the Honey and Oatmeal Scrub.
The Vischy Shower is designed to offer a truly holistic spa experience and revolutionary enhancement for spa and skin care treatments. The service itself is done in a pod which you crawl in to, similar to a tanning bed. Once started, it sends out a series of powerful jets of water, hitting various parts of the body in waves to relax muscles and prepare the skin for a scrub or treatment. My only suggestion is to make sure the water temperature is set before crawling in (you do have a control inside to make it cooler or warmer) and be prepared that each new set of jets starts out cold for the first splash!
I followed this with the Honey and Oatmeal Scrub, made from their local honey of course. My only comment is if you have sensitive skin or muscles, I wouldn’t recommend this. Although the practitioner can go as lightly as you’d like, the scrub is more beneficial when done with a strong hand, and can be a bit abrasive for the inexperienced spa-goer. I enjoyed it and loved the feeling afterwards; my skin was like butter! I even feel like my skin two weeks later is still less dry than normal.
If you’re staying at Salish, or just looking for a great breakfast spot in Snoqualmie, you can’t miss their Country Breakfast. Regularly $34 (and well worth it), it is just $19.88 on Monday mornings through August and is enough to feed a small army!
With four courses, including fresh squeezed juice and coffee or tea service, a baker’s basket, pancakes and fruit, steel cut oatmeal, and the final course of eggs, bacon, ham, sausage, hash browns and a handmade biscuit, there is no doubt you’ll leave feeling stuffed and completely satisfied. I was lucky enough to indulge in this feast (I split it with my guest, and we still couldn’t finish it!) and enjoyed every minute. I ordered apple juice, and of course it was fresh pressed, with bits of the apple still in it. It was not too sweet and a great accompaniment to my meal. My bakers’ basket was filled with a cinnamon coffee cake & mixed berry muffin. Both were moist and not too sweet, and the muffin had huge pieces of berries in it-a big plus! The buttermilk pancakes were fluffy, the fruit was incredible with sweet and savory sauces including yogurt and a Devonshire creme. The oatmeal was creamy and delicious when topped with a sauce of some sort of maple and bourbon soaked dried fruit, brown sugar and cream. The final course was hearty with honey cured Salish ham, pork-apple sausage, smoked bacon, three farm fresh eggs and their famous buttermilk biscuit.
To finish my buttermilk biscuit, ‘Honey from Heaven’, a tradition at Salish since 1916, is a table-side service where honey from Salish’s hives is poured from high above your plate and drizzled on to your open biscuit. A nice touch, and quite lovely to watch, especially while dining just above the Falls themselves. The biscuit was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, and the sweet honey provided the perfect topping to my biscuit.
It is not possible to write about Salish without mentioning their dedication to beekeeping and sustainable, local honey making. There are subtle ‘honeybee’ references all throughout the property, with even the traditional “do not disturb” sign reading, “Bee Quiet, Sweet Dreams Inside.” Just two years ago, Salish’s hives were only producing about 600-700 pounds of honey-not enough to keep up with the number and variety of spa and restaurant menu inclusions. They have since doubled their hive count, and now produce almost 2,000 pounds of honey annually, allowing Salish to expand their honey product line into spirited creations like Honey Ale and Honey Vodka.
After a delightful stay at Salish, I left feeling refreshed and relaxed. Who knew that this type of respite was just 30 minutes outside of Seattle? If you’re looking for the perfect getaway without having to travel very far, or want to experience an eco-friendly destination with fabulous food, a great spa, and a serene, natural setting to enjoy it in, Salish Lodge & Spa is a perfect option.
-Pets are a $50 additional non-refundable fee
-While dining at “The Dining Room”, there are two private rooms that may be pre-booked for reservations. At $25 for a table for two, or $50 for a table for four, these private areas are not only relaxing, but also the closest to the Falls of any tables within the restaurant. Worth the splurge if you want to experience the Falls scenic beauty from high above!
-Salish has their anniversary concert series running two more shows in August. Highly recommended as the perfect overnight getaway! Package discounted deals are available.