December 9, 2015
One can’t really escape the Seattle rain during the winter months, but it is possible to convert the chilly mood to cosy sentiments if you know where to go. Here’s a set of retreats in Greater Seattle that will transform those relentless rainy days into exceedingly romantic nights.
Woodinville feels a little bit like Oz, home to wineries and exceptional dining about 40 minutes outside of Seattle. The Willows Lodge exemplifies the magic, especially given its location beside the lodge’s Barking Frog and independent Herbfarm restaurants. Inside, a fireplace crackles beneath awesome Douglas fir beams, reclaimed from the Port of Portland. Reused timber was also used to build each room’s headboard shelves, night tables and fireplace mantles. Look closely at the lodge’s entry doors also, they’re manufactured from old wine casks; you can actually spot red wine stains.
Climbing quickly into the Cascade Mountains is one of Greater Seattle’s finest geographical virtues, but there’s no need to hit the Snoqualmie Summit to capture that conifer forest air, not when Salish Lodge entreats you to exit just 30 minutes on. Perched above the 269-foot Snoqualmie Falls, settling before your wood fireplace or snuggling up in the Attic proves an excellent warm up after a hike in the Tiger Mountain State Forest, located just 15 minutes away.
Yes, the Beatles did try fishing in Elliot Bay while staying at Edgewater Hotel during their 1964 tour. You can still do the same, though you may prefer to keep the sheets of rain that paint the west facing windows at bay. Looking toward the Olympic Mountains, it’s easy to forget the Seattle skyline exists just blocks away and major city attractions like Pike Place Market or the Space Needle are just a short walk. Seattle’s only waterfront hotel, this is the place to come to experience a quieter side to city life.
Urban retreats are all very fine, but a rustic lodge simply cannot exist less than ten minutes from a major international airport. Welcome to Cedarbrook Lodge, an amazing antidote to the long layover or early morning flight. Founded as Boeing’s retreat centre, Cedarbrook sits on gorgeous grounds and wetlands, includes a fabulous Northwest breakfast and several “living rooms” that remind you home is just a flight, or about ten minutes, away. Miraculously, guests hear less overhead plane noise here than in most Seattle neighbourhoods.
The Portland-based hotel enterprise, McMenamins, makes a habit of converting historical buildings, often schools, into adult playgrounds, but Anderson School is the first traditional brick edifice to receive the makeover treatment in Washington. The campus, including a saltwater pool set at 33-degrees with open skylights, includes several gathering spots such as the North Shore Lagoon above the pool and the Shed. There’s even a first run movie theatre on-site.
Two and a half hours away from Seattle, Sleeping Lady‘s simple bungalows of exposed knotty pine beams and rustic appointments settle into clusters suggest a druidic village. The cabins face inward toward the natural courtyards, the hot tub imitates a natural hot spring and the outdoor sculptures, including Dale Chihuly’s Icicle Creek Chandelier, the artist’s first permanent outdoor sculpture, invite an aesthetic scavenger hunt beneath the ponderosa pines. And then there’s the Grotto Bar, an idyllic combination of fireplace and full bar. A second fireplace awaits in O’Grady’s Pantry, a friendly bakery also located on the grounds.
Booking a trip to Seattle? Our codeshare arrangement with Delta makes it simple for you to travel all over North America. Why not explore some of these greater Seattle retreats on your next trip?
Have you visited any of these Greater Seattle retreats? Have we left any of your favourite Washington boltholes off our list? Let us know in the comments section below.
Written by Crai Bower