Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Washington’s Willows Lodge ~ Nice, Nicer, Nicest

We are taking a quick detour this week to tell you about a Pacific Northwest gem that’s celebrating its 15th Anniversary. Tales from the Middle East will resume in our next post. . .

Despite an unusually long spell of sunny, warm days which continue to brighten October, the autumn nights in the Pacific Northwest nights have turned chilly. That weather combination has made me think back to Willows Lodge, a luxury resort smack-dab in the middle of Washington's Woodinville Wine Country – just a few miles from our home and only a half hour from Seattle, (during a good traffic commute).

PicMonkey Collage
A spa-sponsored Garden Party brought out the hats and dresses, upper left, a Willow tree
I was thinking back to that sunny summer afternoon when I sipped wine under their massive willow trees while attending the hotel’s spa-sponsored Garden Party, an annual event that grows larger each year and one of the few that prompt attendees to don their favorite hats (something not often done in the Pacific Northwest).

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'Refreshed' Guest room - Willows Lodge
While I sipped wine that warm July afternoon, the ‘The Scout’ relaxed in our second-floor guest room – the first to be finished in a comprehensive refurbishing, or ‘refreshing’ as they call it, of the interior common areas, meeting rooms and guest rooms at the lodge. Too hot to use the fireplace, we decided we’d have to return in fall or winter months and try it out.

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Willows Lodge reception counter and lobby
The resort, which routinely lands on Conde Nast Traveler’s Gold List, celebrated its 15th Anniversary in September by introducing the new look. The decor's ‘refreshening’ was just enough to create a feel of a more modern lodge interior –   subtle, but striking enough to ‘wow’ long-time regulars.

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Willows Lodge Lobby

Willows Lodge

This quintessential Northwest lodge with its wooden beams and distressed concrete floors  incorporates reclaimed wood and metal furniture into its interior design.  That coffee table pictured above was made by Pacific Northwest artisans Meyer Wells and N.K. Build.
PicMonkey Collage
Guest room, bathroom and deck - London's Molton Brown products are featured


Guest rooms are described and priced by three categories: nice, nicer and nicest.  They’ve all been refreshed to include an accent wall behind the headboard in a deep wine hue (but, of course – it is wine country!) The new color makes the existing hand blown glass pendants simply pop.  The ceiling and wall colors have been lightened which adds to the feeling of spaciousness. I had a difficult time deciding whether I wanted to spend my ‘room time’ in the  comfy chair and ottoman (a new addition to the rooms) or outside on the small deck. I could have spent the entire stay bouncing between the two. . . with maybe a trip or two to the lounge and restaurant.

PicMonkey Collage
Barking Frog Restaurant - shots of breakfast and dinner (fresh Halibut was our choice)
The resort offers afternoon/evening light dining options in its Fireside Lounge just off the lobby (which opens onto an outdoor patio), and its award-winning Barking Frog Restaurant  serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. We loved eating in its patio but in the cold weather there’s nothing more inviting than its table that circles the indoor centerpiece of a fireplace. For an over-the-top gastronomical experience, the lengendary Herb Farm Restaurant, is footsteps from the lodge’s entry.

Say Ahh for the Spa


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The spa pool at Willows Lodge
I had time between breakfast and our late morning checkout for a spa treatment but not enough to luxuriate in the steam room or pool – ‘next time’, I told myself. There are five treatment rooms, (one designed for two with a fireplace).


PicMonkey Collage
A treatment room at Willows Lodge


Tucked in between warmed blankets, I experienced one of their signature, Clarita Facials, a treatment I had written about a few years ago but had not yet tried. My face had a healthy glow about it for days afterward.

A Stay in Woodinville Wine Country

It was our first stay at this 84-room resort, that got its beginning as a privately owned hunting lodge. Owner C. D. Stimson, a member of the early day Seattle business and social community, came here to hunt ducks.

While the duck hunting has ceased in the immediate area, Willows Lodge is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts as well as those who want to visit wine country. Woodinville, located to the east of Lake Washington in the heart of what was once agricultural fields,  is now a vibrant part of the state’s wine country with more than 100 wineries and/or wine tasting rooms located near Willows Resort. Red Hook Brewery is the next door neighbor.

The lodge is adjacent to the Sammamish River Trail, a 10.9 mile bike and recreational rail trail. There’s a kayak launch near the resort grounds and a zip line concession just a short walk away. The resort has an assortment of bikes for guests (or a pedicab you can hire to get you to the wineries) and it is pet-friendly as well. 

PicMonkey Collage
Willows Lodge, the adjacent Sammamish River Trail, zip lines, and Red Hook Brewery
Our only excuse for not staying there sooner is its close proximity to our home. But an invitation to experience the new ‘refreshing’ as guests of the hotel got us to try it out. This hosted introduction convinced us that visitors to the area shouldn’t miss it and locals shouldn't take as long as we did to stay there!

Want more information?
Willows Lodge
14580 NE 145th St.
Woodinville, 98072
877-424-3938
willowslodge.com


That’s it for this week.  As always, thanks for your time. We’re heading back to our Greek life so the tales of our time there will be intermixed with our continuing tales from the Middle East cruise. Hope we see you back here soon. Until then, safe travels to you and yours~

Linking this week with:

Travel Photo Thursday – Budget Traveler’s Sandbox 
Our World Tuesday
Travel Inspiration – Reflections En Route
Mosaic Monday – Lavender Cottage Gardening
Mersad's Through My Lens
Photo Friday - Pierced Wonderings
Wordless Wednesday

21 comments:

  1. Very cool!
    Thanks for these pix and for linking up at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/10/poor-little-birdie.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love the linkup and being a part of it, Sue!

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  2. Looks fantastic Jackie. I'm thinking about hiking in the Enchantments next summer and this would make a fine place to stay - after roughing it for a few days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you do get this close, let me know. It is time we met IRL! And it would be a good ending after roughing a few days. . .

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  3. Just found a place to add to my bucket list. I love the Molton Brown toiletries on tap. They have that at The Liberty in Boston.

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    Replies
    1. Vicki I know you would love this place and the Molton Brown is always a treat, I agree!

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  4. Willow Lodge looks like a place I'd like to linger in for as long as life would let me! What cozy rooms, wonderfully rustic décor, and scrumptious looking dishes! My favourite meal of the day is breakfast, and your looks perfect for the morning palate!

    Thanks for sharing, and hope you continue to get some autumn sunshine!

    Hugs,
    Poppy

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    Replies
    1. Oh Poppy it really is a place to linger longer than the overnight stay we had. I just wanted to curl up in that big chair with a book in front of the fireplace!

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  5. I love the idea of an escape close to home and it looks like Washington's Willows Lodge has thought of everything!

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    Replies
    1. They certainly have when it comes to pampering and being attentive to every possible desire! Thanks for stopping by Betsy!

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  6. We love Woodinville's wine country and, of course Chateau St. Michelle. Coupled with this Lodge, our stays there would be more heavenly!

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    1. The Lodge does add a touch of luxury - make that a huge helping of luxury - to the Wine Country. We'll have to sip some wine there together Carol the next time you get out our way.

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  7. It looks so inviting!! Very cosy place to have a great time to relax...
    Warm greetings!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Alexa, thanks much for stopping by today - always nice to see you here! My best, Jackie

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  8. I love all your posts, but the ones from the Pacific Northwest make me smile so big. I feel like I've returned home in a different way. :-)

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    Replies
    1. Krista, glad I could provide a touch of 'back home' for you. We've been out of the internet world for a week so it is time I get over to your blog and see what I've missed from Australia!

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  9. Looks like a great place to escape too.

    ReplyDelete
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  11. Now that's a place I'd like to visit! Looks so relaxing...a great place to re-charge the batteries!

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