Perched high above Washington’s Snoqualamie Falls, Salish Lodge & Spa is a classic.
Folks who have lived in Washington’s Puget Sound area for longer than 15 years may remember having Sunday breakfast at the Snoqualmie Falls Lodge, a classic Northwest lodge just 40 minutes from Seattle. The highlight of the meal was when the waiter poured syrup on your pancakes from a pitcher held high over your plate. Little eyes would get big – as the syrup cascaded onto the pancakes – like the water crashing over the rocks just outside the window. For many families, it was a time honored tradition. Today, while the lodge has been renamed Salish Lodge & Spa, it continues to provide the opportunity for creating special memories.
In 1988, the Snoqualmie Falls Lodge was completely remodeled, while maintaining the flavor (and the original fireplace) of the original eight- room inn built in 1916. Today, it is a fully-appointed resort and spa that has become a destination for vacations, weddings, anniversaries, and other celebrations. The beautiful lodge, which now offers 84 guestrooms and numerous event spaces, perches on the top of a cliff with Snoqualmie Falls providing a background of mist, sound, and beauty.
Visitors of the past might associate the lodge with pancake syrup, but today a visit is highlighted with honey! High on a hill overlooking the parking lot is the Salish Lodge Apiary. The 12 hives, each with its own queen, are home to over a quarter million honey bees. Surrounding the apiary is an herb garden and an 800 square foot vegetable garden. Both are organic, and provide some wonderful culinary opportunities for the resort’s chefs. There is also a field of wildflowers, and blueberry, huckleberry, and raspberry plants to keep the bees happy and producing the sweet stuff. The berries are also used in the Lodge’s signature jams.
Many of the meals in both restaurants of the Lodge feature honey from the apiary. Of course, you will find honey for your biscuits in the morning, and as a delicious ingredient in many of the baked goods. In addition, the little bee on the menus will lead you to some surprising honey use, such as the Salish Honey Bee Martini, made with Bulleit Bourbon, Cointreau, and apple cider in a chilled Salish honey drizzled martini glass.
The main dining room offers fine dining, with an extensive wine list, menu, and a view to match. As a starter, you can’t go wrong with the Lobster Bisque, a Salish signature item for years. The menu features Northwest cuisine, using seasonal and local ingredients and some very innovative (and indigenous) cooking techniques.
Upstairs from the main dining room is the Attic, a casual and cozy place to meet friends and relax over cocktails and a light meal. (Although I’m not sure you would call the half-pound Snake River Farms Burger a light meal!) Along with a good selection of wines by the glass or bottle, there are plenty of choices for imported, domestic, and northwest beer on tap. And, of course, along with the great food, cozy atmosphere and your choice of spirits, there is that great view of the falls.
Ahh the Spa
And what is a weekend of pampering without a spa treatment? The Spa at Salish is an oasis of calm. The day spa offers three therapeutic pools of different temperatures, a eucalyptus steam room, and a dry sauna. The setting is beautiful, with lots of comfy seating around the pools for relaxing, reading, or just staring off into space. The vast array of treatments offered includes facials, body scrubs, massage (including hot rock), seaweed body wraps, manicure and pedicure services, and a full menu of maternity treatments. Follow the little bee on the spa menu to find the treatments that use the Salish’s honey. A very popular treatment is the Honey From Heaven for Hands and Feet. It is a 50-minute, revitalizing experience which leaves your hands and feet feeling smoother, healthier, and more energized – not to mention kissably sweet.
For centuries, the native Snoqualmie People have made the Falls central to their culture and spirituality. According to native legend, Snoqualmie Falls are where the First Woman and First Man were created and where prayers are carried to The Creator by the mists that rise from the water. For visitors today, that feeling of serenity is present and Salish Lodge’s Spa provides a way to luxuriously dip into the tranquility. Add extraordinary dining and you’ve got a nurturing experience that you’ll long remember. by Elizabeth Fagin, RFT Contributor photos courtesy Salish Lodge & Spa
Interested in more stories about the beautiful Snoqualmie Falls area? Check out Michael Fagin’s story on hiking around Snoqualmie Falls Park.