TRAVEL & CULTURE: Seattle's Mountaintop Escape

The Salish Lodge and Spa offers the perfect respite for those seeking to explore Washington's rustic side.

By David Carmichael

The Salish Lodge and Spa overlooking Snoqualmie Falls in Washington State (photo courtesy of Salish Lodge and Spa).

From the Winter 2018 Issue of Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts

Thirty-five minutes east of Seattle in the sleepy town of Snoqualmie, Washington rests a charming, rustic mountain retreat brimming with the history of the Pacific Northwest. Nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains and overlooking the hypnotic Snoqualmie Falls, Salish Lodge & Spa provides a curative respite from the hustle and bustle of any busy life.

The charm of the Salish lies squarely in its surroundings, and of course, the service that brings guests back time and time again. With 84 neatly appointed guest rooms wrapped in comfort, majestic scenic views, convivial staff, inviting dining spaces and a luxurious spa, everything you could want in a relaxing getaway, you have at the Salish.

Of course, we can’t forget those hypnotic falls. Attracting more than 1.5 million awestruck visitors every year, Snoqualmie Falls is one of the biggest attractions in the Washington State area. Surrounded by a lush two-acre park, the stunning natural phenomenon beacons visitors the world over with picturesque views and its mesmerizing  268-feet of roaring water falling majestically nearby.

With two well positioned observation decks, just above the falls, there is no better way to see nature in its course. You get a real sense of the sheer power the water wields. Watching grand clouds of steam rolling upward enveloped in the roar of the waters below is simply a serene experience you have to indulge.


The falls are a powerful draw from within the lodge itself. From many of its lushly appointed guestrooms (and even its restaurant), Snoqualmie Falls charms and soothes from just about every vantage point you can find on the property. Each of those rooms (many of which overlook the falls) are appointed in verdant comfort and the thoughtful surroundings indicative the Pacific Northwest. Luxury sets the stage with rooms richly appointed in amenities, an oversized two-person jetted spa tub and a wood-burning fireplace that adds ambiance in droves. Goose down feather bedding, 320-thread-count linens and lush pillows adorn each space. Custom decor, carved pieces reflective of nature and historical artwork giving a nod to the region’s native origins also add a thoughtful touch to the decor.

Food and Drink

That thoughtful touch is carried over to The Dining Room, the Salish’s signature dining experience. Helmed by Chef Benjamin Riggs, The Dining Room is a testament to what locally sourced and sustainable dining is all about. The menu features inspired Northwest cuisine with fresh ingredients, farm to table fruits and vegetables, and its famous Country Breakfast with "Honey from Heaven" (poured from a honey wand three feet above the plate right at your table). It's a nearly 100 year tradition that only enhances the experience of breakfast at the Salish. The honey is fresh too. It springs from the lodge’s very own onsite honey farm, and it creates some of the most memorable experiences available on the property. It permeates everything from dining menus to a one of a kind brew to luxury spa treatments and the popular Country Store that serves as a draw to many that come up to visit the falls for the day.

Chef Riggs’ menu planning duties also extend to  The Attic, a quaint pub-style    tavern that sits atop the lodge’s mountaintop structure. A more casual space, The Attic offers a friendly respite with a stone hearth pizza oven, casual furniture for lounging and relaxing, and the Salish’s renowned Pike Hive Five Hopped Honey Ale, produced by The Pike Brewing Company, Salish Honey Flavored Vodka and private label wines. Try Chef Rigg’s artisan pizzas when you’re there, and you’ll come back for more.


The award-winning Spa at the Salish offers a soothing retreat within a retreat. From therapeutic pools to the dry sauna and steam room to the elegant, natural ambiance that fills every corner, calm is merely steps away from your guest room. It offers treatments incorporating the resort's home grown honey, top of the line soothing organic skin products like Éminence, and Pacific Northwest ingredients included in their massage, skin care and body therapies. Simply put, the Spa completes every experience you can find at the Salish. Voted Condé Nast Traveler's "Top 50 Hotel Spas in the United States," the Spa at the Salish offers a rejuvenating escape like no other place in the region.