A World Away

Salish in September-falls: The luxurious Salish Lodge and Spa is nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, amidst the famed 268-foot Snoqualmie Falls. (photo courtesy of ) | Photo: Louisa Lew | Salish, Cascade Mountains, Snoqualmie Falls,

A unique icon of the Pacific Northwest

"A unique icon of the Pacific Northwest" is how Amy Wenaweser (Communications Manager for Columbia Hospitality, Inc. in 2011), characterizes the Salish Lodge and Spa, a Columbia Hospitality resort. The luxurious Salish Lodge and Spa is nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, amidst the famed 268-foot Snoqualmie Falls, tumbling to create an arising mist. The resort is a premier destination for diverse travelers, ranging from the adventurous to those who seek relaxation; the lodge offers a myriad of activities and packages to suit any traveler's needs. The lodge also caters to every need of our four-legged companions, with their own destination package, as traveling with our four-legged friends has become a popular trend.

The distinguishing factor of Salish is the location; although the lodge is just 30 miles east from Downtown Seattle, Salish "feels like a world away." What is so special about Salish is that it is an actual lodge filled with history, evoking the spirit of the Pacific Northwest, where the lodge amenities incorporate locally sourced products, continues Wenaweser. The in-house formal restaurant, The Dining Room, features a locally sourced northwest menu. The newly renovated, casual The Attic features a Washington applewood-fired pizza oven, as well as an updated bar, offering their own Salish Honey Ale, Salish Honey Flavored Vodka, and private label wines, a perfect pairing to their wood-fired pizzas and sandwiches.

As Wenaweser accounts, in April of 2011, a four-hive, 120,000 honeybee apiary was installed, located on the hills overlooking the lodge and falls, where 600-800 pounds of honey is incorporated into both the restaurant and the spa. Salish's website describes the decadent dishes featuring the honey begin with the crispy pork belly, which is served with pickled radish, sherry, watercress, and Salish's honey; then, a grilled lamb loin, served with pearl pasta, sultanas, preserved lemon, spinach, Castelvetrano olives, and finished with a Salish honey-buttermilk vinaigrette. Many of the desserts feature Salish's honey, including Salish's signature chocolate souffl?, with Valrhona and Grand Marnier chocolate sauce, accented with Salish honey ice cream, and a dessert cheese course, the Mount Townsend's Cirrus cheese, accompanied with Salish honey fig preserve, poached fruit, and La Panzanella crackers.

The renowned spa features two honey treatments: the "Honey from Heaven for the Hands and Feet," which revitalizes with a honey drizzle to soothe the skin, as a blend of sugar, honey, pure essential lemon oil, lemon verbena, and orange is used as an exfoliator; stress is melted away as your skin is soothed from the nourishing honey "drizzled straight from the hive." The "Honey and Oatmeal Scrub," utilizes a nourishing mix of warmed, natural oatmeal and pure honey to moisturize the skin after a mild exfoliation, followed by a body coverage of milk and honey butter, as your skin absorbs the natural antioxidants of the honey, describes the Salish website.

Walking into the lodge, the first sensation is the smell of the wood-burning fireplace, as it permeates the air, the first of the warm, inviting atmosphere. Guests are greeted by the friendly concierge and escorted to their rooms. The intent of the rooms themselves is to facilitate romance and relaxation. After a full day of activities, or just a relaxing soak in the oversized two-person jetted spa tub (which is situated so that a sliding door can be opened or closed at your will), guests can dive into the soft, plush, king-sized bed with feather bedding and goose-down comforter, as they snuggle amidst the wood-burning fireplace, all featured in the king-rooms.

The Dining Room
The Dining Room

The in-house formal restaurant, The Dining Room, features a locally sourced northwest menu, incorporating many of their dishes with the honey from the four-hive, 120,000 honeybee apiary that was installed in April of 2011, located on the hills overlooking the lodge and falls. | Photo: Columbia Hospitality Inc. | The Dining Room, Restaurant, Vacation, Lodge,

The pet-friendly rooms are located on the first floor, where a set of bowls, a bottle of water, and cookies await the pups; grass, as well as a tiny garden, is conveniently situated outside the patio door. Salish has a $50 non-refundable pet deposit, but it is priceless to enjoy a lavish and stress-free getaway with your four-legged companions. Not only is Salish pet-friendly, it is generous in donating to nonprofits in efforts of fundraising; the Columbia Hospitality resort donated a night stay (retailed at $400) to the Kitsap Humane Society's 2010 fundraising dinner and auction.

Salish offers convenient packages to suit a vast range of tastes, from a "Babymoon at Salish (which includes a cute Salish Lodge and Spa baby gift)," to the "Salish Rejuvenation" package, which includes a one-night stay, a $100 dining credit towards either their formal The Dining Room, or their casual spot, The Attic, as well as two 50-minute spa treatments. The signature heated river rock massage is incomparable, especially with an upgrade to the romantic couple's fireside room. Immediately, a serene feeling emerges as you enter the comfortably warm room, with the lights dimmed, accented by the crackling of the fireplace. An herbal essential oil is used, as the massage therapist uses long circular motions to sweep any tension away. The heat of the river rocks produce the next level of relaxation; the newly heated rocks replace the cooled ones, creating a refreshing feeling, as the fifty minutes fly by. The massage therapist finishes with a sweet, citrusy lotion, the perfect balance to the intense herbal essences.

Wenaweser suggests: first time guests are encouraged to take advantage of the adventure packages. A popular winter adventure package is the "Ski and Stay," which includes a night stay in a deluxe guestroom, a choice of a two-day adult lift tickets for the Summit at Snoqualmie, or a two beginners package including equipment rental, lift ticket, and a lesson; finally, two Snoqualmie Coffees in The Attic finish off the day. Summer packages include "I'll Be at the Spa," which includes one 50-minute tranquility massage, a two-hour DirtFish rally class for one, a keepsake Salish tote bag with two bottles of water and trail mix, finished with a $25 credit towards The Attic, where the couple can reconnect.

The package especially created for your four-legged companions is "It's a Dog's World," the package for pampered pups; after an action-filled day of exploring the outdoors, walking along the greens, and breathing in the crisp, fresh air, they can relax in their own keepsake doggie robes by the fireside, before enjoying an entr?e and treat from the Canine Cuisine in-room doggie menu. A favorite dish from the canine menu is the "Vegetarian," which includes a flavorful mix of roasted Yukon gold potatoes, tender green English peas, and sweet corn and carrots, brought via room service on a tray. The package also includes a $25 credit towards The Dining Room or The Attic, as well as a reduced one-time pet fee of $25, during the night stay. In March of 2013, the lower part of the falls was reopened after the renovations; the entire family will be able to hike down the trail leading to the lower part of the falls.

The quintessential Pacific Northwest resort is also a premier wedding destination. Wenaweser fondly recalls, one of Salish's memorable weddings involved not a best man, but a best dog. The bride walked down the steps of their "secret gem," the Hidden Terrace, an intimate outdoor area, located on the backside of the lodge, overlooking the Snoqualmie River, just steps away from the crest of the falls. There awaited her groom and the best dog, clad in his own formal wear. The second pet-friendly location is the Centennial Green, approximately 100 yards from the lodge, where guests can enjoy views of the majestic Cascade Mountains or breathtaking Snoqualmie Falls.

Wenaweser accounts, the most popular location is the Falls Terrace, for a variety of reasons. The Falls Terrace features a wood-burning fireplace, high ceilings, all naturally lit windows, as well as the private patio, a perfect location for weddings involving pets, as pets are only allowed in the outdoor common areas. The Falls Terrace can be joined with the Potlach room to accommodate additional guests. Couples are encouraged to reserve their location a year in advance, especially for large parties of 80+, although Salish is well-equipped to support a spontaneous wedding; the first dates reserved are usually within the summer months, particularly the Saturdays in July and August. The most popular locations for photographs include the viewing platforms, with the waterfall serving as the pinnacle backdrop, where photographs are best taken pre-dusk, as there is ample light. No matter the time of day, photographs will be breathtaking; photographs have been taken during the day, the night, and black and white. An incomparable location is the lower part of the falls, as featured on the website.

The Library
The Library

The Library: The Library is an intimate room where guests can take a break, where they can enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, along with cookies. The room invokes a warm and comforting feeling, when you walk in, a feeling that Salish itself creates for guests. | Photo: Columbia Hospitality Inc. | The Library, Chair, Vacation, Interior,

Salish also offers several packages for couples getting married, or simply enjoying a getaway. The most popular package is "Romance Atop the Falls," where the couple can sip sparkling wine while curled into their rose petal covered bed during a night-stay, to awaken to the sounds of the falls, ready for an intimate breakfast for two. Salish has created a stress-free "Elope Atop the Falls" package, which features not only the ceremony and the night's stay, but keepsake champagne flutes and picture frame, as well as a five-course tasting menu, a personal wedding cake for two, and a four-course country breakfast for two. Salish could also take care of all the details and the Officiant.

The Salish staff is helpful and extremely guest friendly, whether two or four-legged. According to Wenaweser, although there are a myriad of features she enjoys about the Salish Lodge and Spa (including the cozy fireplaces, and the remodeled spa) her favorite thing about the lodge is the team behind the lodge, who is dedicated in helping guests and ensuring guests have the best experience possible. The front desk concierge will take guests on a tour of the possible wedding reception locations, after learning of their wedding plans. Our server of The Attic, knowing that we wanted to share an additional entr?e, asked the kitchen to split it, so that we would have our own plates (a grilled balsamic Portabella Focaccia with thin, spiced fries). One of the morning hostesses of The Dining Room momentary left her station to deliver my order of vanilla and spice-infused waffles (accompanied with Canadian maple syrup, house-made blackberry preserves, and cinnamon whipped cream) as I perused the Country Store. It is that extra step each team member takes that keep guests loyal, who anxiously await their next getaway.

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Updated Aug 12, 2017 12:08 PM EDT | More details


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