Web Address: http://www.willowslodge.com
Willows Lodge is a terrific weekend getaway located next to the Sammamish River in the heart of Western Washington’s wine country, just 30 minutes from Seattle. With a climate similar to France, the eastern part of Washington State has become one of the top wine-producing regions in the world.
The sleek and modern Lodge marries contemporary design with the heritage of the Northwest. There’s a 1500 year old cedar “snag” (a stump remnant from the logging days) in the entry driveway, 100 year old Douglas fir timbers used to build the Port of Portland have been used throughout the buildings and landscape to create structure, the guest room tables are recycled slate pool table tops from old bars in British Columbia and the entry and bath floors in the rooms are a rustic slate.
With a nod to the outdoor culture of the Northwest, The Lodge created spectacular gardens featuring large conifers, flowering deciduous trees, Japanese Maples, a wide range of shrubs, large stones, and the sound of water everywhere. A large herb and edible plant garden and fruit trees have been planted to supply the two on premise restaurants.
A magnificent art collection is showcased in the public spaces, gardens and guest rooms featuring the works of Northwest Coastal Native Americans whose art tells the story of their culture.
The 84 rooms and suites are generously sized and decorated in a rustic yet elegant style reminiscent of Northwest-style lodges. Walls feature Pacific Northwest artwork. Each room has a stone fireplace, private patio or balcony and a deep soaking tub for two. Beds are covered with Australian lamb’s wool mattress pads, luxury linens, goose down pillows and European-style duvets. Bathrooms have Mexican marble bowls and toiletries by Molton Brown of London. Newspapers are delivered to your room each morning to enjoy with a French press coffee system. Rooms are categorized as “Nice, Nicer and Nicest”….which is a cute touch.
Fireside Cellars is a beautiful and lively bar next to the lobby with huge fireplace and comfortable seating. A “Happier Hour” runs from 4-6:30pm and 9:00-11:00pm. Terrific snacking food, tapas, half price drinks and special pricing on Washington wines.
The Barking Frog is a bistro style restaurant and a local favorite. The name comes from the Native American storyteller’s use of the Frog as a symbol of wealth or abundance. When the frogs are barking, it is a sign of peace and harmony in nature. The décor is warm and cozy with a wonderful fire pit at the entry for those chilly days and a great patio when the weather cooperates. The kitchen is under the direction of Executive Chef Bobby Moore, a popular local guy who was honored recently by cooking at the James Beard Foundation. The menu is creative, fun and quite delicious. Here’s some highlights; Buttermilk Fried Quail & A Waffle, black pepper waffle, Chicken Maple Demi; Penn Cove Mussells & Chorizo, smoked onion, Spanish Chorizo sauce, piquillo pepper sauce, grilled baguette; Oven Roasted Ruby Trout, smoked apple bacon & potato bread stuffing, green beans, sage beurre blanc; “Beer Flight” Guinness gingerbread cake, oatmeal stout ice cream, Stella foam, candied cashews, macerated bananas. Excellent wine list….focus on the Woodinville Collection, particularly Efeste, Gorman, Januik and Novelty Hill.
The Herbfarm Restaurant is a AAA Five Diamond award winner housed in its own building that could have easily been plucked from the Provence countryside. It is absolutely stunning. Open for dinner from Thursday-Sunday, the restaurant serves a 9 course meal paired with wines. Dinner here is worth the visit alone.
From the doormen to the front desk to the wait staff and even the housekeepers you are struck by how happy these people are to be working here. That attitude permeates your entire experience. It is warm, welcoming and genuine.
From $220 depending on the season
WHAT OTHERS SAY…
AAA Four Diamond Award
Forbes Four Star Restaurant
With a “superb spa”, a “prime location” in Washington Wine Country (30 minutes fron Seattle) and two “excellent” restaurants (Barking Frog and the “ultra superior” HerbFarm), this modernist “Pacific Northwest lodge” is a “romantic”, “secluded” “getaway”, “everything you need”, including “modern”, “romantic” rooms with fireplaces, luxe baths and “beds that help you melt away”, along with a “wonderful staff”, is present for a “perfect” weekend. ZAGAT
WHILE YOU ARE THERE
On the property you can enjoy the excellent Spa which has a full range of treatments at very reasonable prices. This is wine country with over 80 wineries including Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia which are within walking distance from the Lodge. Locally Evergreen Escapes provides nature, adventure and food/wine tours. Renowned craft beer, Redhook Brewery is right next door and offers tours. You can walk or bike on the 26 mile Burke Gilman Trail adjacent to the Lodge. (Bikes are available to rent at the Lodge). There are three golf courses in the area, shopping in and around Woodinville and rafting and kayaking on the Skykomish and Sammamish Rivers.
Seattle: 30 minutes
Spokane: 4 hours, 25 minutes
Portland, OR: 3 hours, 19 minutes