The Best Mountain Lodges & Resorts
- Sun Mountain Lodge (Winthrop; tel. 800/572-0493 or 509/996-2211): Perched atop a mountain and overlooking the remote Methow Valley, this is Washington's premier mountain resort. It makes a luxurious and very comfortable base for cross-country skiing in winter and hiking and mountain biking in summer.
- Freestone Inn (Mazama; tel. 800/639-3809 or 509/996-3906): This impressive log lodge beside a small trout lake at the west end of the Methow Valley is not as extensive a place as nearby Sun Mountain Lodge, but the guest rooms are among the most luxurious in the state.
- Mountain Home Lodge (Leavenworth; tel. 800/414-2378 or 509/548-7077): Set in the middle of a large pasture high on the slopes above the town of Leavenworth, this lodge enjoys a breathtaking view of the Stuart Range, and in winter it's only accessible by snow coach (complimentary transport provided by the lodge).
- Sleeping Lady (Leavenworth; tel. 800/574-2123 or 509/548-6344): Although primarily a conference resort, this place on the outskirts of Bavarian Leavenworth is far too pleasant to be reserved for those in town on business. With the feel of an upscale summer camp, the lodge is tucked amid granite boulders and ponderosa pines.
- Salish Lodge & Spa (Snoqualmie Falls; tel. 800/272-5474 or 425/888-2556): Perched on the brink of Snoqualmie Falls near the town of North Bend, this elegant country lodge is a favorite weekend getaway for Seattleites who come to be pampered at the spa and to enjoy the nearby farm country, mountain trails, and ski slopes.
- The Inn at Suncadia (Cle Elum; tel. 866/904-6300): Although this luxury inn on the east side of Snoqualmie Pass is primarily the lodging for a golf resort community, it is set amid the pine trees not far from some of the most rugged peaks in Washington.
- Paradise Inn (Mount Rainier National Park; tel. 360/569-2275): Perched high on the slopes of Washington's Mount Rainier, this classic mountain lodge was built in 1917 and was scheduled to reopen in 2008 after a major renovation. Because the lodge is only open May through October, it books up early in the year and stays packed throughout the summer. You just can't beat the location.
- Skamania Lodge (Stevenson; tel. 800/221-7117 or 509/427-7700): Set amid the grandeur of the Columbia Gorge, this modern mountain/golf resort makes the ideal base for exploring the gorge. The resort's golf course has a very distracting view of the Columbia Gorge.
The Best Waterfront Resorts & Lodges
- The Edgewater (Seattle; tel. 800/624-0670 or 206/728-7000): Built atop a pier on the Seattle waterfront, this hotel has the feel of a remote fishing lodge. The views across Elliott Bay to the Olympic Mountains are sublime.
- Woodmark Hotel, Yacht Club & Spa on Lake Washington (Kirkland; tel. 800/822-3700 or 425/822-3700): Set on spacious grounds on the eastern shore of Lake Washington, this luxurious hotel is the Seattle area's finest waterfront hotel and has a resort feel.
- The Inn at Langley (Whidbey Island; tel. 360/221-3033): The setting alone, overlooking Saratoga Passage, may be enough to rank this place firmly among the best small inns in the region. However, Japanese-influenced styling, soaking tubs with water views, and fireplaces are all welcome luxuries at this romantic retreat.
- Friday Harbor House (San Juan Island; tel. 866/722-7356 or 360/378-8455): This one isn't right on the water, but it still has some of the most luxurious accommodations on San Juan Island, and guest rooms have views of the water and distant island peaks.
- Roche Harbor (San Juan Island; tel. 800/451-8910 or 360/378-2155): Slowly but surely, this historic property on the north shore of San Juan Island is transforming itself into the most luxurious getaway in the islands. The various suites and town houses are gorgeous.
- Semiahmoo Resort (Blaine; tel. 800/770-7992 or 360/318-2000): On a spit of land across the water from Canada, this is Washington's premier golf and beach resort. Its long stretch of beachfront makes it a great place to escape, whether you want to play golf or tennis or just take a walk on the sand.
- The Resort at Ludlow Bay (Port Ludlow; tel. 800/732-1239 or 360/437-7000): Located a few miles south of Port Townsend, this small, luxury inn offers all the best aspects of the San Juan Islands without the hassles of the ferries. An adjacent golf course adds to the resort's appeal.
- Lake Crescent Lodge (Olympic National Park west of Port Angeles; tel. 360/928-3211): On the shore of Lake Crescent, a landlocked fjord in Olympic National Park, this lodge is the best base for exploring the park's north side. It has simple rooms in the old lodge building, larger rooms in newer buildings, and rustic cabins.
- Lake Quinault Lodge (Lake Quinault; tel. 800/562-6672 or 360/288-2900): This gracefully aging lodge on the shore of Lake Quinault has the most character of any of the lodges scattered around the perimeter of Olympic National Park. It's a cross between a mountain lodge and a classic lake resort.
- Alderbrook Resort & Spa (Union; tel. 800/622-9370 or 360/898-2200): Although it's way off the main tourist routes, this waterfront resort on Hood Canal is the most luxurious lodge in the Olympic Peninsula area.