Spring is an ideal time to spend a weekend at Willows Lodge in Woodinville. It is an easy drive from South Snohomish or North King County and, once there, guests are pampered from start to finish.
Visitors are greeted with a complimentary glass of merlot in the lobby, which acts as an art gallery featuring several renowned Northwest Coast Native artists. Throughout the lodge, natural wood serves as an architectural foundation to woven steel and etched glass ornamentation. Amidst the Pacific Northwest décor, there are hints of Eastern influence and whimsy. There are also bright spots of color, provided by sconces of Pilchuck glasswork.
The lodge has 84 guest rooms, each with a balcony or patio. The suites have a gas fireplace, an oversized soaking tub, a 40-inch flat screen television, a stocked bar, a French press with Starbucks coffee, and Wi Fi access. They are decorated in deep earth tones and white linens, and each has a brightly colored, overstuffed chair.
Situated on five acres along the Sammamish River, Willows Lodge is in the middle of wine country. On its grounds, there are carefully tended gardens of native plants and annuals planted for a succession of color throughout the year. The largest outdoor venue hosts many weddings and celebrations. It has an expansive gazebo and patio with adjacent flowerbeds and a fountain. Nearby, two pigs are happily housed in a pen, waiting for the attention of passersby. There are several suites set aside to accommodate guests who bring canine friends.
Following the path around the lodge, there are several other sitting areas. A large patio and garden form an open courtyard between the wings of the main building. A smaller gathering spot at the far end is used to host intimate weddings and parties, while a pond near the spa serves as a resting place for reflection.
The spa at Willows Lodge is available to guests as well as the public. It has an indoor steam room and an outdoor Jacuzzi.
Spa services include a variety of pampering treatments and a visit to the lodge cannot be complete without enjoying a few of them. Massage options include Lomi Lomi, hot stone and Thai herbal massage. Available body treatments provide opportunities for a wrap, exfoliation and bronzing. And facials range from the basic to anti-aging to aromatherapy. Manicures and pedicures are also given. Among the product lines used are d’vine skin care, Carita and Decleor Paris.
Willows Lodge is perfectly situated for outdoor recreation. Its property gives guests plenty of room to walk and enjoy well-groomed trails, and for those who like a challenge, there is a ropes course adjacent to the lodge. It includes 15 challenge stations, including a mini-zipline. Used frequently by corporations and groups for team-building activities, it also makes a fun adult-sized jungle gym.
The Burke Gilman Trail runs right in front of Willows Lodge, providing miles of paved surface from Issaquah to Ballard for those who enjoy biking or walking longer distances. Marymoor Park is 10 miles away, with an extensive dog park and plenty of space for picnicking, kite flying or playing a game of softball. Seasonal activities include hot air balloon rides and horseback riding, available through nearby businesses.
A wine lover’s paradise
Barking Frog sommeliers Matt Davis and Jennifer Schmitt boast multiple awards for their expertise, and wine enthusiasts have more than enough choices when tasting wine in the region. Woodinville is home to more than 90 wineries, 25 of which are within walking distance of the lodge. Included in those are Columbia Winery, Januik, JM Cellars, and Chateau Ste. Michelle. The latter offers full tours in addition to summer concerts and events.
If guests prefer other adult beverages, Red Hook Brewery is next door to Willows Lodge, offering hourly tours and tasting, and Woodinville Whiskey is a stone’s throw away.
Woodinville, as well as nearby Redmond and Bellevue, offer fabulous restaurants for dining, but there is no need to go very far to enjoy award-winning cuisine while staying at Willows Lodge. Two well-known establishments are located on the grounds.
Barking Frog’s executive chef, Bobby Moore, is highly prized for his creativity and use of locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. His Earth Day menu included a Hubbard squash and hearty greens salad, an entrée of lamb over pearl cous cous with Brussels sprouts and fennel confit, and goat cheese Bavarian for dessert. Menu titles cannot come close to the magical mix of flavors and textures in each dish that Moore designs.
Right next door to Barking Frog, The Herbfarm is housed in what looks like a lovely cottage in the English countryside.The restaurant serves a nine-course meal, complete with five or six wine pairings, making it a five-hour event. Chef Chris Weber, the youngest chef overseeing one of America’s 42 5-diamond restaurants, prepares a new menu each week, using different themes throughout the year.
The restaurants at Willows Lodge are a contrast in design, but not in quality. The experience at each is unique and unforgettable, just as the lodge accommodations are. With careful attention to detail and personalized service, the staff at Willows Lodge makes spending time there a renewing getaway for every patron.
For more information, visit www.willowslodge.com.