Salish Lodge

In harmony with its Northwest surroundings, the Salish Lodge & Spa sits in the foothills of the Cascades. Embraced by Douglas fir, western hemlock, Sitka spruce and the steep slope of Little Si Mountain (popular with local hikers), it is best known for its proximity to the 268-foot Snoqualmie Falls. More than just a natural wonder, the falls are the site of the Snoqualmie Tribe’s creation myth, as well as a source of the mood that permeates the area. The lodge perches at the edge; and rooms gazing over the tumbling water are restorative, especially if you leave your balcony door open to listen to its thunder at night.

I relished the enjoyment of our room’s mood dimming lights, jet soaking tub, big TV, complimentary pillows, soft bathrobes, comfy king-size bed, and breakfast in bed! The service was impeccable. For instance, whenever we asked for complimentary pillows and extra firewood, someone would be knocking at our door within a matter of minutes with our request.

Our dining experience at The Dining Room was divine; it would be great for either a one-off for a special occasion or a favorite haunt for gourmet nights out. We liked the way the market fresh, seasonal menu relied on the bounty of the region, incorporating Pacific Coast seafood, Olympic range huckleberries, produce from Full Circle organic farm and wines from the Okanogan and Willamette Valleys. The comfortable room is simultaneously rustic and elegant, providing a lovely contrast to the sophistication of the cuisine—although we know we aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, we can’t help ourselves. We recommend reserving a table in one of the private alcoves for added ambiance.

The presentation of the dishes is eloquent; that the food itself is so expressive it makes the experience complete. The cuisine is a tribute to the executive chef, who incorporates French techniques, a commitment to sustainable agriculture, and local produce from organic sources such as Full Circle Farm. We are particularly smitten by the Snoqualmie River Hot Rocks—scallops, ahi and yellowtail cooked on flat rocks in salt.

While there’s a heavy emphasis on seafood, the landlubbers are well looked after with Kobe beef short ribs and beef cheeks with Yukon Gold potato purée, organic
root vegetables, and Olympic range huckleberries; and pasture-raised chicken with caramelized Belgian endive, apples, white figs and Calvados sauce. The attention to detail by the dining room staff is perfect. From the water service, rose petals on the table, and food presentation, to the knowledgeable, friendly service made for the most memorable dining I’ve ever encountered.

The next day I arrived at the spa, I was politely informed that you are now entering a silent sanctuary. This edict applies to more than just the treatment spaces. There is a gorgeous soaking pool area. One pool is tiered above the other, with a cascading waterfall flowing into the lower, and from both you can gaze through floor-to-ceiling windows across the road to Mount Si. Although the flow of the water is melodic, it is the hush that you notice. The silence in this spa is so profound that you can actually hear it, much like the silence you hear when you venture into the woods. This kind of quiet isn’t about a lack of noise, but rather the lack of the kind of noise—cars, loud voices and the like—that is associated with civilization.

The spa isn’t physically large, and its layout adds to the feeling of intimacy. This is why its impressive range of spaces comes as such a surprise. Hidden away are three Japanese-style massage rooms, a tatami Thai massage mat room, skincare rooms, a hydrotherapy rain room and more.

This was our third trip to the lodge and we have found that Snoqualmie is a great place to explore. The Salish Lodge is perfect if you want to celebrate or just unwind from a stressful week.

Leah Grout