Snoqualmie’s Salish Lodge & Spa: Eerily Amazing

by Megs Thompson

Now all I need is a bed, a bathroom, a telephone, and sometimes a television in the unlikely event that one day I’ll get a chance to knock off early.” (Special Agent Dale Cooper; Twin Peaks)

I’m not ashamed to admit that what originally drew me to the gorgeous Salish Lodge in Snoqualmie was its role in the quirky 90’s series, “Twin Peaks.” While the staff at the lodge have definitely gone above & beyond to welcome visiting “Peaks Freaks,” the breathtaking enormity of Snoqualmie Falls, with a solid 268-foot drop located directly behind the lodge, makes it a challenge to focus on anything else (even searching for the uniquely quirky Special Agent Dale Cooper, or unraveling the mystery of who really killed Laura Palmer).

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While the lodge itself is overwhelmingly gorgeous, with a location that screams “wanderlust”, my own stay was a bit, eerie, albeit enjoyable. Pulling into the circular drive and relinquishing my keys to the courtesy valet, I was invited into the lobby, a warm area with dark wood accents, crackling fireplace, & a smattering of overstuffed easy chairs. I had arrived early in the afternoon, having made my way along meandering back roads instead of simply taking the highway. I intended to spend a fair amount of time enjoying the view, & spirits, from The Attic – the intimate lounge area occupying the attic space of the lodge. Amazingly bright, despite its name, with windows overlooking the majestic falls lining 2 of the 4 walls, with a wood-fire oven, and the bar filling the others, the décor of The Attic betrays its name.

Known throughout the area for its menu, location, and of course, for its cameo as the Great Northern Hotel, The Salish Lodge has recently begun offering a Great Northern Escape package. This includes servings of homemade cherry pie & steaming mugs of damn fine coffee in The Attic, as well as an Amazon Gift Card for the purpose of streaming season one of Twin Peaks at your convenience.

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This past summer, the lodge also began offering a great selection of culinary adventures that allow, nay, invite you into kitchen to experience the magic first hand. I was lucky enough to learn the secrets behind their amazing apple butter, as well as getting to sample a variety of niblets, featuring Washington’s fall fruit of choice. From a BBQ pulled pork slider, with thinly sliced fennel, apple & a healthy smear of apple butter, to a chilled apple squash bisque, and the grand finale, hazelnut-fed grilled pork loin (brined in honey & beer) with a kale salad & of course, a bit of apple butter.

These culinary adventures are held in the brand new Chef’s Studio, located through the formal dining room, & down a hidden set of stairs. Perched along the backside of the building, directly facing the falls, complete with a small patio area for grilling, as well as direct access to the vegetable gardens – an absolutely stunning location.

After a busy day, I retired to my room with a “Dale Cooper” for the road (best cocktail ever – Batch 206 Counter Gin, clove and cardamom infused Salish honey, Salish Lodge & Spa Dry Honey Cider, lemon twist and Luxardo Lychee), and relaxed into my personal jetted tub, letting the excitement of the day wash away. My suite was gorgeous, complete with a padded window seat overlooking the majestic falls, a river-rock lined fire place, a lusciously pillow-topped mattress, and plenty of pillows to keep me from rolling off the bed – and yet I spent my entire night lying in said bed, attempting to pinpoint the reason for my unease. I simple couldn’t sleep, & not for lack of trying –maybe it was the spirit of Laura Palmer, who knows.

When dawn arrived, I made my way downstairs to the formal dining room, and a table with a view that made it seem as if I was sipping coffee while floating above the crashing falls – amazingly intense. The coffee really is damn fine, as are the tantalizing Belgian Waffles – served with warm apple butter, honey butter, & in case that isn’t enough – cinnamon whipped cream. I can’t help but liken the flavors to a deconstructed cinnamon roll, with apple instead of raisins, and the added crunch of a well made waffle – absolutely divine!

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I opted to check out after breakfast, the better to spend my morning geeking out while toodling around the area on a self guided tour of “Twin Peaks.” At the time of my visit, filming had just begun for the long awaited & debated, third season, set to air on Showtime in 2017. I won’t bore you with the details (or selfies), but suffice to say I had a blast visiting the “Welcome to Twin Peaks” sign, the Roadhouse (in nearby Fall City), the Double R Diner (North Bend), & of course, the giant log.

Originally built in 1919, the Salish Lodge & Spa is a great place to visit for history buffs, Peaks Freaks, day-trippers, or the occasional single female writer, looking for a quiet escape from reality. For more information on upcoming Culinary Happy Hours, Canning Classes, & Full Moon Dinners, be sure to check their website (www.salishlodge.com) as well as their Facebook page, under the same name.