Located less than 30 minutes from Seattle in the heart of Woodinville Wine Country, Willows Lodge is perfectly placed as a wine lovers’ destination, a retreat into nature, or a quick weekend escape from the city. The hotel’s flawless mix of luxury and rusticism, combined with unparalleled comfort, service, and attention to detail makes it an obvious choice as a trivago Dream Hotel.
Janene Varden, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Willows Lodge, fell in love with the place when she and her guests stayed there after her wine country wedding in 2002. She describes the atmosphere of the lodge as “warm, inviting, comfortable, and cozy,” rustic, yet “refined with luxurious amenities, custom-designed furnishings and an impressive collection of Northwest Coast Native American artwork interspersed throughout the lodge and the gardens.”
Varden’s favorite space in the hotel is the Simkins Suite, the “Nicest” suite (the guestrooms are categorized Nice, Nicer, and Nicest). The Simkins Suite, with a view on the Fireside Courtyard, is dedicated to James Simkins, Willow Lodge’s original General Manager, who played and essential role in the creation of the heart and soul of the hotel. “Although James lost his battle with cancer earlier this year, he was an amazing leader and mentor to so many in the industry and we wanted to ensure that his legacy of incredible hospitality lived on at the hotel in this thriving wine community that he helped shape,” says Varden, “The Simkins Suite will undergo many enhancements in the next year based on feedback we had received from James on what he would want in his ideal hotel suite.”
Although Willows Lodge is barely 15 years old, the property is steeped in the history of the area, and the Simkins Suite is not the only way it honors the heritage of the hotel and its whereabouts. The hotel is built near the location, and adopted the name of the hunting lodge of C.D. Stimson, an important member of Seattle’s early business and social community. The Northwest Coast Native American artwork collection is representative of an art tradition unique to Pacific Northwest.
The dedication to the heritage of the Northwest extends into a dedication to sustainability. Much of the structure and décor of the property is repurposed from around the Pacific Northwest region—the Douglas fir timbers used throughout the lodge, both structurally and in the furnishings, were once a part of the Port of Portland, Oregon, built over 100 years ago; the tables in the guest rooms are recycled from the slate pool tables of old bars in British Columbia; the dramatic ruins of a 1,500 year old tree brought in from the Olympic Peninsula, known as “Willows Snag,” reminds visitors of the area’s logging past.
And while the lodge recognizes and expresses the legacy and informality of the Northwest, it provides its guests with the highly cultivated refinement one would expect from a luxury spa retreat. “We believe that luxury is personal and it can be different for each and every traveler,” explains Varden. Indeed, each day begins with a run down on each arrival, so that the whole team is ready to cater to the specific needs of each guest, and “create memorable “wow” moments during their visit.” Each guest receives a complementary taste of local Washington wine upon check-in. The popular bath-butler program, including scented drawn baths and signature “in-tub” dining, has become a staple.
Other extras include morning lobby coffee service, afternoon flavored waters, a full-service spa including an indoor steam room and an outdoor relaxation pool, two world class restaurants, complimentary transportation to local offices and attractions, complimentary bicycles and helmets for use on the adjacent Burke Gilman trail, and a seasonal PediCab that transports guests to nearby locations. Willows Lodge is also pet friendly, with a WVIP (Willows Very Important Pet) Program, which includes a doggie room service menu, map and directions for pet and owner walks, a recent issue of Citydog Magazine and a doggie bed complete with turn down service and a night-time doggie biscuit.
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