Alder­brook Re­sort & Spa

Al­ber­brook Re­sort & Spa

Westcoast Families - - Families - By Krysta Fu­rioso

as res­i­dents of the Lower Main­land, many of us are reg­u­lar vis­i­tors to Wash­ing­ton State. We shop in Belling­ham, we week­end in Seat­tle, see con­certs, and visit friends in Olympia. But how of­ten do we ex­plore the ar­eas a lit­tle fur­ther off the beaten path? One such hid­den gem is Alder­brook Re­sort & Spa. Lo­cated just west of Olympia, and nes­tled amongst the wild beauty of the Hood Canal, Alder­brook is one of those places that makes you say “Wow”, as soon as you pull into the park­ing lot. Leav­ing Van­cou­ver in the late morn­ing, my part­ner and I loaded our­selves, our seven-year-old, and our Bor­der Col­lie into the car, and spent the day me­an­der­ing south. For us, no trip through Belling­ham is com­plete with­out a stop for lunch at our favourite health­food mar­ket, and we can’t pass through Seat­tle with­out stop­ping for a cof­fee, so by the time we reached the re­sort, it was nearly din­ner­time. Check­ing in, we were im­me­di­ately over­come with the feel­ing that this was no mere ho­tel with chalet dé­cor, this was the real thing. The smell of ev­er­greens and cedar over­took us as we en­tered the stun­ning re­cep­tion area. With mono­lithic and rus­tic ex­posed beams, a gi­ant fire­place and huge win­dows over­look­ing the grounds and canal, it was ob­vi­ous that this space was some­where that would make guests for­get their rush to check in and get the keys to their rooms. Cel­e­brat­ing its cen­te­nary this year, Alder­brook cel­e­brates a his­tory rooted deeply in the cel­e­bra­tion and preser­va­tion of all that makes this area quintessen­tially ‘north­west’. Orig­i­nally cre­ated as a va­ca­tion par­adise, the re­sort has grown and re­built over the last cen­tury, all the while stay­ing true to the orig­i­nal vi­sion of an un­pre­ten­tious get­away where fam­i­lies could en­joy food and art while bask­ing in the bounty of the nat­u­ral sur­round­ings of the Pa­cific North­west. When we ar­rived, there was a wine and choco­late pair­ing hap­pen­ing in the lobby, and so af­ter in­dulging and col­lect­ing our map and ar­rival pack­age, we headed to our cot­tage. More than just a detached ho­tel suite, the cot­tage brought back mem­o­ries of spend­ing sum­mers at rel­a­tives’ cab­ins in On­tario, where the sun told time over the lake, and chil­dren ran free in fun and safe com­mu­nal spa­ces. The two bed­rooms in the mod­ern but clas­sic cot­tage were spa­cious, and the cozy liv­ing room opened up onto a cov­ered out­door liv­ing space. We could sit on the couch in front of the fire and gaze out over the beau­ti­ful wa­ters of the Hood Canal, right to the ma­jes­tic Olympic Moun­tains. The view was un­par­al­leled. We found pack­ages neatly pre­pared for both our daugh­ter and our dog, and the room was taste­fully stocked with an im­pres­sive hon­our bar and a full kitchen with all the com­forts of home.

We spent our first evening en­joy­ing notably unique and de­li­cious meals from room ser­vice, and be­ing vege­tar­i­ans, we were im­pressed with how gra­cious and at­ten­tive the kitchen staff were to our di­etary re­quests. The next day we got up at dawn and took our dog for a long walk in the lush hik­ing trails ad­ja­cent to the re­sort where our daugh­ter played na­ture guide with the help of the map the re­sort had pro­vided. The af­ter­noon was spent pool­side in the clas­sic con­ser­va­tory-style swim­ming and sauna build­ing. Room ser­vice is de­liv­ered right to the pool, and af­ter a dip, I de­cided to sneak away to get ac­quainted with the spa, where the Sig­na­ture Mas­sage, (heated basalt stones with aro­mather­apy, re­lax­ation and deep tis­sue tech­niques) is an ab­so­lute must for mak­ing a week­end get­away truly im­mer­sive and re­lax­ing. Not only did we find that we weren’t left want­ing for self-made fun, from bad­minton to swim­ming, aquabik­ing, the Xbox game room, golf, and hik­ing, we could also take ad­van­tage of many of the or­ga­nized events and ac­tiv­i­ties at the re­sort. Tour­ing the Hood Canal is made fun and easy with sched­uled sun­rise and sun­set cruises aboard the 42ft wood yacht that moors at the re­sort’s dock. Board­games, lunch, drinks and fish­ing gear are pro­vided for guests aboard ‘Jack’. As the re­sort cel­e­brates its cen­te­nary in 2013, ev­ery month will see ex­cit­ing events, in­clud­ing his­tor­i­cal speak­ers, guided na­ture tours, and culi­nary guests. From guided hikes in Au­gust to pad­dle mak­ing in Septem­ber, and all man­ner of Thanks­giv­ing and har­vest fes­tiv­i­ties in the fall, one can be as­sured that there is al­ways some­thing spe­cial hap­pen­ing at Alder­brook.

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