the westin pushkar re­sort & spa

Upscale Living Magazine - - Features -

Dis­cover the cap­ti­vat­ing sights, sounds, tastes, and smells along the 50-mile stretch of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Es­cape for a three-day re­prieve and ex­plore out­door ac­tiv­i­ties, lounge in lux­ury, rel­ish stun­ning views, ab­sorb the his­tory, and sa­vor gourmet cui­sine along this spec­tac­u­lar water­way be­tween Port An­ge­les and Port Lud­low, Wash­ing­ton.

Be­gin in the quiet town of Port Lud­low, the per­fect place for a respite from the ev­ery­day world. Less than a two-hour drive from the bustling city of Seat­tle, this ele­gant town is sit­u­ated on a ma­rine in­let in Jefferson County.


The Re­sort at Port Lud­low in­cor­po­rates a va­ri­ety of en­ti­ties. Set­tle into one of the 37 rooms at the inn fea­tur­ing breath­tak­ing views of ei­ther the wa­ter­front or the ma­rina. Lounge in a jet­ted tub with soaps, lo­tion bars, and bath salts cre­ated to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment from Sweet­life Farm or re­lax by the fire­place that comes stan­dard in each room.

Im­pec­ca­ble ser­vice be­gins at the re­sort with a quick and easy check-in. Staff in the kitchen work to make din­ing in the ele­gant fire­side restau­rant a care­free and de­lec­ta­ble ex­pe­ri­ence. Sit out­side on the deck and watch the boats come and go from the ma­rina while sip­ping on a de­li­cious cock­tail made to or­der by the re­sort bar­tender.

Get out­side and play a round or two at the 18-hole cham­pi­onship golf course or rent a kayak at the ma­rina and ex­plore the nearby wa­ter­ways. Walk on the ma­rina side of the inn and fer­ret out her­itage se­crets hid­den within the lo­cal totem pole or tra­verse nearby trails to enjoy the tran­quil­ity of the area.


For de­li­cious farm-to-ta­ble din­ing take a scenic 40-minute drive to Se­quim, and rel­ish din­ner at the Alder Wood Bistro. Own­ers Gabriel and Jes­sica Schuen­e­mann prac­tice their val­ues as “Do-Good­ers” while si­mul­ta­ne­ously liv­ing out their per­sonal pas­sions. Over the past 11 years, the cou­ple has sourced over one mil­lion dol­lars in fresh or­ganic pro­duce from lo­cal pur­vey­ors thereby keep­ing funds in the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

Chef Gabriel cre­ates scrump­tious dishes for cus­tomers, and Jes­sica runs the restau­rant re­spon­si­bly for both the com­mu­nity and the earth. Striv­ing to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment, the Schuen­e­manns keep a closed loop on re­cy­cling by us­ing only one 96-gal­lon garbage can per week and seven 20-gal-

lon com­post buck­ets. By reg­u­larly de­liv­er­ing com­post to a neigh­bor­ing farm they re­plen­ish the earth with nu­tri­ents to sus­tain the healthy growth cy­cle.

The menu at Alder Wood Bistro changes reg­u­larly, and Chef Gabriel takes full ad­van­tage of what the area has to of­fer each sea­son. Chanterelle and porcini mush­rooms proved to be ex­cit­ing finds this fall. Chef per­son­ally for­aged in the lo­cal woods and mixed the mush­rooms with cream, tar­ragon, leeks, and smoked pa­prika for his Mar­ket Tar­tine.

The mush­rooms made ad­di­tional ap­pear­ances in soups and on piz­zas. Chef be­lieves that food should be pleas­ing to the eye and tan­ta­liz­ing to the taste buds. The Fried Cala­mari Salad with mixed greens, Mama Lil’s pick­led pep­pers, and kaf­fir-lime vinai­grette is a per­fect ex­am­ple of gor­geous food with ap­peal­ing flavors.


An­other great farm-to-ta­ble din­ing es­tab­lish­ment is Nour­ish. The restau­rant sits un­pre­ten­tiously on a hill sur­rounded by a lav­ish gar­den. Own­ers Dave and Tanya Rose of­fer de­li­cious nour­ish­ing food cooked in what they be­lieve is the health­i­est way pos­si­ble. Con­sci­en­tious din­ers can take com­fort in know­ing that fry­ers and mi­crowaves can­not be found on this prop­erty.

Lo­cal wa­ter­col­orist and botan­i­cal il­lus­tra­tor Iris Edey main­tains the or­ganic gar­den and hand paints signs found through­out the restau­rant and the grounds. Sa­vor the restau­rant’s home­made muffins, or try out their Dun­geness Crab Melt on the home­made Brazil­ian cheese bun. Ac­cord­ing to Dave, “It took sev­eral tries to de­velop the bread and get just the right tex­ture.” In the au­tumn the sea­sonal pear crisp dessert ar­rives gar­nished with dainty flow­ers from the gar­den cre­at­ing a flaw­less fin­ish to a de­li­cious meal.


The 50-mile stretch has a plethora of en­chant­ing sights and pleas­ant aro­mas to of­fer visitors. Marco and Christa Her­masillo at Olympic Laven­der Com­pany share how they fell in love with the laven­der and the small-town feel of the com­mu­nity in Se­quim. Af­ter pur­chas­ing the farm in 2013 they dou­bled their laven­der acreage. Visitors from around the world visit this US ver­sion of Provence, France to ex­pe­ri­ence its beau­ti­ful moun­tains, tem­per­ate weather, and won­drous ocean.

The Her­masil­los grow sev­eral va­ri­etals of laven­der. Ac­cord­ing to Christa, “Laven­der farm­ing is a la­bor of love.” She said, “We grow an­gus­ti­fo­lia laven­der for culi­nary pur­poses and its oils as well as in­ter­me­dia laven­der, which is gen­er­ally used for its oils and craft­ing pur­poses.” When vis­it­ing the cer­ti­fied or­ganic farm, guests can learn about farm­ing and har­vest­ing, par­tic­i­pate in de­fo­li­at­ing the laven­der, or even pur­chase prod­ucts. Enjoy a stroll through the laven­der fields, sit in one of the three gi­gan­tic pur­ple Adiron­dack chairs, or visit the Her­masil­los’ main store in town to pur­chase laven­der prod­ucts to take home.


An­other fun stop for adults is Wind Rose Cel­lars. Own­ers David and Jen­nifer Vol­mut pro­vide a place for lo­cals and visitors to gaze upon lo­cal artistry, sa­vor fla­vor­some ap­pe­tiz­ers, and enjoy David’s Ital­ian-style wines made from Wash­ing­ton-grown grapes.

This 50-mile stretch of­fers plenty of beaches to walk, so take off your shoes and feel the warm sand be­tween your toes while lis­ten­ing to the crash­ing waves. Dun­geness Spit is a great place to bring a blan­ket and sa­vor a pic­nic lunch while re­lax­ing on the beach.


Com­plete the trip in Port An­ge­les, rec­og­nized as the gate­way to Olympic Na­tional Park and the per­fect home-base for day hikes, beach walks, and ex­plo­ration to wa­ter­falls. Visitors will find a plen­ti­ful num­ber of restau­rants in the area. Stop at H20 Wa­ter­front Bistro and dine on amaz­ing fish and chips or break­fast on en­tic­ing crab Bene­dict at the Café Gar­den. Tourists and lo­cals for­tu­nate enough to be in Port An­ge­les dur­ing early Oc­to­ber should in­dulge in the bounty of seafood avail­able at the an­nual Dun­geness Crab & Seafood Fes­ti­val.

For six­teen years this com­mu­nity has ac­tively cel­e­brated the Na­tive Amer­i­can her­itage, lo­cal artistry, and abun­dance of re­gional crab from the sea. This fes­ti­val con­venes each year along­side the Red Lion Inn ad­ja­cent to the ferry ter­mi­nal con­nect­ing the US and Canada. In­ter­na­tional and do­mes­tic guests spend two days feast­ing on Dun­geness crab and other seafood del­i­ca­cies, lis­ten­ing and danc­ing to mu­sic per­formed by lo­cal mu­si­cians, shop­ping at ar­ti­san booths, and gen­er­ally en­joy­ing all that the Strait of Juan de Fuca has to of­fer.


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