Snoqualmie Falls’ Salish Lodge & Spa – Best Seattle Getaway?

If you live in the Pacific Northwest you are truly blessed. Not only is your worth 5x as much as it was a couple of years ago…but you also get to enjoy the most incredible scenery and vacation spots.

When my family lived in Central Utah our idea of a staycation was to set up a tent in the sagebrush. It seems there wasn’t much but sagebrush within an hour’s drive.

Washington, on the other hand, is a staycationers paradise. One of our favorite places to go when we just need to get away is the Salish Lodge (and spa) which sits at the top of Snoqualmie Falls.

Snoqualmie Falls is only 30 minutes from Seattle which, in my eyes, qualifies as a staycation. However, it’s a dramatic 30 minutes. You can drive an hour within the city of Seattle and nothing will change except your view of humanity may dim a big. But if you head down I-90 (with a left at highway 18) you’ll be in an entirely different world.

Snoqualmie Falls – The Reason To Visit

Washington (and the PNW in general) is literally riddled with waterfalls. However, none of them are close to the spectacular sight of Snoqualmie Falls (with the possible exception of Multnomah Falls in Oregon)

Snoqualmie Falls At Sunrise

Everyone that sees that is taken back by, not only the falls, but the rainbows that are constantly present.

The water coming over the falls drops more than 270 feet (100ft more than Niagra Falls) into the pool below where the massive amount of spray creates rainbows that can form a full circle if you’re lucky.

Millions of years of water and ice have carved through the sheer granite wall and pounded the river below, resulting in a 65ft deep pool at the base of the waterfall.

Every year more than 1.5 million people make the trek to Snoqualmie to visit the falls. If you’re one of the lucky few you might also score a stay at Salish Lodge, the structure that sits at the top of the falls and tries to make its way into all of your pictures.

If you want to experience more of the falls you can hire local guides, charter bus tours, and more to get a more upclose experience.

Snoqualmie Falls – Some Quick Facts

Salish Lodge & Spa – The Reason To Stay

Salish Lodge & Spa (next to Snoqualmie Falls)

The Salish Lodge & Spa that clings to the cliff at the top of Snoqualmie Falls is ranked by Condé Nast Traveler as one of the “Top 50 Hotel Spas in the United States” (coming in at #19).

Named for the language of the native people in the area, Salish lodge is truly a luxury experience in an unexpected location. Incredible service and staff, a beautiful location, and much more.

Not to mention that the price is much less than you would expect from a small lodge of this caliber.

We only stayed for 2 nights but our stay was more than enjoyable.

The 5 Best Parts Of Our Salish Lodge Stay

1. Location

The Salish Lodge has never aimed to be the largest spa hotel. Since the lodge started in 1913 (with just four rooms) they have, instead, focused on the overall experience and how they can make the most of the world-class location.

Now, with just 91 rooms and suites, the lodge is capable of providing a personalized experience that is simply not possible at luxury lodges that have multiple hundreds or even thousands of rooms.

Despite their small size, Salish Lodge has prioritized renovations over the years and their rooms are some of the best you’ll find.

The real draw, however, is the view of the falls. A short walk will take you to a boarded overlook where you can gaze at the ferocity of the falls until you’re heart is content!

There are very few lodges in the world that can compete with Salish simply on location. Whether you’re there in the summer or winter the scenery of the area will not be quick to leave your mind.

2. Your Room

There is a selection of rooms to suit nearly every taste and budget level at Salish Lodge. Even their base-level “Classic” room includes a luxurious king bed, a gas fireplace, and a spa-like shower.

On the other end of the spectrum are their one-bedroom suites which offer either a spacious sitting patio or a corner view of the river. These rooms include one or two king beds, a separate living room, a fireplace, and either a patio or corner view of the river.

The suites are obviously limited so be sure to book them early.

Overall, the rooms are well-appointed and have a luxurious backwoods lodge feel to them. This isn’t meant to diminish them in any way but they have a vibe that I would call “rustic luxury”. Exactly what you’d expect from a luxury retreat in the “wilderness” 30 minutes from Seattle.

3. The Spa

If you’ve never stayed at a lodge with a luxury spa, you’re missing out.

The Salish Lodge Spa has exactly the range of experiences that you would expect from a high end spa.

You can choose from massages, facials, soaking pools, spa showers, full-body exfoliation, and more. If you have had it at another spa, the Salish Lodge & Spa can probably do it for you.

Do note that if you have kids you’ll have to mostly pass on the spa. The minimum age for massages and the like is 18 (as per usual) but facials are available for those as young as 16. Which is cruel because who needs a relaxing massage more than those of use with toddlers?

4. The Food

Dining table at Salish Spa

The Dining Room at the Salish (that’s the name of the eatery…it also serves breakfast) has been likened to a spiritual experience by many patrons.

Not only is the locally sources food excellent but the ambience of the falls, rainbows, and wildlife combine to make it an unforgettable experience.

It’s not just the atmosphere that is compelling, however. The food is some of the best you can expect at any lodge. They use homegrown hebers, locally sourced natural ingredients, and honey from their own apiary.

You will be more than satisfied here for you stay and I can’t imagine why you’d want to look outside the lodge for any dining experiences (because there aren’t really any anyway).

Other Attractions In The Area

The Town Of Snoqualmie

It’s definitely worth the two-minute drive east of the Salish Lodge to visit Snoqualmie, the old logging town that started it all – especially if you like stepping back most of a century as you walk along slurping ’50s malted milk shakes fresh from the soda fountain on main street. There’s also a wonderful railroad museum (free admission) housed in the original depot built in the late 19th century. And the volunteers who run the museum, souvenir shop and train are colorful characters right out of the 1890s.

Snoqualmie Valley Railroad

The Snoqualmie Valley Railroad was founded in 1890 to support local logging, ore and coal mining activity. Many of the cars used on the Snoqualmie-North Bend route — now open for tourists — are from the early 1900’s. They’re a bit rough, but the real thing – and that’s part of the charm of the experience.

Tickets for the train itself are cheap, so plan to take the family. It’s a rare ride on a mode of transportation from a bygone time…and still lots of fun!

Conclusion

The Salish Lodge and Spa at Snoqualmie Falls (it’s three syllables by the way, Sno-qual-mee) is a wonderful experiences that is everything you could possible expect in a world-class location.

While it’s a great retreat for families, I will say that it’s best use it probably for couples looking for a romantic and relaxing getaway. The entire experience oozes romance, at least according to my wife. I’m not an expert on such things.

I can however, attest that the food is great, the scenery is breathtaking, and it won’t be long before I schedule another stay.