Washington spas make the most of the great outdoors, with scenic locations in the mountains, on lakes and right on the Pacific Ocean. Resort spas in Washington tend to have a rustic lodge or dignified "yacht club" feel, and many are within easy reach of Seattle. The southwestern part of Washington (where Mt. St. Helens blew) has a strong hot springs bathing tradition with an old-fashioned flavor many find appealing.
These are my picks for the best spas in Washington.
Just thirty minutes from Seattle, Salish Lodge and Spa is the region's top luxury resort. Perched atop the majestic Snoqualmie Falls at the base of the Cascade Mountains, the resort offers gorgeous guided hikes. The Asian-inspired spa has the feeling of a Japanese bathhouse, with a pair of hydrotherapy pools set into natural rock. It makes a special effort to cater to couples.
Address: 6501 Railroad Ave SE, Snoqualmie, WA 98065
Phone: 800-2-SALISH or 425-888-2556
Located in Woodinville's wine country, Willows Lodge and Spa is within walking distance of Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Winery and Red Hook Brewery. It has a scenic location on the Sammamish River, and is just 25 minutes from Seattle. The spa offers Carita facials, a French line available in only a small number of spas in the U.S.
Address: 14580 NE 145 Street, Woodinville, WA 98072
The Woodmark Hotel, Yacht Club & Spa is located on the picturesque shores of Lake Washington, just 15 minutes east of Seattle. Set within the Carillon Point waterfront community, it has impressive shoreline views of the Seattle skyline and Olympic Mountains. The spa has a comfortable, clubby feel.
Address: 1200 Carillon Point, Kirkland, WA 98033
Phone: 425-822-3700 or 800-822-3700
This hip urban hotel spa is located in downtown Seattle, steps away from the waterfront along Elliot Bay and near Pike Place Market and the Seattle Art Museum. It has 160 sleekly styled guest rooms with state of the art technology. The Spaahh is a serene urban retreat.
Address: 1000 First Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104
You must arrive by ferry or floatplane to reach Rosario Resort & Spa. This waterside luxury resort is located in the beautiful San Juan Islands, a cool location a few hours north of Seattle. The centerpiece of Rosario is a 1909 mansion that belonged to shipbuilding magnate Robert Moran. Besides all the usual spa treatments, there's a fitness studio with a full schedule of classes. It has great programs for kids in the summer.
Address: 1400 Rosario Road, Eastsound, WA 98205
Phone: 866-801-ROCK or 360-376-2222
Set on the northern Puget Sound shoreline in Blaine, Semiahoo boasts two of the top three golf courses in Washington state: Loomis Trail Golf Club and Semiahmoo Golf & Country Club. It's a cool location a few hours north of Seattle and 45 minutes from Vancouver, British Columbia, and at its best in summer. The spa uses Sothys skin care products.
Address: 9565 Semiahmoo Parkway, Blaine, WA 98230
Phone: 800-770-7992 or 360-318-2000
Alderbrook Resort & Spa is considered the nicest spa on the Olympic Peninsula, which is across Puget Sound west of Seattle. To get here you need to catch a ferry or drive around the Sound. This renovated resort is located on the scenic shores of Hood Canal, a glacier-carved fjord more than 60 miles long.
Address: 10 East Alderbrook Drive, Union, Washington 98592
Phone: 800-622-9370 or360-898-2200
Skamania Lodge was built in 1993 and is meant to evoke the great lodges of the 19th century. It is set on 175 wooded acres in the spectacular Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Skamania is 45 miles east of Portland, Oregon, on the Washington side of the Columbia River. There are over 70 waterfalls nearby, including the famous Multnomah Falls. Waterleaf Spa has nine treatments rooms decorated in natural tones.
Address: 1131 SW Skamania Lodge Way
Stevenson, WA 98648
800-221-7117 or 509-427-7700
Located about two hours due east of Seattle, Cave B Inn is in the heart of the Columbia Cascade wine country. It even has its own winery, making it the Pacific Northwest's first luxury wine resort. This is the sunny part of Washington, with 300 days of sunshine a year. Tour the wineries and return to the inn, which has 30 guest rooms and The Spa at Sagecliff.
Address: 344 Silica Road NW, Quincy,Washington 98848
Phone: 888-785-2283 or 509-785-2283
Sun Mountain Lodge is perched above Patterson Lake in the Methow Valley in north central Washington. While it's not easy to get to (it's four hours from Seattle), it offers spectacular views of the jagged northern Cascades. Recreational opportunities include cross country skiing, hiking, boating, and horseback riding.
Address: P.O. Box 1000, Winthrop, Washington 98862
Phone: 800-572-0493 or 509-996-3133