I always thought that our first visit to The Willows Lodge in Woodinville, Washington would be as a romantic weekend getaway from Vancouver. At just a 2 hour drive south of the border (or 30 minutes Northeast of Seattle), it seemed like the perfect weekend escape to the heart of Washington’s Woodinville Wine Country. Things turned out slightly different, however, as rather than a romantic inaugural visit to this award-winning luxury hotel, ours was a family visit. We were returning from several gorgeous days wine tasting and glamping in Oregon, but wanted to extend our vacation just a little longer. It certainly felt like the right decision when, after spending over four hours in heavy traffic on the I-5, we pulled into the garden oasis that is the Willows Lodge. Read on to learn all about our stay, or take a little peek at our 1 minute Youtube video.
The Willows Lodge – The Experience
As I madly tried to tidy our road trip weary car before handing it over to the friendly valet at the lodge, my hotel-loving daughter ran inside the lobby. She returned minutes later with a big smile on her face, a red rose in hand and smelling deliciously of Molton Brown hand cream. I felt the warmth of this Northwest-styled lodge almost immediately and noticed that it seemed to extend to the cheery, yet professional attitude of the staff (cozy not complicated, as their website states). I was also pleasantly surprised by our oversized double queen room. We wasted no time in enjoying that room with its giant soaker tub, spacious living area (with fireplace) and pleasant deck overlooking the beautiful gardens (where we shared a bottle of wine with friends).
Dining at The Willows Lodge
Luxurious accommodations and fine food go hand-in-hand at the Willows Lodge. The property is a locavore’s delight with several nice dining establishments to choose from.
The Herbfarm offers a 9-course, wine paired, farm-to-table eating experience, showcasing the bounty of the Pacific Northwest. For those longing for something even more immersive, The Herbfarm has a package that begins with breakfast in the garden and finishes with a stay in one of two unique Herbfarm suites. If your stay does not allow the time for a visit to this award-winning restaurant, I highly recommend strolling through their lovely gardens and visiting their resident truffle pigs, Basil and Borage. Learn more on the Herbfarm website or find Herbfarm reviews here.
The Barking Frog provides a more casual dining experience with gorgeous seasonal menus and an extensive wine list. This restaurant ticks all the boxes for me because it allows for family-friendly dining (they have a kids’ menu), without sacrificing on quality or experience. Learn more about current seasonal fare on the Barking Frog website or find Barking Frog reviews here.
Looking for something even more relaxed? Guests can enjoy a fine meal at the Willows Lodge Fireside Lounge and Patio or opt for in-room dining. As it was a beautiful Woodinville evening, we chose the former, starting with a pre-meal patio cocktail while our children participated in an extensive scavenger hunt around the grounds. We all appreciated (and shared in) the delicious tray of homemade cookies they received upon its completion.
The Willows Lodge Spa – A Top Seattle Spa Escape
The Willows Lodge has long been popular as a Seattle destination spa retreat. Sadly, our visit was too short for me to have the chance to indulge in a full treatment, although I did visit the lovely relaxation pool with my daughter. The Thai Herbal Massage and the Willows Signature Facial are definitely on my list when we eventually return to the lodge for a romantic getaway. Check out the full Willows spa menu here.
Things to do in Woodinville, WA.
The big draw in Woodinville is the region’s 100+ wineries, distilleries, and breweries. The award-winning Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery happens to be conveniently located right across the street. As it was a very busy day at The Chateau (they were hosting an event), we chose instead to enjoy a few tasty sips at the nearby Novelty Hill-Januik Winery (while the kids happily played on their bocce court). The Hollywood District is also within walking distance from the hotel and includes many more special wineries including Gorman, Mark Ryan, Delille, and Brian Carter. For an extensive list of wineries in the area, please see the Woodinville Wine Country Map.
If you are on a kid-free retreat, you may be interested in hopping on the Willows Lodge WineVenture — a sprinter van wine tour service (available on Saturdays 12-4pm). This tour will whisk you away to explore some of Woodinville’s hidden gems, including the many amazing wineries located in the Warehouse district.
For families, the Burke Gilman trail is located just outside the hotel (the hotel has adult-sized bikes for loan) and the Aerial Adventure Park ropes course (10 years and up) is literally in Willows Lodge’s backyard. There is also an 18 hole mini golf course just a few miles down the road at Willows Run Golf Course called Rainbow Run. Free family-friendly concerts are offered by Celebrate Woodinville on Wednesday nights throughout the peak of summer (with a beer/wine garden for adults!) and the Chateau Ste. Michelle Summer Concert Series offers all-ages shows in their amphitheatre across the street.*
* Tip: These concerts sell out quickly. Members of Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Wine Club are offered access to tickets before the general public.
More Information on The Willows Lodge
For current rates please see The Willows Lodge. You will also find TripAdvisor reviews for The Willows Lodge here. Please note that this property is very popular so you are best not to hesitate if space is available.