7 years in the making: Living Snoqualmie adventures at the Salish Lodge

About this time 7 years ago I was supplementing my income by working in a pet store in the Issaquah Highlands. My boss at the time asked if I would be interested in writing an occasional article for a local blog she was advertising in: Living Snoqualmie. Always a fan of writing, I agreed to give it a shot.

In the beginning, it was only going to be a monthly column about dogs, but over the past 7 years it has morphed into stories about dogs, local wildlife and occasional fun local social media buzz. I speak to Danna almost daily. I know where she lives, what her husband does, all about her kids and she knows much about my life, too. We live a mere 10 miles apart. But until last Tuesday night we had NEVER met in person.

I always felt like somehow, we had already met. We talked about getting together a million times, but just never found the time to do it. Last Tuesday night, under the pretense of viewing the newly remodeled rooms at the Salish Lodge & Spa, we decided to have dinner.

I contacted Alan Stephens, a Snoqualmie Ridge local, and the General and Area Manager of the Salish Lodge & Spa, about our interest in the rooms for a possible feature article. He graciously agreed to arrange a room for us to see after we had dinner.

So, I picked Danna up and was oddly nervous. She got in the car and I
said “this feels so weird.” She said “I know!” and then it instantly wasn’t weird. We just launched back into talking about what was going on, local happenings and what we were going to write about next.

Arriving at the lodge we were unexpectedly greeted by Alan Stephens, the
general manager. After introductions he showed us to our table, chatted for a bit and then left us to enjoy our dinner.

Ahhhh, so much food, so little time. After much deliberation (and some champagne and cocktails) we decided on the Salish Baby Greens Salad with tangerine, almond, Rogue bleu and Salish honey vinaigrette for her and the Ginger Carrot Bisque soup with shaved and pickled carrots, coconut water beets and olio nuevo for me. I have to say I have NO idea what olio nuevo is, but the soup was velvety and absolutely sublime. I was a little jealous of Danna’s rogue blue am I am a fan of stinky moldy cheese, but I managed to hold it together and not steal her food.

The main course was an even bigger Sophie’s Choice. I considered the Ratatouille Vol-a-Vent but in the end went with the Salmon Creek Farms Duroc Pork Chop (I think the last time I had a pork chop was 1977) with white cheddar gratin, Salish honey candied apple, spruce tip brine and apple brandy demi-glacé. Danna chose the Alaskan Halibut with cocoa butter, white miso, Salish honey, black vinegar, baby potato, dinosaur kale and radish sprout, saying that no one in her family likes seafood so she might as well take advantage of the chance to eat it now.

Danna’s halibut dinner.

I wanted to eat it all. I really did, but it was so huge I had no chance. We did the best we could while gossiping a bit and discussing life in general. The view from our table was spectacular and the wait staff attentive, but not overly intrusive. In the end our waiter, Michael, rolled in the dessert cart and while I wanted to try everything, I took a Strawberry Rhubarb
Honey Cake home to my other half. It was gone before I had a chance to get a bite so I’d say a successful dessert.

Melissa’s pork chop and cocktail – named ‘The Waterfall’

We rolled ourselves to the front desk for our room tour and this is where I’ll let Danna take over….

I’ll start by saying I ate ALL of my dinner, unlike Melissa who apparently is a dinner-eating amateur.

I’d been interested in doing a story on the recent room renovations at the Salish Lodge for awhile now. It took a lot of time and planning to get all the rooms finished. They did half at a time so the iconic lodge could still have partial occupancy.

The only time I’d stepped into a Salish room was in 2011 when a friend was in town – so I was curious how different the rooms would be after the remodel. I was pleasantly surprised that the lodge feel was still there, but in a more modern, light way. The remodel, Melissa and I both agreed, did away with the outdated somewhat heavy, dark feel the rooms had.

The wood-burning fireplaces are now gas, which is much safer for guests and means less smoke alarm responses from the Snoqualmie Fire Department.

The bathrooms with big soaking tubs looking into the rooms through a wall cutout are gone. Now it’s a massive walk-in shower with two shower heads – and no more cutout. ‘Lodgie’ touches like log coffee tables and natural-toned shiplap on the fireplace wall completed the new feel.

We got to see a room right at the top of Snoqualmie Falls – so you could see the step down feeding the falls 268-foot drop-off. If we’d stayed longer I suspect we would’ve also seen a spectacular sunset from the room.

Note: not all soaking tubs are gone at the Salish. Sorry for all you bath fans that we may have initially worried. The Salish said Deluxe Premiere King, Patio rooms and River View suites still include soaking tubs.

Some day maybe I’ll stay at the Salish, but for now it was fun to get a quick tour. Thanks to the all the staff that helped make mine and Melissa’s official first meeting adventure a memorable evening.

And nice job on the remodel!

New rooms did away with old bathroom wall cutouts.
Old rooms with bathroom wall cutouts.
Soaking tubs looking into rooms were replace by double shower head, large showers
Salish room pre-remodel.
New gas fireplace and wood shiplap type accent wall post remodel.
View from room we toured near the step down to the Falls drop off

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  • Apart from the excellent location, views, service, and onsite amenities like spa and restaurants, the soaking tub was my favorite in-room amenity. Do none of the rooms have any now?

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