When we first moved to Washington, I investigated some of the resorts along the coast and in the Cascade Mountains that my work colleagues kept recommending. They all looked amazing, but I couldn’t imagine spending that kind of money on accommodations.
When we travel, we just don’t spend that much time indoors—our hotels are merely a place to sleep at night. Because we don’t prioritize that experience, that’s not usually where we spend our money on our trips. We’ll either stay for free wherever Brian has hotel points, or we’ll Priceline or find something on AirBnB that’s cheap.
We made an exception on my birthday bike trip this year for one night, staying at the Sun Mountain Lodge in Winthrop. I believe the expense of all of the other nights of our trip combined equaled one night at this resort, but for me, going on a sunset hike in the hills and enjoying sunrise and coffee on our balcony the next morning before we set off justified the splurge.
Sun Mountain Resort is 10 miles from downtown Winthrop. We found ourselves winding our way along country roads, around lakes, and through forested areas until we climbed up into the foothills to the main lodge.
After checking in, we rode our bikes over to one of the nearby buildings to find our room. We lucked out with a parking spot right in front of our building and carried our gear and belongings into an incredible room.
The room itself was massive with a living area and bedroom to the right and an entryway and bathroom straight ahead. With a huge seating area equipped with a gas fireplace, amazing king bed, a giant whirlpool tub with views out the back windows, and a private balcony with views of the Cascade Mountains, this room was everything I had hoped it would be.
We admired our space, changed clothes, and then set out to explore the grounds. Our first stop was right next to our building– an outdoor pool overlooking the Cascade Mountains. No wonder people spend weeks here admiring the view!
One of the things I found appealing about staying at this lodge was its grounds. Not only are you in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, you can access a number of trails from the lodge leading you in every direction.
Following dinner, we set out on the Kraule trail just as the sun was starting to sink into the hills. There was no one around, and we were able to take our time enjoying the panoramic views of the lodge and surrounding area as twilight set in.
We arrived back at the lodge and grabbed a front-row seat for the sunset on one of the benches behind the main lodge’s pool and patio. There were a few families still enjoying the water and we could hear them in the distance, but for the most part we were able to sit quietly and watch the colors change.
One night stay was enough for us to get a taste of the Sun Mountain Lodge experience–the incredible balcony rooms, the dining areas, and the outdoor trails. There were lots of other planned activities and areas to explore so I can see why people make this their vacation destination. I’m glad we were finally able to check it out!