From a deck with an unobstructed, 180-degree-view of Saratoga Passage, we watched heavy rain ripple the water’s surface. Later, driven inside by the winter chill, we snuggled up on our room’s cushioned window seats — not far from the fireplace — to continue watching the rain dance.
We’d arrived on a late afternoon without reservations at Whidbey Island’s award-winning Inn at Langley. Such spontaneity wouldn’t have worked during summer’s high season, but because it was a midweek winter day, we nailed a spacious view room for $175, which included a hearty breakfast — delivered to the room — for far less than the $290 high-season midweek rate.
All around the Pacific Northwest in winter there are hot hotel deals to be found. Here’s a sampling:
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Campbell’s Resort, a family-owned, eight-acre resort on Lake Chelan in Central Washington, has 170 modern, lakefront rooms and suites, each with deck or patio.
Why go: Head to nearby Echo Ridge for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing or sample wines from the area’s 17 wineries.
The deal: Offseason rates, December-April; traditional room, starting at $102-$118, plus tax, as compared to July’s $235-$275; deluxe room with kitchenette from $134-$144 (starting at $360 in July). Stay includes a “Come Back Again” coupon offering 30-50 percent discounts on a future low-season stay. Free parking. No resort fees. Children stay free in room with parent. No pets.
Traveler’s tip: The slowed-down winter pace, while relaxing, may result in reduced hours at tasting rooms, restaurants and retail. The resort’s outdoor pool will be closed but a hot tub and spa are open year-round.
campbellsresort.com or 800-553-8225
Resort and spa getaways
• The Inn at Langley, a luxury resort and spa on Whidbey Island, cascades over a bluff, giving sweeping views of Saratoga Passage, the Cascades and Camano Island from its 26 balconied rooms.
Why go: The views — best enjoyed from your deck chair or your room’s oversized Jacuzzi tub. Enjoy a spa treatment, or visit Langley’s nearby shops.
The deal: Winter rates begin at $175, plus tax, double occupancy midweek, compared to $325 for peak summer weekends. Includes a gourmet breakfast, snacks and soft drinks, parking, Internet, movie passes, yoga classes at a local studio, and use of bicycles and DVDs. Kids over 12 OK. Additional guest: $35, or $50 if futon required. Dogs welcome for additional fee.
Traveler’s tip: The inn’s award-winning Chef Matt Costello serves up a fine-dining, multicourse meal on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings year-round. Check the website for weekend dining/stay packages.
innatlangley.com or 360-221-3033
Salish Lodge & Spa, overlooking Snoqualmie Falls, has 84 oversized guest rooms, each with jetted tub and fireplace.
Why go: Hike the recently reopened trail to the base of 270-foot Snoqualmie Falls or view the falls from the observation deck; both are footsteps from the lodge. The Northwest Railway Museum and Snoqualmie Falls Brewery and Tap Room are nearby. A half-hour up Interstate 90, Snoqualmie Pass offers snowshoeing and skiing.
The deal: The resort’s “best available rate” in winter starts at $189, plus tax (double occupancy), compared with July’s $229. Even better deals may be found by checking the hotel’s website or Facebook page for “last minute getaway” rates (some from $170). $17 resort fee extra. Children stay free in room with parent. Dogs welcome, $50 per night.
Traveler’s tip: Try the resort’s hearty, four-course country breakfast ($75 for two; not included in the room rate). The resort fee covers valet parking, Wi-Fi, newspaper, coffee, tea, cookies and access to the spa soaking pools and steam room.
• The château-style Fairmont Empress Hotel
has been a cornerstone of Victoria, B.C.’s, Inner Harbour since 1908. The hotel is on Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List and listed among Travel + Leisure’s 500 Best Hotels of the World.
Why go: The hotel is within walking distance of Government Street’s shops, eateries and tourist attractions, as well as waterfront terminals for the Victoria Clipper (from Seattle) and Blackball Ferry (from Port Angeles).
The deal: Residents of Washington, Alberta and British Columbia qualify for the Pacific Northwest Resident Rate (show ID at check-in). October through April, it begins at $144 (Canadian) plus tax, including parking. (The summer rate starts at $229, plus $30 for parking). No resort fee. Children younger than 18 stay free in room with parent.
Travelers tip: While there treat yourself to a taste of old England: Afternoon Tea (extra cost, reservations required) in the elaborately decorated lobby.
• Part of the exclusive Relais & Châteaux hotel group, Wickaninnish Inn has 75 rooms and suites overlooking Tofino’s Chesterman Beach, on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Why go: Surround yourself in quiet, rustic luxury as waves pound the beach and wind whips the trees — all part of winter storm-watching.
Storm Season rates, based on double occupancy, begin at $220 (Canadian) plus tax, through February. (Summer rates start at $500.) Rooms feature a fireplace, soaker tub and balcony. Rain gear provided. Additional guests: $40 per night, regardless of age. Two-pet maximum: $40/night for first pet, $20/night for the second.
Travelers tip: The inn’s restaurant, The Pointe, with a sweeping, 240-degree view of the Pacific Ocean, is a recipient of Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence for 2013. Storm rates not available at Christmas, New Year’s and Valentine’s Day. The resort and restaurant will be closed Jan. 1-24, 2014.
Elegant Sun Mountain Lodge sits amid 3,000 wilderness acres overlooking Central Washington’s Methow Valley.
Why go: The Methow Valley, nestled up against the North Cascades, is laced with 124 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails, 37 miles of which are accessed directly from this resort (with full-service ski shop and ski school).
The deal: The Winter Adventure Package, starting at $155 (double occupancy), plus tax, includes breakfast for two and gratuities, compared to a similar summer package starting at $240/night. Valid Sunday-Thursday, Dec. 13-24 and Jan. 1-March 6.
Traveler’s tip: Holidays are excluded from this package. Room types may vary by date. Extra adult, $30 per night. Children stay free in room with parent; breakfast cost is extra. No resort fee. Free parking and Internet.
There’s old-world elegance about The Benson, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but its 287 guest rooms feature the latest amenities.
Why go: Its location in the heart of downtown Portland provides easy access to Pioneer Courthouse Square, MAX light rail, shopping and dining, with the trendy Pearl District just blocks away.
The deal: The hotel’s winter season Pay Now & Save rate starts at $135 (double occupancy), plus tax, compared with $249 in July. No resort fee. Children younger than 18 stay free with parent. Additional adult, $15 per night. Valet parking, available 24-hours a day, is an additional $31 for overnight (valid until 4 p.m. the next day, with unlimited in-and-out).
Travelers tip: Pets are welcome to stay with their owners in deluxe rooms or junior suites (maximum two pets per room). Amenities include Tempur-Pedic dog beds, pet-friendly area guide and travel dog-care package; $25/pet, per stay.
A local night on the town: Seattle, Tacoma and Bellevue
• Kimpton Hotels has a trio of four-star boutique hotels, the Alexis, Monaco and Hotel Vintage Park, each with a distinct décor and vibe, in the heart of Seattle’s retail district.
Why go: All are within walking distance of shopping, theaters, Pike Place Market and the waterfront.
The deal: Kimpton’s Save Our Sanity (SOS) promotion, through Jan. 26, takes 20 percent off the best available room rate, shaving the base rate to $143 plus tax, from the normal winter rate of $179 — compared with about $269 in summer. The SOS rate includes glasses of Champagne at the hotel’s restaurant and holiday discounts at downtown’s Pacific Place mall. Use rate code “SOS” when booking. Parking is extra.
Traveler’s tip: The complimentary wine hour held at each of the hotels from 5 to 6 p.m. daily is a nice way to meet and mingle.
• The 319-room, boutique-style Hotel Murano is in the heart of downtown Tacoma’s museum district.
Why go: The hotel — an art gallery in itself, with the work of 45 glass artists from around the world in its lobby and common areas — is within walking distance of the Museum of Glass, Washington State History Museum and other museums.
The deal: Residents of Washington, Oregon and B.C. can book the Staycation package for a $40 lodging discount, free valet parking (a $20 value) and a $20 credit on food and beverages. Or, starting at 10 a.m. Monday (and through Thursday), the first 100 guests to book prepaid via a link on the hotel’s Facebook page get 35 percent off the best available rate through March 31.
Travelers tip: “Staycation” package must be booked in advance, and proof of local residency is required at check-in.
• The 732-room Hyatt Regency Bellevue is a contemporary high-rise hotel in Bellevue Place, adjacent to Bellevue Square and Lincoln Square shopping malls, which combined are known as The Bellevue Collection.
Why go: Easy access to shops, eateries, bars and downtown Bellevue holiday celebrations, and walking distance to Meydenbauer Center events and the Bellevue Arts Museum.
The deal: Holiday Shop and Stay package through Jan. 26 includes standard room, rate from $164 (double occupancy), plus tax. Includes Internet, $50 gift card to The Bellevue Collection shops, parking and 2 p.m. late check-out. No resort fee.
Travelers tip: The Bellevue Collection’s December holiday extravaganza, “Snowflake Lane,” with live toy soldiers, winter characters, music and lights, takes place nightly right outside the hotel.
Jackie Smith is a Kirkland freelance writer. Jackie Smith