SPA REVIEWS: Washington State's Salish Spa

Courtesy Salish Lodge & Spa

Inside Spa Doors

Although Salish Lodge chugged along without a spa for 80 years, the 1996 introduction of the luxurious add-on completed the facility’s transformation from practical rest stop to luxurious getaway. The idea was to build on the site’s inherently tranquil surroundings, explains Silver.

“Everything here is peaceful and about the outdoors,” she says. “The idea behind the spa was just: How can you maintain that same feeling for guests, even indoors?” The honey and herbal treatments are among many that play on the lodge’s woodsy setting; heated stones and essential oils also star in many treatment offerings. “We want to have it all tie in together,” Silver says, “versus a spa that’s more like a doctor’s office.”

Guests at Salish will find the feeling within the spa intimate, to be sure. The steam room accommodates only a few people at a time, for example. But this intimacy plays out to the spa-goer’s advantage throughout her visit. The relaxation area offers a comfortable, quiet and warm waiting area, with cushioned, upholstered benches, soft chairs and lots of calming magazines. Impressively realistic faux orchids and real bamboo plants sprout from pots placed upon tables and positioned in room corners. Water, as well as a particularly scrumptious chocolate orange tea (made by PromiTea), are available for sipping; nuts and dried cranberries offer sustenance between treatments.

While awaiting their services, guests fill out an intake form that inquires, “What would make your treatments ideal for you?” This is not a formality; technicians take answers to this question seriously, and handle the task of achieving customer satisfaction with the same gentle and careful approach they take to performing massages and body scrubs. In fact, the entire Salish staff skillfully achieves a balance of “attentive” and “thoughtful.” Scrub recipients find themselves immediately wrapped in fluffy, post-service towels while their shower is prepared to exactly the right pressure and temperature. And, that shower is equipped with an extra container of the scrub for that guest to use for her final rinse. Talk about ending on a high note!