SOME VACATIONS FEEL SO busy and exhausting that once you return home you need another vacation just to rejuvenate. Staying at a resort—and focusing your recreation and other activities around that focal point—is one way to ensure a relaxing getaway.
Located outside of Leavenworth along Icicle Creek is Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort, whose namesake peak creates a picturesque ridgeline above the grounds. The mini-flashlight attached to each room key is the first clue that it will be a unique stay experience.
After loading your baggage into a cart, you follow a paved trail to the “cluster” that contains your guest room. After dark, that mini-flashlight comes in handy.
But the layout of the grounds and muted lighting are the only things that make this place feel like an old church youth camp—which it was, from 1957 to 1991. The Yakima Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church called it Camp Field. (Before that, it operated as the family-oriented Icicle River Ranch after being redeveloped from its status as Camp Icicle for the Civilian Conservation Corps.)
No smelly bunkhouses here. Guest rooms are duplex style with shared walls, organized in clusters of four buildings—for a total of 6-10 rooms per cluster. Inside, the hand-hewn log beds and desks, down comforters and lamps combine with amenities like heated towel racks, plush robes, WiFi access and coffee maker.
There are no televisions in the rooms—which is great. No mini-fridges either, which means if you want to store some cold snack or food items, you have to keep a cooler in your room.
There are five different room layouts available, with space for up to 3-5 people, and there are two stand-alone cabins. A “Loft Room,” for example, sleeps five people, making it ideal for a family—kids old enough to climb the ladder can sleep in the loft’s full-sized bed. There are also “Canine Companion” rooms, where your dog is welcome and gets its own resort amenities (dog bed, food/water bowls, treats)—all for no extra charge.
In the winter, you can nordic ski on the 8km Icicle River Trail, which is adjacent to the resort. It’s part of the Leavenworth Nordic Trail System, which includes 26km of cross-country ski tracks and skate ski lanes. For downhill skiing and snowboarding, you can drive to Stevens Pass, Mission Ridge, or Leavenworth’s Ski Hill.
One of the unique features of this resort is the outdoor (and indoor) artwork on display at various locations—creating an Art Walk with over 35 pieces, including a nine-foot-tall “Chihuly Icicles” glass sculpture near the restaurant.
The resort’s sister property, Icicle Creek Center for the Arts (icicle.org), hosts a music performance series and various festivals throughout the year.
Other on-site activities include the Woodland Rock Pools (small outdoor hot pool and seasonal swimming pool), sauna, fitness room, playhouse (for board games, ping-pong, etc), and spa.
To reserve a room, you choose a specific “package.” Great Escape Package is the basic one, starting at $238, double-occupancy for one night. (Additional adults are $59 each, kids ages 5-12 are $25 each, and children age four and younger stay and dine free.) This fee includes gourmet dinner and a hearty breakfast, which are served buffet style at the resort’s Kingfisher Restaurant (alcoholic drinks and gratuity not included). Other stay packages are centered on activity themes, such as Romance, Sleigh Ride and Resort Yoga.
The restaurant looks and feels like a lodge; instead of booth tables, it has open “European-style” seating. Breakfast is served 7:30-9:00 am on weekdays (open ‘til 10:00 am weekends); dinner hours are 5:30-8:00 pm, with staggered reservation seating times. Non-guests are also welcome to dine at the restaurant.
Sleeping Lady is a member of the Chefs Collaborative, which is “a leading nonprofit network of chefs that fosters a sustainable food system through advocacy, education and collaboration with the broader food community,” according to the resort website. What this equates to is a lot of organic and locally and regionally sourced food. In fact, Sleeping Lady maintains its own greenhouse and two-acre organic garden.
At $39 per adult, dinner isn’t anything like a typical buffet—it’s fancy, with lots of organic, fresh offerings, from a creative and diverse salad bar (no iceberg lettuce here), to the entrée/hot dish bar (chefs serve and dress your plate), to the dessert bar. Plenty of kid-friendly options—pizza, homemade mac-n-cheese, make-your-own peanut butter and jelly sandwich, organic milk, fresh fruit, apple sauce—make it easy for kids to eat happy.
There are two other places to eat at the resort—O’Grady’s Pantry (open for breakfast and lunch) and the Grotto Bar (opens at 4:00 pm, pizza and drinks).
Sleeping Lady’s quiet months are late March, April and November, according to Lori Vandenbrink, the resort’s director of sales and marketing. The busiest months are June through August, she says, “with a combination of corporate retreats, weddings and leisure travelers.” December is also busy. Occasionally, the resort offers special rates via its Facebook page (facebook.com/SleepingLady). Overall, this unpretentious resort encourages a slower pace and lives up to its goal to provide “accommodations in harmony with nature.” You’ll return home wishing you could have stayed longer.
For more details, visit sleepinglady.com.
WHEN YOU GO
Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort is 190 miles from Spokane, just outside of Leavenworth. Take I-90 west to the junction of Hwy 281 near George; travel north on 281 to Quincy. Turn left on Hwy 28 and travel west to Wenatchee to Hwy 2. Travel Hwy 2 to the west boundary of Leavenworth, and then turn left on Icicle Road. Go approx. 2.5 miles, passing the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery. Turn left into Sleeping Lady. (Amtrak stops in Leavenworth.)