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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 17, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 38
Woodmark Hotel: The perfect staycation
Arts & Entertainment
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Woodmark Hotel: The perfect staycation

by Eric Andrews-Katz - SGN Contributing Writer

Ever just wanted to get away from it all? Ever just need a breather, even if it's only for the afternoon or just a romantic overnighter? Then the Woodmark Hotel may be just what you're looking for as a nearby escape. Located at Carillon Point in Kirkland, this beautiful property goes up to the shores of Lake Washington and offers breathtaking scenery, where the worries of Seattle are kept at a distance.

For different looks at the city landscape, go on a boat tour of Lake Washington - the hotel concierge can arrange everything for you. Rob Renshaw captains the Watermark II, a 1956 wooden Chris Craft that will take you out on the water for a tour of two hours or more. The maximum of eight passengers allows for a more personal experience. Going from Lake Washington to Lake Union, Captain Renshaw passes facts and interesting information to passengers without burdening them with overabundant chatter. He knows what to point out and when to let the beauty of nature speak for itself.

Lakeside activities are abundant as well. Kayak rentals can be arranged through the hotel's concierge. Yoga classes are given on the lawns when weather permits, and inside when it doesn't. Being an extremely dog-friendly hotel (Woody, the Labradoodle mascot, resides at the front desk and also handles the complaint department), the Woodmark offers "Yappie Hour," a Wednesday event (May - September, 5-7 p.m.) serving dog treats and cocktails for canines and their friends alike.

If an overnight getaway is in the cards, then dinner can be the start of a magical evening. The BIN on the Lake restaurant is only one of two dining choices - the other being the delightful Beach Café - both located within the hotel property. Most tables, if not all, have incredible views overlooking the water, making sunset a true visual experience. The BIN on the Lake restaurant team, from the host to the busers, all have vast knowledge of the menu, and the servers can easily suggest wonderful pairings of food and wine. Whether you're a seafood fanatic or a landlubber, there are several choices to satisfy the palate. Just one example of the unique menu is the appetizer of the BIN pressed pork. Seasoned lightly with fennel and an apple cider glaze that gave a sweetened crunch to the outside, this had a strong but not an overpowering flavor. Usually the garnish is of little notice, but this came with red grapes and watercress, which - at the suggestion of the server - when eaten together with the pork, transformed a food contrast into a delicious gastronomic delight.

After dinner, enjoy a walk around the waterfront property, watching the lights flicker and reflect from Lake Washington's surface, or simply retire to your room. Rates range from $185-$325, depending on type of room and season. Room sights vary from standard guest rooms to partial and, of course, full waterfront views. Rooms include complimentary high-speed WiFi, a flatscreen television, and spacious bathrooms equipped with blissful "rain-style" showerheads. All guests are invited to partake in the nightly "Raid the Pantry" event, where guests are invited to have late-evening munchies in the hotel lobby. These dishes include sandwiches, chips, desserts, juices, and sometimes soups to satisfy a late evening snack attack.

If you simply cannot be away from work, then the hotel offers other amenities as well. The business center is equipped with two computer and fax stations. They can host events from business meetings to lavish weddings and everything in between. While you are checking up on the office, the rest of your party can enjoy themselves at the downstairs library, complete with working fireplace and self-service complimentary lemon-water stations. And when the business is concluded or the wedding planning is finished, there is no way better to reward yourself than with a relaxing massage. Conveniently, a spa is located on the premises, making a further escape an easy option.

The Woodmark Hotel has been a trendsetter for over 20 years. Being the first luxury hotel to establish itself on the banks of Lake Washington, the hotel allows for a leisurely escape from Seattle. Kirkland is only a 20-minute drive from Seattle, making a visit to the Woodmark Hotel less of a trip and definitely more of a vacation.

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