Imagine waking up in a cozy log cabin, in the middle of the forest, birds chirping away in the trees, the soft sounds of a river slowly flowing off in the distance, breathing in the fresh mountain air, and looking out at a picturesque landscape of evergreen trees and mountains towering above you… If you love nature and are looking for a unique “off the beaten path” place to stay when visiting the Pacific Northwest, or if the Pac NW is home and you’re looking for that special weekend/day getaway then this is the perfect place to be… Nestled in the Cascade Mountains just 2 hours from Seattle is a magical hidden gem: Sleeping Lady Resort. It is located just outside of the Bavarian Village of Leavenworth and is the perfect Pacific Northwest hideaway.
A bit of history about this enchanting place:
Established in 1995 by Harriet Bullitt to be both a destination resort and conference center, elements of the Native American roots of the area and the history of the land the resort occupies have been interwoven into the core design of the property. This can be seen all throughout the grounds. It was first developed to be “Camp Icicle” in the early 1930’s; home to the Civilian Conservation Corps complete with barracks and multiple buildings used for business. After this period, the land went through a few more transitions before becoming the present day resort. First, a privately owned ranch by the name of “Icicle River Ranch” and following that, a retreat center run by the Catholic Church until the early 1990’s. At this time Harriet took ownership of the land, redeveloping and remodeling the entire property into the resort that it is today. She named the resort “Sleeping Lady” after the profile of the mountains surrounding the property. Harriet then founded the non-profit, Icicle Fund, which was created to enhance the health and quality of life in North Central Washington by engaging people with the arts, history, and the natural environment. Sleeping Lady encapsulates all of the ideals of this non-profit. Along with being a picturesque and serene resort hideaway surrounded by nature, the resort also has some incredible displays of art. Those staying have a chance to connect with nature, the arts, and history. *Harriet transferred ownership of the resort to the Icicle Fund at the end of 2018.*
“I want people to leave here and feel as though they can go back to their home and change their corner of the world…” -Harriet Bullitt, (previous) Owner, Sleeping Lady
A walk around the grounds
This beautiful property, nestled in the mountains along Icicle Creek, provides sweeping views of natural landscapes. It contains unique displays of art by both professional artists and local craftspeople. Even door handles and bookshelves at the resort have a story! One of my favorite works of art at the Sleeping Lady is a sculpture by Dale Chihuly, genius of glass artistry and a Seattle native. His piece “Chihuly Icicles” stands at nearly nine feet tall and was his first permanent outdoor installation. This piece was created to withstand dramatic temperature changes of the area and was made with the help of engineers, welders, drillers, a lighting designer, a solar consultant, a geologist, a forester, and Chihuly’s own installation specialists. It was installed in 20 degree below freezing temperatures and snowfall. It certainly is a light within the forest! I found it to resemble a giant heart of ice taking on different personalities when illuminated with varying light, but always shining bright! Talk about a connection between art and nature! This along with the many other installations can be viewed all around the grounds of the resort when following the property’s Art Walk map.
Sleeping Lady certainly does not fall short on being the ideal relaxation getaway! Whether it be simply taking a quiet moment to sit back on the deck of your cabin and enjoy the peace and serenity of the nature surrounding you, admiring the breathtaking views of the mountains surrounding the property, taking a walk along the Icicle Creek, relaxing in the rock pools. or spending a day at the spa. The possibilities are endless! For a unique spa experience, visit the Aspen Leaf Day Spa on the grounds of the resort by the rock pools. Their treatments range from 60-90 minute massages to multiple-hour holistic spa therapies and experiences. Jade stones are used in their signature spa treatments. They use these stones for healing, balancing, and harmonizing. During a visit to the spa you are provided with robes and slippers. They serve organic tea and chocolate, the icing on the cake for me! You can relax outside and partake in a walking meditation around the Organic Garden where some of the produce for the resort is sustainably grown. They also have skin care services including facials, gentle peels, waxing, makeup, tinting, and express services.
Check out the spa menu here!!
Second to the views and atmosphere, my favorite part of staying at Sleeping Lady is that most of the packages for stays include not just the accommodation but also a gourmet dinner and breakfast at their Kingfisher Restaurant & Wine Bar. All meals are served buffet style and sourced locally, including produce from their Organic Garden. The food is absolutely divine!! You can dine at the restaurant without staying at the resort, but I highly recommend staying and partaking in the entire experience! The Grotto Bar is another spot not to be missed. The interior of the bar definitely has the feeling of being inside of a grotto, surrounded by faux rock walls, a beautiful Chihuly icicle chandelier, and dim lighting in the evenings to set the mood for a romantic evening. Also just a fun place to hang for adults! The bartenders are wonderful and extremely knowledgeable, they definitely have some wild cocktails up their sleeves! The bar has an outdoor area complete with fire pit and waterfall, the perfect way to spend a beautiful summer evening! O’Grady’s Pantry (named after the priest that ran the camp when it was under ownership of the Catholic Church) is open for breakfast and lunch and is another fun spot to hang for both kids and adults.
Being surrounded by nature the possibilities are limitless for adventurous things to do while staying at Sleeping Lady. From wandering around the quaint grounds, strolling along Icicle Creek, discovering the art walk, enjoying some relaxing time in the pool or spa, playing volleyball or horseshoes, or using the resort as a hub to enjoy countless outdoor activities including hiking, mountain-biking, and river rafting. You can also spend the day in the picturesque town of Leavenworth, or travel a short distance to Mission Ridge or Stevens Pass Ski areas. There is definitely something for everyone to be found here!
Whether it be staying on the grounds or using the resort as your adventure hub, you will not be disappointed with an escape to Sleeping Lady Resort!
Sources: All information provided by Sleeping Lady Resort.