Luxury Accommodations on Lake Washington
A deep-blue lake ripples with passing sailboats, and cool evergreens stretch upward, one over the other, along steep cliffs and rolling hills. Bill Gates sometimes looks out over this Lake Washington view from his home, and visitors to the pet-friendly Woodmark Hotel in Kirkland find themselves treated to the same lakeside scene. The lobby is a study in modern elegance, with subtly opulent furnishings and a winding wooden staircase leading to a whitewashed ceiling. Complimentary champagne at the front desk welcomes guests with its effervescent glow.
Voted one of the top 100 mainland U.S. resorts by Condé Nast Traveler, the Woodmark Hotel owes part of its acclaim to its director of guest satisfaction, a labradoodle named Woody who greets each guest in the lobby. After becoming acquainted with Woody, one of Woodmark's classic rooms awaits, painted in a soothing color palette of creams, grays, and soft browns. Cashmere throws and plump down pillows drape two featherbed-topped queen beds or one king-size bed, where one can flick on the 37-inch LCD flat-screen TV or send gloating emails home with the complimentary in-room Internet.
Every night is Raid the Pantry night at the Woodmark, as sandwiches, nibbles, and beverages are free for the taking for late-night, in-room snacking, bringing back memories of rummaging through the cupboards at home. The Woodmark’s two waterfront restaurants serve upscale and casual breakfast, lunch, and dinner, providing nourishment before guests take the hotel’s complimentary bikes out for a spin through the landscaped gardens and paths.
Kirkland, Washington: Natural Beauty on Seattle's Doorstep
The only hotel on Lake Washington, the Woodmark sees plenty of water activity, including boating, kayaking, and hiking. First-time visitors to the lake can get a proper introduction with Argosy Cruises' 90-minute sightseeing cruise, which smoothly floats past houses of the rich and famous, as well as Husky Stadium. Nearby, Juanita Bay Park's wooded wetlands and shallow marshes feature 110 acres of trails and habitats, a place to spot hummingbirds, warblers, beavers, salamanders, and nearly 200 woodland creatures.
A 15-minute narwhal-jaunt from the hotel, Seattle's signature coffee shops, imitable seafood, and eclectic museums (including the nerd-centric Science Fiction Museum and the Frank Gehry–designed Experimental Music Project building) represents a sometimes-needed respite from outdoor activities. Pike Place Market is a must for any foodie, as fresh fish and produce, signature chowders, and tasty free samples invade the senses.