Romantic Getaway At Willows Lodge, WA

by | Feb 6, 2022 | Destinations, Romantic Retreats, USA, West Coast

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Every year my husband and I make it a priority to take two vacations for us: just us, so we can spend time together, reconnect, and — as much as we love our kids — take a much-needed break.  A year ago, we decided to plan a vacation for our anniversary to what ended up being the most amazing luxury inn called the Willows Lodge. Willows Lodge is about twenty minutes outside of Seattle, Washington, in Woodinville, but oh my, what a difference those twenty minutes make.






Willows Lodge, Washington - A Romantic Vacation for Two



Willows Lodge


Willows Lodge is named after a 1500-year-old Cedar tree ‘snag’ that sits just outside the main doors of the lodge. When you come inside, the employees (magically) greet you by name and hand you a glass of welcome wine (or cider, if you don’t drink alcohol), as the fire roars inside the lobby. As you look around, you see the incredible use of ‘upcycled’ materials in the building that actually enhance the decor. The front doors leading into the building are made from old wine casks, and the huge timbers from which the building is made are originally from the old ports in Portland, Oregon. If you look closely, you can still see the nicks, notches, nail holes, and bolt holes from their previous life. However, a talented carpenter smoothed and waxed the wood, so it lends a certain amount of character and charm to the rustic, yet refined warmth of the lodge. With the stained and stamped concrete floors and the magnificent stone hearth, this beautiful venue showcases the very best of all things Pacific Northwest.



Wine by the fireside at romantic couples getaway Willows Lodge

The fire and wine await your arrival. Photo courtesy of Willows Lodge.



From there you take your belongings up to one of the beautiful rooms. From the “Nice Rooms” to the “The Herb Garden Suite,” there is not a bad choice on the property. Each room is appointed with amenities such as a stone-surrounded gas fireplace, an oversized soaking tub, and your own view of the outdoors, so the tranquil mood is set the moment you enter the room. 



A soaking tub is a relaxing, romantic touch at Willows Lodge

The wonderful soaking tub for two. Photo courtesy of Willows Lodge.



We stayed in an upgraded suite called the ‘Simkins Suite’ (that was slightly more expensive than a normal suite), with amenities such as a built-in buffet with a small refrigerator, and a large deck with a view of the beautiful outdoor courtyard below. The courtyard features a stunning outdoor oasis that is filled with various pieces of artwork, flowering trees, a vast variety of plants and flowers, and in the center of it all is a large outdoor fireplace with chairs and tables around it. 



The luxurious rooms at Willows Lodge are perfect for a romantic vacation idea.

The Suites living room, with balcony. Photo courtesy of Willows Lodge.



Romance at Willows Lodge


I would highly recommend any one of their ‘romance getaway packages for a special couple’s getaway, and there are several to choose from. The “Do Not Disturb” (DND) package is my personal favorite, as it is just incredibly Romantic with a capital “R”! Absolutely everything you need for a romantic night is provided with this package. All you have to do is relax and enjoy. (Something most parents don’t get to do often!)


Don’t Miss! Wine Tasting – Discovering Uncharted Vineyards


When you book this package, you start by checking in, then you get to participate in some fabulous wine tasting just steps away from the Willows Lodge. Afterward, dine on extraordinary cuisine from Barking Frog, an on-site restaurant at the Lodge (a $100 credit is included with the DND package, but make sure to make reservations in advance). After the fabulous dinner, head back to your room; use the flameless candles, enjoy a glass (or two) of Brut Champagne that’s included, draw a romantic rose-petal bubble bath for two, sink into your tub, and enjoy your night!



Wine, Roses, Candles, & Chocolates at Willows Lodge, WA

Items included in the “Do Not Disturb” romance package. Photo courtesy of Willows Lodge.



Try the Spa at Willows Lodge  they have an amazing couple’s massage that makes you realize just how much you need a massage. Also, if you’re really tense, add the Deep Tissue or CBD Oil upgrade, it’s so worth it. Afterward, take a moment to melt in the outdoor relaxation pool, and unwind with a glass of wine. It’s especially beautiful at night.


I’ve tried some spas only to leave disappointed, but this is not one of them. From the moment you walk in to the moment you gather yourself enough to walk out (because after the treatments, you’re now a puddle of zen), you feel the absolute luxury of the Spa at the Willows. The beautiful aesthetics of the warm and inviting decor, and its beautiful slate floor, help to ease you into the spirit. They use one-of-a-kind locally made products, and the attentiveness of the staff was a delightful treat! We (my husband and I) were both incredibly impressed and have a new standard for what spa treatments should be!


Need a little more than just a massage? Take a “Spa-Cation” with the works! This vacation package (Spa Pamper Package) allows you to have a $200 credit to the spa, a gorgeous room at the lodge, locally made lavender products, and some much-needed TLC for yourself. I love their custom facials that have a range of benefits for all skin types, and highly recommend talking to their estheticians on how they can help you with your skin goals while you’re there!



The Spa at Willows Lodge offers pampering and a pool.

The outdoor pool at the Willows Spa. Photo courtesy of the Spa at Willows Lodge.



Another fantastic thing to enjoy at Willows is the live music at the Fireside Lounge. I enjoy listening to local musicians (I’m married to one after all), and they often have a rotating calendar of different genres playing on a weekly basis. You might find classical guitar, indie rock, R&B, or jazz playing around the Fireside Lounge. 


Last but not least, simply walking the grounds is wonderful at any time of the year. The gardens (yes, that’s plural) are marvelous. With the emphasis on fine, fresh food at the two on-site restaurants, a large herb and edible plant garden, as well as fruit trees, have been incorporated into the landscape, along with conifers, Japanese maples, and a variety of other shrubs, flowers, and greenery. There are many things to look at if you love art. Large bronze heads cast from the original works are in the gardens, and cast iron and bronze sculptures grace the herb garden. 



The gardens make Willows Lodge an idyllic setting for a romantic getaway.

Bronze and water creations to enjoy in the gardens. Photo courtesy of Willows Lodge.



What To Do Outside Willows Lodge


There are more than 30 tasting rooms within walking or biking distance from the Lodge. Taste the difference in the local wineries, distilleries, and breweries in the area — this is the center of Woodinville wine country after all. For tastings and overall ambiance, try Sparkman, Delille Cellars, and Chateau Ste. Michelle. Make the most of your wine tour with a Woodinville Tasting Pass.


If you love the outdoors, you can plan the ultimate high of a hot air balloon ride, do a bike tour of the area, see all the beautiful wildlife in the Pudget Sound by boat tour, or just kick back by the Sammamish River. 


Don’t Miss! Winter Family Fun at Gaylord Hotels


Enjoy shopping? Do a little retail therapy at The Shops at The Bravern with exclusive stores (like Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Neiman Marcus, and Prada) located in nearby Bellevue, Washington.



Willows Lodge offers free bikes for guests to use during their vacation.

Bikes are available for guests to use during their stay, complements of the Willows Lodge. Photo courtesy of Willows Lodge.



We toured the wineries — I love the beauty of Chateau Ste. Michelle because it’s like being transported back in time. Delille had some of the best wine, though. We also enjoyed some spa time, then just walked around on The Burke Gilman Trail, a bike/walking path that goes all the way up to Seattle. It was way too cold to handle riding a bike (the hotel offers free rentals for guests).



Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville, Washington, is as stunning inside as outside.

The beautiful Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville, WA. Photo from Chateau’s web page.



Where to Dine


With three different restaurants on-site, I loved not having to leave the property to eat, and dining doesn’t get any better than at Willows Lodge. The culinary team and staff there were extraordinary.  Neither of us had anything we didn’t enjoy, and we ate all but one meal there. We did ask the servers for their recommendations, so we tried different things, but for us, that’s half the fun of dining somewhere new. 


Barking Frog 


Barking Frog is named after the Native American use of the frog as a symbol of abundance. Storytellers say, when frogs bark, it’s a sign of peace and harmony (with a name like this you have to ask). Abundance is waiting for you at the Barking Frog – from scrumptious brunch to decadent desert, Executive Chef Bobby Moore and his team are outstanding. My favorite thing for breakfast was the Challah French Toast with a cinnamon apple & cranberry compote, topped with hazelnuts, powdered sugar, vanilla butter, and real maple syrup (on the side). Simply delicious. 



At the Barking Frog Restaurant, the fireplace is so beautiful to dine by.

The Barking Frog Restaurant offers a beautiful fireplace and plenty of atmosphere. Photo courtesy of Willows Lodge.


Fireside Lounge    


“Fireside Lounge provides the best ambiance in Woodinville Wine Country” … is a quote taken directly from the website, but I truly couldn’t say it better. We went in the winter, so I didn’t get to enjoy the Fireside Courtyard in full-bloom with its beautiful fire pit, but we did get to enjoy the ambiance of the stunning fire inside, and the remarkable service that made it a top-notch experience. I highly recommend the Smoked Brisket Sandwich for lunch – it comes with roasted garlic aioli instead of mayonnaise, plus fennel slaw, and pickles on a potato bun.


The Herbfarm 


For much of the year, The Herbfarm’s kitchen gardens supply the restaurant with the ever-changing harvest of common and unusual produce used in the meals. Each 9-course dinner, served with 5 or 6 matched wines (non-alcoholic options are also available), draws its inspiration from the season. Each day’s menu is decided only hours before the meal.


Pro-Tip: If you have a special dietary need (shellfish allergy, for example), please call as far in advance as possible to let them know, they will do their best to work around it.


The Herbfarm is a great place to eat when staying at Willows Lodge.

The Herbfarm is a culinary celebration of food and wines of the Pacific Northwest. Photo courtesy of Willows Lodge.



When to Visit


There’s never a bad time to head up to Washington. The question is — when do you want to go? What do you want to do? If you’re like me, a little snow isn’t going to bug you — after all, I came for the ambiance and to spend some one-on-one time with my husband. However, if you’re looking forward to a hot air balloon ride or using the free bikes to check out the area, you might want to think about going in the late spring, or even summer.



How to Get to Willows Lodge


Delta, Alaska, United, and American offer non-stop service from LAX (Los Angeles) to SEA (Seattle). The flight is roughly around three hours, and then you’ll need to rent a car at the airport to drive up to Woodinville, WA. Willows Lodge is approximately 40 minutes from Sea-Tac Airport.






Kristy Johnson-Neuberger is a full-time published author, writer, and has her own business. She helps travelers to find their ideal vacation to various places in the Pacific Northwest. As an avid traveler (and mother herself), she understands how important certain things are when traveling. Instead of wondering “is that hotel family-friendly?”, or “will they be able to accommodate my food allergies?”, she’s taken the guesswork out of it for you, allowing you (the traveler) to relax and enjoy your vacation! Her books and articles give real examples of where to eat (and what to eat there), hidden gems, as well as places to stop along the way. To view more of Kristy’s work, go to

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