SEATTLE: Cedarbrook Lodge - An Oasis of Civility

After a grueling day of moving (what other kind is there?) and not wanting to sleep among stacks of boxes at our new home, my wife and I chose to reward ourselves with room service and a night at the nearby Cedarbrook Lodge.

We’d eaten at the Copperleaf Restaurant in the Lodge several times and had been impressed, both with the food and service in the restaurant and by the beautiful property itself, so we decided to look into the cost of a room.

We were pleasantly surprised that the Cedarbrook Lodge is very competitively priced. And because a day lifting boxes full of our prized possessions had left us tired and sore, the oversized soaking tub clinched it for us.

This beautiful property was built in 2002 as Washington Mutual’s conference center. It became a hotel following WaMu’s 2008 acquisition by JPMorganChase. A desk clerk told us the Chase folks, being East Coast types, decided they had no interest in keeping such a property so far away, so it was reincarnated as a hotel as September 2009.

And I’m ecstatic!

Our guest room, a Deluxe Queen, was not particularly large at 276 square feet, but was very well laid out. Ten-foot ceilings made the room feel more spacious. In addition to the usual retinue of amenities, rooms have very large desks that provide plenty of space for working (if you’re so inclined). The queen bed in our room was flanked by a chair and ottoman that made for more comfortable TV watching than sitting up in bed.

Bathrooms all have oversized soaking tubs that were so exquisite my wife is already talking about adding one to our new home. (Despite the favorable room rate, our stay may turn out to be quite expensive after all!) Amenities are by Green from Natüra, a line of soaps and shampoos I first encountered at the Hotel Avalon in Portland. They’re designed to minimize the impact on the environment, including the inevitable waste caused by the short-term, single-use nature of hotel soaps.

Because we were too tired to change into nicer clothes and trundle to the restaurant, we had room service bring dinner to us. We shared a Market Greens salad, Alaskan Black Cod fish & chips, and fromage blanc for dessert, along with some well-deserved Pinot Gris. All items were well prepared and delivered quickly.

Those who are inclined to wander from their rooms have a variety of options. The bar is equipped with a pool table, there is a fitness center, and the grounds themselves have numerous walking paths. Even if the weather isn’t the best for leaving the building, the hotel has generous common areas called “Living Rooms.” All offer light snacks 24/7. Many include fireplaces and are wonderful for sitting and talking, reading a book or surfing the ‘net, or just drinking in the mountain lodge atmosphere.

A continental breakfast is included each morning. Smoked Pacific Northwest salmon augmented offerings of the typical continental breakfast items. What an unexpected delight!

Staff was uniformly wonderful: professional, courteous, engaging, making us feel like welcome guests instead of “paying customers.”

As a bonus, it’s close to SeaTac airport. Businesspeople who tire of the typical airport hotel (and who doesn’t?) would be doing themselves a favor to look into this oasis of civility.

Visit my main page at for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.

Photos by Carl Dombek
Click on photos to view larger images