“Diane, 11:30 a.m., February Twenty-fourth. Entering the town of Twin Peaks, five miles south of the Canadian border, twelve miles west of the state line. I’ve never seen so many trees in my life.” With these words FBI agent Dale Cooper entered the iconic world of Twin Peaks over twenty five years ago.
‘Coop’s’ preferred place of residence was of course room 315 at the Great Northern Hotel, otherwise known as the Salish Lodge & Spa. With CELLOPHANELAND* being committed fans, a visit to the Pacific North West naturally had to include a stay as well as a tour of the filming locations from the excellent Twin Peaks Tours (see our review here).
Although there are plenty of Peakies that make the pilgrimage, the Salish Lodge has its own loyal following. Just half an hour from downtown Seattle and in the foothills of the spectacular Cascade range, there are many scenic attractions to be explored locally as well as being perilously perched atop the waterfall that is one of Washington state’s biggest tourist draws.
Much of Twin Peaks’ mythology is derived from earthly and ‘electric’ forces whose sources lie in the forests that surround the fictional town. It is fitting therefore that the 276-foot Snoqualmie Falls has for generations been a sacred site for the Snoqualmie Tribe, as well as being a source of hydroelectric power (the underground 19th century power station itself is an engineering marvel, still in operation).
The Tribe regard the falls as a sacred site and believe that Snoqualm, or Moon the Transformer, created the world, later forming the Falls from a fish trap with the hopes of allowing the salmon to swim upstream. He was unsuccessful, and to this day, the 276-foot waterfall keeps salmon from spawning in the upper valley.
Salish Lodge & Spa is also a big part of Snoqualmie history. Originally an eight-room inn it was built back in 1916 as a rest stop for travellers. It quickly became famous for its huge country style breakfasts that nourished visitors before they journeyed over the mountains. Now proudly owned by the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe – apparently the Snoqualmie tribe were outbid and understandably not overly happy – the hotel is one of the best in the region.
The Lodge’s 84 rooms ‘reflect the calm, contemplative environment’ and are appropriately decorated in shades of brown, green and gold with plenty of wood trim. Ours also had a lovely river view which we could enjoy from a big window seat.
Beds are big and luxurious with goose down bedding and all rooms feature two-person spa tubs and fireplaces. Suites are larger and ideally plump for one of the spa level rooms that also enjoys a small private lounge, complimentary hot drinks and snacks, a selection of spa products to try in your room plus easy access to The Spa facilities.
The hotel is justifiably proud of its dining with its own prolific bee hives plus organic herb and vegetable gardens. Its breakfast is still renowned whilst for lunch and evening there is fine dining overlooking the falls at The Dining Room.
We opted for a series of impeccable small plates at The Attic with its laid back atmosphere – do not miss the Salish seafood chowder or the sesame crusted seared tuna. It also has great looking pizzas from a stone hearth pizza oven, and a bar where you should select the hotel’s own excellent Hive Five Honey Ale.
Despite this being a busy spot adjacent to a major tourist attraction we took an 8am walk down to the base of the falls and back before our departure and only met a solitary dog walker en route. You are unlikely to be so lucky at some times of the day, but we can’t think of a better spot from which to explore the area – whether real or fictional!
CELLOPHANELAND* were guests of Salish Lodge and Spa
For more information visit www.salishlodge.com
For information on Twin Peaks Tours visit Twin Peaks Tours
See our feature on Twin Peaks Tours here