Nestled in the foothills near Leavenworth, along the banks of Icicle Creek, the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort exudes the calm of its natural surroundings, reflected throughout the resort in its architecture, art and aim. As the resort’s owner Harriet Bullitt notes, the Sleeping Lady’s mission is to “provide a year-round retreat where nature, performing arts, recreation and healthful dining inspire reverence for Earth’s life-giving wellspring.”

Birch and pines, along with many other native plants, shelter the cabins, clustered together in pods around common courtyards. Inside, the rooms are elegant in their simplicity (you’ll find no television or mini-fridge here), yet don’t skimp on comfort with soft bed linens and cozy comforters and robes. Other amenities on the grounds include outdoor pool and hot tub, fitness room, sauna and day spa.

The Sleeping Lady aims to leave only a light footprint on the Earth, with in-room recycling, an electric car recharging station and organic bath products as just a start to its commitment to the Earth.

The resort’s natural setting begs for guests to explore, and the grounds are brimming with not just natural beauty but art that reinforces and accentuates the surroundings. A stunning work by Dale Chihuly sits atop a boulder, its form reminiscent of the icicles after which the nearby creek is named. A pair of bronze ravens and the “Soul Salmon” are among the other sculptures on the grounds.

A walk around the resort will inevitably bring guests to the organic garden that supplies much of the greens and herbs, as well as other produce, that grace diners’ tables at meals. Just beyond the garden is Meadow Stage, just one of the performing arts venues on the grounds.

After exploring the grounds, a hearty meal is on the minds of most, and the meals at the Sleeping Lady are fresh and satisfying. Room rates include two meals – dinner and breakfast – at the resort’s Kingfisher Restaurant. Meals are served buffet-style, but this is unlike some hurried cattle call of a meal that the word buffet may conjure up. Start with a visit to the salad bar for some of the aforementioned home-grown greens with house-made dressings. Choose from two main-course options, on this night lamb or halibut, paired with fresh sides and sauces to complement the main dish. A decadent dessert bar makes it nearly impossible to choose from chocolate tart, rhubarb crisp, crème brulee and more – with fresh berries or crème fraiche to top them off.

The extensive wine menu provides nearly 50 options to choose from, many from boutique Washington wineries, such as the Dutch John Syrah from nearby Cashmere. For those seeking a pre-dinner cocktail or after-dinner libation, the Grotto is the resort’s lounge, set invitingly among the rocks and trees.

Special packages are available to appeal to many interests, from yoga to cheese making to whitewater rafting. The resort also is capable of hosting conferences and large groups, such as weddings or family reunions, accommodating groups of 30 to 160.

7375 Icicle Rd, Leavenworth

August/September 2012 – Bellingham Alive/North Sound Life