If you are feeling tired and worn-out and need an escape, a trip to a spa with your friends might just do the trick. In the spirit of sharing and self-care, we’ve gathered some of our favorite day (and overnight) spas around Puget Sound to help you recharge. Although a friend recently pointed out that “any place is good for a girlfriend getaway, because, guess what: No children.” These local havens have everything you need to add a little more oxygen to your oxygen mask.
Olympus Spa, Lynnwood and Tacoma
With the sole purpose of honoring women, the first branch of the Korean-inspired Olympus Spa opened about 17 years ago in the unlikely spot of South Tacoma Way. It became known around the region for its heavenly combination of services, pools and healing rooms in a spotless, women-only setting. A bigger, glossier Lynnwood location opened about a decade ago. Both spaces were created for women to receive healing, relax, and let go of everyday worries and stress.
Olympus is known for its many infrared-energy rooms that heat the body’s core. Each room combines different earth elements, including charcoal, salt or sand, to provide benefits such as decreasing joint stiffness, relieving muscle spasms and improving circulation.
Find distinct services at each location. Lynnwood offers organic facials and nail treatments while only Tacoma offers cupping massage therapy and the nokudu facial.
A signature service is the invigorating yet relaxing Korean body scrub (like getting a massage and new skin in one treatment), which clients often combine with the Korean Body Moisturizing services that include warm olive oil, milk and honey. The on-site Korean cafés serve delicious, healthy food; there is also a tearoom.
Cost: A day pass is $48 (Lynnwood) or $43 (Tacoma); services are an additional fee. Reservations are required for spa services.
Book a deal: On the day of your birthday (verified with a valid I.D.), receive half off the day pass. Also look for the membership/day-pass special: access to the spa every day (for the number of months purchased) and 5 percent off services. Join the Facebook page to receive updates.
Quoteworthy: “Everyone is issued the same poofy striped hat like a cloth shower cap and a short robe. So there is a weird sense of anonymity. In the pool area, everyone abandons their robe but not their cap and you see real naked women who have curves and bumps and hair and scars. ... I always leave there feeling stripped down of all the bad body image, along with all the dirt they rub right out of your pores!” — Gretchen Swanson
Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort, Leavenworth
Two words: Rustic luxury. While Harriet Bullitt wanted to create an eco-friendly conference center that connected visitors with nature, many guests here proclaim it to be the perfect summer camp for adults. “It’s for people who want to enjoy the outdoors with the comfort of a bed,” says Lori Vandenbrink, former director of sales and marketing. And we are talking about a very comfortable bed within a cabin that seems designed for groups of girlfriends — spacious and bright, with towel warmers and organic linens.
Minutes from Leavenworth and situated along Icicle Creek, Sleeping Lady includes an outdoor woodland pool, a dry sauna and the Aspen Leaf Spa. The food at O'Grady's Pantry & Mercantile is locally sourced, with much of it grown in the resort’s organic 2-acre garden.
Work up a dinner appetite in the great outdoors, both on-site and nearby: hike, bike, go water rafting or stand-up paddle boarding, bird watching, golfing or skiing. Less strenuous pastimes include window-shopping and enjoying wine or beer tasting in Leavenworth.
Cost: Rooms cost around $300 based on double occupancy, and accommodations include a gourmet dinner and a hearty breakfast. The Aspen Leaf Spa provides spa packages, body treatments, energy balancing treatments and more.
Book a deal: Look out for occasional deals on Tripadvisor and Yelp.
Quoteworthy: “You can rent a group gathering space — which we did. It’s like a big cabin, but bright and airy. We had refreshments scheduled to be in the space daily. People could go in there to knit, chat, read, etc. It was a great option because you could be social — or not. Also, I had one of the best massages I’ve ever had when I was there.” — Michele Thornquist
Doe Bay Resort & Retreat, Orcas Island
Located in a stunning setting on Orcas Island, Doe Bay wows its guests with the best kind of enchantment: gorgeous surroundings from the top of nearby Mt. Constitution to the tip of Meditation Point. This waterfront resort resides on 38 acres that people often describe as magical, and this uniqueness extends beyond the range of lodging options, which includes camping, yurts, domes, cabins and the Retreat House.
“The magic is in the Doe Bay culture, our employees and the special demographic from which we draw. Families and people of all ages love Doe Bay, but as anyone who has been here will note, Doe Bay is a place for artists and the young — or, more appropriately, the young at heart,” says General Manager River Augenstein.
Don’t miss the inspiring view of Otters Cove from the creekside spa that features clothing-optional hot soaking tubs and a cedar sauna. People rave about the waterfront Doe Bay Café, where much of the food is sourced from the on-site farm and other island purveyors. Or opt for a massage in an on-site treatment room.
Cost: Rates depend on the season and day of the week. Camp, stay in a yurt or an unheated dome with no bed, rent a cabin or lodge in the Retreat House ($844 nightly for a summer weekend). There’s a wide array of prices; see them all here. Book early and consider an off-season stay.
Book a deal: To find a deal, friend Doe Bay on Facebook and on Twitter, too. Or just call the front desk and ask for current promotions.
Quoteworthy: “The hot pools are set on a lovely forested deck. The clothing-free option is very chill; go nude if you want, but many people don't. My massage was super-relaxing and special — my masseuse chanted to me! The café is not to be missed, for as many meals as you can manage. In the summer, there is often live music in the café during evenings, and lodging ranges from modest shared housing to newer private cabins. Some of the lodging is even pet-friendly. And the view will completely cleanse you.” — Natalie Singer-Velush
Photo credit: Doe Bay
Suncadia, Cle Elum
Cross over to the sunny side of the mountains for a stay at Suncadia, and you’ve hit the jackpot when it comes to both places to stay and outing varieties both on- and off-site. Rent a fully furnished vacation home that easily accommodates five to 20 people; book a lodge guest room with river and mountain views; or select a room at the more intimate inn or a trailhead condominium.
Pick what works for relaxation for your girlfriend group. Glade Spring Spa is an outdoor and indoor sanctuary featuring creeks, hot mineral baths and firepit areas, along with a private women’s garden that includes a hot mineral bath, sauna, treatment deck and lounges. On-site, play golf at one of two courses, swim, hike, bike, run fish or ride horses. (During winter, enjoy cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skiing and tubing.) Pick from a variety of dining options, including home-cooked comfort foods at The Stovehouse or cocktails at Fifty-6 Degrees Lounge at Suncadia Lodge.
Close by, Cle Elum and Roslyn are fun to bop around; there are fun art galleries and junk shops and they also boast a few good microbrew pubs and BBQ places. Head for breakfast at the Roslyn Cafe or listen to music and dance at the fun historic bar The Brick.
Cost: Prices vary by season and weekday/weekend stays. Spa services include massages, facials, body treatments and more.
Book a deal: Book directly through the website for access to all the amenities, discounts, parking and more. Check out the special offers and packages as well.
Quoteworthy: “I’m a mountain girl, so I use Suncadia as a base camp for outdoor activity nearby. I love booking a day horseback ride through Three Peak Outfitters in Cle Elm; the Roslyn Museum; Roslyn’s Summer Market; and The Caboose Bar and Grill. If you just want to relax, Suncadia offers so much that it would be hard to leave and go anywhere else. The outside pool is really nice, especially early in the morning when nobody else is around.” — Suezy Proctor
Willows Lodge, Woodinville
You’ll need more than one weekend getaway to visit more than 100 wineries and tasting rooms in Woodinville wine country, many within walking or biking distance of Willows Lodge. With 84 guestrooms, it has a cozy Northwest lodge feeling. Gorgeous outdoor gardens and indoor public spaces featuring artwork by Northwest Coast Native American artists, including NW Haida art, round out the unique feel.
Willows seems designed to spark long conversations with friends, either by the fireplace inside or outside in one of the many sustainably tended gardens that line the garden walk. Book services at the intimate, full-service spa, which includes an outdoor hot spa and a steam sauna. On the grounds, Barking Frog is a top-notch restaurant specializing in regional cuisine. Next door, find The Herbfarm (book months ahead).
Beyond tasting wine, beer and other spirits, go for a hot-air balloon ride, bike, hike, or walk the paths in and around the lodge; the Sammamish River Trail is a stone's throw away.
Cost: Accommodation rates fluctuate with the season and day of the week. They hover around $400 or more, with the lowest rates offered midweek during the off season. Find spa prices online.
Book a deal: Monitor the website and Facebook for occasional promotions. Good deals can be had during midweek and off-season dates, so plan ahead.
Quoteworthy: “This place is in a league of its own. I don't know if I’ve ever had such wonderful service at any hotel anywhere. From the moment you walk in, you feel well taken care of — an extra treat for us women, I think, as so many us spend all our time taking care of others — but it is also unpretentious and unfussy.” — Kerry Coburn
Photo credit: Willows Lodge
The Inn at Langley, Whidbey Island
Longtime Whidbey islanders Paul and Pam Schell build this inn in 1989. They loved the tranquility of the site and that it is a transition point, where the forest meets the sea. “We always say that we are a retreat, not a resort. We blend styles of the American Arts and Crafts movement with the inns of northern Japan, and believe in design not decoration. Every room has a water-facing view with a private deck,” says General Manager Matt Costello, who is also the chef of the inn's highly acclaimed restaurant.
Off site, partake in whale watching and kayak tours; visit beaches; fish, crab; ride horses; visit wineries, cheesemakers and farmers markets; and take in local art created by exceptional artists in many mediums.
Editor's note: the spa is currently closed, but they are planning on opening later in the summer.
Cost: Accommodation prices can be found on the website. The range for spa services is wide, with massages starting at $110 to a personalized and guided wellness retreat for $1,400.
Book a deal: The best rates are Sunday through Thursday in spring. Sunday dinners as a package with a room are a bargain.
Quoteworthy: “The spa there was so lovely. You take a walk along this outdoor boardwalk to get there and it’s right next to the water. You can do a nice steam with a friend before the massage. My massage was possibly my best ever.” — Jess Thomson
Photo credit: The Inn at Langley
Semiahmoo Resort, Golf, and Spa, Blaine
Semiahmoo takes its name from the Salish tribal term meaning “half-moon,” and the tribe that once inhabited the spit that separates Semiahmoo Bay and Drayton Harbor. While the golf resort first opened in Blaine’s Drayton Harbor in 1994, this 212-room resort underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation in 2013. This place draws people looking to explore the gorgeous landscape with its tide pools, estuaries and waterways that made the Audubon Society’s list as one of Washington state’s top birding destinations. Look for bald eagles, blue herons, owls, many species of ducks and more.
This resort contains Semiahmoo County Park, which encompasses more than 300 acres of tideland and space for walking, biking, rollerblading, kayaking, clamming, sculpting sand, flying kites and picnicking. There are sand volleyball courts, and golfers will love the award-winning Semiahmoo Golf & Country Club. Exercise or relax at the health club that includes an outdoor heated pool and an indoor hot tub. The full-service spa includes a botanical radiance facial, heated Himalayan salt stone massage and more relaxing treatments. Enjoy a bite to eat at Packers Kitchen + Bar or the Great Blue Heron Grill.
Take advantage of the Plover, a historic seasonal ferry that travels to downtown Blaine. Or venture abroad, since Canada is very close; Vancouver is a mere 35 miles away.
Cost: Accommodation costs can be found on the website. Spa services range between $125 and $145 per 60 minutes of service.
Book a deal: Seasonal promotions can be found here.
Quoteworthy: “Semiahmoo Resort is the perfect relaxing escape for a girls’ weekend away. Mornings can be spent wandering along the quiet beach, searching for seals or bald eagles. Evenings can be spent watching the awe-inspiring sunset over Semiahmoo Bay while relaxing in one of the Adirondack chairs with a glass of wine in hand ... And don't forget to try out the Drayton Harbor oysters, which are harvested right from the waters you are overlooking.” — Amanda R.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published a few years ago, and updated in 2022.