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Spaaaaahhh: Day Spas, Retreats and Getaways Where Moms Can Reset and Restore

9 spots where Puget Sound mothers can make self-care their top priority

Published on: May 05, 2015

Photo credit: Olympus Spa

I’m doing something revolutionary this Mother’s Day. I’m celebrating twice by planning an escape to a local all-woman’s day spa before the big day. Thirteen years into motherhood, putting on my own oxygen mask first often means getting away with my closest female friends. I need to talk and be silent and just be with my besties so I can be my best self on Mother’s Day when my kids celebrate with me.

Sound like a plan for you, too? In the spirit of sharing and self-care, we’ve gathered together some of our favorite day (and overnight) spas around Puget Sound to help you recharge before or after Mother's Day (or all year). Although a friend recently pointed out that “any place is good for a girlfriend getaway because, guess what: no children,” these spots are expert at adding extra oxygen to our oxygen masks.

Photo credit: Olympus Spa

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.

Many first-time Olympus clients are hesitant due to its nickname of the “naked-lady spa,” meaning being nude only in the pool area (robes are provided for elsewhere in the spa). Still, after a few minutes of nakedness, many women find it liberating to be in this all-female environment.

Olympus is known for its many infrared-energy rooms that heat the body’s core. Each room combines different earth elements such as 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 Back Melt and the Noku-du Facial (coming soon). (Tip: Location number three is opening in Tukwila soon!)

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 includes warm olive oil, milk and honey. The onsite Korean cafes serve delicious, healthy food; there is also a tea room.

Cost: The day pass is $38 (Lynnwood) or $33 (Tacoma); services are an additional fee. Reservations recommended for spa services.

Book a deal: On the day of your birthday (with a valid I.D.), receive half off the day pass. Also look for the biannual day-pass special: receive $10 off each day pass when purchasing 10 at a time. Join the Facebook page for updates.

Quoteworthy: “Everyone is issued the same poofy striped hat like a cloth shower cap and 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 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

Photo credit Ladywells

Ladywell’s Vitality Spa & Sauna, North Seattle

Small and intimate, with blue and orange walls designed to soothe, Ladywell's was opened by owner Crystal Carlson because she yearned for a soothing gathering space for all women in her community of Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood. “I love the very visible difference I witness in a woman’s face and energy after she has spent some quality time here having a sauna and soak,” says Carlson.

This sauna and hydrotherapy facility follows a European style, meaning the overall ambiance is relaxed and can be social. Their motto "Birthday suit or bathing suit; as long as you get in here!” means you can wear a swim suit or nothing at all. Licensed massage therapists provide therapeutic massage and sugar scrub body exfoliation treatments. There are three types of saunas, hydrotherapy pools of varying temperatures, and a quiet tea and resting lounge (with complimentary organic herbal teas) that accommodates those seeking a meditative space.  

People can rent Ladywell’s for co-ed private events on Mondays. One birthday party included a great-grandma down to great-grandkids, their happy birthday singing beautifully echoed throughout the space, says Carlson.

Cost: $36 (after tax) to use the facility, no reservations required although reservations are recommended for spa services (additional fees).

Book a deal: Visit Tuesday to Friday before 2 p.m. and entry is $27.  Ladywell’s also has monthly and yearly memberships with unlimited facility use at a generously affordable price, discounts on services and retail items. Check out the "six visits for the price of five" special and the 2/4/1 in Chinook Book. Look for a Groupon offer this summer.

Quoteworthy: I thank my lucky stars that this spa is two minutes by my house by car. I love going here alone when I need to edit work or clear my brain with a good book and quiet space, but I really cherish sharing time here with my closest friends. It’s small and intimate and a safe place to talk and talk and talk.

Photo credit: Yuan Spa

Yuan Spa, Bellevue

Owner Z Zhang left her career as an electrical engineer in China 14 years ago to come to the United States with the goal of offering the art of Chinese healing to Americans, whom she admired for their spirit of healthy living. Her third spa in the greater Seattle area combines traditional Asian healing therapies with Pacific Northwest sensibilities (others include  Redmond’s Z&Z Herbal Spa and Kirkland’s Oriental Retreat & Spa).

This 8,000 square-foot oasis is a green spa experience. Guests start their experience with the tradition of Chinese bathing in a hydrotherapy space with both hot and cool sea-salt pools and therapeutic sauna and steam rooms (guests wear swimsuits). Eastern and Western therapies comingle as clients enjoy massage therapy, advanced skin care and herbal body treatments. Clients love the Signature Chinese Body Scrub with the therapist using traditional Asian scrub mitts, and the Signature Massage, which is a blend of Chinese Tuina acupressure, Thai stretching, and Lomi Lomi massage.

This is the place to unblock your qi (energy). Traditional therapies on the extensive menu include cupping therapy, acupuncture, Gua-Sha therapy and reiki. The full-service spa also offers hair removal, nail care, salon services, facials, and hand and foot treatments. And toast your dearest friendships with fresh juices and enjoy food offered by the spa’s neighbor Jujubeet.

Cost: Pick from a wide range of services and price points, from a hydrotherapy day pass for $45 to the eight-hour Eternal You Package that rings in at $670 dollars.

Book a deal: The membership is the best deal offering a complimentary service per month, 20 percent off additional services and 10 percent off retail product and two complimentary hydrotherapy passes.

Quoteworthy: "I did the 5 elements treatment at Yuan and it was very unique and relaxing. Better yet: the practitioner was dead on when proposing what my strengths/weaknesses/issues are.” — Jess Thomson 


Photo credit: Sleeping Lady

Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort, Leavenworth

Two words: Rustic luxury. While Harriet Bullitt wanted to create an eco-friendly conference center that connected 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, 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, bright, with towel warmers and organic linens. 

Minutes from Leavenworth and along Icicle Creek, Sleeping Lady includes an outdoor woodland pool, a dry sauna and the Aspen Leaf Day Spa. The swoon-worthy food at The Kingfisher Restaurant & Wine Bar is locally sourced, with much of it grown in the resort’s organic two-acre garden.

Work up a dinner appetite in the great outdoors, both on site and nearby: hike, bike, mountain bike, go water rafting or stand-up paddle boarding, bird watch, golf, or ski. Or window shop or enjoy wine or beer tasting in Leavenworth.

Cost: Rooms cost between $276 to $326 based on double occupancy and accommodations include a gourmet dinner and a hearty breakfast. Spa service prices range between $95 and $265.

Book a deal: This year’s Chinook Book contains three coupons for Sleeping Lady. Look also for 25-percent-off sales on Trip Advisor 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  

Photo credit: Doe Bay

Doe Bay Resort and Retreat Center, 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 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, with much of the food sourced from the onsite farm 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. For example, a picnic campsite costs $25.20 Sunday through Thursday in November/December and $47.25 on a Friday or Saturday in July and August. Camp, stay in a yurt or an unheated dome with no bed, rent a cabin or the Retreat House ($742.50 nightly for a summer weekend). There’s a wide array of prices, see them all here. Book early and consider the off season.

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), and my massage was super-relaxing and special (my masseuse chanted to me!). The cafe is not to be missed, for as many meals as you can manage. In the summer there is often live music in the cafe during evenings, and lodging ranges from modest shared housing to newer private cabins, and some of the lodging is even pet-friendly. And the view will completely cleanse you.” — Natalie Singer-Velush


Photo credit: Suncadia

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 fits 5 to 20 people, book a Lodge guest room with river and mountain views or 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 with creeks, hot mineral baths, lounge and fire-pit areas along with a private women’s garden that includes a hot meral bath, sauna, treatment deck and lounges. Onsite, play gold at one of two golf courses, swim, hike, bike, run fish, or ride horses. (During winter, enjoy cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, ice skiing and tubing.) Pick from six dining options, including wine tasting at Swiftwater Cellars or cocktails at Fifty-6 Degrees at Suncadia Lodge.

Close by, Cle Elum and Roslyn are fun to bop around and look at art galleries and junk shops; they also boast a few good microbrew pubs and BBQ places. Head for breakfast at the Roslyn Cafe or listen to music/dance at the fun, old bar The Brick. 

Cost: Prices vary by season and weekday/weekend stays. Weekdays start at $229 and weekends start at $309. Spa services range from $200 for an 80-minute massage to $164 for a 50-minute facial.

Book a deal: Sign up for the newsletter for the best deals. 

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 in Cle Elm. 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

Photo credit: Willows Lodge

Willows Lodge, Woodinville

Located in Woodinville wine country, you’ll need more than one weekend getaway to visit more than 100 wineries and tasting rooms, many within walking or biking distance of Willows Lodge (which is next door to Redhook Brewery and right off the Sammamish Trail). With 84 guestrooms, Willows Lodge has a cozy Northwest lodge feeling. Gorgeous outdoor gardens and indoor public spaces with 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 the 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, The Barking Frog is a top-notch restaurant specializing in regional cuisine. Next door, find The Herbfarm (book months ahead).

Beyond wine, beer and spirit tasting, 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: Rates fluctuate with the season and day of the week. They hover around $200 or more, with lower rates offered midweek in the offseason. 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. Also, Barking Frog participates in Restaurant Week and Dine Around.

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: Inn at Langley

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 Craft 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 its highly acclaimed restaurant. 

Dinner here combines local ingredients with some modern techniques, a few surprises but no pretense. Try the 12-course dinner for "a really surprising $139 with $55 'featherweight' wine pairing," says local food writer and author Jess Thomson, who dined here recently. "Costello wants you to be able to taste a place, in this case Whidbey.” 

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.

Cost: High season is summer with rates starting at $290 per night. Included in this price is a real breakfast, free yoga and Pilates classes; bar snacks (all included except booze); movie tickets to the local theater that shows art house movies mid-week; bikes... the list of extras for free continues. The range for spa services is wide with massages at just under $100 to a personalized and guided wellness retreat for $1200.

Book a deal: The best rates are Sunday to Thursday in spring. The whales are feeding on the beach right now. 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: Semiahmoo

Semiahmoo Resort, 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 places draws people looking to explore this gorgeous landscape with its tide pools, estuaries and waterways that recently 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 duck and more.

This resort contains Semiahmoo County Park, with more than 300 acres of tideland and space for walking, biking, rollerblading, kayaking, clamming, sand sculpting, kite flying and picnicking. There are sand volleyball courts and golfers love the two renowned gold courses (Semiahmoo Golf & Country Club and Loomis Golf Trail Club). Exercise or relax at the health club that includes an outdoor heated pool (84 degrees) and indoor hot tub. The full-service spa features pure products with a strong emphasis on marine-based ingredients. and their natural benefits. Try an Alaskan Glacial Mud Body Wrap with mud harvested from the Copper River Delta, then stick with this theme by dining at Packers Oyster bar (there are four restaurants here).

Take advantage of the Plover, an historic seasonal ferry that shuttle that travels to downtown Blaine. Or venture abroad, since Canada is very close, with Vancouver a mere 35 miles away.

Cost: An overnight stay tends to start around $139, but check Facebook and sign up for Semiahmoo's email list to be informed about specials. Spa services range between $98 and $128 per 50-minutes of service.

Book a deal: Seasonal promotions can be found here

Quoteworthy: "Semiahmoo Resort is the perfect relaxing escape for a girl’s 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 anorak 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.

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