Holiday getaway: Resort on Hood Canal caters to the Christmas crowd with special packages

  • Story and photos by Christina Harper Special to The Herald
  • Friday, November 21, 2008 7:55pm
  • Life

It’s still early enough in the holiday season to map out festivities and arrange a relaxing getaway.

Alderbrook Resort and Spa, a Hood Canal resort in Union is the perfect place for a trip for romance, family or just to get away from the holiday mayhem.

The sounds of carolers, sweet smells of gingerbread and glimpses of Santa greet guests who want to relax and enjoy the spirit of the holiday season.

How about great accommodations? And a beautiful, quality spa with excellent staff?

You got it.

We packed the car, grabbed the Christmas CDs, scarves and gloves, and headed for the ferry to spend a night at Alderbrook during their Winter Wonderland: a short journey to a magical destination.

Guests stay in one of 77 guest rooms, many of which have views of the Olympic Mountains and the Hood Canal, or one of 16 cottages with their own kitchenettes, living areas, bedrooms and bathrooms.

After the kids’ 14th rendition of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," we arrived. That’s how we measure a two-hour trip from Seattle.

We entered the main foyer to check in. We would have been happy to be put up in the lobby.

A lovely fire welcomes guests to a lobby decorated in stone and wood. The kids checked out the Christmas trees and the gingerbread houses submitted by local schools that were on display and ready for guests’ votes.

Once we dragged ourselves away from the comfortable couches and inviting fire, we headed for our cottage.

The kids ran in and chose their roomy bedroom. Then explored the kitchen and bathroom and hauled out their blankies to snuggle on the couch in front of the fire by the Christmas tree. Alderbrook offers DVD players in the cottages and stocks a library of films to check out at the front desk.

Outside the rain was falling; a trip to the spa seemed in order.

Beautiful stone and high ceilings decorate the spa. Comfortable lounges and peaceful treatment rooms help clients drift into relaxation during a massage or body treatment.

Alderbrook also offers a fitness center and pool, which looks out onto Hood Canal. Swimming in heated water in chilly weather is another winter treat.

The Winter Wonderland theme at Alderbrook includes who else, Santa. He lends an ear to kids and adults who just can’t wait to ask him for the latest toy.

A walk around the Alderbrook grounds charms at any time of year. But the holidays bring a special appeal. More than seven miles of lights adorn the property and strolling carolers can be seen and heard throughout the season. Local choirs perform at the resort and a 50-foot noble fir tree stands on the waterfront lawn.

The Christmas tree lighting ceremony is Friday. Forget the sleigh; Santa arrives on a boat.

A four-course Christmas dinner will be served Dec. 24 at the resort and a New Year’s dinner and dance will be Dec. 31.

Alderbrook Resort offers holiday packages such as "Under the Mistletoe," a romantic experience available until Dec. 30. The package, starting at $159, includes accommodations in a room overlooking the mountains and Hood Canal, a bottle of wine and credit for a dinner at The Restaurant at Alderbrook.

Families can enjoy "Visions of Sugar Plums" starting at $199 for two adults and two children, through Dec. 30. The two-bedroom cottages overlook the mountains and Hood Canal and are festively decorated complete with stockings hung on the mantle. It includes a $50 dining credit for The Restaurant.

We ate dinner and walked around the resort and checked out the Christmas trees both inside and out before heading back to our cozy cottage.

As we snuggled up in front of the fire we popped in a movie for the kids who already had that look of holiday delight. That lasted two minutes before they drifted off with dreams of cookies, presents and Santa.

Outside it was cold and raining but the twinkling lights of Alderbrook made memories we’ll talk about for years.


Alderbrook Resort and Spa 10 East Alderbrook Drive Union, WA 98592 800-622-9370

Talk to us

More in Life

Kotor's zigzagging town wall rewards climbers with a spectacular view. (Cameron Hewitt / Rick Steves' Europe)
Rick Steves: Just south of Dubrovnik lies unpolished Montenegro

One of Europe’s youngest nations offers dramatic scenery, locals eager to show off their unique land, and a refreshing rough-around-the-edges appeal.

Dark gray wheels and black exterior accents provide extra visual appeal for the 2024 Subaru Impreza’s RS trim. (Subaru)
2024 Subaru Impreza loses a little, gains a lot

The brand’s compact car is fully redesigned. A couple of things are gone, but many more have arrived.

TSR image for calendar
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

This weekend in Snohomish: The Snohomish Blues Invasion and the Snohomish Studio Tour 2023.

Made by Bruce Hutchison, the poster for “A Momentary Diversion on the Road to the Grave” is an homage to 1985 classic “The Goonies.” (Photo provided)
Indie film premiering on Whidbey Island

Filmed almost entirely on Whidbey Island, “A Momentary Diversion on the Road to the Grave” is set to premiere in Langley.

TSR image only
Does your elementary school child have ADHD?

It’s important to identify children with this condition so we can help them succeed in school.

This photo provided by OceanGate Expeditions shows a submersible vessel named Titan used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic. In a race against the clock on the high seas, an expanding international armada of ships and airplanes searched Tuesday, June 20, 2023, for the submersible that vanished in the North Atlantic while taking five people down to the wreck of the Titanic. (OceanGate Expeditions via AP)
A new movie based on OceanGate’s Titan submersible tragedy is in the works: ‘Salvaged’

MindRiot announced the film, a fictional project titled “Salvaged,” on Friday.

A clump of flowering ornamental grass or pennisetum alopecuroides in an autumn garden.
My garden runneth over with fountain grasses, and for good reason

These late-blooming perennials come in many varieties. They work well as accents, groundcovers, edgings or in containers.

This Vacasa rental is disgusting. Can I get my money back?

The vacation rental Carol Wilson books for her group through Vacasa is infested with rats and insects. Vacasa offers to refund one night, but can they get all of their money back?

A woman diverts from her walk on Colby Avenue to take a closer look at a pickup truck that was partly crushed by a fallen tree during an overnight wind storm Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in north Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / Herald file)
Storm season is coming. Here’s how to prepare for power outages.

The most important action you can take is to make an emergency preparedness kit.

Do you prefer green or red grapes? This antique Moser pitcher is decorated with enameled grapevines on shaded red-to-green glass.
Grapevine pitcher was made by renowned Bohemian company

Also, queries about grandmother’s coffee set and late husband’s Beatles records and memorabilia collection.

The city of Mukilteo is having a naming contest for its new $75,000 RC Mowers R-52, a remote-operated robotic mower. (Submitted photo)
Mukilteo muncher: Name the $75,000 robot mower

The city is having a naming contest for its new sod-slaying, hedge-hogging, forest-clumping, Mr-mow-it-all.

Death of parent with child. Piece of paper with parents and children is torn in half.
Helping children cope with the hard realities of divorce

I’s important to set aside one’s feelings and find a way to make this challenging transition as comfortable for children as you can.