Alderbrook Resort & Spa, a lovely 88-acre property nestled among old-growth trees and overlooking the Hood Canal, has welcomed guests since 1913. It looks like a large resort with its sprawling grounds, but in actuality, it is more of a boutique hotel, with 77 rooms and 16 cottages. Visitors are drawn to its sense of isolation; with 5 miles of trails on site, it is easy to get back to nature. The Hood Canal the resort overlooks is actually a fjord carved by glaciers, not a man-made body of water, and it is stunning. Olympic National Park is nearby, as well, making this a perfect destination.
Originally, resort guests arrived by canoe as there were no roads in 1913. The accommodations were rustic, wood-framed canvas tents. In 2001, North Forty Lodging bought the Alderbrook Resort and created the luxury enclave it is today. The company kept the historic feel of the resort — including the big trees — but beautifully refurbished everything. The lovely gardens have a natural forest feel and include a revitalized stream with resting pools running throughout the property, creating a habitat for salmon.
Alderbrook Resort & Spa Renovations
And the improvements have continued — all while respecting the history of the resort. The property was renovated again in 2004, then had a guest room refresh and a cottage refresh in 2017 and 2018, consecutively.
In the summer of 2022, the luxurious Alderbrook Resort & Spa completed a 3-year property renovation. Returning guests will discover interior remodels of The Restaurant, The Spa, common areas, the lobby, the gift shop, and event spaces. The new spaces create a connection to the outdoors with custom carpeting that “brings the sea inside”; the warm palette, natural light, and furniture groupings create intimate spaces in the lobby and common areas.
A brand new venue, The Drinkery, is an all-day restaurant and gift shop just off the lobby
“The evolution of the resort will continue to center on our goal to ensure every guest walks away with a tranquil and memorable experience,” notes owner Tricia Raikes. “Whether it’s trying fresh oysters for the first time, learning about nurse logs on the trails or reconnecting with loved ones in a meaningful way, we hope the resort offers fun and rejuvenating experiences for all.”
Located in the quiet hamlet of Union, Washington, the resort draws guests from nearby Portland and Seattle, both with international airports. The drive once you exit Interstate 5 is beautiful, with views of the Olympic Mountains and the Hood Canal.
Note: Thank you to Osborne Northwest Public Relations and the Alderbrook Resort for hosting me on a press trip to learn more about this iconic property.
The golf at Alderbrook is magnificent. The PGA-class, par 72 course is consistently ranked as one of the top 25 courses in the Northwest due to its playability and stunning scenery. It is still considered a hidden gem due to its off-the-beaten-path location. The course is surrounded by massive evergreen and Douglas fir trees and offers spectacular views of the craggy Olympic Mountains and the Hood Canal. Deer can often be seen on the fairway, or you may see a bald eagle circling overhead.
The restaurant at Alderbrook Golf is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a great selection. On weekends, the prime rib is very popular with locals.
All the accommodations at Alderbrook are luxurious, but if you really want to step it up, book a cottage. These historic buildings are like your own private beach house. Each is nestled among the tranquil resort gardens with gorgeous views of the Hood Canal. Cozy up to the gas fireplace with a glass of wine from the Cameo Boutique located next door to the resort. It carries a variety of local wines including some from the Olympic Peninsula.
The beautifully decorated cottages have fully equipped kitchens, luxury linens with down comforters, and comfy living room furniture. The amenities don’t end in the cottage, outside on your deck you have access to outdoor barbecue grills and fire pits, lawn games, Adirondack chairs, and a beach swimming area.
5 Miles Of Hiking Trails
The hiking trails at Alderbrook are truly unique. First, they are private for use only by resort guests. The trails were designed and built specifically for the site to take advantage of the natural scenery and beautiful trees. Developed with a good, well-drained base, the trails are usable year-round and don’t turn into muddy messes in the rainy season. Trails are available for every age and skill level. Two short hikes are perfect to stretch your legs after a meal. The Viewpoint Loop is .5 miles and wanders in and out of the forest and has a bench at the top to enjoy the view. The Big Tree Loop as its name suggests offers hikes around a base of giant fir trees which escaped the logger’s saw.
Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing)
Forest bathing has become a big wellness activity, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, when people rediscovered the outdoors. Alderbrook has long offered this activity, and with an old-growth forest right on the property, it is easy to participate.
Take the Big Tree Loop trail on a self-guided walk to experience forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku. Grab a brochure from the concierge, spa, or in kiosks in the lobby. There are six stations and the brochure offers guided meditations. There are two dynamics to Shinrin Yoku: the first is the benefits of the forest, specifically the phytoncides or essential oils on our body. Secondly is the awareness of these benefits. Become a playful, curious child and soak in all the benefits of the forest.
Stop by the front desk or concierge to pick up a GPS to go on a high-tech treasure hunt. There are hidden containers located throughout the resort and trails which lead to prizes. Geared for kids but adults will enjoy the thrill of the hunt as well.
There are a variety of dining options available at Alderbrook — some simply named, and all simply delicious.
The Restaurant is now newly designed with a variety of new spaces. Enjoy an intimate meal in the main dining area or in the enhanced seating in the bar area. Planning a group celebration or event? There are now spaces for groups of all sizes.
Sara Harvey, the former chef and operations manager for the resort’s Union City Market, steps into a new role as the executive chef for The Restaurant. She will continue the resort’s commitment to Pacific Northwest cuisine that is thoughtfully sourced from local purveyors when possible. Think farmstand salads, wild-caught salmon, and local oysters right from Alderbrook’s own oyster beds. Make sure to make reservations.
This is such a lovely new venue. In the morning, enjoy coffee and a yummy selection of light menu options. The croissants are a crispy, buttery delight. At 3 p.m., the vibe changes into a bar with creative cocktails, beer, wine, and cider available as well as charcuterie boards and other light menu items.
One of the things I love about the Alderbrook is the thoughtful, comfortable seating around the lobby and the rest of the resort. With The Drinkery, you can grab and go and enjoy your selections near a roaring fireplace in the winter, or sit near the floor-to-ceiling windows to enjoy views of the Hood Canal.
Hook & Fork
This seafood restaurant is located 2 miles down the Hood Canal and is Alderbrook’s off-site dining venue. Just open Thursday–Sunday, Hook & Fork offers fresh local food and drink for brunch, lunch, or late afternoon snacks.
The Gathering Grove Experience
If you have a group of at least 10, you can arrange an immersive culinary experience here. It begins by walking through Alderbrook’s private old-growth forest, where a knowledgeable guide will teach you about local foraging and mushroom picking. Enjoy a meal prepared for you in The Gathering Grove, an outdoor dining venue immersed in nature. Work with the sales team to schedule this special experience.
The Spa At Alderbrook
Newly reopened, the Spa At Alderbrook has upped its pampering game with a wonderful refresh. The relaxation room is a thoughtfully crafted space that, as the name suggests, promotes relaxation with its soothing colors and comfortable seating.
Walking into the spa, you are immediately surrounded by the sounds and smells of nature. The gentle sounds of trickling water and the aroma of cedar and evergreen echo the natural surroundings of the Alderbrook Resort. There are 34 different spa treatments available, including massages, facials, body wraps, and treatments for your hands and feet. The Signature Massage uses deep tissue techniques, including the use of basalt stones, while soothing aromatherapy whisks away all your stress.
Make sure to book well in advance. The spa sometimes books 6 weeks out.
While Alderbrook is the perfect place to relax, there are also lots of activities right on the property.
The indoor saltwater pool is heated to a warm 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This is not your typical indoor hotel pool; it is large and surrounded by large windows overlooking the Hood Canal. From inside the pool, it appears to flow right into it.
Out on the pier are kayaks and stand-up paddle boards available for rent.
A fully-equipped fitness center is available.
There is a board in the lobby that lists activities available during the month. Yoga is offered twice a week. You can also spend an evening playing board games with cookies to snack on, take a guided fungi trail walk, and more.
The resort has an onsite yacht, the Lady Alderbrook, which is used for a variety of activities throughout the year, including a sightseeing cruise. During Christmas season, you can enjoy a roundtrip cruise from the resort to the Hood Canal’s North Pole set up at the Union City Market, where the little ones will receive a gift from Santa. Shopping is available at the market, and cocoa and cookies are served for refreshments. What a fun adventure.
No matter if the weather brings the gray cloudiness of rainy season, the vibrant colors of fall foliage, spring’s promise of a new beginning, or the warm rays of the summer sun, it is always a good time to visit the lovely Alderbrook Resort & Spa.