In a world filled with hustle and bustle, the places that slow us down have become a welcome respite. An hour away from Seattle, WA, and Vancouver, BC is the woodland retreat River Rock Inn in Arlington, WA. As a guest of the inn, I soak up the ambiance of this luxurious escape with a field to farm breakfast, tea next to the crackling fire, and a woodland hike.
Unwind and Recharge
I decide to escape the madness of the highway and take the backroads to the River Rock Inn. So far my GPS is working, but the innkeepers said I’d lose reception at one point and to print off directions. They were right. As I turn down a gravel road the connection with modern age slips away and is replaced with the smell of pine, chirping birds and a lodge style bed and breakfast on five secluded acres of woodlands.
The innkeepers, Bob and Lisa, greet me at the door with a warm welcome and a pair of cozy slippers to wear for my stay. A very good sign.
Inside, the River Rock Inn is decorated with cabin style décor and the Grand Room with its river rock double-sided fireplace and open views to the woods create the ambiance of a mountain lodge. But, this is not a bustling lodge. It is a five-room boutique bed and breakfast with Northwest-themed suites; each with a private entrance, two person tubs, river rock showers, flat screen TVs, and decks that take in the natural setting. If you have a hard time disconnecting completely, don’t worry, the inn has complimentary WiFi to help keep you in touch.
But, I doubt you'll feel the urge to pull yourself away. After all, King 5 and Evening Magazine honored the inn as “One of the Top 10 B&B’s in the Northwest.”
A Room for Relaxation and Romance
My room for the night‒the Fern Suite. This is the only ground level suite and steps away is the lush yard, outdoor fire pit, and the woods. The room featured a queen bed, two chairs, a small table, a flat screen TV, DVD player, and a two-person soaking tub, and a river rock shower. All of it together said relax and romance.
Other rooms include the king-bed Cedar Suite, which is nestled next to the bows of the cedar trees and primed for bird watching. The queen-sized Homestead Suite pays tribute to the area’s homesteaders and has a peek-a-boo tub. The king-sized Stilly Suite, which is named after the Stillaguamish River and has river decor. And, the queen-sized Woodland Suite, featured a hand-crafted log bed and highlights Pacific Northwest wildlife.
Work Out the Kinks
After seeing the gorgeous spa rooms decorated with soothing earthy colors and bright orchids laid at each head rest I wished I’d arranged to pamper myself with a spa treatment. Spa services include a Swedish massage and hot stone massage for individuals and couples, and aromatherapy and a hot stone facial. There is also an outdoor hot tub‒picture starry skies and owls hooting‒ and, of course, your own private tub to sooth the cares away.
An Indulgent Morning
Before breakfast, I cozy up next to the floor to ceiling river rock fireplace in the Grand Room with a cup of tea. Outside, sun filters through the trees and dew glistens on the grass. With its ceiling high windows, this room takes full advantage of the woodland view and I sit and ponder nature's beauty. This room is also the common area that all guests share. On one side is a small buffet with a martini shaker, wine opener, tea, coffee, a microwave, a refrigerator and some snacks.
The Grand Room is also where breakfast is served. On warm summer mornings, guests enjoy breakfast on the outside deck, which overlooks a small trout pond and stream. Today, since it's on the chilly side, breakfast is served inside next to the floor to ceiling windows. Breakfast starts with a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice and poached local pears with almond slices, cinnamon, vanilla bean yogurt and an edible flower. The second coarse‒French toast made with raisin cinnamon bread dipped in farm fresh eggs and a side of sausage.
A Walk in the Woods
Once at the inn, I didn’t want to leave even though there are plenty of day trip worthy activities like exploring North Cascades National Park, visiting the local distillery and breweries, and touring Boeing’s Future of Flight museum. All I wanted was to luxuriate in the peacefulness of the inn and the surrounding property. After breakfast, Bob was kind enough to take me on a morning hike and show me the stump house, an 1899 homestead property, and the Mustang graveyard.
A stay at River Rock Inn can be whatever you want, relaxing, romantic, or a woodland adventure. It is a 15-minute drive from the small town of town of Arlington, WA. For fine dining, the innkeepers recommend the world-inspired cuisine at Bistro San Martin, and for more casual dining, Skookum Brewery, and Nutty's Junkyard Grill.
Note: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodations and meal for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.