Nestled along the scenic banks of Washington’s Wenatchee River lies Warm Springs Inn & Winery. Built in 1917 by Fred and Ilona Grill, it started its life as a pioneer family home. Since then it has been many things—an infirmary, a ranch house, and a boarding kennel. But, for the last 26 years, it has been a bed and breakfast.
On a recent trip to Wenatchee Washington, I had the pleasure of being hosted by Warm Springs Inn & Winery. During my stay, I discovered this historic home had undergone extensive renovations and its current innkeepers, Ludger and Julie Szmania, have created a luxurious inn that offers guests wine tastings, culinary delights and plenty of opportunities to relax next to the river.
Riverfront Elegance at Warm Springs Inn & Winery
As I drove down the driveway to Warm Springs Inn & Winery, I was immediately drawn to the Colonial style brick inn surrounded by 10-acres of lush green lawn, towering trees, and neighboring orchards.
Once inside, Ludger greeted me and took me on a property tour. On the first floor, every space invited the natural setting in with rows of large windows. The living room with plush couches and chairs provided a more formal gathering area.
In the back of the Inn, guests can cozy up in front of a fireplace, and enjoy breakfast at one of the many tables.
A large deck adjoined this room, and from there the view consisted of more lawn, the river, and golden hillsides. The lawn below also offers plenty of places to sit and take in the magnificent view.
The night of my stay, I was lucky enough to sit with Julie on the deck and watch as the sky shifted into the deep blue colors of evening. We chatted about the history of the house, their renovations, and the area. Ludger also made me a tasty dessert of espresso ice cream, Wenatchee cherries, and apricots.
Wine Tasting at the Inn
The wine tasting room is next to the breakfast room, and guests may request to taste the line of wines made from the Szmania’s sister property, Brender Canyon Vineyard.
During my stay, I was able to sample their three blended wines made from Sangiovese, Merlot, and Syrah. For six years, John Patterson of Patterson Cellars in Woodinville has processed their grapes and blended their wines. I particularly liked the Infrared.
On weekends, from 1 to 5 p.m., non-guests may also enjoy a wine tasting, or arrange for a tasting by appointment. Anyone can purchase a glass or a bottle to enjoy, and may call ahead to pre-order appetizers and snacks.
My Room—The English Room at Warm Springs Inn & Winery
My room at Warm Springs Inn & Winery featured buttercream colors with aqua accents, a queen sleigh bed, monogrammed robes, slippers, a wingback reading chair, walk-in closet, a spacious bathroom with a tub and shower, a flat screen television and complimentary WiFi. This elegant room brought in lots of natural daylight and offered views of the Wenatchee River and Sleepyhollow Ridge.
Even though the room didn’t open to the outdoors, the light and soft colors made the room feel airy and inviting. I particularly appreciated the large bathroom, walk-in closet and mix of antiques and country estate decor. That night, I slept soundly and the next morning I found myself wishing I could linger a little longer in bed before starting my day.
The Inn has a total of six rooms, and each has its own signature style and features. The Garden Suite, Swedish Room, Bordeaux Room, and English Room, are inside the Inn. Two rooms—the Orchard Room and the River Room—have their own private entrances and deck seating. They are also close to the outdoor hot tub, which is open to all guests.
Guests may arrange for additional indulgences such as a chilled bottle of French Champagne and an assortment of sweets, a platter of cookies, a gift box of candies from Aplets & Cotlets, or an antipasti platter with artisan cheese, salami, almonds, olives, crackers and pickled vegetables.
Breakfast at Warm Springs Inn & Winery
While you may be tempted to linger in bed, don’t miss breakfast. Ludger is a professionally trained chef and has worked all over the world. Each morning he prepares a tantalizing multi-course breakfast with locally-sourced ingredients and lots of creative skill. My meal started with bran coffee cake with Wenatchee cherries.
For the second course, Wenatchee peach fritters with Greek honey yogurt, Wenatchee Bing cherries (from the inn’s yard), and a homemade cherry syrup.
For the main course, I had poached eggs with wheat berries, diced local vegetables, house-smoked and cured ham, Parmesan, and edible blooms from Pioneer Canyon Farm. From start to finish, everything was delicious.
Located 13-minutes from downtown Wenatchee, the Inn’s location is ideal for exploring the area’s recreational activities, wine tasting rooms, and culinary scene. Some activities I recommend are checking out the many shops and dining establishments at Pybus Market, renting bikes at Arlberg Sports for riding the Apple Capital Loop Trail, and visiting the Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center. I also suggest a trip to see Miss Veedol, a replica of the plane that made the first Pacific Coast nonstop flight.
Stay at the Warm Springs Inn & Winery
After the day’s activities, I found Warm Springs Inn & Winery to be a rejuvenating oasis that encouraged me to relax and appreciate its natural surroundings.
To book a room visit the Warm Springs Inn & Winery website. The Inn is a 2.2-hour drive from Seattle, WA, and a 3-hour drive from Spokane, WA. For more information about the area go to the Visit Wenatchee website.
Note: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with accommodations and meals for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.