The Lodge at St. Edward State Park is an impressive feat of architecture. Driving up to the hotel you are faced with the stately nature of the building peeking out through the trees. It is quite catching and as we’ve heard from the team, still impressive even after seeing it daily for many years. On the list of unique stays, this is certainly high up. I’ve had the pleasure of staying a the lodge recently so here is everything you need to know about The Lodge at St. Edward State Park.
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The stay was sponsored by the hotel, which did not review or approve the story.
The Lodge at St. Edward State Park* first opened its doors in 1931 as Saint Edward Seminary for boys. Designed by John Graham Sr. the structure had to be approved by the Vatican. The original plan was quite Gothic in nature and was redrafted into what it is today by the request of the Vatican.
The school closed in 1976 but the grounds were preserved as a state park. The building stood empty for many years and was eventually purchased by Daniels Real Estate in 2017. Just about 2 years ago The Lodge opened its doors as a hotel, now owned by Kevin and Mary Daniels. The hotel design and engineering teams did a phenomenal job preserving as many original elements as possible, from light fixtures to molding details, windows, and so on. The former dorm rooms were combined into 84 guest rooms of mixed size. The modest base Queen suite, for example, takes up 2 dorm rooms. Needless to say, it was A LOT of work and it shows. In its brief few years of existence, The Lodge at St. Edward State Park has become one of the best Washington State hotels, if not one of the best in America.
Over the years the region has suffered a few earthquakes and one of those has caused some irreversible damage to the aquatic building which now serves as a storage facility for the hotel staff. But one day, sometime in the future, it might become something else.
This view of the building is from the park side of the property. I would love to have a set of these velvet chairs at home!
Today’s outfit is all staples: All Saints* leather jacket, Converse high-top platforms, and Uniqlo* satin joggers.
The Vibe & Shared Spaces
The main guest entrance into the building is from the parking lot but its most impressive entrance is on the opposite side. As you exit through this ‘back’ door you find yourself out in the field, greeted by trees and sounds of nature. The decorative entrances are detailed and eye-catching.
The main shared space is a long hall that stretches to the left and right of the entrance. This main hall is exquisitely lit by the sun making it a perfect space for an art gallery. Between friends of the Daniels’ and a mix of artists in residence the hotel contains an impressive collection of pieces, many of which were done specifically for the space. The walls around the hotel are dotted with information plaques. Each of these contains a small paragraph and a QR code that enables the guests for a self-guided tour of the property.
To the other side of the hall are Cedar + Elm restaurant (former dining hall) and Father Mulligan’s Heritage Bar. A wide spiral staircase will take you up to the guest room floors. A different set of stairs will take you to The Tonsorium Bar. This dimly lit space used to be the school’s barbershop but now operates as a cocktail bar.
The surrounding area is a Washington State Park. There is a wide range of hikes in the neighbourhood, some of which will take you down to the lake.
Inside the Suite
We had the pleasure of staying in the corner Lodge King room. It’s a spacious room with clean design lines and nice decorative touches.
All suites have the original rendering blueprint as wallpaper – it’s really something! The rest of the decor does a gentle nod to its religious origin. The mirror frames, for example, are curved, and the nightstands have a confession window-style pattern. The colour palette is beige and black with a bright touch of orange which works well with retro-style elements like the rotary phone.
These suites offer great sleep quality with blackout blinds and comfortable beds. The bathroom is spacious with a minimal shower, and there is a closet for all your things. There are no in-room fridges but the hotel staff can help you with your storage needs.
The most impressive suite is the Daniels Suite (owner’s room). Formerly a chapel, this room has great arched windows, plenty of space, and a soaker tub. There are even eucalyptus shower steamers in this suite.
Dining & Entertainment
Cedar + Elm is the main restaurant. The original windows allow for an impressive amount of light to enter the dining room. At the top of the room is the exit to a sunny patio, which I can only imagine is a great place to spend a summer afternoon on.
The kitchen at the Lodge* focuses on seasonal sustainable ingredients with a holistic approach. There is a mini-farm and a small beehive on the premises. The rest of the ingredients are sourced locally from neighboring farming communities.
Every Thursday and Friday Cedar + Elm invites guests and Seattle locals for an Afternoon Tea service. Seated in the dining room the patrons get to indulge in a plethora of high-tea snacks while listening to live music. The tea selection is complimented with a non-alcoholic cocktail and sparkling wine service for those interested. It is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.
Father Mulligan’s Heritage Bar is where you would find guests enjoying a 2 pm – 5 pm happy hour and charcuterie while The Tonsorium Bar turns up in the evening for live music and intimate conversations. There is a dinner menu in all three spots. The former school library is still there, slightly opened up to accommodate game tables. The bars and restaurants are not open very late so the two of us grabbed a bottle of local Whiskey and had a nightcap playing games in the Library.
During the warmer season, the grounds host a wide range of family-friendly events open to the community. The calendar of upcoming events can be found on the hotel’s events page.
Wellness & Fitness
No escape from the city is complete without a spa so naturally, there is one at St. Edward. Vita Nova Spa’s menu has a range of seasonal and classic spa services. There is also a lovely outdoor relaxation space with a fire pit that the spa guests can enjoy.
On the property is also a 24/7 fitness center and a Pickleball court that both guests and locals can rent by the hour. On Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings, the lodge hosts weekly yoga classes. These are complimentary for the guests and $20-$25 for visitors.
The Lodge at St. Edward State Park is in a prime location for day and weekend trips from Seattle (under a 40min drive). If you are driving from Vancouver it will be a fairly smooth 3 hours or less.
The Lodge at St. Edward State Park
Room starting at $215 USD per night for Classic Queen; prices change seasonally
Address: 14477 Juanita Dr NE, Kenmore, WA 98028, United States