Lake Quinault Lodge--not to be confused with Quinault Resort and Casino--almost screams relaxation. There is a cozy fireplace room with a tranquil view of the lake, calming music in the background, and a smell in the air that tries to snatch the tension right out of you. It's a cool place to visit.
The lodge arranges for a few types of tours. I've been on the van tour and the boat tour, both of which are worth a smidgen of time. The boat tour takes you out on the lake, where a knowledgeable guide regales guests with the history of the lodge and its surroundings. The van tour features some tree-filled scenery around gives you some interesting facts about the lake and the forest. (Unfortunately, the tours aren't available year round.)
- The lodge took only ten weeks to build.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt visited the lodge in 1937, shortly after which the Olympic National Park was created.
- During prohibition, the site had a floating dancefloor on the lake where partyers could get their hands on booze.
The room you should choose at the lodge depends on the purpose of your visit. I spoke to the front desk manager, and she gave me a few pointers:
- The Lakeside rooms are the best for families.
- Couples will feel cozy in the fireplace rooms.
- If you just want to soak in the experience of the lodge, stay in the main building.
- Four-legged friends are only allowed in the boathouse.
Keep in mind that the experience at the lodge is pretty old school, and you won't find all the amenities you would expect at a modern hotel. For example, TVs and phones aren't in most of the rooms. Also, the building is old, so you might encounter some unexpected maintenance programs. Don't let those things stop you from going, though; treat it all as part of the experience!
The staff members at the lodge are for the most part friendly and eager to do what they can for you (my big brother works as a front desk supervisor there, and he is the best). They're also a great place to go for advice on getting the most out of the area. Most of them have explored the lake and the surrounding area and can point you toward the best hiking trails and scenic points.
When to Score the Best Rates
Can't wait to give Lake Quinault Lodge a try? Room rates hit the sky in the summer, so visit in the rainy season. Sure, you'll get wet, but you'll have the place practically to yourself and you'll save a bazillion dollars. Sometimes the lodge even has a two nights for the price of one special.