As we stay in more and more hotels it becomes clear what we like and don’t like, what is good for family travel vs couples travel, and what’s just awesome. We’ve gotten to stay at the Sleeping Lady Resort in Leavenworth, Washington several times now, and it’s one of our favorite places.
It is a beautiful, relaxing, fun destination/property and we really enjoyed being welcomed to the Sleeping Lady Resort. It’s the ideal collection of comfort, art and fancy. And it’s in the woods.
What you'll find...
- Overview of the Sleeping Lady Resort
- Dining at the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort
- Fun Things To Do in Nearby Leavenworth
Overview of the Sleeping Lady Resort
When I hear “resort” I automatically think margaritas and a pool, and then of course cocktail service by said pool. The Sleeping Lady Resort in Leavenworth is a different type of resort. It’s clearly built and run by those who love nature and being immersed in it. The lodging is spread across the large property with cabins in nice little clusters. There is a fitness facility and spa rooms, there’s a sauna. You know the usual resort things. But there’s more to it.
Since the resort also functions as a retreat/conference space, there are meeting areas, performance spaces, an outdoor stage, a movie theater… There’s so much there. If you’re looking for a simple recommendation or review of the Sleeping Lady, here it is: great service, very nice rooms, very well maintained, unique and beautiful.
Had we known about the Sleeping Lady when we got married, we would’ve done it there. All of these wonderful facilities are filled with unique, Pacific Northwest art, woodsy touches, and warm finishes, all which beg you just to chill out and enjoy nature, inside or out. The mood is perfect for either family travel or a romantic getaway. Oooh, maybe even a solo-travel weekend for me…
Besides just being a beautiful setting, there are pools, outdoor activities, and a play barn, but more on that later… Something we really enjoyed at the Sleeping Lady was doing the Art Walk. There is so much art placed around the property that you can actually get a map from the front desk and go from site to site. Some of the pieces are small and easy to miss, while others are grand sculptures, all reflective of the surrounding environment.
Review of the Rooms at the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort
I love a room that feels cozy even when there’s not a fire burning in it. Between the warm wood finishes and the heated towel racks, cozy was everywhere. We’ve enjoyed both an Alcove room and a Loft. The Alcove Room has a queen bed and a wonderful sleeping nook with the cushiest twin bed, perfect for a kiddo. The Loft Room has a queen bed, a twin bed and a loft space with another full size bed up top.
Both room types we’ve had have ample space for relaxing in the woods, with or without kids. Something else that was great besides the general feel of the rooms is that there are no televisions in the different lodging options. That could be a downer for a lot of people, but do you really need one when you’re staying out in nature? If you can’t break free, the wifi signal is pretty strong and very consistent, so there you go.
Tip: there are board games that you can borrow to just relax and stay nice and quiet in the woods. We are particularly good about bringing our own cribbage board and cards, as we can do that anywhere.
One of the most importing things at a hotel or resort is the bedding. We travel so much that we have become a little picky, but here’s how you can tell the quality bedding:
questioning it means you don’t like it
no thoughts about it when you get in bed means it’s just fine/nice
if you want to know more about it and buy it for your own home, that means that the hotel has created sleeping-gold and they’re to be commended
The Sleeping Lady Resort did the last one there. We took pictures of the sheet labels to research and make our bed as perfectly as they did. The maker: Comphy Co. Material: polyester microfiber. We have tried microfiber sheets at home but they’re not nearly as magical as the Sleeping Lady’s Comphy sheets. UPDATE: over the years, the Sleeping Lady has continued to use Comphy Sheets and with each visit, they’re still awesome.
And you know what else we love, don’t you? You know we’re addicted to bathrobes. The robes at the Sleeping Lady Resort are great. The double lining makes them quite cushy and the fabric itself was already wonderfully soft. What elevated the robe experience though: heated towel racks. They’re not just for bath towels. They’re for robes before you make a mad dash through the cold to the hot pool. Besides getting the wonderful sheets, I’d really love to install heated towel racks in our master bathroom at home.
In addition to the above mentioned features, there are also lots of windows in each type of room. The windows are all dressed with both privacy and blackout roll-screens, which is great since you probably aren’t at the Sleeping Lady Resort to put on a show for the neighbors.
Tip: don’t forget that privacy shades do provide SOME privacy, but not complete privacy. Basically, if you’re running around naked, best to probably pull the blackout shade too. Just sayin’, you know, it’s a family resort.
The Pools at the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort (CLOSED in 2021)
We let it slip above that there’s a hot pool at the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort. There’s no hot tub, but there is a large pool built to look and feel like a hot spring. It’s located up the hill from the cabins, and past the Grotto Bar, and above the cool swimming pool. The hot pool is great because it’s so quiet being apart from everything, but then also because there aren’t jets to turn on and RUIN the hot tub experience.
There is a shelter by the hot pool for hanging your towels and robes, but it’s NOT a changing room. The sauna is close by if you need to pull a full Clark Kent. The water is an ideal temp (we were guessing around 102) to get right into without feeling like you’re being boiled alive. And it’s saline! There was no chlorine smell or feel when we got out, which was a big win. The hot pool may be the reason we said that the Sleeping Lady in Leavenworth is one of the best ski resorts in the USA.
Don’t forget your pool towels when you head to the rockery to swim. There isn’t a pool shed or attendant there to provide towels (at least not in winter).
The Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort’s pools are currently closed (2021). Look for them to reopen in 2022!
Fun Things to Do at the Sleeping Lady
Staying at the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort can either be just your place to sleep/wake up or it can be the entirety of your visit to Leavenworth. There are lots of things to do on property at the Sleeping Lady, or within walking distance, so if you just want to check in and relax, it’s a totally acceptable plan.
Kid’s Play Barn at the Sleeping Lady
We mentioned the Play Barn before. Sounds weird, huh? It’s so cool. Inside there is a pool table, ping pong, couches, a huge drop down cinema screen and… wait for it… a stage with a puppet theater. This is one of the most fun, comprehensive resort play spaces we’ve come across. At home we have a collection of Folkmanis Puppets and that collection is dwarfed by the awesomeness that is the zoo of woodland creatures at the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort. What a great place for kids!
Beyond the Play Barn, there is a grand selection of board games around the property. The Sleeping Lady lobby has a bunch to borrow, and the Grotto Bar has some more fun, more adultish games for while you’re having a tasty beverage.
Outdoor Activities at the Sleeping Lady
If you’re looking for outdoor things to do during spring and summer, there is a volleyball area out by the meadow, with plenty of walking paths to and from to explore. Past the meadow, there is a huge organic garden and greenhouse. I am a gardener, so the Sleeping Lady organic garden is wonderful to visit. They actually use what they grow in the on-property kitchens.
The art walk! I almost forget to talk about the art walk! It’s a great way to both experience the outdoors and have a fun scavenger hunt. All around the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort property there are art installations; some are very large and others are quite subtle. Take an hour or so to explore the grounds (get a map from the front desk) and be sure not to miss any of the beautiful art.
One of my favorites is Dale Chihuly’s Icicle Creek Chandelier. If you’re not staying at the resort, check in with the desk and they’ll direct you to the Chihuly Trail and let you know what areas are open to visits by the public.
Winter Fun at the Sleeping Lady
At O’Grady’s Pantry and Mercantile you can get set up with some more adventurous fun. We opted for cross country skiing, but they rent snow shoes too. Right next door to the Sleeping Lady Resort is the Icicle Trail, which is part of the Leavenworth Nordic Trail System.
For us it was just right, as it was our first time trying cross country skiing. The trail was well used with some set tracks which proved useful for gumshoe skiers. There are also plenty of short downhills perfect for getting a quick thrill and testing you skiing mettle. I’ll admit it: I fell a significant number of times. But it’s all good, as there was beer to help me chill out afterwards.
Another nearby wintery thing to do at the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort is go for a sleigh ride. The perfect activity to get you out into the snow without being fully entrenched in snow drifts, a sleigh ride is great for any guest. Going through fields and along the Icicle River, sleigh rides in Leavenworth are unique when it comes to activities in Washington, as this is one of the few places you can enjoy one.
Tip: be prepared to be tired whenever you have a snow day. Playing in the snow is a lot like playing in the sand, where the extra give of the ground causes your body to work harder than you realize… causing you to require a hot tub or tasty beverage at some point within the hours to follow.
Dining at the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort
There are three restaurants on property at the Sleeping Lady, which is surprising as everything is so well nestled into the woods that you’d never know. Due to the COVID pandemic, restaurant services and hours may vary. We’re looking forward to a return to full service in 2022!
Kingfisher Restaurant – TEMPORARILY CLOSED
Guests at the Sleeping Lady resort get to enjoy the Kingfisher Restaurant and Wine Bar for breakfast and dinner, there’s O’Grady’s for all three meals (they close a bit early though), and then the Grotto for beverages and lighter fare.
If you’re staying at the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort, take advantage of the Kingfisher, as it’s an unusual dining experience and the food is excellent. Why is it unusual? You don’t order from a menu but you get to experience a CLASSY buffet style dining room. We had a wide variety of fish, beef and vegetarian dishes, as well as some really wonderful breakfast options.
And the desserts were stellar. The citron posset was, hands down, the best pudding/creme type dessert I’ve ever tasted, and that includes some incredible crème brûlées and panna cottas. I love my puddin’.
Note: check back for updated details about service and dining process upon the Kingfisher reopening in 2022.
Relaxing at the Sleeping Lady’s Grotto Bar -TEMPORARILY CLOSED
The Grotto Bar is exactly what you’d want to find at a mountain resort. Inside it’s got the log cabin feel, with nooks and a fireplace, with games, and a drink menu to make you not want to leave. The Grotto also has a large outdoor patio complete with fire pit (but it was so snowy it wasn’t lit, but they did offer to do it for us).
O’Grady’s Pantry and Garage Bar
A great option for grabbing a quick meal or drink, O’Grady’s Pantry and the Garage Bar are at the edge of the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort. The Pantry has salads and wraps to go during the COVID pandemic, but normal operations include sit-down options and a larger menu. The Garage Bar is open in the afternoons and evenings, offering pizzas, local beer and cocktails.
Keep on eye on the Sleeping Lady’s dining page for updates to restaurant operations, as during normal times, they have wonderful food options that really do add to the experience of staying there.
Fun Things To Do in Nearby Leavenworth
Oh you cute little manufactured town, you! We love Leavenworth for a wide range of reasons. I think it’s best to share a little history and then give our top tips. Leavenworth was a logging town that was failing. As the jobs left and economy fell, the town hired a PR firm to save it from turning into a ghost town.
They all worked together, refaced most of the buildings, added lots of fun character touches, changed many business approaches and created a new destination: Little Bavaria. It’s amazing. The town is adorable and had you not known the history, you might think that it was historically an actual Bavarian settlement.
And Leavenworth is an incredible Oktoberfest destination if you’re in Washington in September and October! The primary Oktoberfest celebration is being moved to the town of Wenatchee starting in 2022, but there is still a lot of Bavarian spirit to enjoy in town.
Having said that, here are our top things to do in Leavenworth:
Pretend It’s Christmas – between the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm and Nutcracker museum, and then the countless ornament and kitschy shops, you can get into the Christmas spirit when it’s 90 degrees outside.
Raft/float the Wenatchee – the river that winds through Leavenworth it so chill. I’ve rafted, kayaked and floated it. It’s best to work with a guided service to ensure the most safety, since there are a few spots with up to class 2 rapids. Remember that this isn’t a winter option, but then why would you want to be on the water in the snow?
Go Hiking – there are oodles of places to hike, including up the mountain to the east of the town along a really nifty aqueduct, but our favorite is hiking along the river, off Icicle road just past the Sleeping Lady Resort. Hiking is best in the summer because of the amazing collection of wildflowers in the Cascade Mountains, but snow is pretty too.
Go Skiing – directly in Leavenworth (adjacent to the Sleeping Lady) is the Leavenworth Nordic Trail System. That’s idea for cross country skiing. If you want more hardcore downhill skiing and snow boarding, head west on Highway 2 up to Steven’s Pass. It’s a great ski area with wonderful facilities, a smooth chair lift and a variety of slopes for all levels of skiers.
Have a Sleigh/Hay/Carriage Ride – this is the activity for when you’re like “um, what should we do?” It’s the perfect way to relax, be in the fresh air and see the outskirts (or even downtown) from a different point of view. Sleigh rides are of course limited to the winter… when there’s snow.
As you can see, we really love staying at the Sleeping Lady Resort. The facilities and food are really wonderful, the service is incredible, and the activities keep us on the move. It really is an ideal family travel or couples resort.
If you have any questions about staying at the Sleeping Lady, send us a note or leave a comment. And feel free to pin this for your own travel planning to Leavenworth, Washington!