Destination Staycation: Explore These Seattle Treasures

Enjoy local winter escapes and festive feasts

By Natalie Compagno

Learn how to make craft cocktails at the Four Seasons Hotel Seattle.
Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Seattle

December 2, 2022

This article originally appeared in the November/December 2022 issue of Seattle Magazine.

The holidays are a sensory experience built around scents and spices, smoke from fireplaces and simmering pots. This season, avoid the hustle and bustle by slipping into staycation mode to savor the culinary delights of the region.

Stay overnight at these four properties to enjoy curated winter fun, including seasonal food, crafting, mixology classes and snowshoeing the Cascades — and even a hot chocolate cruise. Everything required to explore these activities is included. All you need to bring is that holiday spirit.

Four Seasons Hotel Seattle: Eat, drink and DIY at Four Seasons Seattle. Plan your stay around deliciously designed classes where groups can create and drink together. Sugar plum fairies of all ages should sign up for the Holiday Cookie Decorating Class to sprinkle and frost with Pastry Chef Danielle Grogan. Don’t forget the bubbles adults can add mimosa kits to their ticket purchase.

Holiday wreaths make perfect host gifts or keep yours as a souvenir from the Wreath Making/Christmas Appetizer Class. Design the perfect garland, then take notes as Chef Brian Doherty demonstrates how to make snackable party dishes. Tasting the treats is part of the class, of course. Make Spirits Bright Holiday Cocktail Class is the grand finale with fresh ingredients, a variety of spirits, and bites to please. Don your winter best for photo ops in the lobby, as floral architects Delinger & Radovich have impressed guests with customized holiday decorations since 2019.

The Edgewater Hotel: The Edgewater invites visitors to play in the powder with its custom-experience REI Snowshoe Tour. No need to pack your own snowshoes; guests are whisked away to Snoqualmie Pass with all gear provided. Certified guides escort the group and teach about the natural wonders amidst snow-dusted evergreens and mountain views. Sip hot chocolate and enjoy warm snacks before heading down the mountain again to The Edgewater for an Anthony Bourdain-approved cedar-plank salmon dinner at Six Seven. The snow-capped Olympics melting into Puget Sound make a scenic backdrop for signature cocktails and guitar strumming. In keeping with its rock ’n’ roll history, The Edgewater recently debuted a partnership with craft guitar maker Orangewood. Musically inclined guests can borrow acoustic guitars during their stay to serenade and carol.

Take some cooking classes at Hotel Ändra.

Courtesy of Hot Stove Society

Hotel Ändra: After a multimillion-dollar remodel, downtown Hotel Ändra welcomes guests with its new Scandinavian design. A full-height lobby fireplace beckons for hot toddies and a book or take a bottle of wine up to the sleek yet cozy guest rooms. Foodies check in for more than the Nordic aesthetic, the Hot Stove Society offers vivacious, delicious, state-of-the-art fall and winter cooking classes.

Every class conjures holiday cheer, from the Make & Take pie class, wine tasting and prime rib primer to the popular turkey variations workshop taught by Tom Douglas. Wake up to the radio join the live audience Friday mornings for the Hot Stove Radio taping. Breakfast is served and no one leaves hungry as Tom Douglas and Thierry Rautureau muse on the culinary craft.

Alderbrook Resort & Spa: Alderbrook Resort & Spa on Hood Canal embraces guests with the warmth of a winter wonderland. For an intimate holiday meal, reserve a Culinary Adventure Tent giant, twinkling globes filled with fur, candles and teak furniture. These “hygge bougie” dining pods with Hood Canal views come with a locally sourced four-course menu and wine pairing, plus live music.

It’s hard to leave the smell of s’mores roasting on an open fire pit, but guests can meet and mingle at the Canal Cookouts. Located at Hood Canal Marina at Union City Market, this interactive beachside feast serves up authentic Pacific Northwest cuisine. For the pièce de résistance, chocolate lovers can sail the fjord aboard Lady Alderbook’s Cocoa Cruise. Hot chocolate, snacks and holiday stories entertain families every weekend through December.

Desert X installation view, Sterling Ruby, Specter, 2019.  Photo by Lance Gerber, courtesy of Desert X

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