Leavenworth, Washington

Photo: Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce

You’re in desperate need of a spa getaway. Bubble lounges. Dry saunas. Hydrotherapy pools. Ice treatments. Steam baths. But a trip to Germany, with the added bonus of the Alps as a backdrop, just isn’t in the cards right now. Luckily, there’s a spot outside of Seattle that feels just like Bavaria.

Leavenworth lies two hours east of the Emerald City. The North Cascades overlook the small town. They’re lined with aspens, cottonwoods, and ski slopes. The Wenatchee River, which eventually empties into the mighty Columbia River, meanders by waterfront parks. Canoers and kayakers paddle on the still-chilly waters. While the center of town looks like a traditional Bavarian village with alpine chalets, wooden balconies, colorful frescoes, and, this time of year, vibrant flowers.

After the railroad tracks were laid through Central Washington, the small logging town was built around what had become the state’s second-largest sawmill at the turn of the 20th century. The economic boom didn’t last. In the 1920s, the rail routes were relocated and Leavenworth was largely forgotten until the 1960s. That’s when its downtown was remodeled to lure tourists. Lodge-style hotels, a nutcracker museum, a gingerbread factory, cheese shops, and traditional breweries now line Front Street. There’s an Oktoberfest celebration in the fall, a Christmas Lighting Festival during the holidays, and people dressed in lederhosen and dirndls all of the time. Even the trains returned. They now pull into Icicle Station.

Photo: Robin John via Posthotel & Spa

In between Front Street and trail-filled Waterfront Park, you’ll find the spa that you’re craving. Posthotel, which just opened last summer, is a chic, adults-only escape. Stucco walls, wooden beams, and a marble staircase fill the serene lobby. Lots of natural light does, too. You sip tea during check-in, stand on the wide terrace during a tour, and see where breakfast, lunch, and a dessert bar are served. Then you head to your understated room.

There’s no need to upgrade at Posthotel. The Classic King is comfortable and spacious. French doors overlook the rushing river. Custom linens are fluffed on the bed. There’s an all-white fireplace in the sitting area and a hand-carved marble soaking tub in the bathroom. Soft robes and slippers, which you probably won’t take off until you leave the property for dinner, are in the bathroom, as well.

So where should you begin? You could sip cucumber water in the relaxation room or take a nap in the aptly named nap room. You could take a dip in the swim-out saltwater pool or the cool plunge pool. Or you could relax during a river stone massage, featuring basalt rocks, to encourage circulation. Relax. Take your time. Enjoy the gorgeous mountain setting.


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