Seattle's Child

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Sleeping Lady review

The kids enjoyed riding bikes around the Sleeping Lady Resort. (Photos by Natasha Dillinger)

Sleeping Lady Resort, Leavenworth: a parent’s review

This family found good food, health precautions and plenty to do.

Don’t let the name fool you: The comfortable rooms might allow some guests to sleep in, but with plenty of activities on and off the property, our energetic young children didn’t allow us any lazy mornings on our recent visit to the Sleeping Lady Resort.

Located in Leavenworth, about a two-hour drive from Seattle, the Sleeping Lady is popular with couples and families alike for a nearby getaway. Previously owned by Harriet Bullitt, a Seattle-area media leader, the property transferred to her nonprofit last year and proceeds contribute support to local organizations focused on the environment, arts and regional history.

In normal years, reservations book up quickly and I never had my act together early enough to snag a weekend reservation. Optimistically hoping that coronavirus would be a thing of the past by October, I reserved a short stay earlier this year. While we’re still knee-deep in the pandemic, the resort has established rigorous cleaning and distancing procedures that made us feel comfortable keeping our reservation. Here’s our Sleeping Lady review:

Sleeping Lady review: Sleep

Since we were traveling with a 4-year-old and an 18-month-old, I booked a double alcove room, which was quite large and featured two twin-sized beds that our kids enjoyed using for sleeping and for relaxing (I won’t lie, lots of climbing was also involved). While the queen-sized bed was comfortable for two adults, my very tall husband wished for more foot room. I’m already eyeing a future stay in a loft room for the treehouse-like feel.

Rooms are organized in clusters, which limits the number of neighbors to share your space. While I didn’t love the walk from the parking lot with our bags in a wagon, I appreciated the separate entrance and the additional privacy and quiet this arrangement gave us. From what I could tell, only one or two other rooms in our cluster were occupied.

Sleeping Lady review: Eat

My sister-in-law raved about Sleeping Lady’s food after returning from a trip last year, but I was skeptical about their ability to deal with my husband’s myriad food sensitivities. Nonetheless, I looked at sample menus, sent the list to the front desk ahead of time and packed a cooler full of backup snacks.

The resort invests in using high-quality ingredients sourced from local farms where possible, and each menu offered at least one item that would fit common dietary restrictions like gluten-free, vegan or vegetarian. With some adjustments kindly made by the chef, my husband was able to eat comfortably at all of our meals.

Due to the pandemic, meals at the Kingfisher restaurant are served as a combination of family-style platters and individually plated dishes rather than the usual buffet. We loved a spice-rubbed leg of lamb and appreciated vegetable side dishes that didn’t seem like an afterthought while the kids enjoyed pepperoni pizza or mac ‘n cheese.

Breakfast offerings typically stuck to the more traditional eggs, oatmeal and fruit, but still left everyone full and happy. We had the same waitress for three out of our four meals. She’s also a parent and it showed as she thoughtfully brought extra straws and remembered our children’s favorite drinks.

We popped into the Grotto for a nightcap, finding well-crafted cocktails and tables that were set far apart to allow for social distancing, as well as a fire pit on the patio for an outdoor option.

Since breakfast doesn’t start until 8 a.m. and my children like to beat the sun out of bed, we took a leisurely walk past the spa to reach O’Grady’s, which opens for coffee at 7 a.m. and offers casual breakfast and lunch options throughout the day.

Sleeping Lady review: Play

Most of Sleeping Lady’s amenities are limited at the moment.

Guests can explore the organic garden at the Sleeping Lady.

The pool and hot tub are closed until Stage 4. While the play barn is technically open, all equipment has been removed so it’s really just a warm and dry place to bring your own puzzles and games. The organic garden’s gate was right across from our cluster and the kids loved pointing at the plants they knew and admiring the family of deer that came to nibble grass just outside the fence.

We brought their bikes along and my 4-year-old, in particular, loved riding from our room to dinner and exploring the flat, paved paths throughout the resort. On our next stay, we’ll make more time to search for sculptures on the art walk or rent bikes for the adults.

Lake Clara

The Sleeping Lady is a good home based for excursions in the Cascade Mountains, including the hike to Lake Clara.

With an ideal location in the Central Cascades, the resort is within 10 minutes of downtown Leavenworth and an hour’s drive to various hikes. We enjoyed a larch march up to Lake Clara with a sprinkling of snowflakes on the walk down. The trail wasn’t too busy, although mask wearing was unfortunately low.

For more organized activities, my kids loved the play structures and poultry at the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm, not to mention the chance to pet Elsa (the reindeer matriarch, not the famous “Frozen” character).

After a picnic lunch at one of the many tables set apart downtown, my husband took our youngest back to the resort for a nap while the girls spent an afternoon downtown. With our usual “Nutcracker” ballet plans canceled, it felt special to visit the Nutcracker Museum so we could choose ornaments as gifts to our family COVID pod. We also loved picking out a hand-painted puzzle at the Wood Shop and enjoying a waffle cone from Whistlepunk Ice Cream.

It might not surprise you that I’ve already booked a return stay to the Sleeping Lady. We loved the kid-friendliness of the rooms, the peaceful and nature-oriented layout of the property and the high quality of the food (and staff!) in the restaurants. I also felt really safe there during the pandemic: Staff and guests took care of each other by wearing masks and regularly using the hand-washing and sanitizing facilities available, which wasn’t quite as apparent in nearby Leavenworth.

Sleeping Lady room-only packages start at $180 per night, with packages that include breakfast and dinner starting at $320 per night. Kids under 4 stay and eat for free.


More family getaways in Seattle’s Child:

Hood Canal and Long Beach on one big family road trip

Great Wolf Lodge: Guide to having fun, saving money and saving your sanity


About the Author

Natasha Dillinger

Natasha Dillinger is a Seattle mom who paused a career in accounting and finance to focus on showing her two young children around the Pacific Northwest. Follow their adventures near and far on Instagram @suitcasesinseattle