Island Wellness Retreats

BY NANCY MUELLER

Coastal escapes are always a good idea. The sea calls, and we listen. We set sail from our daily demands and distractions toward endless horizons of rest, relaxation and renewal. Our destination: health and wellbeing. For added solace, let’s make it an island getaway, a 360-degree ocean seascape. Where better to run away from home?

INN AT LANGLEY WHIDBEY ISLAND, WASHINGTON

Local treasure Inn at Langley rests on a bluff on Whidbey Island overlooking Mt. Baker and the Cascade Mountains, about 30 miles north of Seattle. Each room features panoramic water views of Saratoga Passage, a soaking tub and wood-burning fireplace, offering just the right ambiance to settle in and stay for a while. Step onto the large outdoor balcony to listen for the sound of soaring seagulls or even catch sight of orcas and gray whales passing through the Whale Trail in early Spring.

No need to leave your comfortable surroundings appointed in soothing taupe tones and natural stone elements. Not when you can enjoy a complimentary breakfast with a selection of baked goods delivered to your room each morning. Menu items provide gluten-free and vegan options, like Spanish tortilla (peppers and almonds on baked eggs and potatoes). And you can’t go wrong with classic Whidbey Bagels & Alaskan Lox. Indulge in a little something extra (and cost) like the Belgian-style waffle served with ripe peaches, peach syrup and candied ginger.

With James Beard Award Nominee PNW, Matt Costello, Partner/Chef/General Manager at the helm, you’re in good hands.

While you could venture into the enchanting seaside community of Langley for restaurant dining or retail therapy, why not sit for a spell basking in the beauty of the boutique garden flanking the entrance first? Go ahead and savor a second cup of coffee. Everything else can wait just a bit longer.

Book your stay at innatlangley.com. Learn more about exploring Whidbey Island at whidbeycamanoislands.com.

LAKEDALE RESORT SAN JUAN ISLAND, WASHINGTON

Wellness starts from within, and San Juan Island’s Lakedale Resort offers plenty of places for solitude and reflection on 82-acres of wilderness bliss. Float in by boat or by plane to Friday Harbor, the island’s main hub, for a mere 10- to 15-minute drive to your tranquil lakeside sanctuary.

Tucked within an outdoor trifecta of forests, meadows and lakes, the resort invites guests to wander the grounds, explore the waterways, or simply pull up a seat by the fireplace in the Great Room of the luxury hotel lodge. An expansive outdoor deck awaits sunset lovers and star gazers alike. In addition to rooms in the adults-only waterfront lodge, the property features several unique accommodations ranging from cozy, dog-friendly log cabins with full kitchens, to classic camping sites with fire pit and barbecues. For an upscale glamping experience, Lakedale Resort showcases custom-built canvas cabins and cottages. Snuggle into pillow-top beds with flannel duvets here for the ultimate dreamy night’s sleep. The newest addition to the lodging family? Seven light-filled yurts provide quiet hideaways with wrap-around decks, private hot tubs and 450 square feet of spacious indoor living.

Unplug and unwind on a meditative walk around one of three spring-fed lakes. Or go for a mindful hike on a scavenger hunt of thought-provoking outdoor sculptures exploring the relationship between man and nature. A plethora of on-site water activities include swimming, stand-up paddleboarding, fishing and boating.

Reserve your getaway at lakedale.com. Go to visitsanjuans.com to learn more about San Juan Island.

ROCHE HARBOR SAN JUAN ISLAND, WASHINGTON

For old-world charm steeped in an illustrious past, Roche Harbor Resort & Marina is a wellspring of casual sophistication in a seaside setting. Lush, show-stopping gardens frame the historic Hotel de Haro. Just steps away from the grand hotel, the resort marina extends a helping hand and warm hospitality to boaters of all types. Kayaks and paddle board rentals are available or go for a customized three-hour to multi-day kayak tour with San Juan Outfitters. For an exhilarating day excursion, the company also runs whale-watching adventures. It’s one thing to catch a whale sighting shoreside, but nothing can compare to the thrill of watching an orca or humpback at play when you’re out on open water. Seals, sea lions and bald eagles, too, call these waters home.

As a full-service resort, Roche Harbor offers a number of seasonal wellness amenities, including an outdoor pool for water activities or lounging poolside and an off-leash dog park for Fido. Fine to casual dining options showcase Northwest cuisine from local vendors and fresh produce from the Farm Garden, a fixture since 2018 promoting top sustainable organic practices. Enhance your island escape with a visit to Afterglow Spa, featuring a menu of rejuvenating massage treatments and age-defying facials, plus eucalyptus steam rooms and fireside relaxation lounge, for a total pampering package. In addition to skincare and body products available for purchase in Afterglow Spa, the Country Store provides a variety of gift items from San Juan artists.

Make reservations at rocheharbor.com. Go to visitsanjuans.com to learn more about San Juan Island.

ROSARIO RESORT & SPA ORCAS ISLAND, WASHINGTON

Lest there be any doubt about the healing properties of Rosario Resort & Spa, consider the legacy of its architect, Robert Moran. In search of a place to spend his final days after he was told he had but months to live, the businessman sought refuge on Orcas Island, purchasing 7,000 acres in search of a place to call home. Here he built his magnificent mansion in 1905 with the same extraordinary craftsmanship he had devoted to his ocean-going vessels as a successful shipbuilder. The rest of his story is legendary. Surrounded by nature’s splendor, Moran not only recovered, but went on to live another 38 years.

Today Rosario Resort spans 40 acres where all eyes are on the spellbinding views of Cascade Bay, from the Mansion Restaurant to guest accommodations and the therapeutic spa facilities. Stroll the grounds, savor the waterfront views, and take a dip in the outdoor pool. Inside the mansion, step back in time in a self-guided tour at the Moran Mansion Museum for a peek at historical photographs and furnishings from the arts & craft era.

For a special treat, enjoy a delightful “Music Concert and Rosario History Narrative” by the Christopher Peacock, general manager, musician, author, and Rosario historian. Peacock’s presentation of “music to soothe the savage soul” features opera music from “The Phantom of the Opera” and his original compositions played on the Mansion’s 1913 Aeolian organ. Listen as he regales visitors with stories of some of the island’s most colorful characters.

As of this writing, Peacock’s presentations are on temporary hold while building repairs are underway; check the website to see if presentations have resumed during your visit.

Reserve your getaway at rosarioresort.com. Go to visitsanjuans.com to learn more about San Juan Island.

CLAYOQUOT WILDERNESS LODGE VANCOUVER ISLAND, BRITISH COLUMBIA

Sustainable luxury travel lives here in the wilds of Vancouver Island’s UNESCO- protected Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve where guests are totally immersed in the raw beauty of the natural environment. Vast. Remote. Pristine. Exceptionally enriching of heart, mind, and soul. Whether favoring a wellness retreat of adventure, relaxation or the best of both, the results are restorative and transformative.

Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge is set at water’s edge within a richly diverse eco-system. Old-growth conifer forests, rocky shores and temperate coastal forests converge to create an untarnished timeless wonder accessible only by seaplane or boat. Twenty-five luxuriously designed white canvas tents dot the shore and hillside offering spectacular views of the rainforest canopy and waterscape.

Beyond the priceless beauty of nature’s playground and deluxe accommodations, the resort features delectable gourmet dining together with a selection of premium beverages. Executive Chef Asher Blackford and culinary crew deliver “a sense of place” with seasonal menu items featuring the freshest, locally sourced and foraged ingredients. Incomparable signature guest experiences like a zodiac outing or leisurely cruise of the hidden bays and inlets of Clayoquot Sound yield magical wildlife encounters with whales, bears and eagles in their natural habitat. Or enjoy wildlife spotting over a cocktail from the comfort of your front row seat at The Ivanhoe with its floor-to-ceiling windows. After a day of play and adventure, the aptly named Clayoquot’s Healing Grounds Spa transports guests on a physical and spiritual journey of well-being through restorative signature massages and treatments using the finest of sustainable skin care products. 

Book your stay at clayoquotwildernesslodge.com. Learn more about Vancouver Island at vancouverisland.travel.

Note: Wellness resorts and spas take guest and staff health and safety very seriously with meticulous measures to mitigate exposure to pathogens. To learn about a particular resort’s health protocols, check their website or call the resort to inquire.