The charming Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth is, more often than not, bustling and yet, Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort, located just a few miles down the road, feels like a world apart.
"Even though we're in Leavenworth, it's not that vibe. There's a lot going on. There's lots of activity. That's not what we are," explained Chuck Schuringa, General Manager of Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort.
"What we really do is nature. It's the perfect balance of having great cabins, great amenities and nature.
Originally developed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conversation Corps and for more than three decades home to a Catholic youth camp, Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort sits on 67 acres of land, most of which has not been landscaped. The focus on the natural beauty of the area is due, in large part, to renowned philanthropist Harriet Bullitt, who lived across the river and purchased the property in 1991.
"Harriet really loved this property, the natural aspects of it. She didn't want to look across the river and see condos, so she decided to buy it. She wanted to keep it pristine, nature-focused and not overdeveloped," explained Schuringa.
After adding amenities like a pool and spa, Sleeping Lady welcomed its first guests in 1995. Of course, one of the big draws remains the access to the outdoors. There are four-and-a-half miles of trails on the property, with art integrated throughout.
"One of the things that's a hallmark (of the resort) is a Chihuly piece called "ice". It's right next to Icicle Creek and it's one of his early works," explained Schuringa as we toured the property.
There are 40 pieces of art located throughout the resort. Some are indoors, but most are found outside, including that Chihuly, which is set against the backdrop of the very same Sleeping Lady Mountain from which the resort got its name.
Though Harriet died in 2022, her vision for Sleeping Lady lives on.
"Harriet was a very generous person, very altruistic. She really wanted to make sure the resources she had at her disposal would continue giving back to the community in north central Washington after her lifetime. The idea was to give it to a non-profit, the Icicle Fund, and gift to them. So, the Icicle Fund received it in 2019," explained Schuringa.
"Every dollar of profit the resort makes goes back to the Icicle Fund. That helps keep programs like local arts, regional historical and cultural efforts, as well as indigenous people."
That means when guests stay at the resort or enjoy a cocktail at The Grotto, they're giving back.
"(The Grotto) is where I come after a long day to decompress and relax," said Schuringa. "It's definitely very popular year-round. In the winter, people will sit here in snow storms in their parka enjoying a hot buttered rum."
And that is the joy of a visit to Sleeping Lady. No matter the season, it offers folks the chance to get away from it all.
"It's a place for people to escape and relax and rejuvenate themselves... To just take that time and then cherish the moments you had here of serenity and peace."
Learn more about Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort here.