I really wanted to love this place. Beautiful setting, and a fun/scenic drive to get there through North Cascades National Park. We went during the Fall Colors special, which had a reduced room rate and breakfast included. The room was in the Gardner building and still expensive even though reduced. Too expensive in my opinion - furnishings and carpeting were showing their age, some things were falling apart (lamp, chair, refrigerator), and I found the bed not very comfortable. We did enjoy being on the ground level and seeing the deer right at the edge of the patio every day.
Being there with a child we did not go into the formal dining room for other than breakfast, as breakfast is only served there. "Casual" dining is in the Grill; it was a mess and quite expensive. It is very small, most people seemed to be eating there, and they could not handle the volume. Appetizers came at the same time as the meal. Meals were missing parts, or were just wrong. And the food had almost no flavor. The wait staff were nice enough, but the kitchen was not functioning well. Going in one evening, a couple was leaving and the wife said, "That was a disaster. We have gone there three nights in a row and they have no idea what they are doing." So we opted to drive into Winthrop for most of our lunches and dinners, and had many enjoyable meals in town.
High points: the folks who run the stable are fantastic, I cannot say enough good things about them. Ditto for the gentleman we worked with at Patterson Lake when we rented a boat and had a very enjoyable paddle around the lake. The ladies at the front desk and in the gift shop were very nice. The wait staff in the dining room for breakfast were wonderful.
Low points: the dining situation in the Grill. The people who run the activity center and the concierge were just plain rude - it is your job to talk to people and answer questions. Coming back in the afternoon to find the cleaning staff had seemingly rummaged through the drawers and left a cabinet door and drawer open - there was nothing in there they needed to use or see.
One thing that really irked me is that while there are a lot of activities, you are welcome to pay for everything. When a reduced rate room is still $230 a night (with tax), and an inexpensive lunch or dinner is $25+ a head without alcohol, I would hope they could give you a complementary boat ride or let you use some of the sports equipment for a short time at no charge, especially when nobody is using them. But no, open your wallet.
Overall it is a beautiful location, but it is overpriced, the room was a bit shabby, the dining was mediocre, and some of staff could use lessons in customer service. It might be different during the summer or winter seasons, but not sure we would go back to find out.
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- Also Known As:
- Sun Mountain Hotel Winthrop
- Sun Mountain Resort
- Sun Mountain Winthrop