New owners upgraded facilities inside and out
Many hotels boast unique amenities, but few give you a chance to sleep in an antique European bed, enjoy a drink in a 19th-century British bar, or stroll on paths illuminated by lampposts repurposed from the streets of London.
Casia Lodge & Ranch, a luxurious boutique hotel and restaurant on the grounds of what started in the 1980s as the Tice Ranch and has gone through several ownerships, re-opens later this month for guests after meticulous restoration.
A few miles outside of Twisp on the highway heading over the Loup, Casia Lodge has 13 rooms in the main building, plus a three-bedroom farmhouse and two-bedroom cabin. Casia is Latin for lavender, and landscaping plans call for planting more of the fragrant plant. The lodge is set on 300 acres, with expansive views including the Sawtooth range.
Since Kevin Flamm purchased the property late last year, workers have been burnishing the facilities inside and out.
The kitchen has been renovated, but much of the work has focused on reviving the unusual history of the property. In addition to antique furnishings in each guest room (all different), Casia Lodge is outfitted with an eclectic collection of antiques and curiosities. Some of those items had been tucked away, but they’ll now be incorporated into guest areas.
Many furnishings and accessories come from Europe, but some reflect the American history and ranching traditions. There’s Pendleton bedding, an antique barber chair, a jukebox with an original collection of 45s, a wax-cylinder phonograph, and carvings by local sculptor Bruce Morrison.
“Anyone who appreciates interesting furniture could spend a lot of time checking it out,” Hotel Manager Rebecca Lundquist said.
Flamm, originally from a small town in Idaho, owns boutique hotels in Washington and Idaho. As he was researching other properties in Washington — with a focus on the San Juan Islands or the Walla Walla region — he learned that the lodge was for sale. “He was blown away by the outdoor activities and local culture,” Lundquist said. He also liked the year-round appeal of the Methow Valley.
Amenities in the rooms and lodge will help guests indulge, whatever the season. Every room has a balcony or outdoor area, and there are nine fireplaces, three in guestrooms. There’s a sauna and an outdoor pool and hot tub.
The lodge offers common spaces for relaxation, refreshments and entertainment, including a parlor with comfy seating and a fireplace; a sun room; billiards, ping pong and foosball; and a cozy theater for watching movies.
The grounds feature a pond with a fountain, gazebos, and access to Beaver Creek. Part of the property is still farmed, including more than 300 organic fruit trees.
Casia Lodge opens Friday, April 21. For the first month (through May 21), the lodge is offering a $99 special, which includes a room in the lodge and breakfast. For more information or to reserve, visit www.casialodge.com or call (509) 416-5463.
Casia Lodge can be rented for special events such as weddings, retreats, family reunions and corporate gatherings.
Restaurant for guests and public
“The owners are super-excited to be a community partner, with food and lodging,” Assistant Hotel Manager/Event Coordinator Autumn Jateff said. Guests at the lodge can choose from a full dinner menu at the restaurant or lighter fare at the bar. Chef Barron Knauss has cooked at the lodge for years and is known for sumptuous spreads that feature local ingredients, including some grown on the property.
The restaurant will be open to the public, by reservation, for dinner. While guest rooms will be for adults only, Casia Lodge plans to offer a family-friendly Sunday brunch.
All overnight stays include breakfast. Guests who get up early can choose from coffee, tea and a light meal before the sit-down breakfast of homemade sweet and savory items.
The Whistle Pig Saloon will be open 24 hours a day for self-serve refreshments and nonalcoholic beverages. The cozy Olde English Pub, with the luxurious 19th-century bar and furnishings, will be a more traditional bar.
The owners recognize the lodge’s distinctive history. It was built by motivational specialist Lou Tice in 1985 as a retreat and getaway for world leaders, star athletes and corporate executives. Tice expanded the lodge 10 years later.
Lou and his wife, Diane, founded the Pacific Institute in 1971. The institute provides inspirational workshops to corporations, national and international governments, educational institutions and sports teams. It focuses on igniting human potential and transforming culture through high-performance thinking, according to its website.
Although they’ve been a presence in the valley for four decades, the lodge and ranch have always been enveloped in an aura of mystery. The new owners are eager to bridge that distance. “There’s a shared experience and mystique, but lots of people haven’t been here. It will be cool to pull back the curtain,” Lundquist said. In fact, the high school prom will be held at the lodge this year.