Alderbrook Resort & Spa | Union, Washington

Alderbrook Resort & Spa outside stairsThe Alderbrook Resort & Spa in Union Washington is a dreamy Pacific Northwest getaway boasting rooms with a view, rare Hood Canal waterfront access and a collection of homestyle Covid-19 precautions that recently earned them national attention.

We felt pampered, taken care of, and in tune with nature. And we can’t wait to go back.

DISCOUNT CODES/PROMO CODE: **Update | Feb. 17, 2023 ** I heard from the resort today that they’re unable to renew any outstanding discount codes. I Googled around though and found that the resort reportedly honors a 15% discount for University of Washington students (and alum?) per the details listed here and there might even be a AAA discount optional on their main site as well. 

Ok, back to the review:

We received our two-night stay compliments of the hotel for our review.  Like always, these gifts will never shape my content and you can read more about that over on my disclosure.

From getting Crème Brûlée delivered to our door via room service, to snagging aaaall the swimming/jacuzzi timeslots for the kids, Alderbrook’s amenities were a good mix of family-friendly for the kiddos and posh for the grownups.

But this review isn’t like my other hotel reviews – it’s my first pandemic travel review for 2020. ⁣All this from our family who believes in Covid-19, social distancing, and masking up. The resort does, too. ⁣In fact, the resort’s blog announced Alderbrook is among the hotels named #1 in the  US list of Safest Hotel and Resort for Social Distancing” by Fodor’s Travel Guide.

My in-person takeaway: I felt safer with the hotel’s thoughtful pandemic protocols such as hand sanitizer stations everywhere, clear rules posted, and a well-organized crowd-control reservation system at the pool area. Plus, they implemented all these in cozy/home-like ways that weren’t sterile or scary which I appreciate for my little fam.⁣

We stayed two nights on a Tuesday and Wednesday, and I can’t say enough good things about traveling during off-peak days. ⁣There are always fewer people that way so you get more of the place to yourself, which is especially helpful for social distancing. Plus,⁣ the hotel is a dreamy PNW getaway with fun surprises for the kids, rare Hood Canal waterfront access and yummy room service!⁣

The Alderbrook Resort & Spa has been a Hood Canal visitor staple since 1913 when guests first arrived by canoe! Today, the property includes an expansive hotel with wooded lodge vibes as well as a series of separate, private cabins next door. And don’t worry, it’s accessible by car these days 🙂

I totally recommend a socially-distanced stay at this resort during Christmas time (or anytime). We stayed in early December and everything felt just that more pampered and magical. 

Our Top Fave Things There

Covid Precautions

Ok, so this one isn’t as fancy — but as a mama navigating life during Covid-19,  it’s still a fave.

The Waterfront

Sea - ShoreWhether you pick a hotel room or a cabin reservation at Alderbrook, you have access to all of the amenities like the swimming pool + jacuzzi, and hotel restaurant. You also get to trek Alderbrook’s private waterfront dock and shoreline. And that water access, mind you, is a major Hood Canal rarity unless you own a vacation house here. So what a treat it was to be able to go walk the dock to muse over the glassy waters for a little alone time while Bowen took the kids to the pool.

I don’t recommend taking small kids for a walk out onto the dock because that would just stress me out that they’d let go of my hand and tumble into the water. But there’s a good stretch of pebbly shoreline in front of Alderbrook’s restaurant, pool, and cabins that will let kiddos be waterside to their heart’s content.

Sea - Photograph

Clara and Wyatt couldn’t wait to get next to the water (even though it was 40 degrees outside) so they could skip rocks and run around. Plus. it’s super pretty for pictures! Wyatt did wade into the water, prompting some of it to spill into his boots so there was a short freakout over the cold lol but that’s just four-year-olds for you. Luckily, wherever we were on the grounds, our room was just a short walk away!

Christmastime Fun (Late November – December)


Here’s Wyatt writing his letter to Santa during our time there. Letter writing and hunting down the “official” Santa mailboxes is one of my favorite holiday adventures so we were delighted to find one here! 

They had the big red Santa mailbox, pens (next to the sanitizer), and “Dear Santa” cards all laid out for the taking. So sweet and fun. Plus, any chance to sit in the lobby and pretend it’s my giant mansion cabin is welcomed these days!


Canal Holiday Experience

One of the cool things about visiting the resort in December is a seasonal attraction called the Canal Holiday Experience. I don’t know about other years, but they said this attraction wasn’t open to the public this year. I think during “normal” years, the resort hosts a Christmas on the Canal event with a visit from Santa and a tree lighting ceremony. But due to Covid, that was canceled this year for obvious reasons. But the Canal Holiday Experience was so cute! Very socially-distanced and still magical.

Alderbrook Resort & Spa nutcracker

The Canal Holiday Experience is a decoration extravaganza where a very talented server named *Bri from the Alderbrook restaurant comes in and transforms a fourth-floor hotel suite into a walkable and whimsical winter wonderland of gingerbread, glittering faux-snow mountaintops and all the artistic photo-op backdrops your holiday heart could hope for.

Here are Clara and her new BFF nutcracker friend guarding the door to the attraction. He’s a little nutty, don’t cha think?? I sure crack myself up.  Ok, I’ll stop now. Pinky swear. 😉.

This intricately carved fellow was one of the many (many) absolutely stunning holiday decorations that decked out the resort. I don’t know if that’s an actual verb, but I’m gonna go with it 🤓. ⁣

I’m told Bri also draws all the chalk signs at the resort and has her own art collection for sale at the Union City Market down the street! I couldn’t find any more details about her online but if anyone knows her, message me and I’ll give her a proper shoutout! And when you visit the resort or market, make sure to ask about her.

screenshot of facebook page featuring text mural

*UPDATE: 2022: Bri herself has contacted me!! I’ve actually been following her art for a while and even bought once a Hood Canal hoodie from her lol, but didn’t put two and two together.


Here’s her info:

NAME: BriAnne Waite of Union, WA

BIZ: PNW Art by BriAnne: Facebook Page (@pnwbrianne)

WHAT SHE MAKES: Mailboxes, murals, paintings, cards, signage, apparel all influenced by the great Pacific Northwest

BONUS: Newspaper article about her art!

Oh, one more thing about the Canal Holiday Experience — the kids loved the complimentary candy cane assortment in little glass jars. Next to that was a selection of Alderbrook iron-on patches inside the room free of charge, and, of course, some hand sanitizer. Love it. Once the kids found out there was free candy up there, we visited at least four more times 🙂 The gal at the front desk even re-opened the room for us one night after it closed when we were a few minutes late.

The Fancy Room + Room Service

We stayed in a Courtyard Double Queen room. You can see a virtual tour of it here. I usually associate “courtyard” with “garden view” or something like that at hotels, but fear not, at Alderbrook even some of the Courtyard rooms boast partial waterfront views! Ours did and that was super exciting for us.

Alderbrook Resort & Spa - Interior Design Services

We stayed on the second floor, Room 203. From the windows, we could see the courtyard lawn, a giant lit Christmas tree, and a good bit of sparkling water behind it.

Our room looked exactly like this hotel shot, except, you know, this photo is way cleaner. Because kids. Lol. But check out a few of my photos below, including Wyatt’s ‘too cool’ pose with a scrumptious bite of Alderbrook’s famous french toast*. I don’t ask him to pose like this!! It’s hysterical.

*Bonus – they can make this french toast with gluten-free bread! I have a gluten allergy, which usually makes eating out a pain, so little gf options like this are so appreciated.

The Pool

The pool area is all indoors and includes bathrooms, showers, the expansive swimming pool, and a double jacuzzi!! They also have towels for everyone and goggles to borrow for the kids. Just walk down to the pool (located on the first floor across the lawn from the restaurant) and the pool attendant will take your covid-era swim reservation by hand by marking off a time slot or two on the whiteboard. I think each slot is limited to 30 people total, but I could be wrong and that total could change depending on whichever covid safety rules are in place at different times. Overall though, it was always like, us and one other family.

The Little Playground

My kids really miss playgrounds (#pandemiclife). So it’s a treat when we find a small and empty one like this. It was wet from the rain but Danny in guest services wiped down the swings and slides for us without me even asking! How cute is that!! It’s the little things, you guys. Human kindness ftw. This park is located across from the hotel entrance on the otherside of the crosswalk. It’s along the path to the Alderbrook Nature Trails … which is a whole other amenity that we didn’t use during our stay but have enjoyed in the past since we currently live nearby.

Alderbrook Resort family

*The original promo code listed in this box, as well as any subsequent ones, have all expired as of 2023 and the resort isn’t offering new ones at this time. So sorry! 

In other news, I saved the video of our stay in a highlight bubble over on Instagram so you can still catch the fun if you missed the first go-around.

And that’s our stay! See you there!

Did you like this review? Here’s another resort we loved in Paso Robles, California; plus this summer getaway-worthy beach resort in Avila Beach, California. I also felt all the city vibes during this sunny Downtown Long Beach getaway.

About Tonya Strickland

Tonya Strickland is a journalist and Instagram influencer in the family and travel niche. A former newspaper reporter, Tonya shares unfiltered #momlife content about places to go with kids. Her family moved from California's Central Coast to Washington state in August 2020. Their adventures now continue in the Pacific Northwest.

10 thoughts on “Alderbrook Resort & Spa | Union, Washington

  1. Hi I read your post and really wanted to go. Somehow the discount code no longer works when I tried. Has it expired? Thank you

  2. Hi Tonya,
    The link to Alderbrook’s booking site with the built-in code also has a glitch! There’s no built-in code. What is the current code? My husband and I are trying to book an upcoming birthday visit. We have very much appreciated using the code you gave before (TITOTG)! Please respond if possible today due to high occupancy.


  3. Thank you so much for the code and for your review and pictures! I found your blog in a Google search and will be checking out more posts!

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