If you've lived in Seattle long enough, odds are you've at least heard of Tulalip Resort Casino. For us, it's been the radio ads publicizing Tulalip's summer concert series that gave us awareness of the resort. We've even driven by many times during our semi-annual trips to Seattle Premium Outlets and Skagit Valley. But it wasn't until a weekend in July that we actually set foot inside of Tulalip Resort Casino.
In short, our overnight stay at Tulalip showed us a world that we never knew existed in our own backyard. Here's a recap of our weekend stay.
Full disclosure: Tulalip Resort Casino provided accommodations, activities, and spa service. All opinions, photos, and videos are our own.
Where is Tulalip?
First, some context. Tulalip Resort Casino is located just off I-5, about 40 miles north of Seattle. It's a surprisingly large venue with a 200,000 sq ft casino floor, 8 eateries, a spa, indoor pool, and 30,000 sq ft of meeting space. There's also an outdoor amphitheater with a seating capacity of 3,000. In short, there's a lot to do here, even if you're not into gambling.
The Resort Experience
We drove up to Tulalip Resort on a Saturday morning and made it up in a little over an hour. Valet parking is complimentary for guests, so it was a breeze to offload our baggage and check-in. Upon entering the resort, we were blown away by the fact that Tulalip is not just any resort, it's an AAA-Four-Diamond luxury resort, at that. In many ways, it reminded us of some of the top resorts we experienced during our visit to Macau, aka the "Las Vegas of Asia."
The resort's luxurious touches are most apparent not only in its amenities but also the interior design. All 360 guest rooms were newly renovated in 2016, and each one shines with designer touches. All guest rooms are at least 500 square feet large. They all have 55-inch 4K smart TVs and (our favorite feature!) adjustable body spray showers. An unexpected surprise: the 2018 Washington State Travel Guide with my cover photo on it was in our room!
The resort also stands out in its tribal art designs that pay homage to the history and culture of the Tulalip Tribes. Everything from the hallway carpet to the in-room blankets and wall art is artistic and adds a unique touch.
Seattle Premium Outlets
After checking in, we went for a walk through the casino and ended up at Seattle Premium Outlets just 10 minutes later. We typically make two visits a year to the outlet mall, so this was the perfect opportunity to stock our summer wardrobe. Besides getting our fill of athletic wear from Lululemon, we also stocked up on new sunglasses. In particular, the Ray-Ban Chromance line was on our wish list and we got a great BOGO deal at their outlet store. This new line of sunglasses lens maximizes contrast, clarity, and colors and is much like applying an Instagram filter to your vision.
The Tulalip Foodie Experience
Following our shopping extravaganza, it was time to see what Tulalip had to offer food-wise. We didn't have the time (or stomach space) to visit all 8 eateries, but we did check off three spots.
Our evening began with drinks and appetizers at Destinations Lounge. The citrus grilled Mahi-Mahi tostada was to die for, especially when paired with a glass of Risata Moscato D'Asti. This stylish spot is located directly across from the hotel concierge and is a great spot to grab a quick bite or meal. Pro tip: grab a table near the fireplace for some great Instagram-worthy snaps!
Last fall, we celebrated our wedding and honeymoon in Tuscany, where we enjoyed some of the best food of our lives. The meal we enjoyed at Tula Bene was as good, if not better than the food we had in Italy. If you're wondering how that's possible, consider this: can you get fresh Alaskan King Crab and Australian Riesling in Tuscany? Because you can at Tula Bene!
Our multi-course Italian dinner with wine pairings was stunning from start to finish. I also have to commend the Tula Bene staff for coming up with non-alcoholic alternatives for this here non-wine drinker. If they bottled and sold that lavender vanilla soda, I'd buy it by the case!
Here's what was on the menu:
- First course: Salumi, featuring spicy capicola, bresaola, porchetta, prosciutto, duck rillettes.
- Wine pairings: Villa di Corlo Lambrusco Grasparossa and Acinum "Extra Dry" Prosecco from Italy.
- Second course: Belgian Caesar with red Belgian endive and heirloom tomatoes.
- Prepared tableside: Cacio e Pepe, consisting of housemade Chitarra pasta tossed with Pecorino cheese, paired with a Suertes del Marques 7 Fuentes from Spain.
- Wine Pairing: Leeuwin Estate "Art Series" Riesling from Australia
- Third course: authentic wagyu New York steak with marrow butter.
- Wine pairing: Terrunyo "Peumo" Block 27 Carmenere from Chile.
- Third course sides: butter poached King Crab, hand-cut parmesan fries, white asparagus and morel mushrooms.
- Fourth course: Budino (caramelized Valrhona white chocolate pudding layered with a marzipan blondie), pistachio semi-freddo, strawberry sorbetto, and flourless chocolate forte.
Needless to say, we were stuffed to the gills after dinner at Tula Bene. That's why pizza at Blazing Paddles came many hours later as a late night snack. Located on the casino floor, the pizza joint allows you to choose from over 50 toppings to craft your own pizza, a la Mod Pizza. Quick and delicious, this was the perfect way to top off the evening.
For breakfast the next morning, we convened at Cedars Cafe. Tucked in the hotel lobby not far from Destinations Lounge, this cafe is open 24/7. We enjoyed decadent versions of our Sunday brunch favorites: French toast crusted with Frosted Flakes and served with cranberry cream cheese, plus a Pacific Northwest Benedict with Dungeness crab.
Rocking Out at an Outdoor Concert
In between foodie stops, we headed outdoors to the amphitheater to take in a concert. Melissa Etheridge was the headliner with LeAnn Rimes as the opener. Clear blue skies made this the perfect evening to be outdoors. It even got chilly after the sunset, and some Native American themed sweatshirts may have been procured.
Relaxing at the T-Spa
We capped off our weekend stay with a relaxing massage at the T-Spa. This luxurious 14,000 square foot spa offers a multitude of body treatments including the couples massage that we enjoyed. After the massage, we indulged a bit longer in the pristine steam rooms and cedar saunas that we had all to ourselves on an early Sunday morning. Following our spa treatment, we took a dip in the rather large indoor pool. That skylight is ace and makes the indoor pool feel much larger.
Other Things to Do in the Area
We had an incredible weekend at the Tulalip Resort doing something we don't normally do: relax! Our trips up north are typically filled with long hikes and chasing sunrises and sunsets in the mountains, so it was refreshing to do something different for a change. All in all, we would return to the resort in a heartbeat, whether it's to enjoy a relaxing weekend indoors, or as a luxurious home base while roughing it outdoors during the day.
If you're seeking outdoor adventures from Tulalip, we highly recommend taking partial day trips to the following areas:
- Skagit Valley
- Deception Pass
- Camano Island
- Granite Falls
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