suncadia resort a kid-friendly hotel

Hotel Review: Suncadia with kids

I’ve often cast a covetous eye at friends’ photos of Suncadia Resort, a lodge-style, kid-friendly stay just east of the Cascade Mountain range. About 90 minutes from Seattle, this resort offers houses, condos, suite-style rooms and hotel rooms on 6,400 acres of pine-spiked landscape.

Obviously, it’s time for a review.

We stayed in the Lodge One Bedroom, a 870-square-foot suite-style option in the main 254-room Lodge at Suncadia. The kitchen was marble-trimmed, with real wood cabinetry and stainless steel fridge, dishwasher and range.

Living room at Suncadia Resort
Open floor plan in Suncadia Resort living room. Photo courtesy of Suncadia.

The high-ceiling living room featured a gas fireplace and stunning views of the Cascade range. The bathroom was so big I could drive my Honda inside. The bedroom came with a King bed, a television, work desk and yes, even more gorgeous views.

What to do at Suncadia with kids:

Bikes are spendy at the two-hour rate, so spring for the 24-hour price or bring your own for tooling around the paved trails. Suncadia’s 10 miles of trails are also easy with strollers or baby joggers.

Deer with gourmet tastes
Deer love Suncadia’s taste in plants.

And always keep an eye out for the locals — we saw a family of eight deer mowing down the property’s native plants when we were there. Apparently quite used to humans, they didn’t budge, even when we were about nine feet away, snapping photographs.

The Fitness and Swim Center’s pool is generously sized and offers a few toys, including noodles and diving rings. You have two water tubes to choose from — the green one is slower but you’ll screech your way through pitch-black darkness, while the yellow one runs faster but offers more light. The flumes dump you into a soaker-sized tub at the end (not a pool).

Pool at Suncadia
Photo of pool courtesy of Suncadia

The tube and pool family hours vary, so call ahead to make sure you’ll arrive in time to enjoy both.

It’s an all-season sort of resort, but probably best in summer (boating, hiking, additional outdoor pool and children’s programs) or winter (cross-country skiing, snow play and a rope tow). Spring and fall offer iffy weather but dramatic vistas and migrating birds. During our spring stay, we went to Roslyn and Cle Elum for some sightseeing and shopping (recommended), and it was nice to return to Suncadia for evening storm-watching.

The on-site restaurant Fifty 6 offers a menu at well-heeled prices. Smaller portions (for small tummies) are available; the children’s menu served the standards. We did not eat in the restaurant, and instead took advantage of our Suncadia kitchen and less-expensive restaurants in Roslyn.

My only complaint: The front desk staff didn’t seem as professional or helpful as they could’ve been, with the exception of a few standout employees. And when we accidently left our swimsuits behind in the room, the suits were apparently gone for good and housekeeping staff wouldn’t call us back. It didn’t leave the best impression regarding customer care.

This experience wouldn’t stop me from returning — it’s an excellent family vacation destination and my daughter came up with a list of 20 reasons to return — but it might encourage me to look under every bed and double-check closets before leaving.

It was insanely windy when we were there. More so than usual, I was told. But friends say it’s often blustery, just because of the location. Pack a windbreaker and a hat. Don’t pack any hair products – it’s a lost cause. Just pack a hat.


If you don’t want to pay rack rate at Suncadia (And who wants to pay rack rate anywhere? Not me), sign up for the Suncadia Resort E-mail Club, so you can stay abreast of last-minute specials.

Cle Elum Family Vacation

Lora Shinn writes about family travel, Pacific NW travel, grown-up travel...and travel in general. Her travel-related articles and essays have appeared in Family Fun, Parenting, AFAR, National Geographic Traveler, AAA magazines and Redbook, among others.


  • Allison Bay

    We stayed once in a smaller room and I really liked the fact that even the smaller rooms had a kitchen where we could cook our own meals, make snacks and warm up milk. Our kids love to swim and the waterslides were a lot of fun for them. We went in the winter and they also had fun playing around in the snow. We’d definitely go back!

  • Renea

    I read in a magazine that during winter time they offer sleigh rides, and elves to read the kids stories before bed, I was curious if anyone has experienced any of these? it looks like a great place to take the kiddos!

  • zimo

    I actually prefer Semiahmoo Resort in Birch Bay, it has kids activities PLUS the scenery and beautiful location in a four star package.Like the beach and shell hunting, whale watching right from the resort, nice big pool, kayaks available in the calm water there, a free movie theater with popcorn, lotsa bird watching of course as it is in their migratory route, and they have summer barbecues that are so good !

  • Leah Adams

    Two years ago they offered dogsled rides for free around the golf course. An adult and a child fit in the dogsled for the five minute tour up and over the hilly course. It was more fun than I could have imagined.

    We rented skates on one visit for a night-time family skate. Lights strung up over the skating rink, and hot chocolate at the fire pit next to the rink made for an enchanted evening. We rented cross-country skis on another winter visit. The groomed trails were very icy and the first hill was very steep for the novices in our group, but overall it was a nice way to spend a couple of hours together. My kids loved the rope-tow and there was also a free sledding hill in a part of the property that was under construction (I don’t know if this is still an option now that more of the residential areas have been built up).

    The cost of the recreation activities can add up in a hurry, but Suncadia often offers an allotment as a perk for reserving off-season.
    .-= Leah Adams´s last blog ..Felting a Sheepskin, Minus the Skin =-.

  • Suncadia Dad

    We love Suncadia all year round. The outdoor pool is now open with a great snack bar. They have a summer concert series which is lots of fun for our kids. Our kids favorite is the Harvest Festival during the first two weeks in October. Also check out CampCadia for the kids. Our 5 year old loves the counselors and activities.