Resorts & Retreats Awards 2023

Jun22596 20 | LUXlife Magazine Named the “most beautiful national park in America,” the Olympic National Park in Port Angeles, Washington State, US, covers an area of nearly 1 million hectares, and is home to a vast and diverse ecosystem. This includes alpine mountains, a huge virgin temperate rainforest (the largest in North America), glacial lakes, and wild beaches. It is a unique home to a thriving array of wildlife, including native elk, chipmunks, squirrels, coyotes, red foxes, cougars, marmots, and black bears to name but a few. Its waters boast multiple species of whales, dolphins, sea lions, otters and seals, whilst in the air there are opportunities to spot birds such as raptors, wrens, grouses, ravens, owls, chickadees and, very possibly, even the king of the birds, the bald eagle. The park was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981 thanks to its incredible flora and fauna. Where else can you find glacier-clad peaks interspersed with extensive alpine meadows, and all surrounded by a beautifully substantial amount of old growth forest? It really is one of the best examples of an intact, and protected rainforest in the Pacific Northwest. With 11 major river systems draining the Olympic mountains, it also offers some of the best habitat for anadromous fish (that is up-river migratory species, such as Salmon) in the whole country. Its 100km of wilderness coastline is also the longest undeveloped coast in the United States. UNESCO also recognises the park as the Olympic Biosphere Reserve, United States of America. Situated, as it is, on the Olympic Peninsula, on the northwest coast of Washington State, the Olympic Biosphere Reserve and National Park is known for, and protected because of, its ecosystem diversity. It is also supported as a centre of scientific research via its position as the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. It is a treasured marine area, which is being protected by the Sanctuary, and was designated as such by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) in 1994. It represents one of North America’s most productive marine ecosystems, and unspoilt coastlines. Other nearby natural wonders people might want to visit include the Dungeness Spit, which is a sand spit that juts out approximately 5 miles from the northern edge of the Olympic Peninsula in northeastern Clallam County. It is one of the longest natural sand spits in the Western hemisphere, and has a recreation area open year-round for hiking, biking or horse-riding activities. This bizarre natural phenomenon was first recorded during the Spanish 1790 Quimper expedition, where British explorer George Vancouver was reminded of the Dungeness headland in England, and named it in tribute. Dungeness is also home to the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, located near Sequim in Clallam County. Most of the refuge is located on the spits, characterised by sand Jun23335 Domaine Madeleine: Most Romantic Luxury Boutique Hotel 2023 - Pacific Northwest USA/ LUXlife Guest Hospitality Excellence Award 2023 Looking for an award-winning place to stay in Washington, perhaps during a visit to the Olympic National Park? Take a look at the incredible hotel Domaine Madeleine or the gorgeous, luxury Maitland Manor Bed & Breakfast. Both are ideal places to relax and unwind after a busy day taking in the sights. and cobble beaches, and surrounded by tidal mudflats. The reserve provides a habitat for more than 250 species of birds, 41 species of land mammals, and 8 species of marine mammals. It is a critical location for many threatened or endangered animals, and also an important stop for many birds during migration. Another interesting nearby place to visit is Cape Flattery. This site is located just outside the Olympic National Park on the Makah Reservation, near to the town of Neah Bay. This area is the most northwestern point of the contiguous United States, and boasts a forest trail leading to a dramatic, cliff top viewing platform overlooking the Pacific Ocean. There is a beautiful old lighthouse, deactivated but still standing on Tatoosh Island, observable from Cape Flattery. It is also possible to see the Fuca Pillar, a tall, strangely angular (almost rectangular) rock that is located to the west side of Cape Flattery. There is much to do year-round in the area, and many unique opportunities to witness occurrences, dependent on the seasons. For example, in the winter, there is a ski area in the Olympic National Park, and an outdoor ice-skating rink that is worth a visit in downtown Port Angeles. This materialises (thanks to dedicated volunteers) during the Port Angeles Winter Ice Village, a special event organised by the Chamber of Commerce each year in midNovember through January. The Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival takes place in early October, and is one of the most acclaimed food festivals in the country. It’s a 3-day event with food, art, music and Native American activities. There is also a Lavender Festival in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley of Washington State, which is normally in full bloom from mid-July through to the end of August. May is home to one of the world’s largest volunteer music festivals, the Juan de Fuca Festival in Port Angeles. The newly-opened Field Arts & Events Hall overlooks the harbour in Port Angeles and provides entertainment options year-round. And if you happen to be visiting during September and October, there’s a good chance you might be able to witness the salmon migration taking place, in the many rivers located within the Olympic National Park. When it comes to where to stay for a Washington visit that takes in these exciting sights, look no further than the award-winning, luxury, rural boutique hotel Domaine Madeleine, or the award-winning luxury, urban inn Maitland Manor. Domaine Madeleine is celebrated as being one of the most romantic places on the West Coast, with luxurious beds, breathtaking suites, a number of pet friendly cottages, Maitland Manor Bed & Breakfast: Best Luxury B&B 2023 - Western Washington