Beyond the uber-lux amenities and Vegas style gaming, an inspirational human story lies beneath the glitter and gleam of Northern Quest Resort & Casino.
On a recent trip to experience the Fall Harvest of Spokane, Washington, I stayed at the AAA Four Diamond Northern Quest Resort & Casino owned by the Kalispel Tribe for four nights.
When a hotel becomes your make shift home for that long, the spirit of a place reveals itself.
Being greeted with fry bread delivered in a miniature Kalispel (pronounced cal – iSS – PELL) canoe at breakfast the first morning was the beginning of my education about the Kalispel tribe and their journey.
Like many Native American tribes in the US, the Kalispel were given an unproductive piece of land with floodplains and rocky cliffs. With no viable resources, they were dwindling financially and socially near extinction.
From Bankruptcy to Booming
It’s hard to imagine a tiny tribe of four hundred people on the brink of bankruptcy only two decades ago has turned around their dismal fate in such a quintessential American dream fashion. Yet Northern Quest Resort & Casino stands as a testament to their will to not only survive but also thrive. Also on the comeback is their spoken language. Currently, they have a progressive language program to keep the Kalispel language alive, right now only 8 members speak it.
By way of the 250 room opulent hotel, fourteen restaurants and 46,000 square foot casino of Northern Quest Resort & Casino, the Kalispel people now own one of the largest companies of Spokane. They are one of the largest employers of Spokane and a philanthropic force in the community as well.
With this framing, the quality of the stay at Northern Quest Resort & Casino is even more impressive.
Choose Your Experience
Whether you enjoy courting lady luck or not, the Northern Quest hotel and its casino are quite separate (no wading through a smoky casino to get to your room), making it an ideal destination for both gaming fans and families.
Accented with images and symbols of the Kalispel Tribe, from the hand-blown cattail chandelier to the striking black and white photography of tribal life, Northern Quest Resort & Casino honors its founders yet is as posh as any luxury Las Vegas hotel.
Royal Service at Northern Quest Resort
Speaking of ritzy, even the standard rooms at Northern Quest Resort are special. The locally made beds, the pillow menu (where I ordered a buckwheat hypoallergenic pillow just because I had never seen a pillow menu before), the shower with five heads that could accommodate an entire family, and room service ordered from my TV certainly made me feel like queen of Kalispel.
Another delightful touch of Northern Quest Resort striving to make each guest feel like royalty was after I received my decadent Huckleberry French Toast from room service, I got a call a few minutes later to ask if I was enjoying my breakfast… love that.
Foodie’s Paradise at Northern Quest Resort
Whatever you crave, whether a Fatburger cheeseburger, Chinese, Italian, pub fare or farm-to-table – Northern Quest is a foodie’s paradise. My favorite Northern Quest Resort & Casino dining option, being the food snob that I am, was Masselow’s - the only AAA four diamond rated fine dining restaurant in Eastern Washington.
Northern Quest Resort & Casino named the restaurant after their most famous Kalispel leader – Chief Masselow.
Dine at the Chief's Table with Chef Bob
At the helm of Masselow’s award-winning kitchen is Chef Bob Rogers. Chef Bob is adamant about making everything from scratch (even the butter and crackers) as he says he just can’t get the quality elsewhere.
Sourcing from local farmers and menus reflecting the season’s bounty are also de rigueur at Chef Bob’s table. The wine menu specializes in local Washington wines as well as top-notch international selections.
Legends of Fire Cigar Lounge
To conclude a high-roller night at Northern Quest Resort & Casino in style, Legends of Fire Cigar and Fine Spirits lounge is a must.
In Spokane’s only cigar lounge, share a laugh with friends while sipping on a premium cognac and sampling one of over eighty different cigars.
Even if you’ve never tried a cigar before, the Legends of Fire cigar steward will gladly give you a lesson.
Free Gaming Lessons
Cigar schooling is not the only education you’ll receive at Northern Quest Resort & Casino. If you’ve always wanted to play roulette, blackjack or craps but never learned, now’s your chance. Northern Quest Casino offers free gaming lessons every afternoon.
Play with ‘free’ (fake) money while real casino dealers give you the insider scoop on how to bet and why. It was the best time I’d had in a casino to date - no sore losing here!
Kalipsel Tribal Spa Treatments
When ready to unwind from the fast and furious good times, Northern Quest Resort’s Current Spa is an intimate, full-service spa where both men and women can seek some well-deserved pampering. For men, a high-end barbershop awaits, while women can get a make-up application or spa pedicure.
If needing a little anti-aging assist - make an appointment with miracle worker Rita Dundas for a Kalispel Restoration Facial. In ninety minutes, I swear I looked nine years younger. She also took time to work on my troublesome areas that needed some additional TLC. Thank you Rita Dundas!
Again, Northern Quest Resort is all about the details – in my spa locker awaited an embroidered personalized spa robe. I wear it proudly every morning at home and am humbled by the Kalispel hospitality.
Couples Getaway at Northern Quest Resort
I wish I had brought my boyfriend as Current Spa offers a sexy spa experience with their Couples Loving Retreat package. Spend some quality time in the romantic Camus Suite with a double soaking tub, a crackling fireplace and side-by-side massage tables to get a treatment together. Ooh la la – Current Spa offers an enlightened experience sure to make your sweetie swoon.
Washington Winery Package
With the holidays upon us, Northern Quest's Washington Winery Package for the wine lover on your gift list is ideal. The package at $199 includes one night stay, a bottle of local Washington wine, two commemorative wine glasses, chocolates, and shuttle to and from Barrister Winery with a very special tour and barrel tasting of Barrister's 'train-aged' wines in downtown Spokane.
Whether you want to try gaming somewhere different than the same Vegas circuit or you want to explore the hidden gems of Spokane, Northern Quest Resort & Casino welcomes you with Kalispel hospitality and a metropolitan level of service.
Northern Quest Resort & Casino, NorthernQuest.com, 877.871.NQRC
For more about what to do and see in Spokane, visit www.visitspokane.com