Hotel plans grand opening August 15
by Beckye Randall
On a recent tour of the Tulalip Resort Hotel, Marco Baumann, the general manager of the four-star resort, talked about the details, large and small, that set the new hotel apart from its competition.
The luxury hotel’s most striking feature is its impressive display of native American art created by Tulalip tribal artisans.
“There’s more than $1 million in tribal art throughout the hotel,” said Baumann. “It links this structure to the people who built it in a very tangible way.”
The resort hotel, which will celebrate its official grand opening August 15 at an invitation-only event, has been receiving guests since late June. Even with a few amenities still under construction, most notably the spa and pool, the hotel is earning rave reviews from visitors.
“The entire hotel was designed with our guests in mind,” Baumann explained as he pointed out some of the thoughtful details packed into the standard 500-square-foot guest room.
From the warm woodwork to the artful use of natural materials, even the standard “deluxe” guest room gives off a luxurious vibe. The $130 million hotel offers 94 deluxe rooms with double queen beds and more than 200 with king beds.
Handsome blown glass tumblers and generous ceramic coffee mugs sit on glass shelves above the guest serving area. Night stands are stocked with both a digital media center, complete with iPod dock, and a vintage-looking analog alarm clock. The stylish work desk, with high-speed internet service in every room, is paired with an ergonomic task chair that complements the room’s distinctive yet relaxing color scheme.
The bathroom, which is accessed through a unique sliding door adorned with art glass, offers a pampering experience with its glass-enclosed walk-in shower, separate water closet, double granite-topped vanity and convenient makeup table. Its location, away from the room’s entry, enhances the feeling of privacy.
During our personal tour, Baumann corrected the placement of extra toilet paper, making sure the red-wrapped roll was tucked discreetly into a corner of the open cabinet. “First impressions are so important,” he said as he adjusted the lighting levels and tweaked the position of the bathroom door.
In addition to the deluxe rooms, 23 upscale accommodations are also available, from the 750-square-foot Orca Suites to the posh Tulalip Penthouse Suite that can expand from 2,500 to 3,000 square feet.
When the hotel was first conceived years ago, tribal leaders envisioned a more modest facility. Following the lead of Tulalip Gaming Organization (TGO) president Ken Kettler, the goal was revised upward.
Baumann, who was hired as general manager nine months ago, was chosen from a field of 93 candidates. Working in the hospitality industry since 1986, he has lived in the Seattle area since 1998. His experience has helped make the resort’s impressive management team even stronger.
“This hotel is one-of-a-kind in Snohomish County,” said Baumann, “and it fills a distinct need as a destination resort and a full-service convention facility.”
With more than 30,000 square feet of flexible meeting and convention space, the hotel can accommodate groups large and small. The national Tribal Employment Rights Organization (TERO) convention is already booked for the fall, and interest is high from conference organizers nationwide.
“Our goal is to develop a national reputation as a convention and meeting destination,” said Baumann.
And for those planning a wedding in the area, the Tulalip Resort Hotel has plenty to offer. Wedding ceremonies will be set next to the lush indoor pool, with its verdant waterfall and natural-looking landscaping. A sweeping staircase allows the bridal party to make a grand entrance from the spacious bride’s dressing room on the floor above. The pool area seats approximately 200 guests, and a prominent landing overlooking the water is perfect for the bride, groom and officiant.
Built with unique spa experiences in mind, the T-Spa features three spacious couples’ treatment rooms in addition to its luxurious private facilities. The spa, which echoes the hotel’s celebration of nature in its rock walls and bamboo floors, occupies 14,000 square feet in 16 treatment rooms and a relaxing reception area.
The Tulalip Resort Hotel is a featured property under the Preferred Hotels Group umbrella as part of the Summit line. Summit is a well-known brand in the Orient, according to Baumann, giving the local hotel an edge in that lucrative tourism market.
Hotel management is already talking about expansion, which will probably take the shape of an additional V-shaped addition connecting with the existing tower. A nearby world-class champion caliber golf course is also under discussion.
“Tribal leaders look to the future,” said Baumann. “They tend to plan several generations out, and this hotel and other tribal enterprises will evolve with that planning.”