September 7, 1997

It’s All Those Little Things That Count Guests Get The Feeling Of Home At Leavenworth’s Run Of The River

By The Spokesman-Review
 

There’s nothing Bavarian about the Run of the River Bed & Breakfast just outside the gingerbread-laden hamlet of Leavenworth, Wash.

Not the refined-dude-ranch decor, which suggests Hoss and Little Joe more than Hansel and Gretel.

Nor the gourmet fare, which leans toward healthy concoctions like the breakfast beverage my wife and I enjoyed during a recent visit - a blend of fresh bananas, mangos, oranges, coconut and low-fat yogurt.

“Downtown is a themed attraction,” observes innkeeper Monty Turner, a former elementary school teacher, “but our thing is helping guests enjoy the forest around us.”

That explains the mountain bikes stationed outside the front door, and the readily available walking sticks and knapsacks.

Monty and his wife, Karen, who teaches sixth grade, go out of their way to make recreation easy. They provide their own maps for walkers, runners, hikers, bikers and motorists interested in exploring Leavenworth, the Icicle Valley, Lake Chelan, Lake Wenatchee or the Grand Coulee region.

And, upon returning from a day’s outing, guests can munch freshly baked cookies or brownies, soak in a hot tub on the banks of Icicle Creek or summon a masseuse ($75 for two one-hour massages).

If Run of the River has a theme, it’s attention to detail. From the wildflowers flanking the winding driveway to the newspapers and magazines in the living room, every feature whispers “make yourself at home.”

No wonder readers of Seattle Magazine voted Run of the River their favorite B&B; two years ago. Last year, editors of America’s Favorite Inns, Bed and Breakfasts and Small Hotels picked it as one of the top 25 inns in the country.

“The evaluation forms in the rooms are very helpful,” Monty says. “People say, ‘Have you considered this or that?”’

But the Turners seem to have a knack for the profession they chose 11 years ago. From the moment new guests walk through the front door, they’re treated like old friends. There’s no fumbling through reservations in search of who gets which room - Monty grabs the luggage and cheerfully leads the way up the spiral stairway, as if he’d been expecting you for weeks.

Each of the inn’s six rooms is furnished with locally crafted log furniture. The most expensive - the first-floor, $150-a-night Tumwater Suite - includes a Jacuzzi tub, two wood stoves and a loft. Our $95 room opened onto a large second-story deck with a free-standing porch swing for bird-watching, stargazing and bubble-blowing. (Beside our deck door was a bottle of bubble solution and an invitation to recapture our youth - a subtle reminder that this is an adults-only retreat.)

Run of the River is a picturesque three-hour drive west of Spokane via U.S. Highway 2. Just before Leavenworth, turn left on east Leavenworth Road and travel one mile. The inn is set back from the road, but is clearly marked.

Weekend reservations should be made well in advance, but midweek vacancies are not unusual. For more information, call (800) 288-6491.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo


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