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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

A nearby escape: Coeur d’Alene Resort offers amenities for singles and families

When the blazing summer sun is drying off the droplets from the saltwater pool at the Coeur d’Alene Resort, it seems as if nothing has changed. The heated pool is a wonderful contrast from the brisk but refreshing lake, which is the centerpiece of the picturesque destination.

Yes, the coronavirus exists. However, the luxe Coeur d’Alene Resort is open and taking steps to make an experience as safe as possible. Temperatures of all guests are taken before hitting the front desk. All employees sport face masks. However, face coverings are optional for guests. During a recent visit, about two-thirds visiting the resort opted to not wear a mask.

Social distancing was primarily in effect among guests. If you close your eyes or better yet open them, it feels like 2019 all over again. The sun glistens off the pristine lake as paddle boarders pass. The restaurant Beverly’s signature offering, the ahi tuna, is still delicious.

But then there are the differences at the resort. As far as the buffets and salad bar go, the new wrinkle is there is an attendant serving portions. There are more families than ever at the Coeur d’Alene Resort. There also is availability during the summer, which is one upside of the coronavirus.

“Groups of visitors have absolutely dried up,” said Bill Reagan, Coeur d’Alene Resort’s general manager. “People don’t want to fly and get together for those big meetings. All of that is on hold.”

So the resort has pivoted to focus on families and the single traveler. About 80% of recent visitors were comprised of parents and children. And a number of dogs were tagging along.

“It’s working out so people can come in with their kids or with their spouses since we’ve typically been sold out for the summer every year,” Reagan said. “Families from our area don’t want to fly out, either.” The majority of license plates in the resort garage were from Idaho and Washington.

It’s possible to enjoy the amenities of a distant vacation a short drive from home in Coeur d’Alene. A number of packages is available, including the Family, which offers scenic cruise tickets, a pizza-making experience at Tito’s Bar & Grill and discount theme park tickets.

Golf is a big attraction at the resort, and it’s easy to see why since the views from each hole are spectacular. There is the unique floating green. The golf package includes 18 holes of golf, fore caddie service for each group, unlimited pre-round lakefront practice tee privileges and a pre-round warmup sports massage.

There are spa packages. There are extra precautions, such as additional sheet coverage during a massage. There are an array of options. There’s the Girlfriend’s Spa Getaway, which includes two 50-minute spa services with the option of a facial, massage or pedicure and room service mimosa brunch for two.

The Stay and Spa Couple’s Experience includes a 50-minute massage for two in the Private Fireside Couples suite and a $50 dining credit. There is a Babymoon Spa, which features a 50-minute pregnancy massage for the mother-to-be, a resort logo baby jacket and a $30 breakfast credit.

All spa, golf and family packages include accommodations. “When we opened up the spa again, that’s what people have booked immediately,” Reagan said. “The spa came back the fastest. People wanted to experience getting that massage and facial again.”

What else stands out at the lake is how many people are biking. “We’ve never had so many people bring bikes with them,” Reagan said. “Biking is good for social distancing, and it’s so beautiful to bike around the lake. It makes sense to do it.”

Reagan is on the money. About one-third of the cars in the resort garage included bikes on racks.

There are folks who are content lounging by the pool or walking on the beach. “People want to get out after the quarantine and experience something to make them feel better,” Reagan said. “They’re walking the beach and enjoying our restaurants.”

Beverly’s is home to the largest wine cellar in the Pacific Northwest and offers daily tours. The more casual diner can check out Dockside. Thumbs up for the Loaded Potato Idaho Skins and Grilled Salmon Oscar, which is a must courtesy of the housemade Bernaise sauce.

The Coeur d’Alene Resort is serving more than food. Many are starved for live music, and bands have been performing at the resort since late June. The Bands on Boats concert series runs through August, with Too Slim and the Taildraggers headlining on Aug. 28.

If you’re not ready for bands but would like to rent a vessel, you can hit the water with a Harris Pontoon boat or a Cobalt Sports Boat. Personal watercraft and paddle boards also are for rent. There is plenty to engage in, and it’s easy to forget that there is a coronavirus, but the resort is taking the situation seriously.

“We can’t drop our guard,” Reagan said. “We’re disinfecting highly touched surfaces and making sure there is physical spacing along the decks. It’s critically important to be safe rather than sorry until a vaccine is found. You can have as much fun as possible here, but we want to make it as safe for everyone that comes out to our resort.”