Just over the Idaho border from Spokane, in the narrow top of that state near Canada and several ski resorts, Couer d’Alene Resort has been pulling in the moneyed crowds and romantic couples for decades.
It’s a fair bet that many people who pass through Coeur d’Alene in Idaho have no idea what that name means in French, but in the end it doesn’t really matter anyway. The town and the lake got the name of what the French traders named the tribe in the area, indigenous people who were apparently good at leatherwork–thus “heart of the awl.”
This luxurious resort on Coeur d’Alene lake has gorgeous views from the rooms that face the water and from some of the public areas that are just a few steps from the docks. When I was there, boats were scarce since it was still ski season nearby, but in the summer it’s a different story and you’d better reserve well in advance to get a room here on busy weekends.
The resort had adjusted to cold season and the need to stay “in a bubble” during Covid times and they took that literally. There were heavy plastic domes on the deck where small groups could have their own private space that stayed warm. (I saw this at the Davenport Grand in Spokane as well, so the idea must be spreading.)
These domes are outfitted with comfy lounge furniture and waiters make the rounds to ensure everyone is set on food and drink.
In summer that deck holds dining tables instead, with a view of the water and the boats coming in or out from the marina.
Just inside are the lobby, main restaurant, and lobby bar near the reception area. Large and colorful fish swim in giant aquariums that separate the lounge from the check-in zone and hallways.
North Idaho Resort Dining and Bar Options
Dining and drinking options will keep your taste buds happy at this large resort. The main restaurant off the lobby is Dockside, serving all three meals and catering to families on vacation.
The top draw here, including for non-guests, is the Cedars Floating Restaurant which is surrounded by water and reached via a bridge. It specializes in salmon, seafood, and a top-notch wine list.
The wine list is even more extensive in signature restaurant Beverly’s, the collection supposedly valued at more than a million bucks. This seventh-floor restaurant looks over the lake and is a great bet for a gourmet romantic dinner as the sun goes down.
When you see the “rooftop lounge,” on the offerings, remember that rooftops are not very high in this town. It’s only up one elevator stop from the lobby. It offers another spot to grab a drink with a view of the lake and mountains, however.
Other options include an Italian grill, a boardwalk bar, a taphouse, a grab-and-go spot, and a Starbucks coffee shop.
Pool and Spa
The weather being what it is this far north, The Davenport Grand has a large indoor pool, not one outside. You can enjoy it all year, swimming laps or cavorting with the kids. There are also two hot tubs adjoining it, a welcome sight if you’ve been skiing or hiking in the area.
You can hop on a shuttle boat and reach a beach area and outdoor infinity pool next to the golf course. There are only a few months where that makes sense here though. The website says these attractions are scheduled to be open “May 29 – September 13 (weather permitting).”
A full spa is on site, the kind you would expect from a luxury resort that has lots of weddings and romantic weekend bookings. There’s a full menu of massages, facials, and other pamperings.
Coeur d’Alene Resort Rooms
Rooms at this North Idaho lakeside resort are attractive, spacious, and well-equipped. The smallest, accurately called the “North Wing Non-View Rooms,” have a king or two queens and face away from the water. They still pack in plenty of amenities though, like a Smart TV with Chromecast, mini fridge, coffee maker, and plenty of outlets of all types.
Several categories go up from there, including the Park Tower Marina View ones with a sofa and the Lake Tower Lake View one that I slept in, pictured above. These have remote-controlled curtains, a full living room, a furnished balcony, and an oversized bathroom with a dressing room area.
There are also versions of the lake view ones with a fireplace, plus two opulent suites on high floors.
Coeur d’Alene Golf and Resort Activities
Coeur d’Alene Resort is a top golf destination in the region, a big draw for many players and a reason a lot of business meetings and regional conferences end up here. The most famous aspect of the golf course is its “world’s only floating green” that’s moored on the lake. You tee off from shore and then take a boat out to pitch and putt to the hole.
I’d just hate to imagine how many golf balls there are on the lake bottom underneath it. I doubt many amateurs land their first tee shot on the island.
The course itself has been deemed one of the prettiest in the country by golf magazines and most of the holes have a view of the lake. Some of the resort packages include a round or two of golf.
Other activity options right from the resort are renting equipment for watersports like kayaks, paddleboards, or boats. There’s also a well-equipped fitness center that includes Peleton bikes.
To get here you can fly into the small Coeur d’Alene airport, but most people who aren’t driving here end up using the much larger Spokane airport instead. The hotel offers a shuttle service for an additional fee that will get you there in plenty of time to check in for your flight.
There are a few dozen Coeur d’Alene hotels to choose from in this town that’s near the border of Idaho and Washington states, but if you are willing to pay for the best, go straight to this one for the best possible experience. Rates start at $229 in off-peak times, but the resort has high occupancy on a regular basis for a good reason. See more at the official website here because that’s currently the only place you can book a room.
If they are full, see other Coeur d’Alene hotels at Expedia.
Review and photos by editor Tim Leffel who was hosted one night at Coeur d’Alene Resort as part of a Ski Idaho tour of the region.