The ultimate sensory experience awaits you at Coeur d'Alene

I have to admit, I had never heard of The Coeur d'Alene Resort before my work on golf course reviews began several years ago.

When living on the east coast of the United States, it seems that little is
mentioned about what goes on out west, except for maybe the time difference,
sunsets and the governor of California.

As a child, my family and I traveled out west from New York - by car, mind you
- for four weeks. My mom and dad and two older sisters in a 1964 gold
Cadillac. I remember most of the trip like it was yesterday, especially being
the youngest and always sitting in the middle of the back seat.

We ventured through the oil wells of Texas, Arizona's Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam
and Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Disneyland, the amazing Redwood forests and Old
Faithful in Wyoming. I've been out west several times since, but Coeur d'Alene
was never on the radar.

So when the opportunity presented itself, I did what any golf nut who do, I
checked the map to see where the nearest airport was and planned accordingly.

Spokane International in Washington is the nearest airfield, just a 35 minute
trip to the resort and quite convenient. By the way, no need to rent a
vehicle, as one of the many shuttles, with remarkably friendly staff, will
take you wherever you need to go.

The first thing that touches your senses when arriving at Coeur d'Alene is the
peaceful and relaxed atmosphere. None of the hustle and bustle of the big
city, no lines of yellow cabs, no honking horns and no chain stores. Just the
serene surroundings of Lake Coeur d'Alene.

Following a delightful check-in, you are whisked away to your room overlooking
the lake. I recommend you select accommodations as high as your heart will
allow, as the views are breathtaking. Whether its a Lakeview or Mountain
view room, or the Hagadone suite named after visionary and owner Duane
Hagadone, your home away from home is smartly appointed. It comes as no
surprise that Coeur d'Alene Resort has received AAA's Four Diamond Award and
Mobil's Four Star Award annually since 1986.

Once settled, your choice of activities are endless. Whether it's golfing
that's strikes a cord, or a spa treatment, boating, fishing, seaplane flights
or just strolling through the shops in the resort and the quaint town, your
options are limitless.

If golf is your game, look no further than the Coeur d'Alene Resort Course. A
five-star, gold medal venue, the Scott Miller design has received more
accolades than an award-winning motion picture. Heck, the boat ride to the
course is worth the price of admission. Called "America's Greatest Golf
Experience," the par-71 layout is spectacular, as it winds along the coastline
of Lake Coeur d'Alene, through a forested range, alongside rolling woodlands
and the "piece de resistance," a par-3 floating green. It's just a wooden boat
ride away - and seeing is believing. For more information on this beautiful
golf course, check out my review of this outstanding layout at;

After battling the elements on the links, the ultimate spot to visit next
would be The Spa at Coeur d'Alene. Recently renovated by the world-renowned
design team at TAG Inc, The Spa features numerous packages, from massage
therapy and wraps to facials, pedicures and manicures. However the highlight
of your trip to The Spa will bethe $100,000 SilverTAG Swiss Shower that will
invigorate your mind, not to mention your body, with nozzles shooting water at
various angles and temperatures.

The theme at Coeur d'Alene - which you will sense right away - is family. This
is quite evident at The Spa, as Bernie Campbell directs her very qualified
staff. You see, Ms. Campbell has been working at the resort since she was a
teenager, learning and growing with the company, as so many at Coeur d'Alene

Your day would not be complete without the toughest decision of all, which of
the wonderful culinary choices you should visit. Beverly's is the region's
most exhilarating restaurant. This 5-star locale features a $2 million wine
cellar, complete with Sommelier extraordinare, Eric Cook. A stroll down to the
cellar for a wine tasting and you'll learn just how extensive and diverse the
award-winning wine selection has become.

The savory fare at Beverly's is to die for. From a beautifully prepared Prime
Tenderloin of Beef, to Australian Lamb Chops, Lobster Leopauldo or Rack of
Elk, the entrees are distinctively regional. Executive Pastry Chef Curtis
Smith's creations are sensational, especially when the huckleberry - the local
fruit - is involved. His Souffles and Beignets are heaven, but it's his simple
orange-laced rolls that melt in your mouth.

If it's a more relaxed atmosphere you seek, then Cedars Floating Restaurant is
the call. That's right, floating, as in on the lake at the mouth of the
Spokane River and floating on 600,000 pounds of concrete encasing an inner
core of Styrofoam. Start out with a Huckle-tini or two, a Northwest favorite
of Absolut Mandarin, vanilla and fresh squeezed lime juice, blended with
huckleberries. Clams, Crab Cakes and Oysters Cedars are just some of the
appetizers that will keep you entertained until your entrees arrive. Wild
Pacific Salmon is always a favorite, but the New York Steak is seared to
perfection and the Rosemary Rack of Lamb is gold.

Coeur d'Alene is more than just golf and dining. There's also swimming and
fitness, complete with a 70-foot lap pool, workout center, weight room,
Jacuzzi's and a sauna and steam room. Let's not forget the four tennis courts
located on the shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene by the golf course.

If it's outdoor activity you want, then look no further than the 135 miles of
shoreline on Lake Coeur d'Alene. Cobalt runabout rental boats and pontoons,
complete with all the necessities are available, not to mention Lake Coeur
d'Alene Cruises, which offer daily trips ranging from 90 minutes to six hours.
Heck, there are even Seaplane Tours that range from 20 to 40-minute flights
taking off at the foot of the Resort.

Not only is Coeur d'Alene a wonderful intoxicating hideaway, as it was just
recently named the "World's most Romantic Spa," and great golfing buddy trip,
but it's an enticing family experience as well.

For the children, it's the VIK program...Very Important Kids, where activities
are customized for each participant, featuring arts and crafts, games,
swimming and much, much more. The Silverwood Theme Park, the Northwest's
largest amusement park and Wild Waters, with eleven waterslides, is just
minutes from the resort. (And don't get me started on winter activities. That
will have to wait for another visit.)

There's a phrase at The Coeur d'Alene Golf & Spa Resort, "O.H." -- or as they
say, "Only here you will find..." A golf course with a floating green. His &
Hers TAG Showers. Facials created with wildflowers from the nearby landscape.
Huckle-tini's. Mouth-watering orange rolls with a top-secret recipe. Gourmet
dining at one of the region's most award-winning restaurants. Luxurious suites
with your own personal butler. A "family" of service unsurpassed in the
industry. Scenery that's not to be believed.

Take a deep breath and enjoy the ride.

Oh, Yes!