Suncadia Resort is actually a huge master vacation community, with over 6,000 acres and including 40+ miles of trails, restaurants, a golf course, winery, swimming pools, a spa, two hotels, and TONS of vacation rentals and individually owned vacation homes.
However, most guests will find themselves staying pretty close to the Lodge, the Inn, and Nelson Farm for activities. However, you might notice that there is a whole other side of Suncadia for the owners of homes within Suncadia. There are tons of individual neighborhoods, each with its own amenities.
The area is huge, so you might take some time to explore a little bit. There are some beautiful views, and sights to see all around the resort.
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The Vibe at Suncadia
Suncadia feels a bit like a summer camp, even in the winter. There are tons of great activities to do all over the resort, so you and your family will stay as busy as you want to. You’ll see tons of families heading here and there to do all of the super fun on-site activities nearby.
Everyone seemed to be staying busy, getting outside, and generally enjoying everything Suncadia has to offer. And because of the way the resort is run, it’s easy to fall into a nice daily routine. You’ll quickly find your favorite walking trails, the best quiet spot to drink your morning coffee and eat breakfast. And perhaps you’ll find that you love ending the day with a cocktail from the lounge, or doing s’mores at the gas firepits outside – my kids’ favorite!
You’ll also notice that there are units within Suncadia that are independently owned. It does give a slightly different feel to the lodge. But generally, we found it to be a homey place where it was easy to find a flow and feel like you could stay forever.
Looking for more Pacific Northwest vacation ideas? Check out our post here.
When staying at Suncadia, you have a number of different options for lodging, depending on what you are looking for.
The first option is the Lodge. The Lodge is where most people stay at Suncadia, and it’s where a lot of the action is. At the lodge, you have the option to stay in a regular room with 2 queens, or a king-size bed. Or you can upgrade to a studio, which will include a kitchenette, or a 1, 2, or 3 bedroom suite, with a full kitchen and living room. There are various quality levels within each room type as well.
You can also stay at The Inn, which is a quieter area with much fewer rooms, and not quite as many amenities. But it now has a great restaurant, and it’s still close to swimming, sledding, and everything else you’ll want to do.
Another option is the trailhead condominiums. They are outside of the hustle and bustle of the Lodge, but still close enough that amenities are easy to access. They have one- and two-bedroom units that sleep 2 to 8 people, and come with a full kitchen, and everything you need to spread out and enjoy yourself. These units book quickly, so if you want one, you’ll want to plan ahead!
The last option in Suncadia is vacation rentals. These are also managed by Hyatt, and the price reflects the higher-end management and feel of these units. My family finds these to be a bit too pricey for us, but if you love Suncadia the way that we do, and want to visit with a larger group, this could be a good option for you.
For those looking to book Suncadia with points, you’ll notice that there are pretty limited options. We’ve only found the standard rooms for the Inn or the Lodge available to book on points. However, it’s possible that they’ve recently adjusted their offerings and have decided to offer the Inn on points now- that’s the only thing we see available right now.
Kid-Friendly Things to do at Suncadia
Suncadia is located in the beautiful Cascade Mountains and overlooks the Cle Elum River, making it a wonderful location to facilitate lots of outdoor time with your family. Additionally, the resort does a great job of helping make sure you stay busy, and have tons of fun. The concierge is super helpful, and you can even text them for questions. When traveling with little kids, it was really nice to avoid standing in line and trying to have a conversation with the concierge (and knowing that the kids were going to start whining the second we started talking). And instead, just be able to text them from the room, or where ever we were.
We love that you can book tons of big activities at Suncadia, or skip it, and just relax around the resort- take walks and go sledding. Here are some of our favorite things to do at Suncadia in the Winter
Check out the big tubing hill at Suncadia! It’s long enough for a HUGE ride down, PLUS there is a tow rope to get you back up. Note that kids need to be old enough to ride in their own tube, and you’ll need to book a time slot for this weather dependent activity.
Go Sledding ANYWHERE
Suncadia is full of hills, including some great ones right across the street from the resort. If you don’t want to be limited by reservation time slots, feel free to take your sleds out and play anywhere around the resort. The concierge can give you recommendations.
Cross-Country Skiing or Snowshoeing
Suncadia has all the gear, and miles of beautiful trails to get out on cross country skis or snowshoes and explore! They even have beginner lessons, or tours to explore some bigger trails, if you desire. Make sure you book rentals and tours early, as these items book up quickly, especially on snowy weekends
Love the snow? Check out our post on Bozeman, Montana in the winter here.
Suncadia has a beautiful ice skating rink, and rentals are available for everyone in your family to try out ice skating. Make sure you book a slot early since times are limited
We love all the great pools at Suncadia, and we especially love how they are kept open, and warm for the winter. Visiting the pool is always a vacation highlight for my kids, and it’s especially magical when you are warm in the water, with snowflakes gently falling on your head!
Build a snowman
For those of us who don’t get a ton of snow at home, Suncadia is a great place to just enjoy the snow. Build a snowman together as a family. Or split up and make multiple snowmen. Then see who made the best/silliest/biggest/whatever you want!
Have a snowball fight
Once you’ve got all your snow gear on, you may as well use it, right? Have a snowball fight and see who can GET whom! We usually make the rule – no face shots. Snowballs are a LOT more fun when they aren’t in your face, in my opinion!
Grab a coffee or a hot cocoa and take a walk
Pick up a coffee or a hot chocolate for the kids, and just take a walk around the resort, and the property. The area is really beautiful and there is a lot to take in. Enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the area!
Suncadia has snowmobiles to rent, or snowmobile tours! What a fun, big activity to do with the family! This is on our list for next time we visit!
Winter Archery/Axe Throwing
Ok, I’ll admit – this anxious mama isn’t too eager to take this on. But I know that the kids would LOVE this activity. Note that kids need to be 8+ for archery and 12+ for axe throwing, and reservation slots go quickly so book early!
Check out kid-friendly activities at The Farm
Nelson Farm has lots of other activities for kids seasonally, including kid’s art kits, adult art classes, paint-the-snow kit, teddy bear creation, tie-dye, and more! Check-in with the hotel concierge to see what is going on during your visit!
If you are visiting around the holidays (Thanksgiving to early January), there are a ton of special things going on around Suncadia. These activities include special deliveries by Santa’s elves, special holiday menus, gingerbread house kits, tons of holiday crafts, plus all the other amazing winter activities Suncadia has all winter long. It is a very special time to visit!
Walk down the stairs to the river
On the backside of the resort, you can see all the way down to the river. If you are up for it, and have the gear you need, take the long walk down to check things out. It can be a bit of a trek in the winter, but it’s a lot of un!
Eat a delicious meal
There are some great dining options and drink options at Suncadia. We love picking up a nice meal at Portals and eating it in the room, so we don’t have to deal with the chaos of eating at a restaurant with kids. This, of course, works BEST if you’ve opted for a larger room or suite. But sometimes we find that eating in even a standard hotel room with kids is more relaxing than going out.
If you are lucky enough to have children that are pleasant to dine with at a restaurant, both Portals and the Stovehouse are great options.
Get a Cocktail
At least on our last visit, the lounge allowed us to take our drinks to go. We could have them either back in the room, or in one of the comfortable seating areas around the lobby. We liked picking up a cocktail after the kids went to bed so we could enjoy it in peace.
‘Smores around the fire
‘Smores is definitely one of the highlights of Suncadia for my kids. The resort provides ‘smores kits, and there are tons of big gas firepits all around the resort. It seems like all the families love to come out for this special dessert, offered every evening. It is a fun way to wrap up the day and start getting ready for bed.
What we love/what we do not love
Suncadia has a ton to offer but we also had a few complaints about the resort. Let’s start with the positives!
- The destination resort feel. You don’t need to GO anywhere. Everything you need for a weekend of fun is there, onsite.
- The large variety of activities
- The summer camp (in winter) feel. We noticed families of similar-aged kids kind of going through the same activities as us. In non-Covid times, it’s a great way for the kids to make friends, even just for the weekend.
- The spacious rooms with kitchens for a reasonable price. We love the 1-bedroom suites in the Lodge.
- The huge variety of kid-friendly activities offered
We DON’T love
- The somewhat low quality feel of the rooms. Kitchens are often in rough shape, and we’ve seen big carpet lumps. The furnishings were updated, but the quality still wasn’t there.
- Right now, due to the pandemic, reservations are required for basically everything. And they book up very quickly. If you don’t book the minute you can, you may miss your chance for many of these activities. For families with kids, especially younger kids, it’s tough to anticipate what their energy level and interests will be, so more flexibility would be nice
- The resort is BUSY. The resort does have a lot of space to spread out, but don’t expect to find any quiet corners. It’s a big place with a lot of people.
- Many activities were too far to walk with young kids, so we still had to drive at times.
Overall, my family loves Suncadia. And we will continue to enjoy visiting for a dose of snow, winter weather, and warm swimming pools. We’d love to see some improvements in the quality of the rooms, but it’s not a deal-breaker for us.
Have you visited Suncadia in the winter? Tell us your thoughts!