[twitter]The Christmas of 1986 was probably the one I remember most. I got a gift card from my parents for the Ralph Lauren store on Robson St that year. I remember getting up early the next morning, waiting in the Boxing Day lines and getting a coveted peach Ralph Lauren dress shirt to perfectly fit my preppy 80s style.
It’s no surprise then, that as I boarded the classic wooden boat, Double Eagle, at the Coeur D’Alene Resort I would instantly drift back to that day. The entire scene set up like the classic Ralph Lauren ads I used to see in GQ.
The rich mahogany of the boat, the deep blue and cream of the upholstery inside, the crispness of the bearded captain’s uniform all brought a posh formality to the affair.
I felt like I should have been wearing boat shoes, rolled up khakis, with a cable knit sweater jauntily knotted around my shoulder. Instead I was ushering my kids on board for the ride around Tubbs Hill on Lake Coeur D’Alene to the Coeur D’Alene Resort Golf Course.
The ride over was even more Polo-esque as I watched the stars and stripes flap in the stiff boat breeze.
The boat ride between the Coeur D’Alene Resort and the Coeur D’Alene Resort Golf Course takes just a few minutes. Throughout the day, 2 boats run back and forth between the two stops ferrying resort guests to a private beach and golf course.
“The Coeur d’Alene is what every resort should be. It’s not just upscale, it’s posh,” says Golf Digest. “You aren’t just pampered here, you’re spoiled. It’s not just an escape, it’s an experience.” And even though we weren’t guests at the resort for our trip, we caught a glimpse as to what that experience entails.
At the golf course, everyone has a caddy dressed in the same all-white jumpsuits you’d see at Augusta National. At the driving range, where you hit floating balls into the lake, there is complimentary sports massage. The golf carts are tricked out to look more like Escalades than carts, each with their own mister to cool off golfers and that same rich blue upholstery we saw on the boat (it’s actually Pantone 541, owner Duane Hagadone‘s favourite colour).
The Coeur D’Alene Resort Golf Course is famous for its island green. The 14th hole was playing about 170 yards into the wind on the day we watched a few groups take a swing. Nobody landed it on the green, which isn’t a shock, divers pull more than 24 000 balls from the lake each year.
There is a private beach here for resort guests to use, as well as a pool.
This side of the resort is also home to a convention / reception space overlooking the lake. Next to it is, perhaps, the most stunning setting my wife and I have ever seen for a wedding.
It’s a sunken amphitheatre, surrounded by a five to six foot stadium of flowers in bright pinks, purples, and whites exploding in perfume and colour. Here, down in the hollow, you feel like you’re in a private room. You can’t see the beach or golf course, it’s just you and your guests as you stand on an infinity pool on the horizon to say your vows. There’s easily enough space here to then turn around and have a hand-passed cocktail and canape reception.
All without leaving the most gorgeous venue you’ve ever seen.
We spent half a day touring the Coeur D’Alene Resort wandering the shopping, exploring the gym and conference rooms, peeking in on the spa, walking the world’s longest floating boardwalk, checking the view from the top, and having lunch – but all I really needed was the boat ride.
Disclosure: Portions of our trip to Idaho were provided by Visit Idaho.