Washington is like the hip younger sibling of all the United States. It's open-minded, free-spirited, and the home of many modern-day legends.
It witnesses the missteps of its older and sometimes not-so-wiser sibling states, and carves its own progressive path.
Add in its natural beauty and adventurous landscape, and you’ve got yourself the perfect haven for those seeking change and wellbeing.
Yes, Washington will always have plentiful of outdoor activities and fire-pits to gather around, but we believe this destination has more to give. In fact, we see Washington as a place you can go to
get in touch with your inner pioneer.
Highly introverted yet equally adventurous and curious, this is a culture that knows how to strike a harmonious balance of internal and external exploration. A culture of tuned-in trailblazers. Through the stories of the people of the Puget Sound, we can inspire visitors & guests to take a small (or large) leap towards their own self-sovereignty and blaze the way to their own pioneering individualism.
This concept of pioneering individualism was inspired by Edmond Meany, a Washington renaissance man and powerful founding force of the Mountaineers in 1907. A journalist, botanist, state representative, playwright and -- in his later years -- a mountain climber, Meany shows us that life is more rewarding when you don’t confine yourself.
But it doesn’t end there. We’ve drawn upon the stories of dozens of pioneers over Washington’s history to bring the Wilcox House back to life.
The Wilcox House on the Hood Canal was built in 1938, the same year Olympic National Park was established. In its prime, the original owners entertained the likes of John Wayne, Clark Gable and Ernest Hemingway.
To bring this storied mansion back to its full potential aligned with our vision for the ultimate Washington retreat, we envisioned a place that exudes nostalgia and the Puget Sound’s strong symbolism.
Blazing the Way was a book written by Emily Inez Denny in 1909 to chronicle the tales of early Puget Sound pioneers. This has become The Wilcox House’s motto in a new chapter of the property’s existence.
All longstanding properties know when to shift with the needs of their guests.
2020 brought turmoil & trauma to the world, and along with it, doubt, distrust, questioning. Seattle and the surrounding area of the Puget Sound were often at the epicenter of this. Daily protests and demonstrations showed us a culture that was no longer willing to give its power away.
This is part of what it means to step into a pioneering role: to become clear, self-sovereign, and unshakeable in one’s beliefs, values, and purposeful-path.
The guests that will be drawn to this property take on the spellbound rebel archetype. They have spent too much time in the fog, pushed and prodded, unable to find their way out of the deep watery maze that is life.
They are ready to blaze a new way, they just need a little reminder of how uniquely capable they are. We use the stories of the Puget Sound pioneers as reminders of what it takes to go your own way and feel good about it.
When we conceptualize programming, entertainment, spaces, and sensorial touchpoints, we consider the emotional value, novelty, and the perspective shift potential. This allows us to design each moment for maximum meaning and impact. Every detail is deliberate, even in the smallest and simplest of moments. Our goal is always to spur some sort of deeper reaction to the moment. By taking into consideration the symbolic themes of the experience, we are able to immerse the guest into a more purposeful and layered narrative.
The themes for the Wilcox House were inspired by the local terrain and history/people of the Puget Sound. They can be seen in the aesthetics, art, food, activities, events, and throughout the property in many thoughtful & engaging ways.
The beauty of having multiple themes that evoke strong sense of place is you will never run out of creative ideas for enhancing your experience. You can see how these themes come to life in the examples given below.
the storied experience
setting the tone
Guests are encouraged to take a fun quiz before arriving that reveals to the hospitality team the guest’s personality and preferences. On arrival, the guest receives a key chain for their room with their symbolic Puget Sound animal and list of recommended local activities - all based on their responses. They also receive a custom-designed personal roadmap (inspired by the Puget Sound ecosystem) to help them understand how their environment (and the people, places and things within their environment) impact their ability to thrive. We will provide them with a variety of colorful arts tools to design and fill it in if they feel called to. These items serve as takeaway gifts for guests.
The Berry Bar is freshly stocked every day with foraged wild Washington berries, herbs, and edible flowers. Guests are encouraged to mix, match & muddle and to find their own signature flavor. There are over 30 wild berry varieties in the Pacific Northwest, and giving guests the choice to mix their own drink communicates an encouragement of autonomy and creativity.
programming & activities
Kelp foraging is a novel opportunity to take guests deeper into the local ecosystem and melting-pot culture. After foraging for a variety of seaweed, (collected in native-made Salish sea baskets) we return to the property for a tasting and Nuchi Gusui lunch. Honoring Japan's influence on the local culture, we teach guests about 'food as medicine'. Any seaweed that isn't eaten gets turned into art! We show guests how to make a beautiful prints with pressed seaweed - which they can take home with them. The goal with this half-day experience is to get visitors to look at the things in their life from a variety of ways. What many people see just as a nuisance when they swim in the ocean is now so much more.
We turn a section of the property into a wind chime garden, with dozens of chimes crafted by a local ceramist. The pieces are inspired by nature and made with local driftwood, petrified wood, shells and more items from around the waterways. This is a section of the property where we ask for complete silence. The garden can be reserved at any hour of the day for those needing to slow down, escape any noise, and turn inward. Chimes are available for purchase for guests to take home and enjoy whenever they desire to be transported back to the peaceful PNW coast.
The Back in Time weekly dinner is a nostalgic and playful gathering. Before the dinner, each guest is given a different pioneering profile, featuring stories of trailblazers from the region. Guests are encouraged to step into that pioneer's shoes for the evening and ask, for example, "What would Tugboat Annie do?" The rustic setting of the dinner includes mementos & decor that symbolize all of the different pioneers and their stories. After dinner, guests gather around a campfire to hear entertaining lore from a local historian, and play Pioneer Pictionary (Pictionary was, after all, invented in Seattle). The evening ends with a (decaf) coffee craft cocktail (warm or cold, depending on the season) made with locally roasted beans.
programming & activities
Seattle is known for its pioneering sound with infamous musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, Quincy Jones, and Ray Charles bringing their rhythm to local Seattle nightclubs and beyond. A modern mashup of electric blues and jazz is the backdrop for a fun swing dancing class led by a local instructor. The experience is designed to move guests out of their comfort zone, into their body, and encourage them to let loose in a judgement-free zone.
We believe experiences can be fun and purposeful. Educational and entertaining. In a tourist destination, there are always plenty of activities for guests to go out and partake in. Here, guests can spend the day hiking, kayaking, and connecting with Mother Nature (as is expected in the PNW) but return to more than just a place to sleep.
We view the property as a cultural hub for deeper exploration, connection, and reflection. A personality-packed wellbeing destination. And the above examples are just a small taste of that. Because when we work with clients to elevate their experience, we explore all potential touch-points across the entire visitor journey. We build out extensive programming offerings. And we can reimagine and infuse more value into just about any space.
From concept to execution (if you need the extra support to bring the vision to life) The Storied Experience is here to help you infuse your experience with more meaning, value, & magic. To help you position your property with personality, purpose, and bring in more profits. Ready to explore how we can work together?