The oldest hostelry in northern Idaho. Located on Priest Lake in Coolin, Idaho, the two-story log hotel was built in 1900 by Walt Williams, an employee of the Great Northern Railroad. The only lodge that remains from the early days of Idaho statehood when mining, timber, and tourism businesses were beginning to develop around Priest Lake.
Today you can stay in modern comfort at this one-of-a-kind Northern Idaho retreat.
The area surrounding Priest Lake is known for tall forests and abundant wildlife. Priest Lake itself is a monument to the glacial action of the ice age with deep, crystal clear water teeming with lake trout.
Opened as the Northern Hotel on speculation that a railroad was soon coming to town, the timbered structure was sited with a view of the lake and surrounding mountains.
This great old building and its history of hospitality has been resurrected as the Priest Lake area's premier hotel — The Historic Northern Hotel.
With its shaded verandah, original white pine floors and cedar paneling, The Historic Northern Hotel offers rustic beauty and comfort, a perfect escape for those who seek the rhythm of a simpler time coupled with a warm, friendly atmosphere. Although only steps from Bishop Marina in the village of Coolin, the hotel is secluded by the surrounding forest, with a wooded path leading to a private dock.
The Historic Northern Hotel has been carefully restored to its original look, a classic two-story wooden hotel filled with antiques from the era.
Each of the individual rooms and suites features country furnishings, a goose down comforter, and beautiful handcrafted quilts. All accommodations have private baths.
The inviting guest parlor includes a stone fireplace, comfortable armchairs and picture windows overlooking the lake and the forested Selkirk mountains.
The Historic Northern Hotel has a private dock where guests can moor their boats, sun and swim. The broad deck in front of the inn features shaded tables and an outdoor stone hearth for summer evening fires.
The Priest Lake area looks much as it did at the last period of Alpine glaciation around 20,000 years ago, and much as it did when the first road survey was completed in 1865. National concern over conservation of natural resources led to the Forest Reserve Act of 1891, under which the Priest River Forest Reserve was established in 1897; these areas are now part of the Idaho Panhandle National Forests system.
Many visitors to this secluded basin of the Selkirk Mountains return generation after generation.
Priest Lake abounds in recreational opportunities. Rental watercraft are available in Coolin and guided fishing tours for the lake's trophy lake trout (Mackinaw) can be arranged. Restaurants serving everything from burgers to gourmet meals thrive on both sides of the lake. Detailed information on these attractions can be found on the Priest Lake Chamber of Commerce web site.
The Historic Northern Hotel is a 90 minute drive from Spokane and approximately the same distance from Coeur d'Alene. Directions to Coolin.