From hand woven tule mats and century old baby boards to camas root, water baskets and more, I made my way through an interesting journey of Kalispel tribal living history last week. It wasn't at a museum or an exhibit at city hall. In fact, my journey landed at the front desk of the region's newest four diamond resort and casino, Northern Quest. This shiny tribute to the astute business acumen of the Kalispels sits just west of downtown Spokane near the Spokane International Airport. My sweetie and I decided to have a date night getaway there last week.

It's pretty hard not to be wowed when you get to Northern Quest. First, it's HUGE! Walking through the enclosed promenade to the hotel, the first thing we noticed was the gorgeous new outdoor amphitheater and the posters for upcoming concerts featuring musical greats like The Judds, Reba McEntire, Carlos Santana and Willie Nelson. Wow!

Next wow? The hotel lobby. Cool floating fireplace. Gorgeous, gigantic hand-blown glass cattails and tule grasses. This place feels luxe! And then, there was our room. Not just a room, mind you, but a suite! The living room had a HUGE flatscreen TV, wet bar and ultra cool furniture (not to mention a Keurig coffee maker!) The bedroom was fantastic and our bed actually had a little staircase to get in it! The bathroom had a jetted tub plus the kind of walk-in shower that you only see in those TV commercials for expensive bathroom faucets and fixtures. Really, I could go on and on about this bathroom. I mean the shower even had a digital temperature gauge so I could easily turn it to lobster hot! Yeah. Did I mention this was one of TWO bathrooms in our suite? And I'm not even kidding.

Then we explored the rest of the place. It was like a one stop club hop! Sports bar? The Q! Hip dance club? Impulse! Sultry cigar bar? Legends of Fire! Plus the swank Masselow's restaurant with its innovative menu and killer wine list. I didn't even get to test out the legendary French fries at Fat Burger... stir fry at Fai's Noodle House... well, you get the picture.

And what was especially cool about the casino was their "Smoke Free" gaming area. In fact, there's really not a speck of space at Northern Quest that ISN'T pretty much great. The only downside? One night was definitely not enough. And we had to head out early for the da Vinci Exhibit at the MAC. But we'll be coming back for one of those concerts, a massage at Current Spa, dinner at Masselow's, blackjack, craps, roulette and maybe a good cigar. I can hardly wait!