With incredible natural beauty, exciting regional cuisine, and a hip, inventive culture, Seattle is one of America’s most vibrant cities.  And the hotels in Seattle offer everything from classic elegance to cutting-edge cool.

 

Sadly, everything you’ve heard about the Seattle weather is true.  “Patchy morning fog with partial afternoon clearing” is a great forecast in Seattle.  And even though it gets much less rain than, say, Miami, it’s still grey and misty much of the time.

All that moisture keeps everything lush and green.  But if you’re determined to enjoy the sun, — and catch a glimpse of Mount Rainier — come in July or August.  Otherwise, come prepared with a Goretex coat, a sturdy umbrella, and sensible shoes.

Happily, the weather here doesn‘t put much of a damper on things.  There’s plenty to enjoy indoors.  And what other city this size could have given the world grunge rock, Nordstrom, Microsoft, Starbucks, and Amazon.com?

Our favorite Seattle spot is the Pike Place Market, the spiritual heart of the city since 1907.  With delicious, fresh food, dozens of great restaurants, lots of interesting shopping, and unforgettable views of Puget Sound, this is where we like to stay when we visit.

The best hotel in this neighborhood is the Inn at the Market.  It’s not inexpensive, but the location is really convenient and you can probably walk to wherever you want to go.  The restaurants — Campagne, Café Campagne, and Bacco — are some of the best in town.  And in summer, the roof deck is fantastic.  Few vistas can compete with watching the ferries gliding across Elliott Bay.

Partial water-view rooms are worth the extra cost.  And complimentary WIFI is available in all 70 rooms.  The suites here, especially the ones with private decks — are worth whatever the cost when the weather’s fine.

The Inn at the Market is steps from Chez Shea, Matt’s in the Market, The Pink Door, and other top-rated restaurants.  And it’s only a 5-minute walk to downtown dining and shopping.

A few blocks up Stewart Street, The Mayflower Park Hotel is one of the best hotels in Seattle for serious shoppers.  It’s across the street from

the Bon Marche department store, half a block from Westlake Center, and a couple of blocks from Nordstrom and Pacific Place.

 

Because the hotel was built in 1927, the rooms, and especially the bathrooms, can be small.  But if you’re not planning to spend a lot of time in your room, it’s a great place to stay, and a great value.  With its two-story windows and perfect martinis, Oliver’s Lounge is arguably the best hotel bar in town.  And Andaluca Restaurant is great for tapas and Spanish food.

The Mayflower Park is not a luxury hotel.  But service, location, and style all make it one of the most enjoyable Seattle accommodations.

For true luxury, the Fairmont Olympic Hotel is Seattle’s only grand hotel.  The only AAA Five Diamond Hotel in the Pacific Northwest, The Olympic has 450 well-appointed guest rooms.  Originally opened in 1924, the splendid Italian Renaissance-style property has been tastefully renovated, and today, it’s the poshest address in town.  If you like hotels like the Plaza or the Waldorf Astoria, the Olympic is your best bet.  You’ll like receive the best service in town here.  But standard rooms are on the small side.

High tea in the Georgian Room is a Seattle institution, and the Spa and Health Club are among the best in town.  Rates are high.  But service is impeccable.  The location is a brief stroll to everything.  And luxury shops line the block.

One of our fondest memories is swimming in the Olympic’s indoor pool on Christmas morning.

On 4th Street, not far from the Olympic, Hotel Monaco is a quirky, pet-friendly place that’s a member of the Kimpton Group.  If you bring a pet, you’ll find an amenity basket for them in your room.  If you don’t, you can have a goldfish to keep you company.  The décor is bright and colorful.  An on-site fitness center will help you stay in shape when it’s raining out.  And Sazerac restaurant services imaginative Southern food.

The evening wine reception in the lively lobby is a nice extra.

Another Kimpton Hotel, the Alexis, is a 121-room boutique with a full-service spa.  Located in a building that dates from 1901, the Alexis showcases original art in the rooms and public areas.  And some of the rooms take advantage of the old building’s wood floors and brick walls.  If you can afford it, upgrade to a suite — many have whirlpool tubs.  The location is great for early morning or sunset strolls along the waterfront, a block away.

One of the newest hotels in Seattle, The Four Seasons Hotel Seattle is best in summer when you can take full advantage of the rooftop terrace, which has an infinity pool, a hot tub, and a fire pit overlooking Elliott Bay.  The hotel is located in the heart of the downtown cultural district.  The Seattle Art Museum is across the street and Benaroya Concert Hall is a long block away.

 

The Four Seasons made the Conde Nast Traveler 2009 Hot List.  And the spa and 24-hour health club are available for guests who want to punctuate their sightseeing with a little pampering.  Many of the rooms have great views of Puget Sound, and fans of the Four Seasons brand will feel right at home here.

 

High-tech travelers will appreciate all the amenities at the ultra-modern Hotel 1000.  Since opening in 2007, Hotel 1000 has won many coveted awards and by several gauges, it’s Seattle’s best luxury hotel.  The public areas feature dark woods, deep leather, and natural textures like onyx and the rooms here are some of the most dramatic in town, with floor to ceiling windows and free-standing tubs designed by Philippe Starck that fill from the ceiling.  You can tee off at Pebble Beach or St. Andrews in the virtual golf club.

Many hotel services here are automated. The minibar will even alert housekeeping when you consume all of your favorite beverage.  The two-line, touch-screen VOIP telephones do everything from track your flights to recommend restaurants.  And you can choose which art you want to have displayed on your 40″ LCD TV monitor.  When you need a bite or a cocktail, Studio 1000 or BOKA serve “Urban American Food.”

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