Seattle: Where to Stay
By Albert Rodriguez
Like any major city, the bulk of Seattle hotels are concentrated downtown, allowing visitors convenient access to shopping malls, fine dining, live theater venues, and top attractions, such as Pike Place Market and the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). Within walking distance is South Lake Union, a redeveloped neighborhood now home to Amazon.com's headquarters and an exciting spread of recently opened restaurants, and the Belltown district, which is abundant with hipster eateries and cocktail lounges. Because of Seattle's proximity to the water and mountains, many downtown hotels provide guest rooms with impeccable scenic views. From brand name properties to boutique-style accommodations, travelers have ample choices when it comes to overnight stays in Seattle. Here are four worth considering.
1000 1st Avenue
If you want to feel like an A-lister, or rub shoulders with one in an elevator, your best shot at both is at Hotel 1000. This independent luxury property near the historic Pioneer Square district features stylish rooms with gorgeous lookouts to the Seattle waterfront and Elliott Bay. BOKA Restaurant + Bar is popular with guests and locals, while the hotel's full service spa, aptly called Spaahh, is among the best in town with daily "Glam & Go" Lunchtime Express packages that combine mini treatments with a meal. A state-of-the-art virtual golf course and sparkling wine upon check-in are unique touches of this award-winning hotel.
2200 5th Avenue
Closer to the North end of downtown, and a 10-to-15 minute stroll to the Space Needle, is Hotel Five. Though it offers minimal on-site amenities, this revamped property (formerly a dated Ramada Inn) enlivens its guests with bold color patterned rooms and nifty art paintings, plus an intimate main floor lobby, where guests can mingle over freshly-brewed coffee and signature pineapple cupcakes during daily afternoon receptions. Skip hailing a taxi and take advantage of Hotel Five's complimentary bicycle rentals to get around, and do drop in for comfort food at its cozy diner Max's Cafe.
The Edgewater Hotel
2411 Alaskan Way
The only waterfront property in Seattle, the Edgewater Hotel, has welcomed everyone from Led Zeppelin to the Beatles, who stayed here during their first-ever American tour. Located right on the pier, guests are treated to picturesque views of nearby Bainbridge and Vashon islands and the Olympic Mountains, aside from occasional glimpses of ferries scurrying through Elliott Bay. Northwest charm is embedded into the hotel's interior, especially the lobby highlighted by a large, river rock fireplace and wooden beams that give it a ski lodge feel. The Olympic Scultpure Park is footsteps away, as is the cruise ship terminal for travelers who are continuing their journey to Alaska.
620 Stewart Street
You really do feel like you're in Seattle at Hotel Max, a cool art-inspired hotel beloved by the younger set and creative minded. The Sub Pop floor is an ode to the iconic record label that launched the careers of Nirvana and Fleet Foxes, among others, and each of these rooms is equipped with old school record players and vinyl copies of the label's most treasured releases, not to mention oversized photos of Emerald City musicians (Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, etc.) matted on each door's exterior. New to the Max is Miller's Guild, an on-site steakhouse from James Beard Award-winning chef Jason Wilson with a custom-made wood fire grill, and the hotel's evening ritual of craft beer hour that lets guests enjoy complimentary pints of premiere brews.