Ask for a room with a view at Alexis Hotel (1007 1st Ave., 206/624-4844 or 800/264-8482, www.alexishotel.com, $295–335 d, suites $525–825 d) and watch the sun set over the Puget Sound. The sumptuous rooms here feature 300-thread-count linens, flat-screen TVs, and plush furnishings. The themed decor revolves around the arts, and each room is decorated with unique work, as are public areas such as the lobby, where you can sit and sip a cup of complimentary coffee in the morning.
Guests can also enjoy complimentary wine-tasting each afternoon downstairs at the acclaimed Library Bistro, which serves Northwest fare in its bookshelf-paneled nooks, as well as one of the better breakfasts on 1st Avenue. The property has a full spa, fitness center, and steam room. It is also pet friendly—the front desk will even watch your pooch for you while you explore downtown or grab a bite to eat. Valet parking costs $30.
Classy but not stuffy, Hotel 1000 (1000 First Ave., 206/957-1000, www.hotel1000.com, $325–$400 d) is one of downtown’s finest upscale lodging establishments. Décor is modern, but not uncomfortably so, with muted dark furnishings accented by colorful lighting and art. Rooms are well appointed, the highlights being the large marbled bathrooms featuring waterfall showerheads. The hotel features all of the business amenities you’d expect of a hotel of this caliber, plus a spa and a unique virtual “golf course” just steps away from the lobby that allows you to unwind with a driver without ever putting on your golf shoes.
One of the city’s most stylish hotels is the 26-story W Seattle Hotel (1112 4th Ave., 206/264-6000 or 877/946-8357, www.whotels.com). Little touches abound here, from the library of CDs and goose down comforters to the snazzy lobby and attentive service. Everything about the W speaks of elegance and style. Rightly so: most of the rooms start around $400 (less on weekends) and the swankiest suite will set you back $950. Valet parking costs $34.
Fairmont Olympic Hotel (411 University St., 206/621-1700, 800/821-8106 in Washington, 800/223-8772 outside Washington, www.fourseasons.com/seattle, $295–435 s or d, $900 suites) is one of Seattle’s grande dames of hospitality, here since 1924 and still a center of luxury. The service is tops, and features include two upscale restaurants (Shuckers and The Georgian), an indoor pool, hot tub, saunas, health club, and self-parking ($35).
The Westin Seattle (1900 5th Ave., 206/728-1000 or 800/228-3000, www.westin.com, $399 s or d) fills two cylindrical towers with its 891 rooms. It offers upmarket accommodations throughout, with all the amenities you expect: a large indoor pool, hot tub, saunas, sundeck, and fitness center. Valet parking is $38.
Another of Seattle’s mega-hotels (1,258 rooms) is the Sheraton Seattle Hotel & Towers (1400 6th Ave., 206/621-9000 or 800/325-3535, www.sheraton.com, $245–345 s or d). The Sheraton is popular with business and convention travelers and features dramatic vistas from the upper levels of this 35-story building. An indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, and concierge are all available. Parking is an additional $38.
As soon as you walk into the lobby and see the giant photo mural of a model in the nude it becomes pretty clear that the boutique Hotel Max (620 Stewart St., 206/728-6299, www.hotelmaxseattle.com, $269 d) is not your mom and dad’s luxury hotel. This artsy hotel offers modern furnishings and edgy photos and paintings in the public spaces and in rooms, a spiritual menu of holy books that far surpass that lonely Gideon Bible in most hotel drawers, and a pillow menu for choosy sleepers. It’s also pet friendly — tell them you’re checking in with your pooch and they’ll leave you a dog bed, some treats, and even doggie bottled water.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition