Folks in the Pacific Northwest wanting to (safely) make the most of local travel temptations have put Seattle staycations on the rise. Yet out-of-town guests certainly see the allure of hospitable area hotels, too.
You don’t have to drive too far to experience nature-immersed gems like Kenmore’s The Lodge at St. Edward Park or Hood Canal’s Alderbrook Resort & Spa. However, many choose to stick to downtown venues that offer easy access to ferry docks and can’t-miss sites like Pike Place Market.
Here’s a guide to finding accommodations perfectly aligned to your personality and preferences.*
For mindful, eco-conscious travelers
Warm hues and top-notch COVID protocols welcome guests to Hyatt at Olive 8, a downtown venue that allows for uncomplicated stays with luxurious touches. As Seattle’s first certified “green” hotel (awarded LEED Silver by the U.S. Green Building Council in July 2009), the property allows conscientious visitors to take care of the planet and their own well-being at the same time.
Among other features, the building boasts one of the city’s largest living rooftops, measuring 8,355 square feet. The hotel’s focus on sustainability and environmental conservation infiltrates all that they’ve undertaken here; Olive 8 uses 32% less water and 20% less power than the average building of this size.
This mindfulness carries over to the hotel’s TIDAL+, a Pacific Northwest-inspired seafood restaurant with a brand-new menu and raw bar. Be sure not to miss fresh oysters (served with blueberry ancho granita and Washington apple mignonette), the rave-worthy seafood chowder, Alaskan halibut or local salmon accompanied by jasmine rice and long beans.
An on-site cafe now helps guests start their morning like a local, too, with fresh bagels from Blazing Bagels, pastries from Macrina Bakery and coffee from Victrola.
Victrola currently also plays a role at the decadent and eco-conscious Elaia Spa, where a 90-minute Seattle coffee sugar scrub and massage experience allows guests to embrace one of the region’s most defining aromas, while letting their body and mind fully unwind. After a dazzling spa treatment, which seems to successfully refresh the complexion, stimulate circulation and eliminate muscle tightness (in a hypoallergenic room), enjoy the spa’s sauna, steam room and saline lap pool.
Although guests may be tempted to never leave the soothing property while here, this hotel proves a perfect home base for concerts and shows taking place at nearby Paramount Theatre. Especially environmentally-conscious guests may also want to take the short stroll to The Hyatt Regency Seattle, the city’s tallest and first (and currently only) LEED Gold-certified hotel.
For farmers market fanatics
If you know you’ll be spending the majority of your time scouring the vibrant stalls of Pike Place or checking out nearby historic sites like Smith Tower, book a compact, comfortable room at State Hotel. Aside from a prime location, highlights here include contemporary vibes inside an historic (1904) building, cozy hoodie-robes and an 8th-floor deck that overlooks the bustling market scene below.
At dinnertime (Wednesdays through Sundays), ground-level restaurant Ben Paris serves elevated comfort fare ranging from crispy Brussels sprouts and buttermilk fried chicken to lamb tagine. Weekend brunch here means ricotta pancakes, smoked salmon omelets and turkey club croissants that provide fuel for a lengthy market wander afterward.
The venue also showcases local talent, thanks to memorable artwork like an exterior mural by Shepard Fairey, the world-renowned street artist known for creating Barack Obama’s 2008 election “Hope” poster. Other draws include an electric rooftop painting by Seattle artist Takiyah Ward, a fantastic Ben Paris mural by local illustrator and tattoo artist Kyler Martz and a Pike Place-inspired wallpaper and portrait collection by Portland-based Kate Blairstone.
Nearby Palihotel, located an actual stone’s throw from the Market’s main entrance, is a funky boutique hotel marked by mismatched patterns and charming hipster touches (think Smeg fridges and stacks of hardback novels). Located at the original site of the 1900s-era Colonnade Hotel, now a national registered historic building, the venue’s rooms offer views of twinkling Elliott Bay and the spinning Great Wheel.
Other perks here include an eclectic and light-filled lobby lounge (perfect for remote working opportunities) plus diner fare with a twist from The Hart and The Hunter, the second outpost of the brand’s Southern-inspired Los Angeles eatery. Popular breakfast options include biscuits and gravy or waffles with fried chicken and a sunny-side up egg; later on, enjoy the Palicobb salad, Reuben sandwich or the “Puget,” a king salmon burger with pickled fennel, arugula and tartar sauce.
For music history aficionados
When booking at The Edgewater, music fans follow in the footsteps of traveling international rock bands that played Seattle in the 1960s and 70s. (Learn more here.) As the city’s only true waterfront hotel, the building juts over Elliott Bay on piers, which explains how the Beatles once took photos “fishing” directly from their window. Diehard fans can now book the Beatles Suite to reenact the famous scene.
True grunge devotees, however, should consider rocking their stay at the Pearl Jam Suite inside the rustic-modern lodge with Northwest-inspired decor elements. The hotel partnered with Seattle’s own Eddie Vedder and the band’s fan club to design the ultimate music-inspired space that’s filled with art and memorabilia, a record player, a library of the band’s best albums and a replica of Easy Street Records’ Mother Love Bone mural.
Roughly half of the hotel’s 223 rooms showcase stunning Olympic Mountain and sunset views; equally amazing vistas can be found at the hotel’s chic seafood restaurant, Six Seven. After the sun sets, check out a show as music comes back to life at storied venues like The Crocodile (in its new Belltown home) – which helped launch acts like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Mudhoney – The Showbox (at the Market) or The Triple Door.
Looking for a quintessential PNW excursion while savoring Edgewater hospitality? Head next door to the FRS Clipper dock to book a daytime whale-watching adventure or an overnight stay on magic-tinged San Juan Island.
For luxury lovers
LOTTE HOTEL SEATTLE, a dreamy oasis perched high above Seattle and across from the Columbia Tower Club, provides a total escape. In bright, vibrant rooms and suites, with Northwest-meets-midcentury modern decor and luxe amenities, guests sink into plush hotel beds while peering out at the distant sparkling water.
Diners also gaze across the city skyline in elevated spaces at the 16th-floor Charlotte Restaurant & Lounge, where executive chef Alexander La Motte and his team showcase seasonal ingredients in locally-inspired dishes.
From the moment guests step foot onto the property here, they feel taken care of in a way that’s impressively attentive, warmly genuine and non-intrusive all at once. As part of LOTTE, the largest hotel group in Korea, this new location (only the third outpost in the U.S.) gives PNW guests the chance to feel as though they’re on a global adventure, even if they’ve merely arrived downtown from a nearby neighborhood.
Alluring amenities throughout the hotel include the gorgeous on-site Le SPA de l’hôtel LOTTE, which offers a variety of upscale treatments, from body wraps and facials (featuring products from the exclusive French line Biologique Recherche) to cupping sessions and foot scrubs.
For brunch buffs
Brunch at Conversation isn’t the only reason you should pick Thompson Seattle hotel, but it’s undoubtedly a convincing one. Inside a most inviting space, which encourages genuine human connection (per the restaurant’s name), chef Kaleena Bliss has reimagined a menu that starts every morning on the sweetest note.
Try standouts like the smoked salmon lox platter; smoked ham melt with bacon, tomato, arugula, cheddar, sourdough and breakfast potatoes; or Belgian waffles with fresh peaches and blueberries, Chantilly cream and maple syrup. (The restaurant plans to reopen for dinner on October 12, 2021.)
Situated in the heart of downtown and on the edge of happening Belltown, the contemporary 12-story hotel was designed by Olson Kundig, the Seattle-based and internationally renowned architecture firm. Floor-to-ceiling windows show off views of the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains, while luxe rooms and suites feature warm hardwood floors and midcentury boutique furniture.
This hotel’s true pièce de résistance? Exquisite panoramas offered from rooftop bar and lounge, The Nest. Currently open Wednesday through Sunday evenings, this 21-and-over hot spot proves the perfect place to savor seasonal cocktails, small bites (from charred sweet corn to Dungeness crab sliders) and some of the best bird’s-eye views found in all of downtown Seattle.
*Be sure to follow the latest mask mandates and to check all restaurant hours online, since many of these are still in flux.