The rise of Seattle’s tech industry (Microsoft, Amazon, and Nintendo are based there) and the power of local corporate giants Starbucks and Boeing, have combined to put the rainy, Northwest city on the map. From nearby lakes and forests, to renowned art galleries and live music — and even the recent legalization of marijuana — there is, literally, something for everyone in Seattle. As tourists have caught onto the city’s appeal, hotel prices have skyrocketed, challenging visitors to find good value, especially July through September, the city’s sunniest months. No need to be sleepless in Seattle, however — head to any of these options for a great night’s stay in the Emerald City.
Budget options are few and far between in Seattle, but The Moore Hotel is one of the city’s hidden gems. The Moore is housed in a 1907 building, adjacent to the Moore Theater, Seattle’s oldest operating theater. Hallways have old-world charm, and there isn’t A/C (though the temperate climate makes it unnecessary most of the year anyway). Rooms are spartan but classy and sparkling clean, WiFi is free, and Pike Place Market and other downtown attractions are steps away. Parking is available in a nearby lot for $15 a day, a bargain by Seattle standards. Standard doubles start at $124, or from $97 if you are willing to share the bathroom. Kitchenettes and adjoining rooms are also available.
Hotel Five, part of the West Coast chain Pineapple Hospitality, is a hip hotel sandwiched between the heart of downtown and the Seattle Center. Funky and modern, the lobby decor is bright red and yellow with graphic prints of local icons like the Space Needle and the Monorail. Rooms have hardwood floors and European-style linens (the duvets are washed between every guest, so no dirty bedspread stories here).
Special touches — like slippers and robes in every room, complimentary use of bicycles for touring the city, loaner umbrellas, and pineapple cupcakes and coffee served every afternoon — make the hotel stand out from the city’s plethora of mid-range options. Hotel Five also offers a glassblowing package that includes an accelerated hands-on glassblowing course and tickets to the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum. Doubles are priced from $185, and parking is $20 per day. Dog-friendly rooms are available, too.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Fairmont Olympic is our stay of choice for those looking to indulge. Built in 1924, the hotel is in a stately Italian Renaissance building with a classic, Old World design. Although historic, The Olympic has been freshly renovated, and rooms include all of the amenities one would expect from a luxury hotel — from plush beds to rainfall showerheads and contemporary artwork. Higher floors offer the best views.
Dining options include Shuckers, one of the city’s oldest oyster bars, and The Georgian, a formal dining room famous for its afternoon tea, rivaling those of the grand hotels of London. Both restaurants emphasize local ingredients — fresh seafood in particular. The hotel hosts five honeybee hives on its rooftop, whose bounty can be sampled in honey-smoked salmon dishes, during breakfast, and at high tea. Doubles from $432 in summer and early fall and from $256 come October.