Seattle › Where To Stay › Best Hotels
Updated: March 17, 2023
My Favorite Seattle Hotels
• 5-Star: Four Seasons
• 4-Star: Hotel Andra
• 3-Star: Ace Hotel
• Boutique: Inn at the Market
• Family: Four Seasons
• Honeymoon: Inn at the Market
• Downtown: Fairmont Olympic
• Near Cruise Port: Edgewater
• Convention Center: Grand Hyatt
• Pike Place Market: Inn at the Market
Seattle Hotels – Tips & Recommendations
- Seattle is loaded with great hotels. My absolute favorites are the Four Seasons and the Inn at the Market.
- Best 5-Star Hotels: The Four Seasons • Fairmont Olympic • Thompson Seattle
- Best Boutique Hotel: Inn at the Market
- Best Historic Hotels: Hotel Sorrento • The Arctic Club • Mayflower Park Hotel
- Best New Hotel: Lotte
- Seattle Hotels with Pool: The Four Seasons (outdoor pool and hot tub with marvelous views) • The Westin (best pool for kids) • Hyatt at Olive 8 (best pool for laps) • Fairmont Olympic • Marriott Waterfront • Sheraton Grand • Warwick • Courtyard Pioneer Square • Silver Cloud Stadium, Lake Union, Broadway
- Seattle Hotels with Kitchen: Inn at the Market (Beecher’s Loft) • Hyatt House • Residence Inn Lake Union
- Seattle Hotels with In-Room Jacuzzi: Fairmont Olympic (Cascade Suite) • Alexis Royal Sonesta (1BR and Spa Suites) • Ändra (Monarch Suite) • Hotel 1000 (Presidential Grand Suite) • Grand Hyatt (Onyx, Carrera, Vesuvio Suites) • The Edgewater (Penthouse Suite) • Hotel Vintage (Luxury Suite) • Warwick (all suites) • Silver Cloud Stadium, Lake Union, Broadway (King BR w/Jacuzzi)
- Best Seattle Hotels with a View: Four Seasons • Inn at the Market • Thompson Seattle • The Edgewater • The Westin • Pan Pacific • The State Hotel
- Best Seattle Hotel for Foodies: All of the downtown hotels are close to lots of great restaurants but the Inn at the Market (smack in the middle of Pike Place Market) has a half-dozen great places to eat within a 30 second walk.
The 7 Best Hotels in Seattle
1. The Four Seasons – Downtown
Hotel Phone: 206-749-7000
Seattle’s best luxury hotel – centrally located near Pike Place Market, the Seattle Art Museum, and loads of downtown restaurants. Modern, airy, and elegant decor, plush and spacious guest rooms and suites, and stunning views. The full spa, beautiful outdoor heated infinity pool, and 24-hour fitness center all overlook Elliott Bay. The restaurant is fantastic. Service is impeccable.
2. Fairmont Olympic – Downtown
Hotel Phone: 206-621-1700
The most opulent and traditional Seattle hotel. Luxurious suites are warm and comfortable and feel like you’re in a friend’s home. Executives Suites are worth the splurge for the additional room and wonderful bathrooms. Luxury shopping surrounds the hotel and 2 of Seattle’s best restaurants, Shuckers and The George, are on the ground floor. Pike Place Market and 5th Avenue Theater are both an easy walk. The fitness center on the 2nd floor is nice, and there’s a lovely glass-enclosed pool and hot tub with outdoor terrace. The hotel has its own beehives on the roof – the honey is used in everything from desserts to beer in the hotel’s restaurants.
3. Inn At The Market – Pike Place Market
Hotel Phone: 206-443-3600
This is Seattle’s premier boutique hotel. It’s located in the lanes of Pike Place Market and surrounded by top-notch restaurants – and when I say surrounded, I mean surrounded: this is foodie heaven. Fantastic views, large rooms, and immaculate bathrooms are hidden within the understated exterior. It’s in the heart of the tourist scene but never feels anything but classy and enchanting. There’s a marvelous rooftop patio on the 5th floor that looks over Pike Place Market to Elliot Bay. It’s rarely used by hotel guests so you could grab food and a local bottle of wine from the market and quite possibly have the whole deck to yourself.
4. Thompson Seattle – Belltown/Downtown
Hotel Phone: 206-623-4600
Seattle’s most modern hotel. The Thompson has floor-to-ceiling windows with great water and mountain views to the west. Decor is contemporary and stylish with a modern edge. Just steps from the shops and restaurants of Pike Place Market, though the in-house restaurant, Conversation, is not to be missed. Be sure to visit The Nest rooftop cocktail and oyster bar to enjoy the amazing views (need to be 21 or over). Exceptional service and a welcoming atmosphere complete the experience.
5. Hotel Ändra – Belltown
Hotel Phone: 206-448-8600
A lovely and modern boutique-style hotel, done up in a warm Scandinavian-chic decor. Rooms are comfortable and well-appointed, with a good variety of sizes to choose from: small (but thoughtfully laid-out) studios up to spacious suites. Celebrity chef Tom Douglas owns the fantastic restaurant next door (which also provides the hotel room service), and attached cooking school. You can’t beat the location – the Ändra is close to Pike Place Market, shopping, restaurants, and nightlife.
6. The Edgewater – Waterfront
Hotel Phone: 206-728-7000
Great views at this charming lodge-themed luxury hotel situated on Seattle’s waterfront. There’s a fantastic restaurant and cozy lounge area sitting right over Elliott Bay, and every guest room has a gas fireplace. The waterfront room views are definitely worth the upgrade. Walkable to waterfront attractions, Pike Place Market, Seattle Center, and the Olympic Sculpture Park, but you do feel a little detached from the downtown action (perhaps that’s what you want).
7. Lotte – Downtown
Hotel Phone: 206-800-8110
Brand new luxury hotel. Trendy, fun, and fantastic. Great bar and restaurant on the 16th floor (as is the lobby) with good views. Walking distance to Pioneer Square and the football, soccer, and baseball stadiums. Ideal for honeymooners, a romantic weekend, or anyone happy to spend their time primarily in the hotel itself. (The surrounding 2 or 3 blocks in any direction hold little interest and almost no shops or restaurants. Pike Place Market is about a 12-minute walk to the west.)
Map of Seattle Hotels
1. Four Seasons • 2. Fairmont Olympic • 3. Inn At The Market • 4. Thompson Seattle • 5. Hotel Ändra • 6. The Edgewater • 7. Lotte
Seattle Neighborhoods for Tourists
Where to stay in Seattle? The core of Seattle is fairly compact, and most visitors choose to stay within the city’s central corridor neighborhoods: Downtown, Belltown, Pioneer Square, the Waterfront, South Lake Union, and the area surrounding Seattle Center. Seattle’s long rainy season and hilly terrain make it a good idea to book a hotel near to what you plan to spend the most time.
• Close to Pike Place Market
The neighborhoods of Downtown, Belltown, and Pioneer Square are all within an easy walk of Pike Place Market. The Waterfront is not far, distance-wise, but is separated from the Market by a busy street and a steep hill.
• Close to the Space Needle
Seattle Center, where the Space Needle is located, straddles the neighborhoods of Lower Queen Anne and Denny. This can be a good choice for those looking for a hotel outside of the busiest part of the city, but still close to museums and easy transport into downtown.
• Close to Shopping
Nordstrom’s flagship store, as well as Westlake Center and the high-end Pacific Place shopping malls are located Downtown. Local and independent boutiques are common in Belltown and Pioneer Square.
• Close to the Convention Center
Downtown hotels are best for visitors attending Washington State Convention Center events, and the further from the waterfront, the close you’ll be. (Look for hotels located on or near 6th, 7th, or 8th Avenues.) Belltown and Pioneer Square hotels are within a 10-15 walk.
• Close to Universities
The University of Washington is located 5 miles northeast of downtown Seattle. There are many good hotels in the University District (“U-District” to locals), and the UW’s Link light rail station makes for easy transit from Downtown, Pioneer Square, and Capitol Hill.
Seattle University is located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, within walking distance of a couple of good hotels. Capitol Hill is connected to Downtown, Pioneer Square, and the University District by light rail, and to Pioneer Square via street car.
Seattle Pacific University lies a few miles north of downtown Seattle, separated from the city center by steep Queen Anne Hill. The neighborhoods with easiest access to SPU are Seattle Center and South Lake Union.
• Close to Cruise Ports
Travelers embarking from The Bell Street Terminal on Norwegian and Oceania cruise lines would do best to stay on the Waterfront (walkable), or Downtown or Belltown (a quick taxi/ride share away).
Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean International cruise lines sail from Smith Cove Terminal. This terminal isn’t walkable to any hotels, but is an easy taxi, ride share, or shuttle ride from Seattle Center area hotels, as well as Downtown.
More information about cruising from Seattle can be found here: Seattle Cruise Port Guide.
• Close to Sports Stadiums
Pioneer Square hotels are walkable to T-Mobile Park and Lumen Field, as are Downtown hotels south of Pike Place Market.
• Best Views
The best Elliott Bay views are found in Waterfront hotels, and Downtown hotels located near Pike Place Market or with high floors. The best Space Needle views are in Seattle Center and South Lake Union area hotels. South Lake Union hotels have pleasant lake views.
• Best Restaurants
The best neighborhoods for restaurants are Downtown, Belltown, Pioneer Square, and Capitol Hill.
• Best Nightlife
Seattle’s nightlife scene is the most active in Belltown and Capitol Hill, and to a lesser extent Pioneer Square. For a neighborhood nightlife vibe try Ballard, Fremont, or Wallingford.
• Best for a Quiet Stay
To be close to the city, but outside of most of the noise and crowds, choose a South Lake Union or Seattle Center hotel (but avoid Seattle Center hotels on Labor and Memorial Day, when music festivals congest the area).
• Best Connected for Transit
Downtown, Pioneer Square, Capitol Hill, and the University District all have stations on Seattle’s light rail line, which also connects to the airport. South Lake Union and Capitol Hill connect to Downtown via street car line, and the Seattle Monorail connects Seattle Center to the downtown core.
Staying in Downtown Seattle
Dense and dynamic, Seattle’s downtown core is home to most of the city’s best (and most expensive) hotels, as well as some of our most incredible hotel room views. Loads of great shopping, dining, and entertainment options are at your doorstep: By day, browse the market stalls at Pike Place and the galleries at SAM. Get your fashion fix at the original Nordstrom location at 6th and Pine. At night, step out for a show – you’ll have your pick of all types of music, theater, and dance. At any time of day, you’re surrounded by fantastic restaurants just waiting to serve you award-winning Northwest cuisine and the freshest seafood you’ll ever taste.
Expect to pay premium rates to stay downtown, especially in the summer months. A car isn’t essential – this area is exceptionally walkable, and parking can be expensive and hard to come by. (Hotels charge $30-$40/night extra for valet parking.) Generally, what’s not accessible by foot is easily reached via light rail, street car, or monorail.
The Best Hotels in Downtown Seattle
- The Four Seasons • Review • Hotel phone: (206) 749 7000
- Inn at the Market • Hotel phone: (206) 443 3600
- Thompson Seattle • Review • Hotel phone: (206) 623-4600
- Alexis Royal Sonesta • Hotel phone: (206) 624 4844
- Fairmont Olympic • Hotel phone: (206) 621 1700
- The State Hotel • Review • Hotel phone: (206) 513-7300
- Hotel 1000 • Hotel phone: (206) 957 1000
- Mayflower Park Hotel • Hotel phone: (206) 673 3165
- Hyatt at Olive 8 • Hotel phone: (206) 695 1234
- Grand Hyatt • Hotel phone: (206) 774 1234
- Hotel Monaco • Hotel phone: (206) 621 1770
- Palihotel • Review • Hotel phone: (206) 596 0600
- The Charter • Hotel phone: (206) 256-7500
- Hotel Theodore • Hotel phone: (206) 621-1200
- Lotte • Hotel phone: (206) 800-8110
Staying in Belltown
Nightlife and high-rise condos are the hallmarks of this Seattle neighborhood, located just north of downtown. Belltown is convenient to many of Seattle’s best attractions, and the city’s young and hip flock to this area for its trendy boutiques, bars, and eateries. Jazz clubs, rock venues, prohibition-style speakeasies; you’ll find them all here, as well as most of Tom Douglas’ award-winning restaurants. Walk to Pike Place Market, Seattle Center (home of the Space Needle, Chihuly Museum, food and music festivals, and MoPOP), and the waterfront Olympic Sculpture Park.
Though still above the national average, Belltown hotels rates are generally lower than those you’ll find downtown, and there are some real bargains to be had in this area if you’re willing to forego a little bit of luxury. The active nightlife crowd means Belltown’s not an ideal choice for those seeking peace and quiet – expect additional activity on weekend nights, especially right after the bars close at 2am.
The Best Hotels in Belltown
- Hotel Ändra • Hotel phone: (206) 448 8600
- Palladian Hotel • Hotel phone: (206) 448 1111
- The Westin • Hotel phone: (206) 728 1000
- Hotel Max • Hotel phone: (206) 728 6299
- Warwick • Hotel phone: (206) 443 4300
- Ace Hotel • Hotel phone: (206) 448 4721
- Moore Hotel • Hotel phone: (206) 448 4851
Staying in Pioneer Square
Once the heart of downtown, the historic Pioneer Square neighborhood is home to some of the city’s oldest surviving buildings, the ever-popular Underground Tour, and the Klondike Gold Rush Museum. It’s not all antiques, though – in recent decades the area has experienced a resurgence in popularity. There are now modern art galleries, boutique shops, and trendy restaurants housed within the Romanesque Revival-style buildings of Seattle’s past, and the neighborhood is once again considered one of the city’s most vibrant. Pioneer Square is within walking distance to T-Mobile Park and Lumen Field sports stadiums, the downtown ferry terminal at Colman Dock, and Pike Place Market.
Pioneer Square has its own stop on the region’s Link light rail line, a streetcar line that runs through the International District into the Capitol Hill neighborhood, and is home to Amtrak’s King Street Station; there’s no need to rent a car when transit is this easy. It’s worth mentioning that there are several social service agencies located within the neighborhood, attracting a fair number of homeless people. If you stay in this area, expect some to see some congregating and minor panhandling, but don’t be alarmed – these folks are less dangerous than they are down on their luck.
The Best Hotels in Pioneer Square
- The Arctic Club • Hotel phone: (206) 340 0340
- Embassy Suites • Hotel phone: (206) 859 4400
- Courtyard Seattle Pioneer Square • Hotel phone: (206) 625 1111
- Best Western Plus Pioneer Square • Hotel phone: (206) 340 1234
Staying near Seattle Center
Anchored by the iconic Space Needle, Seattle Center is an arts and entertainment mainstay located just north of the Belltown neighborhood. The Center was originally created for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, and remnants of the fair’s space-age theme remain in the Center’s mid-century architecture, sculpture, and the Monorail that runs from the base of the Space Needle into downtown. This area isn’t the most scenic, but there’s no shortage of things to do: along with the Needle, the Center’s campus houses the Pacific Science Center, The Museum of Pop Culture, Chihuly Garden and Glass, and the Seattle Children’s Museum and Theatre. The Seattle Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and many theatre companies make their home at Seattle Center, which is also the site of many of the city’s biggest urban outdoor festivals: Bumbershoot, Folklife, PrideFest, and Bite of Seattle. The Gates Foundation Visitor Center and Olympic Sculpture Park are both located nearby.
Hotels around Seattle Center are generally less expensive than those downtown, and include many mid-range and budget options. Parking is cheaper and more readily available in this neighborhood, and the Seattle Monorail provides easy access to downtown and Pike Place Market. The area around Seattle Center quiets at night, making it a good option for visitors who want to avoid the busiest parts of the city, but lodge near popular attractions. Check your dates, though – if you’re traveling during a festival weekend (especially Memorial Day or Labor Day) or when there’s a major concert at Key Arena, expect the opposite: busier streets, more expensive rooms, and difficult parking.
The Best Hotels near Seattle Center
- The Maxwell • Hotel phone: (206) 286 0629
- Hyatt House • Hotel phone: (206) 727 1234
- MarQueen • Hotel phone: (206) 282 7407
- Hyatt Place • Hotel phone: (206) 441 6041
- Mediterranean Inn • Hotel phone: (206) 428 4700
- Four Points by Sheraton • Hotel phone: (206) 282 2600
- Hampton Inn and Suites • Hotel Phone: (206) 282 7700
Staying in South Lake Union
This is is one of Seattle’s fastest growing neighborhoods. Once a gritty industrial center, South Lake Union is now a hi-tech hub, home to many of the region’s most prominent biomedical and technology companies. The recent revitalization has brought loads of great restaurants into the area, and is responsible for the creation of beautiful Lake Union Park, located on the urban lake’s southernmost tip. Head to the park to check out the impressive Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), explore the vessels (or rent one) at the Center for Wooden Boats, or hop a float plane at Kenmore Air – they’re all adjacent to its lovely waterfront expanse. The South Lake Union Streetcar runs through the heart of the neighborhood into central downtown, making it easy to visit the more central sights as well.
South Lake Union hotels are generally less expensive than those downtown, many with swimming pools and lovely lake or Space Needle views. It’s quieter here than in the city center – making this neighborhood a good choice for those who like to escape the hustle and bustle at the end of the day. When you’re up for it, accessing the city is easy: aside from the streetcar, most South Lake Union hotels provide complimentary shuttles into downtown and Seattle Center.
The Best Hotels in South Lake Union
- Pan Pacific Seattle • Hotel phone: (206) 264 8111
- MOXY • Hotel phone: (206) 708 8200
- Courtyard Seattle Downtown/Lake Union • Hotel phone: (206) 213 0100
- Residence Inn Lake Union • Hotel phone: (206) 624 6000
- Silver Cloud Inn Lake Union • Hotel phone: (206) 447 9500
Staying on the Seattle Waterfront
Set snugly beside the deep Salish Sea inlet, Seattle’s downtown waterfront neighborhood is all about the bay: Elliott Bay. From the pebbly beaches of Myrtle Edwards Park on the waterfront’s north end to its busy working harbor to the south, marine-loving types will find no shortage of things to do along this beautiful Puget Sound Seaboard. Take in the sunset at the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park, hang with the harbor seals at the Seattle Aquarium, take a seaside spin one the Great Wheel, and eat the freshest seafood of your life at any of the amazing restaurants dotted along the way. When staying beside the water’s not enough, Argosy Harbor Cruises, the Victoria (or San Juan) Clipper, the ferries at Colman Dock, and the West Seattle Water Taxi all await to whisk you out onto the waves.
There are only a couple of hotels situated directly on Seattle’s waterfront. These will be pricey, especially if you spring for a bay-facing view. The walk from the waterfront up to downtown and Pike Place Market isn’t far, but it is steep, and separated by a busy roadway. This separation makes the waterfront district feel disconnected from the rest of downtown – which may or may not be what you’re looking for. And heads up: there’s construction underway to better link the downtown core to the waterfront district – the finished product will be stunning, but in the meantime the area’s a bit of a mess.
The Best Hotels on the Waterfront
- The Edgewater • Hotel phone: (206) 728 7000
- Marriott Waterfront • Hotel phone: (206) 443 5000
Staying in Capitol Hill
Known for its nightlife, counterculture, and great food and drink, Capitol Hill is one of Seattle’s most vibrant and well-loved neighborhoods. It’s anchored at its north end by stately old homes and leafy Volunteer Park: home to the Volunteer Park Conservatory and the Seattle Asian Art Museum. Seattle University borders the area’s south end. In between is a dense and glorious mishmash of fantastic restaurants, coffee shops, taverns, and music venues. Indulge your inner foodie at Melrose Market, make a caffeine-fueled pilgrimage to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room, or browse the shelves at Seattle’s best bookstore, The Elliott Bay Book Company. At the end of the day, Capitol Hill makes it easy to unwind and recharge – the neighborhood is home to more than 100 bars and nightclubs.
All these hotspots don’t leave much room for lodgers; Capitol Hill has only one hotel, situated next to Seattle University on the district’s busy south end. Travelers wanting a quieter experience and a more personal touch can opt for one of north Capitol Hill’s charming Bed & Breakfasts, most within walking easy walking distance of Volunteer Park. It’s an easy walk into downtown from most points in southern Capitol Hill, though you might want to spring for a cab on the (steep) trip back up. This area is also easily accessed by public transit – there’s a Capitol Hill Link light rail station, as well as a streetcar line that runs through the International District and into Pioneer Square.
The Best Hotels in Capitol Hill
- Silver Cloud Hotel Broadway • Hotel phone: (206) 325 1400
- Hotel Sorrento (First Hill) • Hotel phone: (206) 622-6400
Staying in the University District
North and east of Seattle’s downtown, the “U-District” is where you’ll find the main campus of the University of Washington. It’s not just dorms and classrooms: two trip-worthy museums (Henry Art Gallery and Burke Museum of Natural History) sit surrounded by gorgeous gothic architecture, mountain views, and famous springtime-blossoming cherry trees. The area surrounding UW campus is chock-full of good (and cheap) restaurants, bars, and indie boutiques. The U-District hosts a fantastic year-round farmer’s market every Saturday – grab something to go, and bike (or stroll) down the nearby Burke-Gilman Trail. When you’ve had enough of college living, head east down the 45th St. viaduct and peruse the chic shops and upscale eateries of University Village – a tony outdoor shopping center located just downhill from campus.
University District hotels are cheaper than downtown hotels, except over university move-in weekends in September and graduation weekend in mid-June. If you’ve got a car, parking will be cheaper as well. A car’s not necessary, though – it’s easy to get to the city’s most popular areas and attractions via light rail, thanks to the new University of Washington station.
The Best Hotels in the University District
- Residence Inn University District • Hotel phone: (206) 332 8887
- Watertown Hotel • Hotel phone: (206) 826 4242
- University Inn • Hotel phone: (206) 632 5055
- Graduate Seattle • Hotel phone: (206) 634 2000
- Silver Cloud Inn University District • Hotel phone: (206) 539 0610
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We are coming to Seattle with a large dog. We are foodies with minimal tourist scenery needed. It appears the Edgewater would still be our best bet for lodging?
The Edgewater is a wonderful hotel, but its waterfront location is going to make it more difficult to get to the many fantastic downtown restaurants and Pike Place Market. Also, while the Edgewater is pet-friendly, they charge a hefty fee for a pet stay. A better choice would be Hotel Andra. Located an easy 7-minute walk from Pike Place Market, they’ve got a fantastic onsite restaurant, Lola, and attached cooking school, both run by renowned local chef, Tom Douglas. Hotel Andra will provide a bowl, blanket, and mat for your dog, and welcomes all breeds with no weight limit and no pet fee. Or choose one of the Kimpton boutique properties downtown, all are extremely pet-friendly with no breed or weight restrictions and no pet fee: The Alexis, Monaco, Palladian, or Vintage. Of these four, Alexis is the best located for views, but the Palladian is closest to great restaurants.
My teenage daughter and I are visiting Seattle the first part of October for 6 days/5 nights. She has a long list of all the usual places to visit. (Space Needle, aquarium, Mopop, Japanese garden, University of Washington, Pike Place Market, glass garden, library, Amazon, and all kinds of coffee shops). We have a great deal to stay at the Staybridge Suites-Fremont – is that too far away from everything? We also have a reservation at the Homewood Suites-Seattle convention center at Pike street but it is a few hundreds more, which would be the better area to stay? Thanks Dave for all your information. I love this site it has been very helpful.
Save the couple hundred bucks and stay at Staybridge Suites Fremont. While it’s not as near to downtown attractions as the Homewood Suites, it’s a quick 10 minute walk from the hotel down into the Fremont neighborhood, where you can catch the 62 bus into the heart of downtown (Pike Place, library, Pioneer Square, aquarium, Amazon) and very near Seattle Center (Space Needle, MoPop, Glass Garden). From the same Fremont bus stop, you can also grab bus 31 or 32 into the University of Washington. Also, Fremont is the most quirky and fun of Seattle neighborhoods, with lots of great boutiques, coffee shops, restaurants, public art, and a wonderful Sunday street market – your teenager will likely love it. To simplify your bus travel, order an Orca card before you go – you can use it on buses and light rail (it’s a quick light rail trip from downtown to the University of Washington), and it’ll save you from having to find exact change for the driver.
Dave, I love your blogs. I do a little blogging too on restaurants and hotels. I’m headed from Michigan to Seattle in late September and am looking to stay at the Inn at the Market or the Thompson or the Fairmont. I’m really picky about clean rooms etc. I plan to go to Matt’s Wataru el Gaucho and a couple other restaurants you recommended. And take in a Mariners game. Which of these three do you recommend? Also is Jacks the best BBQ in Seattle? Thanks. Dave K
I like the Inn at the Market or the Thompson over the Fairmont – both have a great central location close to the Market, clean and modern design, and great Puget Sound views. They are also closer to Matt’s and El Gaucho, and closer to a light rail station when you want to go to the game (though it’s an easy pleasant walk as well). You’ll have to take a cab/rideshare to Wataru from any of the hotels you mentioned. Between the Inn at the Market and Thompson, I’d probably choose Thompson, because of its excellent rooftop bar.
Jack’s is good BBQ. Is it the best? Maybe. They excel at Texas-style and offer a lunch buffet. I also recommend Wood Shop BBQ in the Central District and RoRo in the Wallingford neighborhood (the bbq sundae is awesome).
Coming to Seattle for 2 nights in July. We’re trying to decide between the Mayflower Park Hotel and The Mediterranean Inn. I see alot of good remarks about the Mayflower. Can you comment on the Mediterranean? I see comments about homeless on both hotels reviews — we are concerned about safety, etc.
We want to see Pikes Place, Space Needle, and do some kind of ferry ride.
We will be renting a car (to continue on to other parts of Washington), so we need to be able to park it at the hotel we stay at. Which hotel would be easier to drive our rental car to? (from SeaTac).
Any other info is much appreciated!
Go with the Mayflower Park Hotel. It’s a much better hotel in general, in an area that’s more convenient to the things you want to see. It’s very near Pike Place Market, walkable to the ferries, and practically adjacent to the Monorail line that goes from downtown right to the base of the Space Needle. Daily parking rates are more expensive at the Mayflower Park Hotel, but if you stayed at the Mediterranean Inn you’d likely be driving in to (and paying to park) downtown to see Pike Place Market and do your ferry trip, so it ends up being more cost-effective overall to pay the Mayflower’s higher daily rate. Neither is any easier to drive to from the airport than the other.
Hi there. Coming up to Seattle from Portland for a cross country meet in mid November at Woodland Park. We are a family of four (children ages 6 and 8). Looking for a good family-friendly hotel with a cheap parking, breakfast included, pool, and near Woodland Park and a springboard to other sites. Would appreciate your recommendations. Right now are slated to stay at Hyatt Place Seattle. Thoughts?
Hyatt Place will be a great option for you. There are no hotels that are super close to Woodland Park, so you’ll be driving to the meet from any spot you choose. That said, the drive from Hyatt Place isn’t bad, they have a good pool and free breakfast, and it’ll be a clean and comfortable stay. The area immediately surrounding the hotel is nothing to write home about, but from here you can easily walk to the Space Needle and museums at Seattle Center, and the catch the Monorail into the downtown core, where Pike Place Market is.
If you’re looking for another good option, the Residence Inn on Lake Union also has a pool and free breakfast, and it would be an easy drive to Woodland Park. Lake Union is a great little area, with a fantastic history museum and Center for Wooden Boats in walking distance. There’s a streetcar line outside of the hotel that will bring you directly into downtown, at which point you could take the monorail to Seattle Center if you wished. At $32/night, parking here will be a bit more expensive than at the Hyatt ($22/night), and rates will probably be a tad pricier here as well, because the surrounding area is more picturesque.
Thanks for the effort of putting this info together. It is wonderful!!!!! My husband and I are planning a trip to Seattle to see a concert at the Neptune Theater in early November and we would like to book a very nice hotel, close to great restaurants and hopefully, to the theater. If we have to compromise something, we can always take a cab to the theater, as we rather stay at a nice place. We tend to like luxury boutique hotels as opposed to the big chains. Any recommendations?
The Neptune Theatre is located in Seattle’s University District (U-District), which is not adjacent to the downtown corridor where most of the good hotels and restaurants are. What I’d recommend is staying downtown and taking a cab to the theater, so everything else you might want (restaurants, sightseeing, transportation) is nearby. My favorite downtown boutique hotels are The Alexis (chic, arty, and luxurious), Hotel Max (hipster-vibe, with craft beer happy hour), and Inn at the Market (best location, literally surrounded by great restaurants). All of these hotels are a quick walk to light rail stations, making for easy airport transportation.
If you don’t care to do the downtown thing, consider Hotel Ballard, in the historic Ballard neighborhood. It’s a fantastic boutique hotel with a phenomenal gym/pool, located in a charming area and surrounded by great restaurants and boutique shops – just a 15 minute cab ride to the Neptune.
Good luck, have a great trip, and enjoy the show!
Hi. Looking for a hotel for family of 3 (one child age 7) with a full kitchen and free (or very cheap) parking. Any ideas?
Free hotel parking in Seattle is extremely hard to come by, but I’ve found you a few spots have full kitchens and offer parking rates that are on the lower end of the cost spectrum:
Your best bet is probably Hyatt House. Located directly across from the Space Needle, they have comfortable suites with full kitchens, an in-hotel mini-grocery, and a fabulous rooftop deck with outdoor tables and BBQ grills for guests to use. Its location is great for easy walking access to the Space Needle and all the museums (and great playground) at Seattle Center, as well as downtown and Pike Place Market via the Seattle Monorail, located just next door. Parking is $25/night.
If you’d like to be a bit further removed from the action, consider the Residence Inn Lake Union. Full kitchens, an indoor pool and hot tub, and great views overlooking the lake. Walking access to The Museum of History and Industry and Center for Wooden Boats in South Lake Union Park, and it sits right on the streetcar line for easy transport into downtown. Parking is $32/night.
And lastly, a few blocks from the Space Needle in the Lower Queen Anne neighborhood, you’ll find Homewood Suites. They have full kitchens, offer free breakfast AND dinner (M-Th), and many rooms have great water views. Parking there is $20/night.
I have read all the questions and this has by far been the most helpful read of anything I have found so far! I don’t want to be repetitive with questions but there are a few obstacles we have to consider during our trip. We are a group of 6 couples all traveling to Seattle for a cruise to Alaska. None of us have ever been to Seattle and we have a diverse group traveling together. Some prefer the nightlife, while others will be sleeping and prefer quiet (I know, I know…best of both worlds ha). Some are physically able to do all the walking around town, while others will need to rely on public transportation. Can you tell me the hotels that have shuttle service or very close access to transportation (we all won’t fit in one taxi if we choose to sightsee together). I have read over and over not to miss the Pike Place Market and of course the Space Needle so those are two specific places all of us will visit then we will need to get to cruise pier 91. We are thinking 2 to 3 nights prior to cruising. Thank you so much for patiently answering questions. You are the best. p.s. … we do not need high end luxury as we prefer to not be in the room too much. Thank you in advance, Beth
Since you want to be close to the action, with easy access to transit, I recommend the Mayflower Park Hotel. It’s a charming, family-owned property sitting directly above the Westlake Station transit tunnel – it even has its own dedicated entrance. This means you can take Light Rail from the airport directly to your hotel, as well as other points around downtown, like Pioneer Square. The Seattle Streetcar’s South Lake Union line begins just outside the door. Pike Place Market is an easy three-block walk away, and the hotel is near lots of Seattle’s best restaurants (Try Lola – delish) and has a great in-house restaurant and charming lobby martini bar. When you’re ready to visit the Space Needle, the Seattle Monorail is situated on the same block as the hotel, and will take you directly to the base. The Mayflower Park provides shuttle service to the cruise terminals at a rate of $10/person. You would just need to sign up with the concierge as you check in, or within a few days before. I consider the Mayflower Park to be the best centrally-located hotel in the Seattle that’s a step down in price from the most luxurious.
Other good hotels worth looking at, but that don’t quite tick all your boxes the way Mayflower Park does, are the Warwick, Theodore, and Paramount Hotels (all a bit father from Pike Place Market, but centrally located and near transit) and the Moore Hotel (a block from Pike Place and considerably less spendy, but street noise can be an issue in warmer months.)
As one of your considerations is accessibility, I also want to share with you this new Access mapping system created by the University of Washington. It shows the level of incline on downtown streets (making it easy to avoid hills) and allows you to search for accessible directions (no curb barriers, etc). Handy for getting around town easily.
I’m planning a trip to Seattle this spring, and want to bring my dog with me. What are the best hotels in Seattle for dogs? Are there many dog-friendly restaurants downtown?
There are a number of pet-friendly hotels in downtown Seattle, but a few that really go above and beyond for our furry friends. Near Pike Place Market, I recommend:
The Alexis, a luxury boutique hotel with an elegant vibe and a great pet policy. Your dog will be greeted by name on arrival, even with a special welcome sign. The Alexis has a dedicated pet concierge, complimentary dog walking bags for the duration of your stay, no size/breed limit, no limit to the number of pets you can bring along, and NO additional pet fee. They even welcome dogs to their hosted evening wine hour – with treats, of course. The Alexis is located near the Seattle Art Museum, an easy six-block walk from Pike Place Market.
Hotel Max is another luxury boutique spot with that’s incredibly welcoming to pets, but this one has an urban, artsy vibe. They provide the usual bed, bowls, toys and treats, plus a custom dog tag with the hotel’s name and number on it, should Fido get list downtown. They’ve even got a whole-food based pet room service menu. Hotel Max is located about five blocks up from Pike Place Market at 7th and Stewart.
As far as restaurants go, the Belltown Pub is located in (where else) the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle – just 6 blocks or so from Hotel Max. They have an innovative menu and are extremely dog-friendly: they even have a special menu for our canine pals.
Near Pike Place Market, The Blarney Stone serves up traditional Irish pub food in a relaxed atmosphere, and Biscuit Bitch does a great breakfast/brunch sandwich. Both places welcome dogs.
Would like suggestions for a nice hotel that is under $200 a night and within walking distance to Pikes Place, restaurants & public transportation. Thank you!
My favorite moderately-priced hotel near Pike Place Market is the Mayflower Park Hotel. It’s a historic property with a beautful lobby bar and attached restaurant. Just 3 blocks from the Market, and situated directly over a light rail station.
If you can spend a bit more, I recommend the Alexis or Thompson. These are both boutique hotels – the Alexis is more feminine and artsy, and the Thompson is modern and trendy in feel.
If you’re looking to spend a bit less, The Moore Hotel is a lovely independently-owned historic hotel very near Pike Place Market in Belltown. It’s fairly no-frills, but is clean and comfortable and there’s a great lobby coffee shop.
We have a family trip planned out to Seattle in a few weeks. I’m very excited to see the city all decked out for the holidays, and to do some Christmas shopping! We have a reservation on the Christmas Ship, too, which we’re all looking forward to.
We’re looking for a good place to go for breakfast/brunch in Pike Place Market. We’ll be staying at the Hotel Alexis, and it looks like it’s within easy walking distance – even on an empty morning stomach! Any recommendations? Thanks in advance, I’ve found your website to be very helpful.
The Alexis Hotel is a quick and easy walk away from Pike Place Market, and in my opinion, mornings at the Market are the best – crowds are thinner, and you get to watch the magic unfold as merchants set up their shops. Here are my picks for a great Market breakfast:
Cafe Campagne is a French Bistro that serves amazing breakfast/brunch dishes. They open on weekends at 8am (daily at 8am in the summer months), and reservations are recommended if you’ll be headed there around 10am or later.
Lowell’s is located in the heart of the Market arcade, with three levels of water view seating. They serve traditional American breakfasts like scrambles, hashes, Benedicts, pancakes, and French toast. They open daily for breakfast at 7am.
For more of a grab-and-go option, check out Honest Biscuits in the Market Atrium. To die for biscuits and gravy and breakfast sandwiches. They open at 8am every day.
Have a great trip, and happy holidays!
What’s the best way to get from the center of downtown (we’re staying at Motif Hotel) to the Space Needle? We won’t have a car.
The Seattle Monorail provides direct transport between Seattle Center (which houses the Space Needle, Chihuly Museum, Museum of Pop Culture, Pacific Science Center, and more) and the downtown core. Its two stations are located at the base of the Space Needle at Seattle Center, and on the top floor of Westlake Center mall, at 5th and Pine. Trains depart every ten minutes between 7:30am and 11pm (starting at 8:30am on the weekends), and the ride itself takes about 2 minutes. Fares are $2.25 each way ($1 for kids, seniors, and military) and tickets can be purchased at the stations.
If you’re looking for something closer to the ground, a cab/Uber trip will be fast and cheap.
Which hotel do you like better for families: The Warwick, or the Maxwell? (I’ve found good deals for both.) I’m planning in Spring of next year with my sister and both of our kids. We’d like to see the Space Needle, Pike Place Fish Market, and the Aquarium.
It depends on whether you want to be in the thick of things, or a bit removed from the action at the end of the day.
The Warwick is located in the busy neighborhood of Belltown. You can walk to Pike Place Market and the Aquarium, and the monorail to the Space Needle is very nearby. It’s a nice hotel with a basement swimming pool and some great Space Needle views. If your aim is to be close to everything, this is where I’d choose.
The Maxwell Hotel is in Lower Queen Anne, near Seattle Center – home to the Space Needle, Chihuly Museum, MoPOP, and the Pacific Science Center. You can walk to all of these attractions and to catch the monorail into downtown when you’re ready to visit Pike Place Market and the Aquarium. The Maxwell also offers a courtesy shuttle to popular attractions. The hotel is bright and the decor is fun, and there’s a small pool that’s good for kids to splash around in at the end of the day. Because this neighborhood is a bit removed from the bustling city center, I’d choose the Maxwell if you like a quieter respite at the end of the day.
Hi there. I’m planning a trip to Seattle to do some job-related research. I’d like to stay near South Lake Union, but I understand that most of the good hotels are located downtown. What’s the best one in South Lake Union, near the Amazon campus? Thanks
My favorite hotel near South Lake Union is the Pan Pacific Seattle. They have spacious rooms and suites, and gorgeous bathrooms with soaking tubs. Many rooms have excellent views of the Space Needle. They have a good fitness center and soaking pool, a lovely lobby bar, and there’s a great Neopolitan pizza place next door and a Whole Foods around the corner. The South Lake Union streetcar runs past the hotel, which also provides complimentary car service within a 2-mile radius.
Hello. I’m planning a trip to Seattle and have found good rates at the Mayflower Park and the Westin. Is there one of these that you prefer? Thanks in advance.
They’re both great hotels in convenient downtown locations, but very different in feel, so it depends on your preferences.
The Mayflower Park Hotel is a historic property. As such, the furnishings are classically elegant (which may seem outdated to folks who prefer cleaner, more modern lines), and bathrooms (with vintage details) are on the small side. Rooms are a good size, and are comfortable and well-appointed. There’s a beautiful lobby bar and a good Mediterranean restaurant, and the hotel sits right over the Westlake Center’s light rail station, making transit super easy. It’s a good hotel for those who appreciate an intimate feel and classic luxury.
The Westin, by contrast, is gigantic and modern in feel. The rooms within it’s two cylindrical towers have some of the best views downtown. There are an indoor swimming pool and a good fitness center, and the guest rooms are spacious and well-appointed. The lobby bar is open in the evenings, and the hotel restaurant is a burger bistro. It’s a solid choice for a comfortable downtown stay, but those who appreciate a more unique feel might find it generic and uninteresting.
I found your site on Pinterest – it’s been very helpful! My boyfriend and I will be coming to Seattle in early December to visit some friends. I’m bringing my (very well behaved) dog with me. Thanks to your answer to a previous question on this page, I was able to book us a room in a pet-friendly hotel (Hotel Max). There’s one night of our trip that we’ll be “on our own.” Could you recommend a good pet-friendly restaurant downtown? The closer to our hotel, the better.
In Belltown, you’ll find Belltown Pub, dog-friendly bar with a great happy hour and better-than-decent dinner menu.
Near Pike Place Market, The Blarney Stone serves up traditional Irish pub food in a relaxed atmosphere, and Biscuit Bitch does a great breakfast/brunch sandwich. Both places welcome dogs.
Hello, thanks for putting together such a helpful website! I’ll be visiting next month, and I’m wondering how safe Seattle’s downtown area is at night for walking around? I’m a middle-aged woman who will be visiting by myself and staying downtown. I’d like to get out to a show or a concert, and I’m wondering if I should arrange for transportation.
Seattle is pretty safe, and you should have no trouble walking to/from a concert or restaurant at night. Personally, I wouldn’t walk through the dark alleys, but the street is fine.
Hello. I’m in the midst of planning a Seattle trip for early March of next year. I think I’ve got my hotel sorted out, but I’m wondering if you could answer a different question for me. Is Portland reasonable as a day trip from Seattle, or should I plan for overnight? And what’s the best way to get down there without a car? I’d like to see both cities while I’m in the region, but would like to keep Seattle as a “home base.” Thanks in advance. KD
The best and easiest way to get to Portland is to take the train. The Amtrak station is located on the south edge of downtown, adjacent to the Pioneer Square neighborhood. The trains are comfortable and generally run on time. My recommendation is to catch the 9:45am Coast Starlight train – it’s the big one that travels between California and Vancouver, BC. It’s got table service for lunch, and a glass-enclosed observation car where you can settle in and watch the scenery go by. (Sit on the west/left side of the train for the best view on the way down.) It’ll take about 4 hours each way, so it’s really not ideal for a day trip – you’ll want to spend the night and take the train back the next day.
I will be visiting your fair city next month, and I was wondering if you could give me a few recommendations for vegan-friendly restaurants. My boyfriend and I will be staying downtown, near the convention center, and will not have a car, but we don’t mind taking public transit or a cab/Uber around. Other neighborhoods outside of downtown are good, too, as long it’s not too far that it’ll cost us an arm and a leg to get there.
Seattle’s got some great vegetarian/vegan-friendly restaurants – here are a few that I particularly recommend:
Cafe Flora has been a Seattle mainstay of elevated veggie/vegan cuisine for the past 25 years. The ambiance is casually elegant in a friendly, neighborhood way, and they’ve got seating in a lovely plant-filled atrium. Cafe Flora is located in Seattle’s Madison Valley neighborhood, a 10-15 minute drive from the Convention Center. (reviews)
Harvest Beat is a lovely little spot in the Wallingford neighborhood, 20 minutes from downtown. They offer an organcic and locally-sourced, vegan pri-fixe menu. A meal at Harvest Beat feels like a communal experience; everyone is seated at once (7pm), the chef leads the evening by going over the menu and flevor profiles with the crowd, and everyone experiences each course at the same time. Expect dinner to take about two hours. (reviews)
No Bones Beach Club started out as a food truck, now a popular brick-and-mortar bar/restaurant in Ballard. It’s got a retro/tiki vibe, and a fantastic and fun drink menu. People especially rave about the avocado nachos. In addition to being vegan, most menu items are also gluten-free. No Bones Beach club is a 20-25 minute drive from downtown. (reviews)
Closest to where you’re staying, Plum Bistro is a casual but sophisticated vegan spot in Capitol Hill, with a full bar. Any vegan with a serious mac-and-cheese craving should check this place out. Theirs is the best around. Plum Bistro is a very short drive from the Convention Center, or just a 20-minute walk up Pike Street, if the weather is cooperative. (Stop by the Starbucks Reserve Roastery afterward for a post-meal cappuccino.) (reviews)
Hello, I’ll be spending a long weekend in Seattle in the early springtime. Can you please recommend a hotel that has good access to Benaroya Hall? And what’s good to do nearby? Thank you.
The Four Seasons is very near Benaroya Hall, just one block west. It’s downtown Seattle’s best hotel, and features a fantastic restaurant, spa services, and newly renovated infinity pool overlooking Puget Sound. The Four Seasons is also very convenient to the Seattle Art Museum and Pike Place Market – both highly recommended excursions.
The Fairmont Olympic is also about a block from Benaroya, though on the other side. The Fairmont is Seattle’s most traditionally elegant hotel, with daily afternoon tea, a great seafood restaurant, and beautiful glass-enclosed pool and spa area. The Fairmont is very near the 5th Avenue Theatre, and about three blocks from the good shops downtown. It’ll take about 10-15 minutes to walk to Pike Place Market from the Fairmont, but it’s a cheap cab ride if you’re not up for the trek.
Hi! I’ll be visiting Seattle for the first time early next year, and am trying to come up with a game plan. Your website has been incredibly helpful! I know we want to visit Pike Place Market, but I’m having a hard time getting a feel for the size and scope of that activity – is this something we should allot a full day for? An hour? How long should we plan on spending there? And what other nearby activities do you recommend pairing it with? Thanks in advance for your help.
I’d give yourself 2-3 hours to explore the Market, depending on your patience for crowds and browsing. Personally, I could spend a day there, poking in all the small shops down below and sampling the wares up above, but when you’re on vacation and time is limited, it’s easy to get a good feel for Pike Place in a morning or afternoon visit. One interesting way to experience Pike Place Market is on a guided food tour, where folks in the know will lead you to the Market’s best spots and you’ll get to meet the producers who make it all happen. Savor Seattle has a couple of great ones.
Just downhill from Pike Place, on the downtown waterfront, you’ll find the Seattle Aquarium, Great Wheel, and Wings over Washington ride. Any of all of these would make a great pairing with a trip to the Market. Alternatively, you could walk south to the historic Pioneer Square neighborhood, and take the famous (and funny) Underground Tour.
I’ll be traveling to Seattle later this month. Where is the best place to get a nice seafood dinner – salmon, dungeness crab, oysters, geoduck, I want to try it all. (I’m from the midwest, where fresh seafood is an oxymoron.) I will be staying down in the Pike Street Market Area, but am willing to Uber. Thanks!
For general seafood: Etta’s (near Pike Place), Shucker’s (Downtown), Rock Creek (Fremont), Ray’s (Ballard)
For oysters: The Walrus and the Carpenter (Ballard), Elliott’s (waterfront), Taylor Shellfish (Pioneer Square and Capitol Hill), Shuckers (downtown)
For sushi: Sushi Kashiba (Pike Place Market), Japonessa (downtown), Umi Sake House (Belltown), Wataru (Ravenna)
For ambience: Westward (Lake Union), Six Seven (waterfront), Ray’s (Ballard)
Hello, I am planning a trip to Seattle in Spring. The Pioneer Square area is interesting to me – I like places with a little bit of history to them – but I’ve heard that it’s maybe not such a safe neighborhood. Is this true? Can you recommend a hotel in the neighborhood, or one nearby if you think that’s a better choice? Thanks very much for your help. This is a very helpful website.
There are a few homeless shelters in and around the Pioneer Square neighborhood, and as such you’ll see a bit more in the way of panhandling than in other spots, but it’s not a dangerous area. Especially lately, it’s seeing a bit of revitalization around restaurants and bars – here’s a great list of some of the neighborhood’s best.
As far as hotels go, if you like history, you can do no better in Pioneer Square than the Arctic Club. It’s a converted gentlemen’s social club from the Klondike gold rush era, now operating under the Doubletree by Hilton line. Gorgeous historic details throughout, and a killer lobby bar.
Also housed in a historic property, but done up in a more contemporary vibe, is the Courtyard Pioneer Square. It’s got great views of downtown and the stadiums, a basement swimming pool, and a beautiful marble lobby that’s original to the building.
Best dog-friendly hotels? (20 lb, well-behaved mutt.) I’d like to be as close to Pikes Market as possible. Thanks for the help!
There are a number of pet-friendly hotels in downtown Seattle, but a few that really go above and beyond for our furry friends. Near Pike Place Market, I recommend the following:
The Alexis is a luxury boutique hotel with an elegant vibe and a great pet policy. Your dog will be greeted by name on arrival, even with a special welcome sign. The Alexis has a dedicated pet concierge, complimentary dog walking bags for the duration of your stay, no size/breed limit, no limit to the number of pets you can bring along, and NO additional pet fee. They even welcome Fido to their hosted evening wine hour – with treats, of course. The Alexis is located near the Seattle Art Museum, an easy six-block walk from Pike Place Market.
Hotel Max is another luxury boutique spot with that’s incredibly welcoming to pets, but this one has an urban, artsy vibe. They provide the usual bed, bowls, toys and treats, plus a custom dog tag with the hotel’s name and number on it, should Fido get list downtown. They’ve even got a whole-food based pet room service menu. Hotel Max is located about five blocks up from Pike Place Market at 7th and Stewart.
I’m headed to Seattle for business next month and I’m looking for hotel recommendations within walking distance of Stewart and 9th ave. I’m aware that prices in downtown Seattle are high. After doing some research, everything is within my price range except the Four Seasons. What do you recommend in this area? Thanks.
Hyatt at Olive 8 is an urban and elegant luxury hotel. It’s located right near the Convention Center, but manages not to feel as “businessy” and generic as some of the others do. They have an excellent restaurant/bar, as well as a small cafe and market in the lobby. They’ve also got a lovely in-house spa, and their indoor saline lap pool (with hot tub and sauna) is one of the best hotel pools in the city. It’s located just around the corner from where you want to be.
Hotel Max is a luxury boutique hotel with a cool, fun, and artsy vibe. They have a cool pop art and photography collection, and 5th floor rooms come with a turntable and supply of SubPop albums to peruse. Max has a nightly hosted craft beer and game happy hour, and a fantastic attached restaurant. The rooms here aren’t huge, but they are comfortable, stylish, and well-appointed. Hotel Max is located two blocks down from 9th and Stewart.
Hello, Seattle Anne!
Can you tell me the best way to get to Pike Place Market from the University district? I’ll be visiting the University of Washington in a few weeks, staying at the Watertown Hotel, and I’d like to get downtown to do some touristy stuff. I won’t have a car. Is the best course of action to take a cab/Uber?
The Watertown Hotel actually offers complimentary shuttle service downtown – they’ll drop you off at Westlake Center, just a few blocks from Pike Place Market, and an easy monorail ride away from Seattle Center (home of the Space Needle, Chihuly Museum, and EMP). The hotel will also give you a lift to the University of Washington light rail station, if you’d like to go by train. The light rail has station stops in Capitol Hill, Westlake Center, Pioneer Square, and the International District – all great places to get out and explore the city. To arrange a shuttle from the hotel, stop by or call down to the front desk and they’ll help you set one up.
My family and I will be in Seattle over Halloween, staying downtown at the Grand Hyatt. We’d like to take the kids out trick or treating on Halloween night – is there a neighborhood nearby that will be safe and good for kids? (We’ll have a car, so within nearby driving distance is good too.) Or any other good Halloween happenings for kids?
Lots of family-friendly spots in Seattle do it up around Halloween. On the weekend before Halloween, there are events at Woodland Park Zoo and the Seattle Aquarium, and Pacific Science Center has extended hours and Halloween activities on the day itself.
As far as trick or treating goes, there are a couple of great neighborhoods near downtown in which to snag the sweet stuff: Upper Queen Anne (take the kids into the residential areas, and also the businesses along the posh neighborhood’s main strip), and North Capitol Hill (the elegant mansions near Volunteer Park really do it up with their spooky displays).
We live in Eastern Washington, and are treating my in-laws to a weekend in Seattle for their 50th anniversary. We’ll be staying at the Four Season downtown. I’d like to host dinner for them at a nice Italian restaurant nearby. Romantic, but good food, and should be easily accessible since they’re not getting around as well as they used to. Any suggestions? Thanks!
There are two great Italian restaurants near the Four Seasons: Il Bistro and the Pink Door. Il Bistro is located in Pike Place Market, just down the stairs near the Rachel the Pig statue. The atmosphere is classic Italian restaurant and very romantic – for a small fee, you can reserve a “romance package” where you’re seated at a quiet table in the corner, covered in rose petals, with glasses of champagne. The Pink Door is located in Pike Place Market’s Post Alley, and has divine Italian-American food and an intimate and elegant dining room (with trapeze artists performing on Sunday and Monday nights!).
You mentioned accessibility, and I should mention that getting to both of these restaurants require descending a flight of stairs. For a great street-level Italian meal, book them a car to Tulio, located in the Hotel Vintage Park. It’s Northern Italian fare and local ingredients, in a sophisticated white tablecloth atmosphere.
My husband and I will be there in November for Seahawks game. Staying Saturday through Monday. We want something close due to traffic being crazy on game day and to take advantage of the hotel parking. But, we want to see the major city sites using public trans, walking or taxi. We love steak and Starbucks. We prefer not to be in an area that we can’t walk at night and have to worry about our car at the hotel.
So far from your posts, we’re thinking Hotel 1000, The Westin, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Olive 8. I like Marriott/SPG hotel chain since we are rewards members (but not a requirement). Really don’t want to spend a fortune on a hotel, but for views, location, peace of mind, and ease of access to and from the stadium on game day, it may be worth while. We really don’t want to base our entire stay around the game unless necessary, or public transit being an issue on game day. The game starts at 1:25 in the afternoon.
1. What hotel is best?
2. What sites are a must see?
3. How to get to the sites from those chosen hotels?
4. We also want a day visit to BC, any tips?
Also, just want to say thanks. I’ve been checking the internet for days trying to figure this all out. Your information has been extremely helpful. I’ve always wanted to visit Seattle.
1. If you want to be within walking distance to the game, Hotel 1000 is your best bet, at a 20-minute walk to the stadium, it’s closest by far. Because of this, however, it’s also bound to be the priciest on a Seahawks game weekend. The Westin, Hyatt Olive 8, and Grand Hyatt are all close to a light rail station (Westlake) that will drop you near Lumen Field – the Westin is a block from the station, and the Hyatts are both about 3 blocks away. Of those three hotels, I like Hyatt Olive 8 the best. It’s got a sleek, urban vibe and a fabulous restaurant and pool/spa, and feels much less like a business hotel than the other two do. Pro Tip: If you’re taking light rail to/from Lumen Field, use the International District Station instead of the Stadium Station. It’s much closer.
2. Pike Place Market is definitely a must see, and is a fun place to wander around. After that, head over to Seattle Center to see the Space Needle (and if you like views, go to the top), Chihuly Museum, and Experience Music Project. Since you’re Starbucks Fans, you should visit the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Capitol Hill.
3. Pike Place Market and the waterfront are within walking distance of all the hotels listed. The Seattle Center attractions can be accessed easily from downtown by the monorail at Westlake Center. The Starbucks Roastery is across the freeway from downtown – 10 blocks up Pike Street on the corner of Pike and Melrose. If you’re not up for the hike, the #10 bus will take you there.
4. A trip up to BC and back is a full day excursion. It takes about 3 1/2 hours to drive up to Vancouver from Seattle – without traffic, and there’s always traffic. The fastest way to get up and back is on the Victoria Clipper Ferry – it takes you from the downtown Seattle waterfront to the middle of Victoria Harbor in less than three hours, you won’t have to worry about driving, and it’s a great way to see Puget Sound.
I’ll be taking my family out to Seattle when I travel for business in the beginning of next year, staying for two weeks. Can you recommend a hotel for us that is close to some attractions, but not in the middle of everything? We don’t want to have to rent a car, if we can help it, in order to get around, but nor do we want to be right in the heart of downtown. Since we’ll be staying for a while, we’d like a suite with a kitchenette so that we can cook our own meals. Can you think of anything that would fit the bill? Thanks much.
Hyatt House is located outside of the heart of downtown, across the street from the Space Needle. You’d be right next to the museums and attractions of Seattle Center (EMP, Pacific Science Center, Chihuly Museum, and Children’s Museum and Theatre), as well as the monorail that connects Seattle Center to central downtown. Hyatt House is an all-suite hotel, with a market in the lobby, and a “borrows menu” with items like white noise machines, cribs, yoga kits, and board games available. There’s no pool, but guests can use the pool at the Hyatt Place hotel, a few blocks away. There’s also a great rooftop deck, with BBQ grills and outdoor tables for guest use. The vibe is cool and contemporary, and the property is only a year old, so everything is in good condition and on trend.
The Residence Inn Lake Union is another good all-suite hotel. This one has a pool and hot tub, as well as the “Wheelhouse,” a play space for kids with video and other games (parental supervision is required). Most suites here have balconies, some with great Lake Union or Space Needle views, and the luxury suite balconies are quite spacious. The Residence Inn is located outside of downtown on Lake Union, near the Center for Wooden Boats, MOHAI, and Lake Union Park. There’s a streetcar line running right in front of the hotel, going into downtown.
I’m taking my daughter and her friend to see a Little Mermaid matinee at the 5th Avenue Theater next month. We’re riding the Light Rail up from south of the city and making a “ladies night” out of it by staying overnight at the Mayflower Park hotel. I’d like to take them out for a “fancy” dinner after the play. Can you think of anyplace between the theater and our hotel that would seem special to them, but is also good for a couple of six year olds? Thanks in advance.
I think that Palomino would be perfect for you. It’s right on 5th Ave tucked upstairs in U.S. Bank Centre (formerly City Centre), one block down from the 5th Avenue Theatre on the way back to the Mayflower Park Hotel. The food is dependably good, and the restaurant has an upscale/fancy vibe, without being too over the top so that you’d be uncomfortable there with kids. In fact, they’ve got a great kids menu that includes grilled chicken or salmon, in addition to the usual pizza/pasta/cheeseburger choices – and all kids meals come with a chocolate sundae, and you can’t beat that. Reservations are recommended, especially before or after a play.
If you want to extend your ladies’ day with a little shopping, Cafe Nordstrom is a good choice as well. It’s located within the flagship Nordstrom location at 5th and Pine – upstairs, just next to the kids’ department. It won’t feel as fancy as Palomino, but the food is good and the kids menu is decent, if not terribly exciting. If your matinee is on a Sunday, plan for dinner here on the early side, as they close at 6pm that day. (Nordstrom closes at 7pm on Sundays.)
There’s also a P.F.Chang’s location in Westlake Center, next to your hotel. If you’re up for Chinese, they’ve got a huge menu with some good options for kids.
Okay, what’s the best hotel that’s closest to Pike Place Market? My wife and I will only be staying for one night, and would like to do it right. It’ll be in December, and probably raining quite a bit from what I understand, so we don’t want to have to do a lot of walking outside down to Pikes and the restaurants around there. A view of Puget Sound would be the icing on the cake. Thanks in advance.
It sounds like you’re looking for the Inn at the Market, a modern luxury boutique spot that isn’t only near the market, it’s actually inside of it. Rooms are spacious and comfortable, and many have great Market and Sound views. Two of the Market’s best restaurants (Sushi Kashiba and Chan) are located directly beneath the hotel. To really do it up, book the Beecher’s Loft, an luxury suite adjacent to the Inn.
If crossing the street is close enough, consider the brand new Thompson Seattle, just across 1st Avenue from the Market. This beautiful modern luxury hotel has floor-to-ceiling windows, and an amazing restaurant and rooftop bar.
Hello, I will be staying in Seattle next month at the Westin. Can you please tell me what is the best way to get to the hotel from the airport? Should I take the train?
Also, please recommend a good restaurant nearby. Thank you.
The Link light rail train is an easy and inexpensive way to get from the airport to your hotel. The SeaTac International Airport stop is located just a short walk from the terminal, on the 4th floor of the main parking garage. You can buy a ticket at one of the automatic vending machines before boarding, fare is $3. Trains leave every 7-15 minutes from the airport, and it will take about 1/2 hour to get from the airport to downtown. Since you’re staying at the Westin, you’ll want to get off at the Westlake Center underground station, then head north two blocks to your hotel. If you’re looking for an easier commute, a cab or car service will take you directly from the airport to your hotel for about $40.
My favorite restaurants near the Westin are Lola (serving Mediterranean food), Palace Kitchen (New American), and Le Caviste (European wine bistro). If you’re a pizza fan, don’t miss chef Tom Douglas’ amazing pizza restaurant, Serious Pie.
Hello, I’m taking my grandchildren on a weekend trip to Seattle around Christmastime this year, driving in from southern Oregon. I seem to recall that one of the hotels has a gingerbread palace. Does this ring a bell? Also, if you could give me a few Christmasy ideas for things to do with them, I’d appreciate it. THANK YOU. This is a really helpful website.
I believe what you’re referring to is the annual Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton Seattle. It’s on this year from November 22 through January 1st, and is free to the public, with donations benefitting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
In addition to the Gingerbread Village, other family-friendly holiday events you might be interested in are the Argosy Christmas Ships festival (ride on a boat, or watch from the shore), Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker (tickets go fast, so buy well in advance), Winterfest in Seattle Center, and the Great Figgy Pudding caroling competition. For some extra holiday magic, head to Pacific Place mall downtown, whose atrium sees snow every evening at 6pm.
I’m planning a bachelorette party for my younger sister in Seattle this winter. We’re planning on staying at the Alexis Hotel downtown. Are there any good cabaret or cabaret-type shows nearby? Nothing TOO bawdy or cheesy – I’d love to surprise her with something whimsical and fun, and maybe a little bit elegant. Thanks in advance for your help.
The Alexis is a great choice for an upscale bachelorette, and you’ll be happy to hear that there are two cabarets within walking distance from the hotel. The Can Can Kitchen is located underneath Pike Place Market, and they have shows nightly from Wednesday to Sunday (twice on Friday and Saturday nights). Dinner is served with the show, with all ingredients sourced from the Market overhead.
The Pink Door, an Italian restaurant located in the Market’s Post Alley, has a cabaret/burlesque show on Saturday nights at 11pm, but get there early to eat before the show – you won’t be disappointed. The Pink Door also has trapeze artists perform overhead in the main dining room on Sunday and Monday evenings. Get reservations in advance for this, as it’s very popular.
Another fun option is Nordo’s Culinarium in Pioneer Square, which holds “dinner theater” on Thursday – Sunday nights. Unlike traditional dinner theater, however, guests at the Culinarium are part of the show, which takes place all around them. Check their website for to see what’s playing.
My girlfriend and I are planning a short trip to Seattle, driving up from Portland for just one night. We’ve been reading for a couple of years about how great the Walrus and the Carpenter seafood restaurant is, and since we’re both huge oyster fans we really want to try it. I know that it’s in a different part of Seattle than downtown – could you recommend a hotel that’s either near it or is easily accessible?
The Walrus and the Carpenter is fantastic and worthy of the hype it’s received – if you love oysters, you will not leave disappointed. It’s located in the hip and charming Ballard neighborhood, north of downtown. I have two hotel suggestions for you, both in Ballard, and just a few blocks up from the restaurant. The Hotel Ballard is an elegant luxury boutique hotel, while the Ballard Inn is it’s charming budget-option sibling. They have the same owners and are just a block apart, in a great part of historic Ballard surrounded by shops, bars, and restaurants. Both include access to facilities at the beautiful Olympic Athletic Club.
This is a very helpful blog! I’m wondering if you can help me. I received a Seattle hotel recommendation a while back from a friend of a friend, and I believe it was either the Max or the Maxwell, but I can’t remember which. This was for traveling with kids and I think she mentioned that it was close to the downtown tourist area with the Space Needle.
Can you help? Thanks in advance.
You’re thinking of the Hotel Maxwell. It’s located right near Seattle Center, which houses the Space Needle, EMP, Chihuly Museum, and more. The hotel has a fun, vibrant feel that’s great for kids.
Hotel Max is located in central downtown, close to Pike Place Market and shopping. It’s got an artsy, hip, rock and roll vibe that’s lots of fun for adults, but not so great with small children.
So I’m following your suggestion next month and staying at Hotel Max. The location is perfect (I’m attending Geek Girl con and wanted something close to the convention center) and it seems I’ll be able to walk pretty much everywhere, which was my plan.
However, I am looking for some good nearby dining establishments that are close to the hotel. Budget doesn’t matter – I’m just looking for some great food (and possibly great wine).
Great choice with Hotel Max – and you will be spoiled for choice in that area as far as dining goes. There’s a great restaurant adjacent to your hotel, called Miller’s Guild. They specialize in wood-fired aged steaks, cocktails, and a fantastic brunch. I also like Mamnoon Street on 6th and Virginia for casual (but amazing) middle eastern cuisine, as well as the Tom Douglas restaurants Lola (Mediterranean), Palace Kitchen (New American) and Serious Pie (seriously good pizza), all located not far from the Max. (Be sure to order the coconut cream pie.)
And you’re covered for wine: Le Caviste is a Euro-style wine bar that also happens to serve great bistro food and is just around the corner from where you’ll be staying.
Hi, great blog!
My husband and I will be traveling to the US from London next month. He is keen on the NFL and would like to see a game, so I’m planning to surprise him with Seahawks tickets for Oct 16th. We’ll be traveling up from Portland, and will have a rental vehicle.
I have heard traffic near the stadium can be a nightmare so I’m wondering if you could recommend accommodation near the stadium?
Silver Cloud Hotel is a great option if you want to stay close to Lumen Field, where the Seahawks play. Their guest rooms are spacious and comfortable, they’ve got a rooftop pool and hot tub, and provide free shuttle service into Pioneer Square and downtown, should you want to do any sightseeing while you’re here. They book up fast for game days, so don’t wait too long to book your room.
Another option would be to book a room at a hotel near one of Seattle’s light rail stations, and then take the train in to the stadium and back on game day. Most downtown hotels are within easy walking distance of a light rail station, with the most convenient being the Mayflower Park Hotel, which sits directly above the underground Westlake station. My advice would be to check out Booking.com to see what downtown hotel deals are available for the weekend you’ll be in town. Besides Mayflower Park, other hotels that are very convenient to Light Rail are Arctic Club, Courtyard Pioneer Square, Hotel Monaco, Fairmont Olympic, Four Seasons, the W, Motif, and Hotel Max.
Hi there, great blog. We’re considering a Seattle trip with our two children, ages 4 and 6. Based on what we’ve seen on your blog, we’re thinking we’d like to stay at the Four Seasons. We like the location and the amenities. Are they kid-friendly? Ours are reasonably well behaved (or that’s what we aim for, anyway), but they’re still, you know, kids. We just don’t want to feel like we should be apologizing for having the whole family along. Thanks.
Not to worry. Many families stay at the Four Seasons, and they’re incredibly kid-friendly. They have a beautiful, newly renovated heated outdoor pool overlooking Puget Sound for the kids to swim in, and offer child-sized robes and pool noodles (available at the front desk). They have kids’ movies, chalkboards & activity books, and if you’d like, they’ll even set up a behind-the-scenes kitchen tour for the little ones. And should you and your spouse like a night out without the kiddos, babysitters are available with 24-hour notice.
My wife and I are staying at Motif Hotel in Seattle next month. Can you recommend a nearby restaurant that would be good for an anniversary celebration? Doesn’t have to be very fancy, but I’d like it to feel special. We don’t have any food allergies or considerations, and are open to all types of cuisines. Thanks, and great blog!
Purple Cafe and Wine Bar would be a great choice for you. It’s got delicious food, an extensive menu, and the atmosphere is casually elegant and fun. The wine list is incredible (there’s even a grand spiral staircase of wine smack in the middle of the restaurant), and the wait staff is wonderful about suggesting pairings to accompany your dinner.
It’s also worth taking a look at the calendar for the Triple Door. It’s a supper club type music venue just one block over from where you’ll be staying. Seating is cozy, candle-lit booths, and the Asian-fusion menu is courtesy of Wild Ginger, just upstairs. If there’s an act that appeals to you playing on the night you’re looking to go out, I think this would make for a very special night.
Question for you: My husband and I will be stopping over in Seattle for two nights on our way to Hawaii this winter. We’re considering either staying at the Paramount Hotel or the Hyatt at Olive 8. It looks like they’re in the exact same area, but the Paramount would be about $50 cheaper than the Hyatt.
Which of the two hotels would you recommend? Is the Hyatt worth the extra $50?
It all depends what you’re looking for in a hotel. The Paramount and the Hyatt at Olive 8 are both great hotels in an excellent location for shopping, sightseeing, and dining. If you’re merely in search of a clean, cozy, and comfortable place to sleep, I’d pick the Paramount and save the $50 and spend it in Hawaii.
If luxury matters to you, your extra $50 would be well spent at the Hyatt. The Hyatt at Olive 8 has more spacious rooms and higher-end finishes than the Paramount, as well as a fantastic restaurant and a gorgeous pool/spa/fitness area. The atmosphere of the two hotels is different, as well: the Paramount feels quieter, homier and more intimate, while the Hyatt is sleek and urban in design, and has a busy, buzzy vibe.
Either one of these hotels would be a great place to stay while on route to Hawaii. Have a great trip!
I am a single female traveller headed to Seattle for the first time on Oct 1-Oct 4. I would like to stay close to Pike Place Market and shopping. I would like to stay under $150 per night. If a hotel had a comp shuttle it would be a bonus! I have booked the Inn at Queen Anne for $500 Cdn but it can be cancelled. What do you think? Great blog! Thanks in advance.
The Inn at Queen Anne is located in the Lower Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle, which is not terribly close to Pike Place Market or shopping. It’s very near Seattle Center, which houses (among other things) the Space Needle, Experience Music Project, and Chihuly Museum. Getting to the Market from here will either entail a half-hour walk, or taking the monorail from the base of the Space Needle into the heart of downtown, a few blocks up from Pike Place.
My favorite inexpensive hotel in the city is located very near Pike Place Market: The Moore Hotel is a charming historic hotel just one block up from the Market. It’s a no-frills establishment, so don’t expect room service or spa treatments, but the rooms are lovely and comfortable and there’s a great coffee shop adjacent to the lobby. The one downside to the Moore Hotel is that they don’t have AC, but in early October this shouldn’t be an issue. There are single queen rooms available at the Moore during your trip for $132/night, and if you’re willing to travel European-style and share a (very clean and private) bathroom, you could book a shared-bath guest room for $85/night and put your savings toward your shopping spree. The Moore doesn’t offer a shuttle, but it’s close to shopping and located within four blocks of both light rail and the monorail to Seattle Center, so getting around is easy.
It’s also worth checking out the Ace Hotel. It’s located in the cool neighborhood of Belltown, a five minute walk to the Market. Their rates are some of the lowest downtown, and they also offer Euro-style, shared-bath guest rooms, but because they’re trendy they charge a bit more and fill up faster.
I found a great deal at Hyatt Place Seattle, who offers breakfast and a free shuttle within a couple mile radius. Is this a good choice?
Hyatt Place is a good choice. It’s a newer property, the rooms are clean, spacious, and comfortable, and it’s located within easy walking distance of Seattle Center (home of the Space Needle, EMP, Chihuly Museum, and more). This Hyatt’s location is not as central as the other hotels downtown, but the complimentary shuttle is great for getting into Pike Place Market, or alternatively you can take the monorail in (located at the base of the Space Needle) or if you’re feeling up to a walk, it’ll take about 20 minutes. Expect the neighborhood to be a bit quieter, as well. Book it!
What a helpful blog! I’ll be in Seattle next month, staying downtown at the Warwick Hotel. I’m wondering if you have any suggestions for great restaurants within walking distance from there. It’ll be me, my husband, and our 15 year old kid who is a pretty adventurous eater in general, but not up for anything TOO scary. All cuisines are okay, but we’d like to stay within the $$$ or less price range. (We save the $$$$ for adults-only meals.)
The Warwick Hotel is very close to many of the best restaurants owned by James Beard Award-winning Seattle chef, Tom Douglas. One block up, on 5th and Lenora, his Palace Kitchen has been serving up fantastic New American cuisine in a cozy setting since 1995. One block down, at 4th and Virginia, you’ll find his Lola (Mediterranean/Greek), Dahlia Lounge (New American/seafood) and Bakery, and Serious Pie (seriously good pizza). Any of these restaurants would be great for both adventurous and cautious eaters, and won’t break the bank.
Aside from the Tom Douglas joints, I’d recommend Orfeo, a couple of blocks down on 3rd Avenue at Lenora. Their menu is huge (comprising mostly Italian, French, and New American dishes), and just about everything on it is fantastic. They also have great happy hour specials.
I’ll be traveling to Seattle around the holidays in order to visit some family in the area. I’ve been to the city a few times before, and have always stayed downtown. To shake things up a little this time around, I’d like to stay in/near the Pioneer Square neighborhood – I like the tree-lined streets and old-world historic buildings.
It seems my hotel choices are the Courtyard Pioneer Square, and the Arctic Club Doubletree by Hilton. They both seem to be in the same general area, would you recommend one over the other?
The Courtyard Pioneer Square and Arctic Club are both great hotels, but if it’s historical feel you’re after, I’d go for the Arctic Club. It’s a refurbished social club from the early days of last century, frequented by the lucky men who struck it rich in the Yukon gold rush. The lobby bar is gorgeous, and retains its vintage “men’s club” feel. Guest rooms have classic fixtures and vintage-inspired furnishings. I can think of no better place to end a day of Pioneer Square sightseeing.
The Courtyard is nice too, and has a gorgeous vintage marble lobby, but the feel and furnishings are more contemporary than what you’ll find at the Arctic Club. The Courtyard is one of the few downtown hotels with a swimming pool.
Hello. My family and I are big fans of the Kimpton brand boutique hotels. We love that they’re kid and pet friendly, have cool and unusual decor styles, and their customer service is the best. We’ll be traveling to Seattle this fall, and are wondering which of the three Kimpton hotels (Hotel Monaco, Hotel Vintage Park, and the Alexis) you recommend for location. We’ll be doing the standard tourist stuff like Pikes Market, the Space Needle, and Chihuly Museum, and will also do some shopping and see a play at the 5th Avenue Theatre. We’re all in good physical shape and don’t mind walking around town, but want to stay in a nice area. Thanks in advance.
My favorite of the Seattle Kimpton hotels are the Alexis and Hotel Monaco. They’re both in good locations for you, within easy distance to Pioneer Square and the Underground Tour. The Alexis is closer to Pike Place Market and the waterfront, while the Monaco will be closer to good shopping, the 5th Ave Theater, and the monorail to the Space Needle. If you’ve got kids, the Monaco is the more kid-friendly of the two, with weekend magic shows and lemonade and goldfish crackers at the evening wine reception, so that’s what I’d choose. If you’re traveling without kids, I’d go for the fancier Alexis.
I’ll be in Seattle on business next week with a cohort from my office, and our flight will be getting into Seattle Tacoma airport late in the evening. We will be staying at the Maxwell Hotel, which I understand is in a sleepier part of the city. Are there any good/fun late-night restaurants nearby that you’d recommend for a bite to eat and a cocktail after we drop our bags at the hotel – probably around 10 or 10:30? Thanks.
Toulouse Pettit has one of the best late night menus and happy hour in the city, and it’s less than a 10 minute walk from the Maxwell Hotel. The atmosphere is fun and energetic, and the menu is amazing. They’re open until 2am every day, with late night happy hour specials from 10pm until 1am. The only downside is deciding what to order.
If you’re looking for something closer to your hotel, I’d recommend McMenamins Queen Anne pub. They serve classic pub-style fare, are open until 1am most nights (Sunday and Monday til midnight), and have a late night happy hour from 10pm until close. It’s just one block down from where you’ll be staying.
For pizza you can find some great wood fired pies and craft beers at The Masonry, just a five minute walk away. They’re open every night until midnight, and serve dinner up to closing time.
Great website! Your answer to the question about hotels near the stadium was particularly helpful to me, because I’m planning a guys trip for my husband and some of his friends as a 50th birthday gift. They’ll go to a Seahawks game and hit a few bars and restaurants while they’re there. Here are my questions:
1. Are there any of those hotels you mentioned (with good stadium access, I mean) that you would particularly recommend for a group of guys? The decor doesn’t have to scream MANLY, but I’d like to avoid the more girly and elegant options.
2. What downtown bars/pubs do you recommend that have games like billards and shuffleboard?
1. For guys, Hotel 1000 would be a great choice. The vibe is not feminine/girly at all, they’re within walking distance from Lumen Field, and they have a good onsite restaurant for breakfast in the morning. Perhaps best of all, though, is their indoor virtual golf simulator. Guests can set up a tee-time to hit a few balls, or the hotel will even set up a tournament for your husband and friends with snacks and beverage service. They (or you) would have to plan ahead, though – all virtual golfing must be arranged in advance through the concierge.
Hotel Max would also be a good choice. Lots of cool art and photography that’s modern and anything but girly, and a really great rustic style steakhouse attached. Guest rooms aren’t huge, but they’re comfortable, and the hotel hosts a complimentary craft beer happy hour every afternoon in the lobby. Hotel Max is four blocks from the Westlake light rail station, providing easy access to the game.
2. The best downtown pubs for bar games are Brave Horse Tavern (darts and shuffleboard), Belltown Pub (shuffleboard, foosball, pool), and Flatstick Pub in Pioneer Square (mini golf, corn hole, duffle board, and others).
We’ll be flying in from the east coast for a football game this fall, and are looking for help finding a hotel. The closest hotel to Lumen Field seems to be Silver Cloud Hotel. Is this a good one? Would you recommend it? Are there any other hotels you recommend for easy access to the stadiums? Thanks.
Silver Cloud Hotel is a great option if you want to stay close to Lumen Field. Their guest rooms are spacious and comfortable, they’ve got a rooftop pool and hot tub, and provide free shuttle service into Pioneer Square and downtown, should you want to do any sightseeing while you’re here.
Another option would be to book a room at a hotel near one of Seattle’s light rail stations, and then take the train in to the stadium and back on game day. Most downtown hotels are within easy walking distance of a light rail station, with the most convenient being the Mayflower Park Hotel, which sits directly above the underground Westlake station. My advice would be to check out Booking.com to see what downtown hotel deals are available for the weekend you’ll be in town. Besides Mayflower Park, other hotels that are very convenient to Light Rail are Arctic Club, Courtyard Pioneer Square, Hotel Monaco, Fairmont Olympic, Four Seasons, the W, Motif, and Hotel Max.
My husband and I are doing a Seattle weekend getaway in early September. We’ll be staying at the Inn at the Market, which I’ve recently learned does not have a hotel restaurant. I’m wondering if you can recommend any great restaurants nearby. We are open to all sorts of cuisine, from Italian to seafood to sushi, and love to try new things. We’re also willing to splurge a bit, but only if it’s really worth it. Thanks in advance!
When staying at Inn at the Market, there are no shortage of great restaurants nearby. Here are some of my favorites:
Matt’s in the Market – Seattle’s most iconic restaurant, serving up incredible (and incredibly fresh) new American cuisine. Reservations recommended.
Sushi Kashiba – Unforgettable omakase-style sushi, prepared by chef Shiro Kashiba, one of the true masters of the craft. Sit at the bar for the best experience.
Chan – Inventive Korean gastropub just underneath the hotel. Surprising flavors, great cocktails.
Cafe Campagne, Le Pichet, and Maximilien – three fantastic French eateries. I recommend Cafe Campagne for brunch, Le Pichet for dinner, and Maximilien for views.
The Pink Door – Delectable Italian in Pike Place’s Post Alley. Sit on the patio for a lovely view, or inside to catch the trapeze show. (Yes, really!)
Etta’s – Seattle superchef Tom Douglas’ seafood joint. Doesn’t get fresher and more expertly-prepared than this.
Old Stove Brewing – Comfortable brewpub with great craft beers and delicious sandwiches. A great casual lunch spot.
Steelhead Diner – Your favorite diner classics, upgraded and super fresh. Overlooks Pike Place Market and Elliott Bay.
We’re staying at the Inn At The Market and wondered weather there was a good Seattle brewery within walking distance?
Old Stove Brewery has some delicious craft beers and is steps from the Inn at the Market. Great friendly vibe and some tasty sandwiches too.
I know a group of four young men (in their 30s) flying in to a football game in October. What would be the best hotel for them to stay at for three nights? They would appreciate a good bar scene and some decent restaurants around, as well. They probably won’t do much in the way of sightseeing, but maybe will spend some time at Pike Place Market and a local brewery or two. Any suggestions for them?
Hotel Max is a hip and trendy boutique hotel located just 6 blocks from Pike Place Market. It’s got a fantastic bar/restaurant adjacent, and hosts daily craft beer happy hour in the lobby (complimentary, of course). The dining and drinking scene is amazing in this area, and nearby breweries include Pike Place and Old Stove Brewing Companies (both located in Pike Place Market) and Cloudburst Brewing in Belltown. Copperworks Distillery is located nearby on the downtown waterfront, and are open daily to taste their small-batch whiskey, gin, and vodka; and Fridays and Saturdays to tour. Hotel Max is also very convenient to light rail, which is the best way to get down to the stadiums on game day.
I’m flying into Seattle this fall to visit family and do a little sightseeing. I’m planning to stay for about a week and would like to stay in a hotel where I could use my Hilton Honors Points. My internet search has found the Seattle Hilton, the Arctic Club Hotel, and the Hilton Garden Inn. Do you have any recommendations between these three based on location and value? Thanks.
The Hilton Seattle is located near the Seattle convention center. Of the three Hiltons, it’s in the best location for sightseeing – very close to great shopping, restaurants, and the monorail to the Space Needle/Seattle Center, and an easy walk to Pike Place Market. There’s a light rail station three blocks away for exploring points further afield and transportation SeaTac airport. The prime location will cost you – Hilton Seattle is the most expensive of the three properties you mentioned.
Hilton Garden Inn is the least expensive of the three, and also the newest. It’s located outside of central downtown, near I-5. There’s not a lot to do in the surrounding neighborhood, and it’s about a 10-minute walk to downtown and the light rail, 15-20 minutes to Pike Place Market or the Space Needle. If you’re looking for some good food and drink, however, you’re in luck: the Capitol Hill neighborhood, just across the freeway (take the Olive Way bridge across) is known for its fantastic restaurants, bars, and cafes.
The Arctic Club is near Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square neighborhood. There are lots of great bars and restaurants nearby, and it’s an easy walk to downtown, Pike Place Market, and the ferry terminal. It’s my favorite, by far, of the three Hiltons in town. The property is a restored 1900’s social club, and it retains its old world, “men’s club” feel. It’s got vintage details and furnishings, and the lobby bar is just gorgeous. It’s worth mentioning that there are several social service agencies located within the neighborhood, attracting a fair number of homeless people. If you stay in this area, expect some to see some congregating and minor panhandling, but nothing dangerous.
Hi there – great site! My husband and I will be staying for four nights, per your recommendation, at the Mayflower Park Hotel this September. It looks awesome and we’re really looking forward to it.
Now that we’ve got our hotel nailed down, we’re thinking about food. What are Seattle’s can’t-miss restaurants downtown? From what I’ve read, lots of Seattle’s best restaurants are located in neighborhood areas, and we’d like to avoid the hassle of getting back and forth. (We won’t have a car.)
Thanks in advance!
Mel from Houston
No shortage of fantastic restaurants in downtown Seattle. Here are some favorites:
Matt’s in the Market: Amazingly fresh and delicious New American in an iconic Seattle location.
Cafe Campagne, Le Pichet, Place Pigalle: Fabulous French cuisine
Sushi Kashiba: Mind-blowing and masterful sushi in Pike Place Market
The Pink Door and Il Bistro: Incredible Italian
Etta’s, Elliott’s Oyster House: The best seafood downtown
Serious Pie: Amazing Neapolitan-style pizza
Steelhead Diner: Super fresh, upscale comfort food in Pike Place Market
Chan: Fabulous Korean/Small plates
Hello. Our group of 12 is planning on a few days in Seattle pre/post Alaska cruise next summer. We would like to see some Seattle sights while there. Can you please recommend a reasonably priced hotel (around $150/night) that would be in a central location for walking to the sights or using public transportation? Thanks in advance.
Summer is high season in Seattle, and downtown hotels rates are extremely high during this time. There won’t be much available at the rate you’re looking for. That said, here are a few options: The Moore Hotel is centrally-located (one block up from Pike Place Market), is a clean and charming historic hotel, and is adjacent to a great little coffee shop. The Moore has many affordable classes of rooms and suites – including European-style rooms (with shared baths) that go for as little as $80/night. The downsides to this hotel are that it is low/no frills (don’t expect room service or a spa) and that it doesn’t have air-conditioning. And though it generally cools down enough at night in Seattle that sleeping temperature wouldn’t be a problem, with open windows you’d get more than a bit of street noise from below.
I’m planning a surprise trip to Seattle for my wife this November. We’ve been to the city once before, but just for a day and have always wanted to come back and spend more time. We’ll be attending a Seahawks football game with friends, and hope to get to the art museum, Pike Place Market, and of course the Space Needle.
1. Can you recommend a good hotel that is central to all of those locations? We don’t need a pool or spa, but a good lobby bar is a plus.
2. What else should we do while we’re there? We like history/culture, and are foodie-types. We’ll be spending 5 days in the city.
Thanks in advance!
1. The great thing about traveling to Seattle at the start of our rainy season is that you’re likely to find some great hotel deals. Close to the Seattle Art Museum and Pike PLace Market, I’d recommend the Alexis Hotel (lovely boutique spot near the SAM), Four Seasons (elegant and luxurious), Inn at the Market (in the heart of it all) and The Thompson (new and super swanky). It’ll be a bit of a walk to the stadiums from any of these, but you can easily take the light rail there. (Get off at the Stadium stop.) And the Westlake Center monorail will take you right to the base of the Space Needle.
2. Since you’re history buffs, you’ll want to take the Underground Tour in Pioneer Square – a fun and easy crash course in Seattle’s beginnings. The Museum of History and Industry is cool as well, and easy to get to from downtown via the South Lake Union streetcar.
My husband and I will be flying in from Denver next July in order to take an Alaska cruise. We’d like to stay in downtown Seattle for a few days either beforehand or afterward. Neither of us has been to the area before, or knows much about it. We’re in our 50’s, and in decent shape, fitness-wise.
1. Should we rent a car for our few days in Seattle, or is it pretty easy to get around by foot?
2. How far is the airport from downtown? Should we cab it or shuttle?
3. Do you have any suggestions for a centrally-located hotel that’ll be under $300/night in July?
4. How far ahead should we book our hotel?
Thanks so much — I love your site!
1. Seattle is a pretty walkable city, and especially if you want to stay downtown, a car can be more of a hindrance than a help. There are lots of good public transit options (see light rail, street car, metro bus, and monorail), and a cab/Uber ride within the city will be pretty cheap. (Definitely less than paying for parking!)
2. Sea-Tac International Airport is about 15 miles from downtown Seattle. Depending on traffic (which can get pretty bad), the drive can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour or more. There won’t be that great of a price difference between cab and shuttle, so whatever you’re more comfortable with would be fine. Ride services like Uber and Lyft are now allowed to pick up passengers at SeaTac, though surge pricing during periods of high-demand can cause fares to skyrocket. If traffic is heavy (during morning/evening commute times, and Friday afternoons and weekends in the summer), you might consider saving some time (and money) by taking light rail from the airport into downtown.
3. Your best bet for an affordable downtown room in July will be the Mayflower Park Hotel. It’s a lovely historic hotel with a gorgeous lobby bar, and is often one of the best hotel deals in the city. Also try the Warwick, a centrally-located gem with great Space Needle Views. Hyatt at Olive 8 has a gorgeous pool/spa and often great rates, as well. It’s worth checking a composite site like Booking to see what’s available.
4. Book as early as possible, if you find a good deal – July is a particularly busy time in the Seattle tourism scene. Booking at a hotel with a generous cancellation policy will allow you the luxury of trading in your reservation, should a better deal come along.
Hi! We have free days in Seattle before and after our Alaska cruise. We are staying at Motif Hotel downtown and want to know the best way to get to the Space Needle, as it doesn’t seem to be very near where we’ll be. I’ve heard there was a Monorail, though I don’t know much about it. Any suggestions are appreciated. Thank You!
Motif is one block away from Westlake Center Mall, where you can catch the Monorail to the Space Needle and Seattle Center. The Monorail station is located on the top floor of the mall – just keep taking the escalators up and you’ll find it. Riding the Monorail couldn’t be easier: there’s no need to consult a timetable, as it departs every 10 minutes between 7:30am and 11:00pm. (It opens an hour later on Saturday and Sunday, at 8:30am.) Fare is $2.25 each way for adults, and $1 for kids 5-12, seniors, and military. Kids 4 and under ride free. When it’s time to go home, just hop on at Seattle Center where you got off, and it’ll take you right back to Westlake Mall. If you’d rather save the fare, the walk from Motif to Seattle Center is easy and level, and will take you only about 15 minutes. Just follow the Monorail tracks along 5th Avenue until you’re there!
We are two retired female educators looking for best place to stay in or around Seattle for two nights. Our Aug. 28 flight (to head home) is in the p.m., so we can make it to SeaTac using the light rail. About us: We are cafe type gals, sight-seers, walkers, artsy. We want a neighborhood with some history, outside cafes, small shops but close enough for short taxi or walk to light rail. We stayed near the needle once and this time would like to stay close to attractions like Pike Place Market. And if we could keep it under $200 it would be ideal – We are spoiled but cheap! Any suggestions would be greatfully appreciated. Thanks!
Under $200 near the market is August will be difficult to come by. Your best bet is the Moore Hotel. It’s a charming historic hotel located just a block up from Pike Place Market and four blocks from the Westlake light rail station. The Moore has standard rooms, suites, connecting rooms, and European-style rooms with shared bathrooms (and super low rates). It’s not luxurious, but it’s clean and charming, there’s a great coffee shop adjacent to the lobby, and you can’t beat the location.
You could also try your luck with the Mayflower Park Hotel, which sits just above the Westlake light rail station and within an easy walk to the market. It’s a lovely historic hotel with a gorgeous lobby bar, and is often one of the best hotel deals in the city. It’s unlikely that you’ll find rooms under $200/night during high season, but well worth checking out.
I’m having a tough time deciding between Hotel Five and the Maxwell Hotel. We’ll be in Seattle in August with one kid, seven years old. We’d like to do Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, the Aquarium, and maybe the zoo. It seems like Five is more centrally located. Which would you choose?
You’re right that Hotel Five is more centrally located, but I’d choose the Maxwell. It’s a bit nicer, is in the quieter neighborhood of Lower Queen Anne, and there’s a pool for splashing in at the end of a long day sightseeing. You can easily walk to the Space Needle from the hotel, and take the monorail into downtown for Pike Place Market and the Aquarium. Both hotels provide shuttle service to Woodland Park Zoo. The Five is in Belltown, which is a great location for restaurants and nightlife, but street noise can be an issue at night – especially because the monorail runs right past the hotel.
Hi, I’m planning a trip in the early fall to celebrate an anniversary. We’d like to stay downtown to avoid renting a car, but don’t want to stay anywhere TOO busy and loud. We like modern, and the more luxurious the better. We’re looking at places near Pike Place Market, and we’ve heard good things about the Inn at the Market, the Four Seasons, and the Thompson. What do you think? Are there any other neighborhoods or hotels you’d recommend?
Thanks in advance,
You can’t go wrong with any of the hotels you’ve listed, though the Inn at the Market and Thompson are both located right at Pike Place Market, which is one of the busiest spots in the city. The Four Seasons is only a few blocks away, but those few blocks do make a difference – inside, it feels significantly more removed from the hustle and bustle on the streets below. Plus, they’ve got a gorgeous rooftop pool deck and great spa.
You might also want to consider the Alexis. It’s a modern luxury boutique hotel located a between Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square. The Alexis has lovely and unique decor, as well as a cozy and charming in-house bar/cafe. If you’re open to some easy public transit, the Pan Pacific Seattle is worth a look, as well. It’s a beautiful modern hotel, tucked discreetly into the quickly-growing South Lake Union neighborhood. It’s located a bit outside of the downtown core, but there’s a streetcar line that passes right outside of the hotel and will take you within a few blocks of Pike Place Market, and the hotel offers complimentary shuttle service within two miles. Many rooms and suites at the Pan Pacific have fantastic Space Needle Views.
I’m booking a hotel for three nights beginning July 31 for three adults. I’m wondering if I could get your opinion. I’m currently looking only at Marriott properties as we can get a substantial discount through a family member.
We’re considering the Courtyard Downtown/Pioneer Square and Residence Inn Downtown/Lake Union. Both are available during our dates. It looks like the Courtyard is closer to the main downtown/waterfront area and the Residence Inn is closer to the Space Needle. Is that correct?
What would you choose, between the two?
Courtyard Pioneer Square is located in the core of Seattle’s downtown – from there, you could easily walk to Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square, great shopping, and the waterfront. There’s a light rail station a block away to deliver you to/from the airport, or adventures farther afield. The area surrounding the Courtyard can be a bit gritty for some tastes, though it’s by no means dangerous.
The Residence Inn Lake Union sits outside of the downtown core. It’s true that it’s a bit closer to the Space Needle than the Courtyard is, but not by much. You’d be across from the park and restaurants at Lake Union, and could walk to the Museum of History and Industry and the Center for Wooden Boats. There’s a streetcar line just outside the hotel that runs into the center of downtown. You can expect it to be a bit quieter around the Residence Inn, due to its removed location.
Hi. Visiting Seattle with my adult daughter next week. I can’t decide between Edgewater and Hyatt. (Westin and Sheraton are available – Mayflower not). We love the water and don’t plan to shop. We plan to take a night ferry to and from Bainbridge, and am considering a VC trip to San Juan Islands. However, I am concerned about the noise and being further away from everything. My daughter is looking forward to some rest from her busy work schedule. What would you do? Partial view room at Edgewater. Thanks.
Since you love the water, don’t plan to shop, and have at least a couple of waterfront activities planned, I’d go for the Edgewater. It’s true that the Seattle’s waterfront is seeing some construction right now, but it’s definitely still enjoyable. The views from the lobby and Six Seven restaurant are not affected, and these alone are enough to delight any water-lover. The Edgewater also provides a complimentary shuttle service that can help you avoid the worst of the construction hassle.
The Hyatt is a lovely hotel as well, but if shopping’s not your thing and you’re looking to experience “Seaside Seattle,” the Edgewater is what you want.
We will be driving into Seattle from eastern Washington this November to see a show at the Paramount Theater.
1. Can you recommend a good hotel that is a walk or short cab ride to the theatre? Doesn’t have to be budget (I know downtown is expensive), but we’d like to keep the price as low as possible without sacrificing at least a little bit of luxury.
2. Is there any way that you know of to get around paying the pricey valet parking fees at downtown hotels? Any secret, centrally-located, cheap parking garages out there?
1. There are three great hotels within a few blocks of the Paramount Theatre. My favorite is the Hyatt at Olive 8. This Hyatt has a sleek, urban vibe, a fantastic in-house restaurant, and lovely saltwater pool and spa. The Grand Hyatt is much larger, and closer to the convention center, and feels much more like a business hotel. Still, the rooms are spacious and well-appointed, and there are great restaurants and shops surrounding the hotel. The Paramount Hotel is a smaller, cozier hotel. Rooms are not large, but they’re furnished comfortably and stylishly.
2. There’s a parking lot at 8th and Pine, convenient to any of the hotels listed above. They charge $30/night, which is cheaper than hotel parking, but you’ll sacrifice the in and out privileges you’d get with a hotel valet. If you’re mostly coming to see the show, though, you’re not likely to need the car anyway – you can easily get to the theater, great restaurants, and down to Pike Place Market on foot.
Im planning a trip with my husband and 2 kids ages 4 and 1. never been to Seattle looking for some things we can do as a family.
For really young kids, like yours, a can’t-miss is the Seattle Aquarium. It’s located on the downtown waterfront, has awesome exhibits (like “touch tidepools” where you can get up close and personal with anemones and starfish) and is a really approachable size. They have an in-house cafe, and there other kid-friendly eateries nearby on the waterfront (Ivars, Red Robin) and up the hill at Pike Place Market (Steelhead Diner, Lowell’s).
The Pacific Science Center on the Seattle Center campus is also a great choice. There are dinosaurs, a huge butterfly room, and a great kids’ play area. It’s close to other kid-friendly spots like the Seattle Children’s Museum and Theatre, and the Space Needle. There’s also a great playground at Seattle Center, a better-than-decent food court, and a cool water fountain for kids to run around in if the weather is hot.
My family and I (three kids: 5, 7, 10) will be staying in Seattle for a few weeks this September. We’re looking for an extended-stay type of hotel, think Residence Inn. We’d like it to be close to downtown, as my husband will be working in the city center during the week, and we’d like to have enough space for us to spread out a bit and continue our homeschooling on the road. A pool would be ideal, but is not a necessity.
Additionally, do you think we should rent a car for the duration of our stay?
The Residence Inn on Lake Union would be great for you. The location is great for your purposes: outside of the busy downtown core, you’d be near the Center for Wooden Boats, Museum of History and Industry, and Lake Union Park. There’s a streetcar line just outside of the hotel that runs into downtown. All suites have balconies, and the hotel has a decent pool/hot tub, as well as an adjacent kids’ “rec room” with toys and video games.
Hyatt House, near Seattle Center, would be a good option as well. Just across the street from the Space Needle, you’d have quick and easy access to the Seattle Children’s Museum, Pacific Science Center, Seattle Children’s Theatre, and Experience Music Project. There’s also a great playground nearby, and the Monorail can take you directly into the heart of downtown. The hotel is only a year old, so everything’s in great condition, and there’s a small food market in the lobby and cool rooftop deck with barbecue grills for guests to use. No pool, though.
As a budget option, there’s the Hampton Inn and Suites. It’s also near Seattle Center, though it would be a bit more of a hike (10 minutes, maybe 15 with kids) to the monorail and into the part of Seattle Center where the cool museums are. No pool here, either.
As far as a car goes, if you’re staying near downtown, it would be more of a burden than a benefit. It’s tough (and expensive) to park downtown, and daily hotel parking rates would really add up. It’s easy to get around using the Link Light Rail, Seattle Streetcar, and Metro buses. Use the Trip Planner to determine your route, and pay for all of them using refillable Orca cards (remember to get the youth rate cards for the kids). Grab a cab or Uber to get around town when public transit’s not an option, and save renting a car for day trips outside of the city.
We are coming in very late the night before a cruise and will have the morning and early afternoon to tour around the next day.
Which hotel would be better, Meditrranean Inn on Queen Anne Avenue, or Warwick on Lenora Street?
We were thinking Pike’s Market would be a must do with the little time we have. Any thoughts or ideas would be helpful. Thank you in advance.
Since you only have a short time for sightseeing, I’d go for the Warwick. It’s a great hotel in a central location: just six blocks from Pike Place Market, which is a must-do if this is your first trip to Seattle. In addition to the Market, you’ll likely have time for one other nearby attraction. You could head down to the waterfront and poke around the Seattle Aquarium, or take a spin on the Great Wheel. For a fun crash-course in Seattle history, consider the Underground Tour in Pioneer Square. (Though all of these are walkable from the Market area, you could also cab or Uber around to save time.)
The Mediterranean Inn is also nice, though its location is not as central. You’d spend more time (and money) getting to and from the hotel, and less time seeing the sights.
We are planning an Alaska cruise next year, and are looking for some advice regarding hotels. We’d like to arrive in Seattle a few days in advance and explore the city.
1. What hotels are the best for getting to the pier easily?
2. How easy is it to get from the airport to downtown?
3. Should we take a cab to the pier, or can we walk from downtown? (We’ll have some luggage, but nothing we can’t pull along.)
Thanks in advance!
There are two cruise ship piers in located in Seattle: Pier 66 (also known as the Bell Street Pier) is used by Norwegian and Oceana cruise lines, and Pier 91 (or Smith Cove) serves Carnival, Celebrity, Holland America, Princess, and Royal Caribbean.
1. If you’ll be embarking at Pier 66, any downtown hotel will fit the bill, though the Edgewater, Marriott Waterfront, Inn at El Gaucho, or Ace Hotel are the closest. Cab fare to the terminal will be less than $10. Pier 91 is a mile or two further north, so you’d be better off staying at a hotel near Seattle Center. I’d recommend the Maxwell, MarQueen, Hyatt Place, or Mediterranean Inn. Cab fare to Pier 91 will likely be under $15.
2. It’s not difficult. The cheapest way is to take Link light rail; it’ll cost about $3 and will take about 40 minutes, with trains departing every 5-15 minutes (depending on time of day). The easiest way is to take a cab; there’s a $40 flat cab rate from SeaTac airport into downtown, and the ride will take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour (depending on traffic). If you’re staying on the waterfront or near Seattle Center, a cab will be the better option.
3. If your ship is departing from Pier 66, you could walk, though a cab wouldn’t cost much and would save you a headache. That’s what I’d do. If you’re leaving from Pier 91, a cab/Uber will be required.
I will be taking the 7:30 am Victoria Clipper ferry into B.C. and will need to stay overnight in Seattle the evening before. I’m not familiar with the Seattle area. I want to be relatively close to the ferry dock as to avoid morning rush hour traffic, which I hear can be really bad, and I don’t want to miss my reserved spot on the clipper. Can anyone recommend hotels in the vicinity that are not over $250 for one night for one person? This will be in late August. Thank you.
The Edgewater and Marriott Waterfront are the closest hotels to the Clipper, but they’re both well out of your preferred price range – especially in late August, which is still high tourist season here in Seattle.
Your best option is going to be the Moore Hotel. The Moore is a clean and charming historic hotel, located 10 blocks away from the pier: a cheap and easy cab or Uber ride away. It should be no problem getting a room in your price range in late August – The Moore offers standard rooms, suites, and Euro-style rooms with shared baths. There’s a great coffee shop adjacent to the lobby, should you want to fuel up before your trip.
If you prefer modern and edgy, I’d look into the Ace Hotel as well. It’s a hip and trendy boutique hotel, located about 5 blocks from the Clipper. While it’s closer to the pier than the Moore, you’re less likely to find a room within your budget at that time of year. Depending on what day of the week you’ll be traveling, however, you might get lucky and it’s worth checking out. Ace also offers both traditional and Euro-style, shared-bath rooms.
I will be visiting Seattle for a week at the end of August. I am trying to decide where to stay. I want to stay downtown and am looking to spend around $400 per night. I am looking for a centrally-located hotel with modern decor and excellent service. I have narrowed my choices down to the following: W Hotel, Westin Hotel, or Thompson Hotel. Any suggestions???
The Thompson looks like a great choice, though I can’t say I’ve stayed there – the hotel is brand new and doesn’t open for another week! Its location is perfect – close to Pike Place Market and overlooking Puget Sound. The hotel restaurant and bar are headed by two of Seattle’s most highly-regarded local chefs. If you can get in for under $400/night in August, I definitely would; I don’t think those early bird rates are going to be around much longer.
Of the other hotels you mentioned, The Westin has great views and is is central to everything, but ultimately not very exciting. The W is nice enough and definitely modern, but isn’t going to be as breathtaking as the Thompson. Other centrally-located modern hotel options worth considering are Inn at the Market (great service, location, and views), Hyatt at Olive 8 (modern luxury with a great restaurant and gorgeous pool and spa), and Hotel Max (modern art-sy boutique hotel).
I’m planning a quick trip for our 8 year wedding anniversary on Sept 23rd with Clipper vacations from Victoria to Seattle for one night. I can’t decide which hotel to stay at. Our choices are: Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza Seattle, Warwick Hotel, and Westin Seattle. They are all around the same price point (except holiday inn). This will be a short trip without the kids, so we’ll probably want to go for a nice dinner, go to the space needle and EMP and do some shopping over the two days. Any suggestions of which hotel would be best? We won’t have a car, since we’re taking the clipper, so we will be walking or taking public transit.
The Westin would be my first choice of the hotels you mention. It has the most central location, with great shopping, restaurants, and Pike Place Market within super easy walking distance. When it’s time for your Space Needle/EMP excursion, you’ll be only a block away from hopping the Monorail over to Seattle Center. The Westin also has some of Seattle’s best hotel room views; its guest rooms are housed within two tall towers – the higher the floor, the better the view.
My second choice would be the Warwick. It’s lovely and comfortable, and is almost as good as the Westin, in terms of location. You’ll walk a couple of extra blocks to Pike Place, shopping, and the Monorail, but the Warwick is near lots of great restaurants and has fabulous Space Needle views from north-facing rooms.
The Crowne Plaza is far from everywhere you’ll want to be, and at the crest of a steep hill – not the best option if you’re footing it everywhere. The Holiday Inn Express is very near Seattle Center, but it’s far from shopping and restaurants and isn’t in a very interesting neighborhood for walking around. Better to stay downtown and take the Monorail in.
We will be attending a family wedding in Seattle this fall, and are beginning to plan for our accommodations. The wedding party has reserved a block of rooms at Hotel Monaco downtown, but it looks like it might be a bit fancy for those of us with young kids — ours are 4 and 6. (We’re some of the only guests for whom this is a consideration.) Can you recommend a family-friendly option nearby?
We’d like to also get a little bit of sightseeing in while we’re in town, but won’t have time for very much of it, so it would be great if you could recommend a few of your top picks for sightseeing with kids. Thanks in advance.
Not to worry – while it’s lovely to look at, Hotel Monaco is also super kid-friendly. They go the extra mile for families by stocking their complimentary cocktail hour with goldfish crackers and cider, hanging child-sized robes alongside the adult ones, and hosting a magician in the lobby on Friday evenings. You can even request a real goldfish to be your “room pet” during the duration of your stay. It’s likely the most family-focused hotel downtown, so no need to look elsewhere.
As far as sightseeing with kids goes, it’s tough to beat the Seattle Aquarium. It’s located right on Seattle’s waterfront, and has just enough sea life to keep kids interested, but not overwhelmed. Pike Place Market also has a lot spots kids love: don’t miss the magic shop, the gum wall, and Shug’s Soda Fountain. Any extra time could happily be spent with a visit to the Pacific Science Center, the Woodland Park Zoo (north of downtown), or the Museum of Flight (south).
I’m driving in from Idaho with my young son to see a Mariner’s game. He loves baseball and has never been to a game before — I’m excited to take him to his first one. Can you recommend a good hotel near the stadiums, so it will be convenient for us to get in and out? We won’t have time for much other sightseeing on our trip, and he’s not really old enough for a lot of walking around anyway, so proximity to Safeco Field is the biggest thing for us. Doesn’t have to be a four-star spot, but I’d appreciate someplace clean and safe. Thanks.
For proximity to the stadiums, you can’t do better than the Silver Cloud Inn – Stadium. It’s directly across the street from Safeco, and one block from CenturyLink. It’s clean and safe, has spacious guest rooms, free shuttle service into downtown, and a rooftop pool and sundeck. Trains do run along either side of this hotel, however, so request a courtyard room if you or your son will be sensitive to nighttime noise. Also keep in mind that you may be paying extra for the convenient location: rates tend to spike at this hotel on game days – more so for Seahawks than Mariners games, however.
If you’re ok with a 15 minute walk to/from the hotel, another great option is the Best Western Plus Pioneer Square. It’s a budget-friendly historic hotel in an historic location, is clean and safe, and offers free breakfast daily. Again, ask for an interior room if you’re worried about street noise.
A few of my friends and I will be coming up from Portland for a girls’ weekend this fall, and we’re in the process of planning for our lodging. We’ve all been to Seattle before, and don’t feel like we need to be paying extra to stay downtown. (More hotel savings = more shopping!) Ideally, we’d love to stay somewhere in a neighborhood with cute boutique shops and bars, though I know that that’s not where the hotels are generally to be found. I’ve been burned before with airbnb, so am looking to stay away from that option. Are there any hotels in cute neighborhoods that we should be looking at? Thx.
Hotel Ballard is my favorite neighborhood hotel: it’s located in (no surprise here) Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, set right on charming and historic Ballard Avenue. It’s literally surrounded by great bars and restaurants, is not far from the Ballard Locks and beautiful Golden Gardens Park, and here’s a great farmers market right outside of the hotel on Sundays year-round. The hotel itself is luxurious and absolutely beautiful, with a rooftop courtyard and stunning suites. A less expensive option is their sister property, The Ballard Inn. It’s located just one block over from Hotel Ballard, also on Ballard Avenue. Most rooms at the Inn have shared, European-style bathrooms (the exception being deluxe king rooms), and there are even teeny-tiny twin rooms, if all you’re looking for is a comfy place to crash. Stays at both Hotel Ballard and the Ballard Inn include access to the beautiful and well-appointed Olympic Athletic Club next door.
Another great Seattle neighborhood option is Fremont. Fremont is quirky and charming as all get out, has loads of great bars, restaurants, and boutiques, and is located right on the scenic Burke Gilman bike trail. Theo Chocolate is headquartered in Fremont (I recommend the factory tour, if for no other reason than the free samples), and the neighborhood’s Sunday street market features all sorts of crafts, antiques, and great street food. Hotel Hotel hostel is located right in the heart of Ballard, with both dorm-style, shared-bath guest rooms and guest rooms with traditional en-suite baths. Hotel hotel has a communal kitchen for guest use, and is right on the bus line into downtown. The Staybridge Suites hotel is located just outside of Fremont on Aurora Avenue. It’s brand new, with a small pool and hot tub, and great views from the rooftop deck. It’ll take 10 minutes or so to walk into the heart Fremont from the hotel, but it’s a pleasant walk through leafy neighborhoods.
My husband and I are flying in to Seattle for an anniversary trip this October. After doing some research, It’s looking like a room at the Inn at the Market (non-water view) will cost over 100 dollars more per night than the Mayflower Park Hotel. Both seem to be great location-wise. Is it worth the extra money for the Inn at the Market if we don’t have the views? Our biggest concerns are cleanliness and convenience, and since we haven’t been to Seattle before, we want to make the most out of our time there. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
I’d go for the Mayflower Park – it’s clean, classy, and convenient to everything. The Mayflower Park Hotel is an easy three blocks to Pike Place Market and adjacent to great shopping and restaurants – there’s even a light rail stop underneath the hotel.
The Inn at the Market is a wonderful hotel, and the views facing the Bay are extraordinary. If you’re less concerned with luxury and modern decor than you are with cleanliness and convenience, however, I suspect you’ll be happy at either spot. Use the money you save to book dinner reservations at a great water-view restaurant like Matt’s in the Market, Six Seven, or Elliott’s Oyster House.
Have a wonderful trip!
I’m taking a girls trip to Seattle this summer with some friends.
We’re all in our late 20s and like to go out to fun bars and great restaurants. I’ve heard that the Capitol Hill neighborhood is a fun place to hang out, and I have a few questions:
1. Is it s safe walk to/from this area, especially at night?
2. What would you recommend for transportation, otherwise?
3. What Capitol Hill restaurants do you recommend?
We’ll be staying at the Paramount Hotel, on Pine Street downtown.
If you’re interested in Capitol Hill bars and restaurants, you’ve chosen a great hotel. The Paramount is located within easy walking distance of the neighborhood’s Melrose/Pike/Pine corridor – Seattle’s newest restaurant hot spot. Just head east on Pike or Pine across the freeway and you’re there!
1. The walk from the Convention Center area (where the Paramount Hotel is located) to the western slope of Capitol Hill is easy and safe, even at night. Especially since you’ll be with a group, I recommend it if the weather is good.
2. If it’s rainy, or you’re tuckered out from too much sightseeing, a cab or Uber is an easy and inexpensive option for you, due to the short distance.
3. The Melrose/Pine/Pike area of Capitol hill is chock-full of great bars and eateries. For restaurants, I’d recommend Stateside (amazing Vietnamese/French), Mamnoon (Middle Eastern), Trove (Korean BBQ), or Sitka & Spruce (Modern American/Seattle cuisine – expensive, but worth it). You can’t go wrong with any of these, but you’ll want to call ahead for reservations, especially if you’re visiting over a weekend.
I’m planning a trip to Seattle in June. I’m really looking forward to it, and want to stay in a hip, cool spot. I’m currently considering both Ace Hotel and Hotel Max. I will be traveling with a friend and we’re both in our mid-20’s and like good eating, drinking, and nightlife. Doesn’t have to be too fancy and we will not be renting a car. Your opinion?
Both the Ace and the Max are great hotels: fun, hip, and comfortable. If you won’t have a car at your disposal, then I’d say go for the Max. It’s located super close to the light rail line, Monorail, and South Lake Union trolley – it’ll be easy to get to most of the best restaurants and nightlife, as well as shopping and touristy stuff during the day. (It’s a 5-minute walk to Pike Place Market.) Rooms are small, but I think they’re more comfortable than those at the Ace, and as a bonus, there’s complimentary daily beer reception in the lobby!
The Ace is charming in an artsy hipster way, and its location in the trendy and fun Belltown neighborhood is a great one – you’d most likely be happy with the nearby bars and restaurants, and it’s an easy walk to Pike Place Market. The Ace’s distance from light rail and other major transit lines, though, makes it more difficult to get out and explore other areas.
My son and I will be visiting Seattle for a University of Washington college visit. We’d also like to do some sightseeing, and would prefer not to rent a car.
1. Do you think it would be better to stay downtown, or to stay near the University?
2. Any thoughts on hotels for this?
Seattle’s Link light rail line just opened up a station at the University of Washington, making it really easy to get around without a car. You can go straight from SeaTac Airport to central downtown and the UW (as well as other cool and interesting neighborhoods) for under $3. Read more about it here. Now, to your questions:
1. It depends on whether you’re more interested in saving money, or time. You’ll definitely find cheaper rates at hotels in the University District than you will downtown. Most U-District hotels are on the opposite side of campus than the light rail station, though, so it’ll be a 15-20 minute walk (albeit a pleasant one) to get there when you set out for sightseeing. If you choose to stay downtown, there are many hotels within a few blocks of light rail, which will save you time in getting around. Something else to consider is that a stay in the U-District is going to be quieter than in downtown – do you want calm at the end of the day, or do you enjoy being in the midst of the bustling city?
2. If you choose to stay in the U-District, I recommend the Watertown Hotel and University Inn. They’re next door to each other, tucked into a quiet spot that’s very close to campus. They’ve both got bikes for guest use (there’s a great urban bike trail nearby) and provide complimentary shuttle service from the hotel to popular tourist spots. There’s also a Residence Inn near the UW that I really like – it’s a few blocks further from campus, and in a busier location, but the building is well-designed and brand new, and they’ve got great suites with fully-equipped kitchens.
For a downtown stay, I like the Mayflower Park Hotel, an historic property located near Pike Place Market and right at the hub of every transit line you’ll need. If historical’s not your thing, Hotel Max is a fun spot with a cool music-and-art vibe that your son might enjoy. I also like the Hyatt at Olive 8 for their fantastic pool and restaurant.
1. Is the MarQueen a good hotel?
2. Is it in a good/safe location (near Seattle Center)?
2. What’s the best way to get from Seattle Center to Downtown/Convention Center?
1. The MarQueen is a lovely historic Seattle hotel that originally housed the workers for the Lake Union Ford Motor plant. The guest rooms retain the configurations from this era, so they really feel more like small apartments than hotel rooms. Each has a separate seating area and a fully-equipped kitchen with a sweet breakfast nook. There are high ceilings, hardwood floors, and period details. Bathrooms are small, as was common at the time, but they’re well appointed and don’t feel too cramped. Service is great. If you like a historic, boutique hotel experience, you’ll most likely love the MarQueen.
2. The MarQueen is near Seattle Center, outside of the central downtown corridor. The neighborhood is quieter and more laid-back than downtown, and there are lots of great restaurants, bars, and coffee shops around. It’s walking distance to the Space Needle and Seattle Center museums, and just downhill (though it’s a steep one!) from the charming Queen Anne neighborhood – which has even more restaurants and cool shops. As far as safety goes, Seattle’s a pretty safe town overall, though our mild climate draws a sizable homeless population that makes some folks uncomfortable. You’ll find less of this around Seattle Center than in Central downtown.
3. The fastest way to get to downtown from Seattle Center is to take the Monorail. You can catch it right under the Space Needle and it will drop you off four blocks from the Convention Center. Monorail fare is $2.25 each way. Alternately, you could catch the D bus on Queen Anne Avenue, a block from the MarQueen. This will take you to 3rd and Pike, just 5 blocks down from where you want to be. Bus fare is $2.50. Cabs and Uber are an option as well – they’ll be a bit more expensive (though not terribly so), and those extra few bucks will buy you door to door service.
I’m considering the Westin and the Grand Hyatt for an upcoming stay in Seattle.
1. Which is in a more central location?
2. Which one’s restaurant is better?
3. Is either hotel pool and workout facility significantly better?
1. The Westin wins on location. Both hotels are near great shopping and restaurants, but the Westin is closer (a five-minute walk) to Pike Place market, and is across the street from all transit hubs: Link light rail, the South Lake Union trolley, and the Seattle Center Monorail. Grand Hyatt is a few blocks further from all of these. Plus, the views from the higher Hyatt tower rooms are to die for.
2. Grand Hyatt has the better restaurants: a fantastic steakhouse, conveyor-belt sushi, and a great deli for freshly-made sandwiches, and a Starbucks are all adjacent to the hotel. The Westin has a burger bistro that’s decent, but not great.
3. It’s a draw on this one. The pool and fitness facility at the Westin is not great (it’s up for renovation soon), but are all in the same building. The Grand Hyatt’s fitness center is new and really nice. And there’s a saline lap pool for guest use (with hot tub – no hot tub at the Westin) that’s absolutely lovely – the only catch is that it’s located a block away at their sister property, Hyatt at Olive 8.
If you’re open to other options, Hyatt at Olive 8 is a great one: good location, fantastic in-house restaurant, and possibly the best indoor pool and workout facility in the city. It’s worth a look, at the least. Good luck!
What are the best hotels with suites for families? Doesn’t have to be super fancy, but being close to family tourist spots (Space Needle, aquarium, zoo, science museum) is a plus. Thanks!
Two hotels spring to mind for you right away: Hyatt House is just across the street from Seattle Center, which houses the Space Needle, Pacific Science Center, a great playground, and Monorail into central downtown. They’re an all-suite hotel, with complimentary breakfast, fully stocked suite kitchens, and a mini grocery in the lobby. There’s no pool, but they’ve got an amazing rooftop deck with barbecue grills for guests to use and a great view of the Space Needle.
There’s also Maxwell Hotel, located on the quieter northern edge of Seattle Center. It’s also close to the Seattle Center museums and Monorail, and the Maxwell provides complimentary shuttle service to lots of other great tourist spots, including the zoo. They’ve got great suites for families, a fun and vibrant atmosphere, and a small indoor pool. There are lots of good, family-friendly restaurants around, and bikes available for guest use.
When my wife and I travel, one of our favorite ways to learn about the history of a city is by staying in its old hotels and inns. What do you feel are Seattle’s best historic hotels in terms of: luxury, location, and price? Thanks.
Seattle’s best historic hotels are The Fairmont Olympic, Hotel Sorrento, The Arctic Club, The Mayflower Park Hotel, Best Western Plus Pioneer Square, The Moore Hotel, and The MarQueen Hotel. Here is how they rank in each category:
1. Luxury: Fairmont Olympic and Sorrento are the ultimate in historic luxury. Both are gorgeous, splurge-worthy properties. The Arctic Club and Mayflower Park also offer a luxurious stay at a cheaper price tag.
2. Location: The Mayflower Park is central to everything – Pike Place Market, shopping, and restaurants, and is situated right on every transit line you’ll want to take; The Moore is one block from Pike Place Market and close to the popular Belltown neighborhood; Fairmont Olympic is surrounded by great shopping, restaurants, and theater; and Best Western Plus Pioneer Square is located in the heart of historic Pioneer Square, close to the ferry terminal and sports stadiums.
3. Price: The Moore is about as cheap as it gets in Seattle – Queen European (shared bath) guest rooms start at $97 a night. The Mayflower Park and Best Western Plus Pioneer Square are two more great options for an inexpensive (but comfortable) stay at a historic property.
My children (8 year old twins), husband and I have one afternoon and night before our Alaskan cruise on Sunday. I have been looking at different hotels (Inn at the Market is booked and Four Seasons may be a bit more than we want to spend for one night). We like character, charm and comfortable. My husband and I like a cool hotel lobby and bar and very close walking distance to nice restaurant (kid friendly but we like gourmet). Also, what is your favorite cool coffee bar or Sunday am breakfast place?
A few options:
Hotel Monaco is a modern boutique hotel with character and charm galore, and a great bar in their in-house restaurant, Outlier. Outlier is good eats, and it has a kids menu, but if you’re looking for something outside the hotel, I’d recommend Purple (new American/wine bar), which is located nearby. And do breakfast at Sweet Iron (amazing waffles) or Belle Epicurean(bakery/breakfast cafe). A kid-friendly plus to Hotel Monaco: you can request a pet goldfish for the duration of your stay.
The Mayflower Park Hotel is charming in an old-school and elegant way – and in a fantastic location. It’s got a gorgeous lobby bar and great in-house restaurant, and is very close to the all of the great eateries in and around Pike Place Market. (With kids I’d recommend Steelhead Diner.) If you stay at the Mayflower Park, I’d do Sunday brunch at Cafe Campagne, an amazing French Brasserie in Pike Place.
The Pan Pacific Hotel is a bit outside of central downtown near the booming South Lake Union neighborhood – and that means loads of great nearby restaurants like Serious Pie (life changing pizza from chef Tom Douglas), Cactus (incredible Tex-Mex), and Cuoco (Italian). Tutta Bella serves delicious (and super kid-friendly) wood-fired pizzas right next door. The Pan Pacific’s lobby bar is lovely, and many of their rooms have excellent Space Needle views. From the Pan Pacific, I’d breakfast at La Toscanella (Italian bakery) or Portage Bay Cafe (organic modern American).
I’m planning a trip to Seattle in late October of this year:
1. A friend recommended Motif Hotel. I don’t see that on your list. Is it a good one, or should I look elsewhere?
2. Is the Space Needle worth it? Is it easy to get to from downtown?
3. How should we get from SeaTac Airport to the hotel – cab, Uber, or light rail?
4. Is October a good time for whale watching?
1. I like Motif Hotel for its young and artsy vibe and fantastic rooftop terrace. It’s close to great shopping, restaurants, and theaters, and is within easy walking distance to Pike Place Market. It’s very possible that your late October visit will coincide with the return of Seattle’s rainy season, though, so I wouldn’t make the rooftop terrace (cool as it is) your deciding factor. If you’re not set on young and artsy, you’ll also want to consider the Mayflower Park Hotel. It’s historic and elegant where Motif is colorful and fun, but rates are similar and the Mayflower’s location is better.
2. The Space Needle: It depends on how long you’re here. If you’re visiting for a few days or more, I’d say definitely go. For $2.50, you can take the monorail straight from the heart of downtown to the Needle’s base, and it’s easy to combine a Space Needle outing with a trip to the Chihuly museum, Science Center, or Experience Music Project, since they’re all located within the same complex, Seattle Center. (Be sure to check out the Seattle CityPass – it can save you a lot of money if you’re planning on hitting multiple major tourist spots.) If you’ve only got a day or two, though, I’d take a pass and spend more time at Pike Place Market.
3. SeaTac transportation: Light rail is cheapest – $3 will take you from the airport to the downtown Seattle Westlake Center station, one block from Motif and directly underneath the Mayflower Park. Cabs are easiest – a ride from the airport to your downtown hotel will eliminate the need for you to navigate a new city, though it will cost about $45 and you’ll run the risk of sitting in heavy traffic if you’re traveling during rush hour. Uber is the most expensive option – only UberBlack and UberSUV are allowed to pick up passengers from the airport, and a ride into downtown will cost $55-60.
4. Whale watching: Late October/early November are the tail end of whale watching season around Seattle. If you go, you’re likely to see mostly humpback whales, as gray whales and orcas are more commonly seen in the spring and summer months.
We will be visiting July 2-6, staying at the Fairmont Olympic hotel for a couple of nights and then the Arctic Club for a couple of nights. Is that a good choice? Are these hotels nice? Are they close to and within walking distance to lot of attractions? Do they have good views of the water and the Space Needle? What are some things would you suggest to do while we are there – the Must-Do things? Thank you!!
The Fairmont Olympic and the Arctic Club are both wonderful, historic Seattle hotels. The Fairmont is located in the heart of downtown, close to lots of great shopping and restaurants, and within easy walking distance to Pike Place Market and the Seattle Art Museum. It has some really nice views of the surrounding city neighborhoods, but no good water or Space Needle views.
The Arctic Club is located on the edge of the Pioneer Square neighborhood, in Seattle’s financial district. From the Arctic Club, it’s a very short walk to historic Pioneer Square, and an easy walk to the Colman Dock, the Seattle ferry terminal. The Arctic Club has some wonderful city and water views from its higher floors, particularly the corner rooms. Suites on the top floor have terraces and great views of Mount Rainier and the Space Needle.
As far as must-do activities while you’re here, I would recommend visiting Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square (maybe take an underground tour), the Space Needle, and taking the ferry to Bainbridge Island.
I’ll be traveling to Seattle in August with my husband and two kids (8 and 11) for a family reunion. I’m a Hyatt Gold Passport member, so it makes sense for us to stay at one of the downtown Hyatts. Is it worth the extra money to stay at the Hyatt at Olive 8, rather than the Grand Hyatt?
I think so. The Grand Hyatt and Hyatt at Olive 8 are right next door to each other: both are about a 10-minute walk to Pike Place, within two blocks of the transit station and Seattle Center Monorail, and close to great shopping and restaurants. The Hyatt at Olive 8 has a pool, though, and a better restaurant. Guests at the Grand Hyatt can use the Olive 8 pool and spa, but I prefer the convenience of having my room and pool at the same location, especially with kids. Plus, I find Olive 8’s atmosphere to be more urban and fun.
If you’ll be here for more than a few days and are planning to spend a lot of time near the Space Needle and Seattle Center, you may also want to consider Hyatt House – it’s an all-suite property (with fully-equipped kitchens) across the street from Seattle Center and the Monorail into downtown. There’s no pool, but Hyatt House does have a really nice rooftop deck and offers a daily free breakfast. Hyatt Place, a few blocks west, does have a pool, but the location isn’t quite as good. Neither of these is as nice as the Grand Hyatt or Olive 8, of course, but are good options if you want to save a few bucks.
What’s the best hotel to stay in downtown if I’m not renting a car and want to save a few bucks by taking Light Rail from the airport?
The best Seattle hotel that’s right on the Light Rail line is the Mayflower Park Hotel – it’s an historic mid-range hotel with a great attached restaurant and fabulous lobby bar. And it’s literally right on the light rail line; get off at the Westlake Center stop and you’re there – no need to even step outside. It’s an easy walk from the hotel to most downtown attractions, and the Mayflower Park is located one block from the monorail and streetcar lines, so getting to Seattle Center and South Lake Union would be a breeze.
The Fairmont Olympic (historic luxury) and Hotel Monaco (modern boutique luxury) are both near the University Station stop, and the Arctic Club (historic luxury) and Courtyard Pioneer Square (modern mid-range) are very close to the Pioneer Square Stop – getting to all of these hotels via light rail will be easy, but the Mayflower Park has the best location for easy city walking and transit access.
We’ll be in Seattle over New Years next year, and want to stay somewhere downtown with good views of the Space Needle’s fireworks display. Are there some hotels that are better than others?
The best hotel views of the Space Needle are at the Pan Pacific in South Lake Union. It’s located not far from Seattle Center, and many of their rooms and suites have large windows with amazing Needle views. The Pan Pacific is a bit outside of central downtown tourist district, but they offer complimentary car service and are right on the streetcar line into downtown, so getting around is still quite easy.
The Edgewater Hotel sits right on Seattle’s waterfront, and is known for its guest rooms’ unique views of Elliott Bay. Their city view rooms are cheaper, though, and offer a great vantage point from which to see the Space Needle and the city skyline.
The Warwick Hotel in Belltown is a less expensive option, though still a solid choice. All of their rooms have Juliet balconies with sliding glass doors, and their higher north-facing rooms will have a clear view of the Needle and the fireworks on New Year’s Eve.
I swim regularly for exercise, and would like to stay somewhere with a pool. A good workout facility would be nice, as well, but not a deal breaker. Are there any hotels you would recommend for me? Not crazy expensive, but doesn’t have to be bottom of the barrel. Thanks.
The best downtown hotel that’s not crazy expensive and has a pool is the Hyatt at Olive 8. Their saline lap pool is beautiful, with great amenities like clean and well-appointed changing rooms (with sauna and steam room), a hot tub, and the best fitness center of all the downtown hotels. It’s located close to shopping and great restaurants, and is an 8 block walk up from Pike Place Market.
The Sheraton’s swimming pool and fitness center is also good, and has amazing views of the city from the 35th floor, but no hot tub or sauna. It’s located next to the Convention Center and close to shopping and walkable to most points downtown. The Sheraton is a much larger hotel than the Olive 8, and has a vibe that’s more business than luxury.
The Westin also has a swimming pool (with sauna) and fitness center, though it’s not nearly as nice as the other two. Additionally, you’ll pay much more for a room here, but it’ll likely come with jaw-dropping views.
I’ll be in Seattle this spring. My spouse has a business thing, and lucky me gets to come along! Most of his co-workers are staying at the Pan Pacific Hotel, and looking at the map I’m wondering if it’ll be too far outside of the shopping/sightseeing/restaurant district for me. Should we book something else, closer in to downtown?
The Pan Pacific is a great hotel, and though you might spend more time walking to shopping (about 10 minutes) and Pike Place (15-20) than you would otherwise, the route is easy and level. If it’s ever too rainy (or you’re too beat) to walk, Pan Pacific is 1/2 block away from the streetcar line that heads into downtown, and also offers a complimentary shuttle service within a 2-mile radius of the hotel.
It’s in the South Lake Union neighborhood, which, in addition to being the hub of tech industry companies, is a restaurant hot spot right now. You’ll have lots of great food options. I particularly recommend Cactus for Mexican, re:public for cocktails, and Serious Pie for amazing Pizza.
We are coming to Seattle in July for a wedding and need a hotel suggestion. Something nice, but not quite the Four Seasons. We are considering The Edgewater. Would love to a hotel that has a bar inside. Something central, as my husband is a chef and will be having us travel all over to different restaurants. Thanks!
Though I do love the Edgewater, I wouldn’t recommend it for your purposes. It’s a bit too removed from the downtown area to be considered central. They have a great in-house bar and restaurant, and killer views of ELliott Bay, but you wouldn’t feel close to Seattle’s foodie hotspots.
If you like a smaller hotel with a boutique-y feel, there’s no better foodie location than the Inn at the Market. It’s the only hotel located within Pike Place Market, and is literally surrounded by great restaurants. The Inn at the Market doesn’t have a hotel bar, but because you’re in the Market, you’d have plenty of nearby options to choose from. Views are amazing from the water side, and there’s a lovely (and never crowded) terrace that overlooks the market – a perfect spot to relax with a glass of wine.
Other nearby hotels I’d recommend are the Alexis and Monaco. They’re both Kimpton boutique properties with loads of charm, great service, and fantastic hotel bars. The Alexis Hotel is closer to Pike Place Market and has a upscale-artsy/swanky vibe. Its hotel bar is the Bookstore Bar; casually elegant in an old-world-library sort of way – it’s really hard to imagine a cozier and lovelier setting for a drink. Hotel Monaco is further up the hill, not as close to Pike Place, but nearer to shopping and transit (bus/light rail). Hotel Monaco has an art-deco theme, and its hotel bar and restaurant is Outlier, with a cocktail and global-themed menu.
Hotel Andra is one more great boutique hotel that you might be interested in checking out. It’s centrally located to both Pike Place Market and shopping, and is surrounded by James Beard Award-winning chef Tom Douglas’ restaurants. Andra is super comfortable and welcoming, and has modern Scandinavian decor. There’s a cute and cozy hotel bar on Andra’s second floor, and Tom Douglas’ fantastic Mediterranean-themed restaurant/bar, Lola, is adjacent to the Andra lobby. Tom Douglas even operates a cooking school out of the hotel!
If boutique hotels aren’t your thing, the best large luxury hotel in Seattle that’s a step down from the Four Seasons is the Hyatt at Olive 8. Its vibe is sleek and contemporary, and its in-house restaurant and bar, Urbane, is fantastic. Hyatt at Olive 8 is close to shopping, and within easy walking distance to Pike Place and lots of great restaurants. Its neighbor, the Grand Hyatt, is another good option. Great views, and a lobby that’s adjacent to the lovely bar at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.
Hi. I’m taking my daughter and her friends to their first big concert at Key Arena this summer. We spent a boatload on tickets, so are looking for a cheap (but nice) place to stay in that area. Any ideas?
The best budget hotels near Seattle Center are the Mediterranean Inn and the Maxwell Hotel. Both are within easy walking distance from Key Arena and are clean, comfortable, and family friendly. Rooms at both hotels have kitchenettes, with microwaves and refrigerators.
The Mediterranean Hotel is the cheaper of the two, but not by much. They provide daily popcorn for kids to snack on, and have a rooftop deck with great views of the city and Puget Sound. The decor at the Mediterranean is elegant and traditional, but not so much that kids aren’t comfortable and appreciated.
If you’re staying more than one night, or will be hanging out much in the hotel, I’d pay the extra few bucks to stay at the Maxwell. They provide complimentary shuttle service to attractions downtown, and have bikes and helmets available to rent for free. There’s a small indoor pool, and kids especially appreciate the Maxwell’s fun, colorful vibe and daily cupcakes in the lobby.
I’ll be going on an Alaska cruise with my mother, and we’re hoping to stay in Seattle for a couple of days either before or afterward. My mom has limited mobility. She can stand and walk short distances, but has a hard time with hills or a lot of stairs. From what I remember of a trip I took years ago, Seattle’s downtown area is pretty hilly. Can you recommend a nice place to stay in a location that would make it easier for her to get around, and avoid hills and stairs? We won’t be staying long, but would like to spend some time at Pike’s Market and the art museum. And a good view would be great, but not necessary. Thank you.
Generally, downtown streets north of University Avenue are easily walkable, with a very slight to moderate incline. Pike Place Market and the Seattle Art Museum are both located within this area, only a few level blocks from each other, and getting around there should be fairly easy. You’ll want to avoid Pioneer Square, as inclines there can be quite steep.
The Inn at the Market is a lovely boutique hotel located right in the heart of Pike Place Market. The Four Seasons is across the street from the art museum, and easily the most luxurious hotel in town. Both hotels have amazing views and outdoor terraces that overlook Puget Sound, and either would be a great option for you and your mother.
It’s also worth considering the Edgewater – it’s not within easy walking distance from the Market and museum, but runs a free hourly shuttle bus from the hotel into downtown locations. The Edgewater has a luxury-lodge feel, a great hotel restaurant, and is located right over the waters of Elliott Bay, so you can’t beat the views.
If you’re looking for a more inexpensive hotel option, I’d recommend the Warwick Hotel. It’s not smack in the middle of where you want to be, but at only 5-8 blocks away, it would be easy and affordable to catch a cab or an Uber. Some of the Warwick’s rooms have lovely city or Space Needle Views.
Finally, you might find it helpful to peruse this accessibility map of downtown Seattle. It shows the location of elevators, as well as wheelchair-accessible routes that involve no steps.
I’ll be in Seattle for 2 nights and hoping to explore Pike Place Market and do some shopping (malls/name brand stores). What hotels should I be looking at that are central and convenient? Don’t mind a little walking but want to be close.
For convenience to Pike Place Market, you can’t do better than the Four Seasons (if you like large and luxury) or the Inn at the Market (intimate and boutique) – both are fantastic hotels with great waterfront views, and are a short walk from the downtown shopping district.
The Westin, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt at Olive 8 (all large) and Hotel Max (boutique) are very close to the shops, but farther up the hill from Pike Place – though it’s still an easy walk. None is quite as posh as the Four Seasons or the Inn at the Market, but they’re all solid choices, and their cheaper rates will leave you more money for shopping.
I’d also check out Hotel Andra and the Palladian Hotel: both centrally-located, modern, boutique options. They’re high on charm and, as they’re situated only a few blocks north of the shops and west of the Market, super convenient to everywhere you’re interested in.
My husband and I are planning a weekend trip to Seattle. Both the Sorrento and Four Seasons have been highly recommended to us. I hope you can help me with a few questions/concerns.
1. Is one hotel more “romantic” than the other?
2. Sorrento appears to be a little outside of the downtown area. Is it walkable to the central shopping area? Is there anything interesting close to the Sorrento or will we be going downtown to find good restaurants?
3. The Four Seasons appears to be very close to Pike Place Market. Is it too busy and touristy in the area?
1. It depends on your definition of romantic. If you’re looking for vintage charm, the romance of the Sorrento is straight up old-world: classically rich and elegant – think mahogany panelling, white marble bathrooms, and period details. It’s all about the setting. If you prefer more modern luxury, The Four Seasons is urban and sophisticated, with romantic amenities: gorgeous restaurant views, luxurious couples’ treatment rooms in the spa, and an outdoor hot tub that overlooks Puget Sound.
2. The Sorrento sits up on a hill, about 10 blocks from the downtown shopping district – the walk’s not bad on the way down, but you might want to catch a cab/Uber on the way back. Most of the good restaurants are downtown, but there are a few gems nearby. Vito’s is a block from the Sorrento, and Lark is just 5 blocks further up in the Capitol Hill neighborhood – another Seattle restaurant hot spot to explore.
3. The Four Seasons is a block from Pike Place Market, across the street from the Seattle Art Museum, and surrounded by great shops and restaurants. That area is touristy and busy most of the time. The vibe inside the Four Seasons is calming and quiet, though – it’s easy to forget that you’re in the thick of things. I consider the central location to be a point in the Four Seasons’ favor, and wouldn’t let it deter you.
Have a great trip!
Coming through Seattle on a honeymoon trip down the west coast (to Oregon and California). We need to decide between the two Seattle Hyatts. They appear to be close to each other on the map, is this accurate? Is there shopping and restaurants neaby? How far from both Hyatts to Pike Place Market? Is it an easy walk? And lastly, assuming we stay at one of these hotels could you recommend a nice restaurant within a 5 or 10 minute walk that would be good for a night out (funky and fun with a pinch of romantic). Thanks!
Both are very nice but I like the Hyatt at Olive 8 better. Less formal more funky, and the rooms have more character. The Hyatts are a 1 minute walk from each other. Pacific Place Mall is a 3 minute walk away and there are lots of chain and boutique street shopping in the area. Pike Place Market is an easy 10 minute walk – and yes this area of downtown Seattle is very pedestrian friendly. For nearby fun/romantic restaurants look at Purple Wine Bar (10 minute walk), Lola (8 minutes), The Pink Door (10 minutes), and Barolo Ristorante (5 minutes).
We’re staying at the Four Seasons in December and would love to explore that great Seattle food scene we’ve heard so much about. What are the best restaurants near the Four Seasons, preferably within walking distance, something in the market, a good sushi restaurant, a good Italian restaurant, and just your personal favorites. And based on your picks above I’m assuming we’ve made a good choice staying at the Four Seasons for a romantic get away for a couple in their 30s?
My favorite restaurants near the Four Seasons are Vons (upscale bar, 2 minute walk), Matt’s in the Market (artisan sandwiches/soups/salads, 3 minute walk), the Steelhead Diner (seafood and entrees, 5 minute walk), and the Pink Door (Italian, 6 minute walk).
The Four Seasons is the best hotel in Seattle, great choice.