Seattle Bed Check

April 2, 2007

Seattle’s hotel market is tight: average prices hover around $150 per night—$50 above the national average—and vacancy rates are low. The good news? Four new hotels will open by 2008, including a Four Seasons and a boutique hotel in the historic Arctic Club building. Meantime, check out these newish favourites


2423 First Ave., Belltown, 206-448-4721;

Price: Standard rooms (with shared bath) from $85 a night; deluxe rooms (with private baths) from $160 a night
Aimed at: The budget-conscious hipster.
Used to be: An SRO. The hotel was at the leading edge of Belltown’s revival when it opened six years ago.
Think: Spartan hostel. Rooms feature white painted brick, vintage Swiss and French army blankets and mixed media prints. Wallpaper magazine approves.
On the bedside table: Worn copy of the Kama Sutra with condoms tucked between the pages. Notable neighbour: Rudy’s Barbershop—just one of seven Seattle locations from the too-cool-for-school L.A.-based chain. 89 Wall St., 206-448-8900.
Bonus: This summer, hefty Dutch city bikes from Vancouver’s Jorg and Olif will be available for local touring.
Bottom line: Expect lively (read: noise), not luxury.




620 Stewart St., 866-833-6299;

Price: Doubles from $169 a night
Aimed at: The laidback art enthusiast.
Used to be: The Vance Hotel, a prim Queen Anne landmark built by lumber magnate Joseph Vance. It went cool contemporary in 2005, adding textured wallpaper, pewter-coloured paint, and some 350 pieces of original Pacific Northwest art, but old design details like crown moldings and stained glass remain.
Think: The Opus with 1920s character.
On the bedside table: A “spiritual menu.” Texts such as the Koran, the Buddhist Bible and the Book of Scientology are available by request from the front desk.
Notable neighbour: Red Fin restaurant, a moody, modern Asian lounge from the owners of the Belltown’s popular Wasabi Bistro. Red Fin also supplies room service to the hotel. 612 Stewart St., 206-441-4340.
Bonus: The fifth floor pays tribute to Seattle’s music scene, with life-size photos of grunge icons like Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love and Eddie Vedder on guestroom doors. (The fifth floor is also a smoking floor—a rarity in this town.)
Bottom line: Go for the art and the vibe, not the teensy, awkwardly remodeled 1920s bathrooms.


1000 First Ave., 206-957-1000;

Price: Doubles from $225 to $600 a night
Aimed at: The jet-setting sophisticate.
Used to be: A three-generation sporting goods store; now it’s a stunning five-star hotel as technology crazed as Seattle. Infrared sensors tell staff when the room is occupied (no more knocks at 10 a.m.), soaker tubs fill from the ceiling, mini-bars detect when you’re out of favourite items, touch-screens on the Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones can be used to retrieve your car from the valet, order wake-up calls or find a restaurant—basically, you avoid human contact throughout your stay.
Think: Jetsons crossed with Pacific Northwest luxury.
On the bedside table: Intentionally low-tech alarm clocks and a random selection of paperbacks. (Our room had Seneca on the Shortness of Life and Ben Schott’s Original Miscellany.)
Notable neighbour: Maison Luxe, a home décor store known for its art deco-inspired lamps, decorative pillows and abstract artwork. 1123 First Ave., 206-405-2828.
Bonus: A virtual golf club on the lower level floor lets you choose from 50 of the world’s top-ranked golf courses, including St. Andrew’s, Pebble Beach and the Fairmont Banff Springs. Bottom line: Seclusion in stylish, user-friendly surrounds.

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