Famous Seattle Hotels

by Ellen Falconetti
The Space Needle is a familiar landmark of the Seattle skyline.

The Space Needle is a familiar landmark of the Seattle skyline.

seattle image by Silke Wolff from Fotolia.com

Long before high-tech developers, aircraft manufacturers, grunge rock and coffee made Seattle famous, visitors have been attracted to this Washington city for its stunning setting. Framed by both the Olympic and the Pacific Cascade mountains, Seattle is laced by lakes and the inlets and fingers of Puget Sound. Seattle's most famous hotels are as varied and sophisticated, as is the city itself.


The Fairmont Olympic is one of Seattle's most famous historic hotels. Built in 1924 and inspired by an Italian renaissance palazzo, the hotel was regularly used to host Seattle's cultural, charitable and high society events. The ballroom stood in for the White House in the 1977 film "Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years." But the Fairmont's main claim to fame is its role as a backdrop of Seattle's home front war effort in WWII. According to Seattle's Historic Hotels, by Robin Shannon, Victory Square in front of the hotel (now Olympic Plaza) became the focus of bond drives and rallies. Pictures of the period, featuring celebrities like Lana Turner and Bob Hope rallying the crowds against a backdrop of the Olympic, raised this hotel to iconic status and put it on the National Register of Historic Places.

Retro Glamor

Seattle's Grand Hyatt Hotel evokes a slick and masculine 1960s glamor reminiscent of the TV show "Mad Men." The spacious lobby is minimally decorated, the emphasis being on materials--rare wood paneling, marble floors and sculptural glass. Rooms are similarly styled, with colorful marble entry areas and luxury marble bathrooms. In its Seattle "Best Bets," Frommer's has singled out the Seattle Grand Hyatt for the best services and "finest room amenities." Among these amenities are the automatic draperies in the suites, that open and close at the touch of a bedside button. Guests tucked up for the night can sweep open the drapes after lights off to enjoy floor to ceiling views of the twinkling Seattle skyline and the moonlit, snow-capped mountains beyond.

High Technology

The Hotel 1000, a futuristic boutique in downtown Seattle, offers guests the latest technology that the city is famous for. All rooms have ultra high speed, 100MB wired Internet access plus complimentary, scalable wireless (capable of handing multiple devices). Guests can choose from eight different artwork collections, projected on in-room digital surfaces. Silent staff buttons and doorbells are electronic. Even the bathroom is high tech. The two-person pedestal tub fills from a ceiling mounted filler that doesn't splash. In 2008, the hotel's owners, MTM, received the Hotel Visionary Award for Overall Technology Innovation from "Hospitality Technology" magazine. This hotel is not just for techies though. In 2006, "USA Today" chose the hotel restaurant and bar as one of "10 great places to party the longest night away" crediting it with putting "Seattle on the map as a nightlife destination."


When the Beatles came to Seattle in 1964, they stayed at the Edgewater, the city's only waterfront hotel. Their suite, now suitably decorated for Beatles aficionados, can still be booked. Other rooms and suites are decorated in traditional Northwestern style featuring knotty pine, Native American inspired fabrics and stone fireplaces. Luxury bathrooms, with claw-footed slipper tubs and limestone-tiled shower surrounds are included in standard rooms. Most rooms have panoramic views of Puget Sound, Elliot Bay or the Olympic Mountains. Some have city views.



About the Author

Ellen Falconetti has written professionally since 1981. Her work has appeared in major newspapers in England and the U.S.A. as well as on a variety of websites and mobile media. Falconetti specializes in travel, lifestyle, telecoms and technology. She has Bachelor of Science in speech and journalism from Syracuse University and a master's degree in creative writing from a British university.

Photo Credits