As a lifelong resident of Washington State, I remember when Bellevue was a small town on the east side of Lake Washington. There were a couple of motels, maybe even a hotel, the kind of places you held your junior prom or sweetheart ball, but for anything nicer, you headed into downtown Seattle. Fast forward several decades (more than I care to admit), and Bellevue had grown to ten times its former size, is home to over 145 companies, and has been on CNN Money’s list of top cities in which to launch a business (scoring the coveted top spot in 2008).
In other words, things have changed. If you’re doing business in Seattle, you may actually be in Bellevue.
Fortunately, the hotel scene has changed as well. For a convenient and value-packed stay on the east side, take a look at Hotel 116 (part of the Coast family of hotels).
Hotel 116 is located on the east side of Interstate 405 which means that not only do you have convenient commuting access, but you are also close to everything Bellevue has to offer – from business centers to shopping, from parks to museums. And perhaps most importantly for me, you’re away from the traffic grid surrounding Bellevue Square.
The 176 room Hotel 116 recently completed a major remodel, and in some spaces in still had that “new car” smell and feel. The lobby was bright and airy, much of it two-storied, had festive lighting hanging down from above the second floor. Our room had high ceilings as well.
We stayed in a deluxe double room with a view of the courtyard. The room was large and looking out onto green space was nice, even if the courtyard is also the smoking area. That area is adjacent to the restaurant, so let’s hope the smoking area changes. It’s would be nice to sit out there and have coffee or muffin.
Workspace in the room was adequate, and a big plus for business and wired travelers, lots of plug-ins which also has USB ports. There was plenty of space for our crew to keep phones, tablets, laptops, Kindle, and camera charged. Wi-fi is free.
Bathrooms were also large with a small separate sink and mirror area. This dressing area felt a bit like an afterthought, with a plug-in oddly placed behind a partial wall divider. Amenities were from English-themed Gilchrist & Soames.
The refrigerator in the room is always appreciated, not only for keeping our water cold but as a spot to keep our leftovers from dinner.We were on the second floor and at the end of the hallway was a large public area with tables, chairs, lots of seating area, and a couple of microwaves. I’m sure it was designed to fill meeting and conference needs but confess to popping down late one night to warm up the aforementioned leftovers for a midnight snack.
One unusual thing I noticed was that although the hotel felt new – bright and shiny – the kick panels on the door hadn’t been replaced (or perhaps, hadn’t yet been replaced). They were pretty beat up, as they get to be, and stood out glaringly.
One of the best value-added benefits of a stay at Hotel 116 is the complimentary buffet breakfast, including your favorite hot and cold items. This is convenient if traveling on business and a super budget saver if traveling with your family. Breakfast is served till 10 am on weekdays, and an appreciated 11 am on weekends. Always nice to be able to sleep in and still take advantage of a free breakfast.
The hotel has a small fitness center with a universal gym, treadmill, stationary bike, and some weights. If you’ve read any other of my hotel reviews you’ll also know that I spend no time in them. The outdoor pool is open weather dependent. There’s also a small business center with printer and workstation, just the basics, nothing fancy, but handy if you need to print something out.
Parking is free at Hotel 116, another value-added from hotels on the other side of the freeway. The hotel’s free shuttle service will take you anywhere within a five-mile radius so you can avoid parking charges altogether or have that second cocktail without a worry about driving.
There are a lot of things to do and see within that five-mile radius: Meydenbauer Center (a convention and performance venue), shopping, restaurants and bars, spas, museums, and more. The shuttle service is prompt and efficient, a little planning and you won’t be waiting, and the advantage of parking and leaving your car ranks right up there with a free breakfast for me.
If you’re actually doing business in Seattle, you’ll want to stay in the city (and there are some great reviews for those hotels here). But if you’re doing business on the eastside cities of Bellevue, Newport, or Kirkland, Hotel 116 delivers serious value.
Hotel 116 is located at 625 116th Avenue N.E, Bellevue, Washington, and was formerly known as the Coast Bellevue Hotel. Rates start at the value-packed rate of $109 per night. Parking is free.
Disclosure: The author received a complimentary stay at Hotel 116.