In a world of cookie cutter chain hotel, the W hotels manage to create a winning combination of signature hotel standards and amenities while letting a local vibe set the ambiance in the public spaces. The W Seattle holds its own in that way, incorporating the city’s dynamic music scene into the Living Room (the public lobby space) offering sexy lighting, couches, indoor fire pit, and weekend entertainment. If you walk into the lobby come evening time, you’ll wonder if you’re at your hotel or in a nightclub. On weekend nights with entertainment it can be very noisy.
Check in and reception is up half floor from the Living Room and its Fourth Avenue entry. You can also access the front desk via the side entrance on Seneca. The music isn’t quite as loud up here, thanks to strategic buffering, and you’ll also find the concierge desk here with its “whatever you want, whenever you want it (as long as its legal) commitment.
The 424 rooms (and 52 suites) have recently been upgraded, and I noticed many improvements since my last stay here. The room seemed brighter, better lit (rooms toward the back of the building were always a little gloomy), and both table and bedside lighting were sufficient for working or reading in bed.
The beds were comfortable, simply styled against a faux wood paneled wall. The desk and work space were adequate – lots of plugins and good lighting, but two mini-bars were took of space unnecessarily. That’s right – two minibars, one with snack products was located under the desk and another with beverages a behemoth of a free standing piece of furniture. I’d love to see these gone, replaced with a guest friendly small refrigerator. Wi-fi is free for SPG members.
A separate seating area was a relaxing spot to sit and read the morning paper and have a cup of coffee. The two seats can easily be nudged together to create a lounger. Our room had an urban view (translation: other high rise buildings and a peek-a-b00 look at Elliott Bay), but rooms at the front of the hotel may have more expansive water views (the trade off is that they are a bit noisier).
The bathroom is one of the great features of the W brand, complete with their robes and Bliss amenities. Although there isn’t a spa on the property, you’ll find a Bliss 6-pack in the bathroom with body lotion, bubble bath, shampoo, conditioner, soap, and face wash. Since there isn’t a Bliss spa nearby, I cherish these high quality spa products.
I’m never much for hotel restaurants, but I make an exception for Trace. The Trace Bar is a great spot to meet up for a drink, unwind, or even to bring your laptop and get some work done while enjoying a martini. Hand-crafted cocktails are a specialty of the bar, often using local ingredients, and the wine list is heavy on delicious Washington wines. I enjoy the stir friend edamame, a nice appetizer to share or sufficient as a vegetarian entree, full of soy, garlic, and chili goodness. Trace Bar is open 11 am-2 am and features a daily happy hour, 3-8 pm.
The W Seattle is located at 1112 4th Avenue, Seattle. Note that the drive through for parking and drop off is on Seneca. Room rates start around $200 per night; valet parking is $55 day/overnight. You can check for a better rate on Expedia, Hotels.com or any of the other booking sites.
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Photo credits: Living Room photo (top) courtesy of the W Seattle, others by author.