Add one more property to the Seattle hotel scene – The State Hotel, opened in Spring 2019 – with a perfect location at 2nd & Pike, one block from the city’s Pike Place Market.
The building that now houses The State has an illustrious past. Built in the early 1900s, the Eitel Building was originally a medical office building. Then, in the prohibition and post-prohibition era, it was a billiard parlor, gambling hall, and restaurant operated by Seattle entrepreneur Ben Paris. Later, the building housed retail on the ground floor while the floors above remained empty for decades, despite its prime location and historic status.
Earlier this year (Spring 2019), The State opened as a 91-room contemporary boutique hotel with a restaurant and lively bar – cheekily named Ben Paris – on the ground floor.
Walking into The State lobby is a little jolt of creative juice. The specially designed wallpaper – different on each floor – is designed by local artists and tattoo designers. The northern wall in the lobby is covered in doorknobs – all kinds, glass, brass, wooden, metal – with uplighting interspersed. It’s fun, but I do wonder whose job it is to polish and dust them all. Art decorates the exterior of the hotel with a 5-story mural visible from the Market.
There’s no bell desk in the lobby, but if you arrive early and want to stow your bags until your room is ready, the front desk will keep them safe for you. The elevator operates by keycard access only, providing a secure environment for your downtown stay.
Our 5th-floor King-room had a view of the market, including the infamous sign, and Elliott Bay. Like many urban hotels, rooms are fairly small and I could envision the medical office that might once have been in the space. The room is tech-friendly, with lots of well-placed plug-ins (often lacking in historic buildings) and there was a charging pad on the nightstand with two USB plug-ins and a cordless charging pad. The workspace was spacious; wifi is free.
The dresser had two deep drawers, plenty of room to hold clothing for a few days. There was no closet; just a rod and hangers placed above the worktable. Hanging a sweater meant that it dangled down on the tabletop and obstructed the workspace. This was a minor annoyance for a couple of days in the summer but would be a major one in the winter with lots of bulkier clothing. Some rooms have a recessed closet area, so if this will be an issue, ask about it when you book.
The bathroom had a small sink, with small counter space. Space was available under the sink for storing toiletries. A good-sized tiled walk-in shower area had a rain shower with great water pressure. Toiletries were by Steam, a woman-owned, eco-friendly business. Towels were over-sized (lovely) and the robes were reminiscent of a full-sized sweatshirt hoodie (comfy).
The rooms don’t have refrigerators or coffee makers. Complimentary coffee is available in the lobby and while it’s tasty, sometimes I just want to stay in my pajamas and have my coffee and read a book in bed. An ice bucket and glasses are in the room, but there are no icemakers. Room service will deliver ice, presumable in a bucket they bring with them. An ironing board and iron are available upon request. The room did not have a safe. These are not dealbreakers for us when we select a hotel. They might be for you, however, so keep this in mind.
In the hotel renovation, an additional floor was added. This top floor has a couple of suites that are suitable for meeting space, as well as spacious deck areas. There’s also a guest deck area with table and chairs and a gorgeous view of Elliott Bay. You can bring up a beverage from Ben Paris or a coffee from the lobby. It’s a great spot to start the day or enjoy the sunset. There is room for bar service, although it’s currently open on a limited basis. I’d expect to see that changing when next summer rolls around – this is going to be a popular spot.
Ben Paris restaurant and bar is located on the ground floor and features interesting twists on standard fare. The happy hour sliders are delicious, the fried chicken worth every single calorie, and the shrimp cocktail is large enough for a meal. There is a quirky selection of craft cocktails, including one that comes served in a brass bird, and the craft beer and wine-by-the-glass in expansive. I imagine the real Ben Paris would find in more than satisfactory.
We love staying in downtown Seattle. It puts us right in the middle of all the attractions, historic sites, great restaurants, concerts, theater, shopping, and more. The State is likely to become one of our go-to choices because it puts us right in the center of all the things we love to do.
The State Hotel is located at 1501 Second Avenue, Seattle, Washington. Rates start around $200. Compare rates at Expedia, Travelocity or other hotel bookign sites. Valet parking is available for $49. Ditch the car and opt for public transportation. The hotel is a couple of block from the Westlake transit tunnel, an easy light rail ride ($3) from the airport. The hotel is pet-friendly.
Disclosure: A portion of the author’s stay at The State Hotel was comped for the purpose of a review.