W Seattle, 1112 4th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
Dave Grossman, Hotel Magician
The W Seattle strikes us as a very typical W. That is to say, if you generally enjoy the W experience, this hotel should be no exception.
It’s not quite as modern-funky as, say, the W Montreal where the bedrooms have windows leading into the bathrooms (which may or may not be your thing). But it has the full “W vibe”.
Room types start at “Wonderful”, then “Spectacular” (which we were told is just a Wonderful room on a higher floor or with a better view), then “Cozy Corner” which is much like a “Wonderful” except with a long entrance area and, of course, corner windows which does give the room a more spacious feel. We did not see the suites.
Amenities are typical of a W: Bliss Spa products in the bathroom, nice flat panel plasma TVs, overpriced Voss water waiting for your consumption on the nightstand. They are modern, chic, and comfortable. Both rooms we tried (a Wonderful and a Cozy Corner, had either a lounger or a couch-like area by the window on which to relax. The beds, in Starwood style, was extrememly comfy.
The Staff: Very typical of a W, we found some to be extrememly helpful while others struck us as quite conescending in that “this is the W and you are lucky to be our guest” kind of way. But again, this is how W’s tend to be so a regular W guest would not be taken by surprise.
The “Living Room”, as they call the main lobby area, was cozy with many chairs and couches as well as free Wifi – a nice touch. At night, it becomes a bar for the ultra-hip.
There is also a crictially acclaimed restuarant in the W Seattle, called Earth and Ocean (http://www.earthocean.net/) – well known for the house-made charcuterie.
The location: The W Seattle hotel is very central within Seattle, on 4th Ave and Seneca St. It’s only a 10-15 minute walk to the Pike Place Market, the main shopping areas, Pioneer Square, or the shopping center that houses the monorail entrance (to get to the Space Needle). There are also approximately 25 Starbucks within walking distance. As an aside, do try the local “Top Pot” doughnuts, sold by area Starbucks stores. They really are that good.
Other recommended Seattle hotels:
Courtyard by Marriott Lake Union
Warwick Seattle Hotel
Sheraton Seattle Hotel
The Paramount Seattle, a Coast Hotel
SpringHill Suites by Marriott Seattle Downtown
Mayflower Park Hotel
Hotel deals beyond Seattle
A Selection of Things to Do in Seattle:
- The Pike Place Market. Start from Union and 1st Ave and walk from there. There’s a lot of ground to cover! Be sure to watch the guys selling fish and tossing them to each other (and sometimes into the crowd!). It’s just in side what is called the “Economy” area of the market. But you can’t really miss it.
- The Space Needle. Just take the monorail from Pacific Place Mall (600 Pine St.). $2 each wasy as of July 2007. The monorail was built for access to the Space Needle due to its distance from downtown. The 605-foot tall Space Needle was completed in December 1961 and officially opened a mere four months later on the first day of the World’s Fair, April 21, 1962.
- Have a lunch at Armandino’s Salumi (309 3rd Ave S). It’s only open Tue-Fri 11am-4pm and you will probably wait 30-60 minutes online (your best chance of getting a spot at the communal table or few other two seaters is before noon or after 2pm). Get some cured meat sampler plates or perhaps try the Porchette sandwich – slow roasted pork with fennel and carrots, in a sandwich, optionally with their fresh mozzerella or provolone cheese.
They put a garlic spread on the bread first and will top with peppers and onions on request. Really well known spot but possibly off the beat of some standard guidebooks.
- The original Starbucks. Located in the Pike Place market and with no tables or chairs, experience where it all began for the now-global coffee chain.
- More espresso. Duck into any of the espresso bars around town for a cup of real joe. Seattle knows coffee.
- The Underground Seatle tour (www.undergroundtour.com/ ). Leaves from Pioneer Square daily. Learn about the orgins of Seattle. Did you know that in the early 1900′s, the sidewalks were up to 30 feet below the streets? Why? Nobody wanted to pay to put the sidewalks at street level after the city was rebuilt after a fire burned the whole town down. Streets were raised one story to allow for better sewage but the city didn’t want to pay to redo the sidewalks. People had to navigate ladders to cross the street and many were killed either falling off drunk or being crushed by objects falling from the street. Learn more about the Underground Seattle at this fun tour.