Big city high-rise hotels are exciting. Travelers who are fans of bustling urban cores typically like to stay right in the thick of the excitement, but even the most extroverted of travelers can require a sanctuary for speedy escape. That’s where the high-rise gets value. The traveling urban escapist can simply check-in, elevate several floors to a guest room, and shrug out of the tension of travel and the shock of arriving in a new place while pondering an elevated view of the street action that continues below.
The Sheraton Seattle is one such property that rates a mention in this category. The hotel is right smack dab in the middle of the Downtown Seattle retail core, with almost every imaginable attraction within a few blocks. Big box stores and movie theatres litter the immediate area, the massive Washington State Convention Center is another few blocks away. Tourist favorites Pike Place Market and Seattle Center are somewhat more distant, but still easily walkable, as are the bar-and-restaurant packed neighborhoods of Capitol Hill and Belltown.
There’s hardly a room in the property that doesn’t have a great view of the natural beauty from all corners – the Cascades to the Olympics, with the sparkling sapphire Puget Sound between.. The original building is of 1982 vintage and has undergone several renovations—the latest being in the last decade which added 420 rooms in to a new tower, for a total of 1,258. The original building is in a rather different triangular layout which makes for views from the rooms that are somewhat out of line with the rest of the buildings although that somehow affords them a more distinct view.
One of the best features, popular with families, is the 35th floor pool (which has a large changing room which eliminates the need to traipse through the lobby in a bathing suit) in the original tower which affords views in three directions. There’s also a recently redone fitness center with the same great views.
Public areas are expansive and designed for the tech-savvy, with a cozy fireplace and plenty of outlets, which could be expected for such an expansive property designed for large groups (the hotel can accommodate group room blocks up to 1,000 rooms with enough advance notice) in addition to a good share of cruise traffic in the summer months. One drawback, however, is vehicle traffic. The addition of the second tower hasn’t improved the traffic situation. Self-parking ($30) is no longer onsite; valet parking is $48 per day. Vehicle and foot traffic in the porte cochere during check-in and checkout periods is noticeable. Arriving at the hotel by another means of transport is certainly recommended; thankfully Sound Transit’s Link Light Rail is a short walk from the hotel.
There are several dining options, even for a property of this size. Modern French Loulay in the new (comparatively new, at any rate, it’s almost ten years old) tower is a high-ceilinged delight. The Daily Grill is a nationwide chain (many of the locations are at other Starwood properties including the Westin Los Angeles Airport and The Westin Portland) that offers good if not sometimes inconsistent grill classics (the grab-and-go on the other side of the lobby is borne of the same parent company) and a great cocktail bar (SPG Members get a discount at this restaurant). Rounding out the dining options are a local wine bar and the Sheraton Club Lounge for guests who have booked Sheraton Club accommodations.
With one of the better locations of any hotel in Seattle, the Sheraton Seattle is a sure winner. That’s the first draw, but the ability to retreat into a comfortable guest space or guest room for some quiet reverie is what inspires the impetus to return again and again. Room rates start at around $169 for the off-peak winter season, and are significantly higher during the summer peak.