Last updated on November 12, 2019

Places to stay in Seattle

Why would we know?

I know what you are thinking. This guy lives there. Why would he have a clue about hotels? Well we do stay in hotels in Seattle. At least once or twice a year we go to a late night concert and stay overnight at a downtown hotel. It’s a Christmas tradition for one thing. We see the Seattle Men’s Chorus and we spend the night at whatever 4-5 star hotel I nab on or get with Capitol One points. For that reason, we have stayed at a lot of the downtown Seattle hotels.

We also have friends who come to town and stay downtown as well and we can add their reports but if I do, I will make sure and let you know that it isn’t first hand experience. I also feel safe in telling you what hotels are in shady neighborhoods (places we wouldn’t stay) and what’s a good value based on the type of hotel.

The kinds of places I like to stay

Here’s some things to know about me and hotels. First, I hate paying more than $175 a night for a room. It just irks me to death to pay more for one night than I paid per month for my first apartment. I have to laugh at that but it’s just true. That said, we have paid more for special occasions or special places. We have payed $350+ for the Stephanie Inn in Cannon Beach. It’s regularly rated as one of the top 5 hotels in the US. We have stayed in some amazing hotels around the world because we got amazing deals. Like the Langham in Hong Kong, the Four Seasons in Vancouver, the Balmoral in Edinburgh and the best hotel we have ever stayed in, The Banks Mansion in Amsterdam. All were rooms that cost way over my limit but we got them for well below because we watched for great deals.

I also won’t stay in cheap chains anymore unless someone else (like for work) is paying. If I am traveling on their dime, I will stay where they put me but in general I would rather stay a step above the Holiday Inn’s, the Ramada’s, the Motel 6’s and no matter who is paying, I will NEVER stay at a Shiloh. (Hardest beds in the world). My preference is always a boutique type hotel or one of the better chains like a Sheraton, a Hyatt or a Marriott. Call me a snob but that’s what I like.

Booking lodging downtown

There’s lots of ways to do it but I like Hotwire. If you haven’t used Hotwire before it is one of those websites where you buy the hotel, sight-unseen. You don’t bid on it, they just tell you they have a 4 star hotel in a particular area for a particular price. You buy it and then you find out what hotel you get. If that bothers you, don’t do it.

If you have done this with Priceline, it is not the same. The one thing I believe (from buying once with Priceline) is a huge difference is the geographic location. Priceline sold me a hotel they said was a “downtown” hotel that was actually more than 5 miles from what most people consider “downtown.” With Hotwire you get an actual map with streets and you know that if you want a downtown hotel you bid in the “Downtown-Pike Place Market area. We have gotten all the hotels listed below (except one) through Hotwire and never paid more than $135 for a night of lodging. That does not include parking or other incidentals but does include taxes.

WORD of WARNING! Since the Amazon infestation started about three years ago, hotels have gone nutso. Especially in the summer during cruise season. You can expect to pay someplace between $200 and $300 per room now. We had a bunch of friends come to town in June 2017 and they all stayed near us in Redmond at a Hampton Inn and the rooms were more than $200. It's nuts out here. Be warned.

Downtown hotels

We have stayed at the following and have enjoyed them. Each has some comments:

  • The Seattle Sheraton. Centrally located, high-rise convention hotel. If you book on and go for a 4-5 star hotel in the Pike Place area you will get the Sheraton about half the time. We have. One thing to remember, if you are driving, parking is about $30 per night. That makes a great deal (we have stayed for $105 a night in recent years) a so-so deal. The Sheraton is really nice at Christmastime when they have a big exhibit of gingerbread houses created by local architects, decorators and interior designers that all support charity. The Sheraton is the closest to the Washington State Convention Center and is often the HQ hotel of big meetings. But if there are unsold rooms for a convention, they go to Hotwire and you get a great deal.
  • The Westin. This is where the Presidents (the real Presidents--Obama, Bush and Clinton) stay when they come to town. Two big circular towers. Great hotel. If you get a room near the top (as we have) the view is amazing. Really nice rooms and very friendly service.
  • The Theodore or as it used to be know, The Roosevelt. This is an older hotel downtown hotel and the rooms show it. The rooms are big, the staff is very nice and the hotel is in a great place but just know your room and the bathroom in particular will be old and probably in need of updating. But if you like staying in a semi-historic hotel, then the Roosevelt may be for you.
  • The Rennaisance. This place is right at the edge of where I consider the downtown core. A typical high-rise, high-end chain. We stayed there for our Christmas concert in 2011 and had a really nice room. It was easily walkable to Benaroya Hall and the Seattle Art Museum.
  • The W. We stayed here once, this last December and it is really nice. Would go back again but it doesn’t show up on the discount sites that much anymore.
  • Hotel 1000. For our Christmas excursion we finally got to stay at this incredible hotel. And we went back three times. The best we have ever stayed in here in Seattle. It was everything we thought it would be. Click here to see what I said on Trip Adviser.

From this point on I am going to have to ask friend for recommendations. We have stayed at other places but it has been far too long to give a valid review.