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Advice/ recommendation needed on hotel and car rental in Seattle for August

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My husband and I are taking our daughter to college in mid-august and are thinking of spending a couple of days with her in Seattle beforehand. We will be arriving at Seatac airport (most likely towards mid-late afternoon). We will be renting a car, but don't know whether to do so before our stay in Seattle or after (we plan on visiting Olympic NP after dropping off daughter at college). What would you recommend? We would prefer to pick up the car after and hopefully have a hotel where we can have easy access to public transportation. The problem is that we will also have quite a bit of luggage for our daughter (coming from the other side of the country). We are traveling on some budget (yeah, college bills!) so, luxury hotels are out of the question. We do want a room that has its own bathroom, that is clean and that is relatively quiet (i.e. not facing a nightclub). We would appreciate any advice for hotel location, rental car need, etc. Thanks in advance for your help!

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