There's a something for everyone, accommodation-wise, in this city, from high-end luxury hotels to clever boutique hotels and environmentally friendly options to historic properties and brand-new digs. Seattle also has a number of bed-and-breakfasts, though rooms at them tend to go quickly since they represent the best deals in the city during high season. Many of the favorite B&Bs are in Capitol Hill (although you'll find teeny-tiny ones we don't even list just about anywhere in the city), whereas almost all hotels are Downtown. Though the city does have its share of standard budget chain hotels and motels, most of them are terribly overpriced in high season and in awkward spots in the city. The best rule of thumb to get the room that you want is to book as far in advance as possible.
Most hotels and other lodgings require you to give your credit-card details before they will confirm your reservation. If you don't feel comfortable booking your hotel online, call the property to give them this information over the phone or ask if you can fax it. However you book, get confirmation in writing and have a copy of it handy when you check in.
Be sure you understand the hotel's cancellation policy. Some places allow you to cancel without any kind of penalty—even if you prepaid to secure a discounted rate—if you cancel at least 24 hours in advance. Others require you to cancel a week in advance or penalize you the cost of one night. Small inns and B&Bs are most likely to require you to cancel far in advance. Most hotels allow children under a certain age to stay in their parents' room at no extra charge, but others charge for them as extra adults; find out the cutoff age for discounts.
Assume that hotels don't include breakfast in the cost of your room unless we specify that breakfast is included.
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