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Seattle Weekend - Hotel and Sights to see - need your help

Seattle Weekend - Hotel and Sights to see - need your help

Old Sep 17th, 2003, 05:22 PM
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Seattle Weekend - Hotel and Sights to see - need your help

We will be visiting Seattle Friday night till Monday noon (next month) and want to know nice places to stay, great restaurants (seafood of course) and what sights to see. First time for me and wife. Walking is fine. Nice hotel recommendations appreciated. What about the need for a rental car and is there parking ?

THANKS !!
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Old Sep 17th, 2003, 06:02 PM
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You'll have less than four days. Whether you'll need a car depends on what you wish to do (Seattle's downtown is very walkable). With that much time, you may want to drive up to Mt. Ranier if the weather is nice. But by October it could be raining. Otherwise, Seattle does have decent taxi service, I'm told. I've used the bus there a few times but people who have used it there often tell me it's just a so-so bus system compared to Portland's (where I live).

I'd reserve a car now and decide later if you want it. You can usually make a car reservation and cancel it with no penalty.

People will give you the usual recommendations, so I'll throw in mine: visit the beautiful University of Washington campus. Stroll on Broadway through Capitol Hill (interesting shopping, even more interesting people!). I hear the City Pass for Seattle (Zoo, Aquarium, Museum, etc.) is a great deal if you want to see all that stuff.

Hotels in Seattle are damned expensive (plus the hotel tax is over 15%). If you want a nice hotel for a modest price, I recommend bidding for a 4-star hotel on Priceline. (3-star is riskier). Visit www.BiddingForTravel.com and check out the Seattle hotel section to see which 4-star hotels people are getting. If you are worried about parking, most hotels in the downtown area charge a hefty fee for parking ($20/night or more), so maybe that will change your mind about the car.

Just remember Priceline is non-refundable, non-changable, but if your plans are firm you can get a really nice 4-star hotel for a good price that way.

Andrew
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Old Sep 17th, 2003, 09:53 PM
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You haven't seen Seattle till you've been to Pike Place Market overlooking Elliot Bay. Tons of the freshest seafood you'll ever see for sale, fresh produce, you name it on display. A food-lover's paradise. Tons of interesting people.

We stayed at the Four Seasons Olympic Hotel and loved it--so beautiful. Another very nice hotel right around the corner from Pike Place Market is Inn at the Market, lovely with incredible views. Downstairs is Campagne restaurant, our favorite. Everything is so well-prepared with a killer NW winelist. The fish will be very fresh.

You asked for nice, and these places are all really nice. The best, in my opinion. Have a great trip!
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Old Sep 18th, 2003, 06:00 AM
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The Olympic is now a Fairmont.

Jimndebbie, give us an idea of any particular interests and your price range, also whether it's early or late October - makes a difference.

Also use the search function above - there are umpteen posts regarding hotels, restaurants and activities in Seattle. Or you can get restaurant ideas at chowhound.com or seattleweekly.com.

The downtown area has many attractions - shopping, theater, restaurants, all the usual. However, Seattle is also well situated for many one-day excursions for which a car would be needed. With just a weekend, though, your best bet probably would be to stay downtown, and limit your excursions to a walk-on crossing of Puget Sound on the state ferry from the downtown dock.

The Pike Market is an obvious top-of-the-list destination. If you can manage the cost, a water-view room at the Inn at the Market would be a great choice - in the middle of everything,and one of the best restaurants downtown (Campagne) is in the building.

Good luck.
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Old Sep 18th, 2003, 06:19 AM
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Seattle is great, hotels are expensive and by all means consider checking biddingfortravel.com and also betterbidding.com (the former is oriented towards Priceline bidding only, the latter also has tips and bid info for Hotwire).

If you can get a good deal on a direct booking try the Elliott Grand Hyatt - the rooms are fantastic with huge marble baths, great beds/linens and floor to ceiling windows with a pushbutton by the bed to lower a light blocking black-out curtain. I've also stayed at the Vintage Park on a Priceline bid but I thought the Hyatt was a bit nicer. My friend just returned from a stay at the Sheraton downtown and said it was "okay" but not in the same class as the Hyatt (despite having the same * rating).

Strongly suggest getting a rental car only for a day if doing a day trip but with only a weekend you'll have so much to do in Seattle that it's not worth it. Gray Line has an airpiort shuttle bus that stops at several central downtown locations and is about $11 or $12 for a round trip ticket. Parking is generally $24 per each 24 hour period - rarely any cheaper downtown.

Capitol Hill and Belltown are both good neighborhoods to walk around, especially the former - lots of coffeehouses, small restaurants and some cool little shops.
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Old Sep 18th, 2003, 12:28 PM
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Jimndebbie

We stayed at the HOTEL MONACO when we went to Seattle. It is a FABULOUS hotel, connected to an extrememly good restaurant ( I forgot the name)...but the accommodations are defintely 4 Star!
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Old Sep 19th, 2003, 03:52 PM
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Thanks for all the cool ideas! One more question... do we need a car or can we walk / cab the area and is there enough to do for 2 - 3 days ?

Thanks !
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Old Sep 19th, 2003, 07:09 PM
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Do you need a car in Seattle?

Sounds to me like you really don't want to drive - and you're not interested in doing anything in particular, just killing a few days with some fun in Seattle? I guess if I were you I'd think about which things you really want to do in the area, then decide if you truly need the car to get to all of them. Maybe you can rent the car for just a day and spend the rest of the time walking/cabbing.

Of course, pick your hotel first. If you aren't going to stay downtown, then I think you will have to rent a car. I'd reserve a car immediately anyway to lock in a rate, then cancel it near your trip if you decide you don't want it.

Andrew
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Old Sep 19th, 2003, 07:44 PM
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We are planning to stay downtown perhaps at Hotel Monaco or Hyatt
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Old Sep 20th, 2003, 06:33 AM
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buy a city pass, then you can do boat trip and other thing around the city ( also inside stuff, incase it rains good value, if you do most of the things in the booklet)
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Old Sep 20th, 2003, 09:22 AM
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I've stayed at pretty much all the top hotels in Seattle (including the Four Seasons) but will always try to book at the Grand Hyatt first. Hotwire has the best rates if you can get it for $140 (5*) otherwise there are several dates on a web-only special for $150 on the official hyatt site.

Hotel Monaco is very nice if you can get a suite, but I found the standard rooms a bit small -- but if you get a great price, who cares! They also have complimentary evening wine service, newspaper and coffee in the mornings.

I love the "W" too, but I've never gotten a room there for under $180.

The restaurant in the Hyatt is great -- breakfasts are to die for. Across the street is the Dragonfish cafe www.dragonfishcafe.com which is casual but has great food and good prices (you can even use your entertainment card there).

For a nice dinner out (in an urban setting, not hushed by any means) I recommend Dahlia Lounge (west coast cuisine), Fandango (exciting South American food) or Flying Fish (superbe seafood).

Website for Fandango & Flying Fish is http://www.flyingfishseattle.com/

Website for Dahlia Lounge http://www.tomdouglas.com/dahlia/

If you decide to try to bid on hotwire for a room, check out www.betterbidding.com so you can 'try' to figure out the hotel before you bid.

Cheers!
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Old Sep 26th, 2003, 04:19 PM
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Hi,

If I were you I would scurry to Priceline.com and submit a "bid" on a room for the 3 nights you'll be in town. Guess I'd start at maybe $45 per night for a "4-star" hotel and then move the price slightly higher until I found something.

(INSIST on a hotel in the "downtown Seattle" area)

Given the downtown Seattle layout it won't matter too much which hotel you get, and with the nice price you can spend more on your trip.

WWW.biddingfortravel.com, as mentioned earlier, will help explain everything if you've never used Priceline.

You don't say how you're arriving but I'll guess by plane? - I would take an airport-to-downtown bus advertised "$8 per person to all major downtown hotels".

You get to your hotel, check in, stow your luggage and then feel comfortable walking everywhere you'll need to go. With just 2 1/2 days or less you will be able to occupy your time in the downtown core without needing to see anything too far away.

See the Space Needle just to say you've been there. ("Monorail" is a small sky train which goes from downtown to "Seattle Center", home of the Space Needle, for $1.60 or so each way per person)

If the weather is nice then walk the Pioneer Square area on Saturday night - people watching is fun there. Pike Place Market during the afternoon on Saturday will be a nice experience.

For Sunday evening take a city bus up the hill (to the east of town about 2 miles) to the "Broadway" neighborhood. As mentioned earlier it is a great area for people-watching and you can plan to eat somewhere up there once the mood strikes.

Downtown shopping areas may be the order of the day on Sunday and while there are a number of outlying interesting sights it seems your time here isn't enough to need to leave the main core.

Don't really think you need that rental car but maaaaaaaaaybe if your hotel savings inspires you then a one-day rental might be enticing.

Hope something here helps.

(A local who works at the Pike Place Market)
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Old Nov 6th, 2003, 09:51 PM
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We recently spent three nights at the Hotel Edgewater in Seattle. It is a beautiful property, recently remodeled. The hotel provided a free shuttle to all major Seattle attractions. We had a waterview room with a fireplace. Elegant rustic decor with teddy bears on the beds and even a furry bear footstool in front of the fireplace. The restaurant Six Seven is also very good. Have the fried calamari appetizer!
I would recommend the Flying Fish, the Dahlia Lounge and Satly's on Alki Beach for excellent dinners. The concierge at the Edgewater even arranged for a limo to pick us up and take us to Salty's!! Have a great time in Seattle, it's awesome!! ***kim****
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Old Nov 7th, 2003, 06:36 AM
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I don't think you'll need a car for that short a trip. we spent a week there and rented a car for half of it.
one experience we really enjoyed that no one has mentioned is taking a ferry over to bainbridge island. the ride back to seattle has beautiful views of the city. it's a car ferry but plenty of pedestrians walk on and it docks right near the city.
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Old Nov 8th, 2003, 12:59 PM
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Yes, the ferry ride to Bainbridge Island is a definite "must-do." Our hotel shuttle took us directly to the ferry dock where we purchsed our tickets ( I could not believe how cheap it is!) and boarded the ferry.

The ride was beautiful and the weather just perfect for us. I was able to get some great photos of my husband and daughter with the Space Needele in the background. I enjoyed the ride very much. I was joking in my postcards that in one day in Seattle we rode a monorail, took a ferry, rode in two cabs, a limo and a hotel shuttle van.

My husband enjoyed not having to drive around town. The transportation systems in Seattle sure are wonderful!! ***kim***
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Old Nov 17th, 2003, 11:27 AM
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Another big vote for the Fairmont Olympic. My clients stay there often and we never hear anything bad about it. It's fairly expensive and I doubt you can get it on Priceline but it's worth the $$$
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Old Nov 17th, 2003, 12:07 PM
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The Fairmont was our second consideration when we visited Seattle in August. My husband thought it would be nice to be right on the water so we chose the Hotel Edgewater which was excellent.

I have stayed at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn in California and it was a first-class experience! ***kim***
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Old Nov 18th, 2003, 06:30 AM
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We spent a long weekend in Seattle this summer. Spent most of it in the car, stuck in traffic. Ugly. Next time we will spend the extra bucks for a downtown hotel and walk or take cabs. If you're an outdoor enthusiast at all, go to the REI flagship store - neat. Have fun and stay off I-5!
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Old Nov 18th, 2003, 09:27 AM
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Kimamom: what did you like about Sonoma Mission Inn? We stayed there a couple years ago and still talk about how disappointing our room was--especially for the price. I've almost given up on Fairmonts. Fairmont seems to buy once luxurious hotels that are declining, then they try to prop them up without actually enhancing them.
Harsh criticism, I know, but it's been our perception of the Fairmonts in Boston, New Orleans, Kansas City, San Francisco, and Vancouver.
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Old Nov 18th, 2003, 11:14 AM
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HI Ted Turner!! The SMI just became a Fairmont property as did the Seattle property. What did I like about it? The property is beautiful, the service was excellent and the wine tasting by the fire in the evening was very nice.

Our room was in the Wine Country area. Maybe the Historic rooms are different. The room was a nice size, a complimentary bottle of Kenwood Vintage White was nice. The bathroom was very spacious with a soaking tub. We had breakfast at Sante which was very good. I did not try a spa service there but will next Spring. I peeked in the spa and it looked heavenly!!
I also love (order online) their Apricot N' Cream line of lotions there. My only complaint about the trip was that we weren't able to stay longer. Maybe this year!! ***kim***
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