Out front at Motif Seattle, a colorful patio and Mondrianesque covered walkway are the first signs that this former Red Lion has style. The comfortable midsize guestrooms aren't quite as hip as the eye-catching lobby and fifth-floor outdoor terrace bar, but some on the upper floors boast impressive views of Elliott Bay. And the hotel's location at the heart of Downtown is hard to beat.
YOU SHOULD KNOW When booking a stay, factor an amenities fee into your daily rate. The surcharge covers in-room bottled water, coffee, and Wi-Fi. Many hotels feature this fee, but some guests at Motif have felt misled.
Guestrooms are fairly basic, with unobtrusive modern decor punctuated by a few pops of bright color, though suites step it up in the style department. Most rooms look out on the city, but expansive windows in some higher floor rooms also frame sweeping views of Elliott Bay. Walls aren't completely soundproofed, which can be annoying if your neighbors are late-night TV watchers. If you plan to spend a lot of time in your room during your stay, there are better hotel options.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Chilly guestrooms and common areas seem to be a frequent guest complaint, especially in winter.
Bathrooms vary from room-to-room. Some are perfectly serviceable but uninspired, while others in more premium rooms feature bright colors and artwork. Towels and bathrobes are plush, though, and toiletries are on the nicer side.
The large airy lobby has a hip vibe with vivid hues and bold patterns. Cool contemporary furniture and large-scale art and colorful seating areas encourage lingering.
The 24/7 fitness center features several of each of the usual cardio machines -- elliptical, treadmill, and bikes -- as well as strength-training machines, free weights, and yoga balls.
Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails is one of the hotel’s standout spaces, especially at night when it has a nightclub feel. The restaurant’s contemporary décor is perfectly suited for a vivid palette of gray, chartreuse, and fuchsia. Windows look out on the hotel’s fifth-floor outdoor terrace patio, where there’s also seating – it’s packed during the summer. While the décor is more exciting than the New American fare, it’s definitely a worthy dining option if you don’t feel like leaving the hotel. Good service is a bonus.
At the back of the restaurant, there’s a funky two-tone tufted sofa in front of a big flatscreen where bored kids and teens can plop down and watch TV or fire up the PlayStation.
The stylish bar space at Frolik features modern barstools, cool blue lighting, and an eye-catching laser-cut bar backdrop. The real draw, though, is the spacious outdoor terrace. On the fifth floor of the hotel, it’s not technically a rooftop bar. What it lacks in height, it makes up for with street views and al fresco features like a fire pit and outdoor shuffleboard and a ping-pong table.
From restaurateur Michael Mina (known for Bellagio and his eponymous outpost in San Francisco), the newish RN74 (2-minute walk) is a trendy contemporary spot that stars inventive riffs on French cuisine – food that’s perfectly suited for pairings from the extensive wine list. Definitely make a reservation. Visitors and locals alike flock to Wild Ginger (2-minute walk), an Asian-inspired restaurant located in a beautiful, historical building.
If you’re really into nightlife, consider visiting Capitol Hill, a 7-minute cab ride or 15-minute ride on the light rail. The hip neighborhood has a bar for every kind of imbiber. Belltown, a 15-minute walk, also has lots of options, including Bathtub Gin and Co. (15-minute walk), a speakeasy-style hole in the wall, and Wakefield Bar Belltown (15-minute walk), an industrial-chic space with exposed brick walls that serves craft cocktails and small plates.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Motif is a cool contemporary hotel with a lively fifth-floor terrace bar. Right in the heart of downtown, it's close to Pike Place Market, shopping, and other attractions.