PHOTO: Nitish Meena | Unsplash

Fodor's Expert Review W Seattle

1112 4th Ave., Seattle, Washington 98101, USA See on Map

Renovated extensively over the last few years, including a recent revamp of guest rooms, the W Seattle pays homage to the Pacific Northwest throughout the swanky high-rise hotel. Think shout-outs to Boeing—metal lounge tables are styled after vintage travel chests—and columns inspired by totem poles. The hotel, which offers excellent customer service, has a lively nightlife scene.


Quiet rooms continue the PNW theme with headboards resembling reclaimed wood and custom-made blankets featuring a pattern of to-scale aircraft parts. Cage lights add an industrial touch while patterned carpet and a color palette of deep grays and purples showcase the W chain’s usual aesthetic of sleek, urban chic. All rooms include a generous desk, a seating area, a comfy bed, and large windows framing views ranging from the cityscape to the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountain range.

The hotel is especially pet-friendly, providing dog beds, a litter box and scoop for cats, and water and food bowls for all furry friends.


Bathrooms are on the small side and fairly basic, with a shower/tub combo and a large sink vanity. Some deluxe rooms feature wallpaper riffing on Pendleton patterns. The W’s six-piece collection of Bliss Spa bath products is a perk.


A large lounge area has an upscale nightclub vibe, from modern banquettes in bright, striped hues and shifting colored lights to hot-pink armchairs and a statement-making three-story fireplace. The DJ alcove, where the W hosts weekly DJs and live performances, is one of the most eye-catching spots in the hotel. A 22-foot backdrop of oversized photos features vinyl record spines, many of which are from classic Seattle acts like Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix.

YOU SHOULD KNOW If you prefer a low-key lobby in the evenings, the W is not for you. Weekend nights with live DJs go as late as 1:30 a.m. and tend to attract a lively crowd. It's not exactly a dance club, though people dance and it can be a scene. You can't hear the noise in the rooms, though.


W Seattle's spacious and recently refurbished FIT gym features treadmills, elliptical machines, Cybex machines, and free weights. You can arrange appointments with a personal trainer or massage therapist for the full-body treatment.


Trace, a high-ceilinged restaurant with sleek contemporary décor, features a small menu of New American fare that emphasizes regional specialties. The bar menu offers a variety of tasty small bites, like crispy Brussels sprouts and poke. At dinnertime, the restaurant often slows down and the cavernous space can feel empty. Though on the spendy side, the breakfast is very good.


Trace's small bar gets kudos for its stylish design and strong martinis, as well as a solid wine list and selection of local beers. Don't miss the happy hour, which goes from 3 to 8 p.m. The bar serves drinks and tasty small bites in the lobby living room, as well.

recording studio

Rock stars, actual or aspiring, can book time in the W Sound Suite, a state-of-the-art music studio replete with heavy-duty soundproofing, a recording booth, a mixing desk, and a jetsetter-worthy lounge area for musicians and their pals. The 380-square-foot space accommodates up to 25 people.


Getting Around

The University Street light rail station, which connects to Capitol Hill, University of Washington, and Sea-Tac, is a block from the hotel. The next stop on light rail is Westlake Center (a 7-minute walk from the W), where you can connect with the Monorail to Seattle Center, bus lines servicing every corner of the city, and the terminus for the South Lake Union Streetcar.


Always packed, Purple Café and Wine Bar is a visual stunner, with a spiral staircase winding up around a giant tower of wine. As expected, the wine selection is outstanding, and the extensive food menu is made for pairing. Wild Ginger, another popular option, serves Pacific Rim fare.


The Diller Room, at the corner of 1st and University, was part of The Diller Hotel, which opened in 1890--a year after the Great Seattle Fire--and boomed during the Klondike Gold Rush. The hotel is long gone, but The Diller Room occupies the former lobby, nodding to its past with exposed brick walls, stained glass windows, and a gleaming wood bar. The taproom at Old Stove Brewing in Pike Place Market has community tables and 16 taps for beer enthusiasts.


With the bold decor and see-and-be-seen vibe, staying at the W Seattle feels like hanging out in an exclusive nightclub. It doesn't hurt that friendly staff treats all guests like VIPs. Recently renovated, the stylish and comfortable rooms are in mint condition. The hotel is only a block from light rail, making it especially easy to get around.




Phones: 206-264–6000;877-946-8357

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