If it's grand luxury you want out of a Seattle hotel, go to the downtown area and look no further than the stately Mobil Travel Guide Four-Star Fairmont Olympic Hotel (411 University St), an Italian Renaissance-style classic built in 1924. The Mobil Three-Star Grand Hyatt Seattle (721 Pine St) and Mobil Three-Star Seattle Marriott Waterfront (2100 Alaskan Way) give it plenty of competition.
But posh boutique seems more the style of this city. The Mobil Three-Star Alexis Hotel (1007 First Ave), the Mobil Three-Star Inn at the Market (86 Pine St), and the Mobil Three-Star W Seattle Hotel (1112 Fourth Ave) fit the bill in this category.
If you seek economy lodging, take a look at Belltown's Ace Hotel (2423 First Ave) or the University District's College Inn (4000 University Way NE).
Some of the most wonderful lodgings in the greater Seattle area are beyond the urban core. The Mobil Three-Star Salish Lodge at Snoqualmie Falls (6501 Railroad Ave SE, Snowualmie), perched on a cliff above the waterfall, is a special place. So, too, is the Mobil Three-Star Willows Lodge (14580 NE 145th St) in Woodinville, which replicates the mood of a wilderness lodge.
Not surprisingly, rates increase with occupancy as weather improves. Thus you'll have to book well in advance between May and September. Off-season rates, especially on weekends (when business travelers get out of town), may be markedly reduced. (Seattle SuperSaver will get you 70 percent off rack rates at 48 hotels between November and March.) Keep in mind that you will be taxed 15.5 percent on top of the quoted rate: 8.6 percent state sales tax and 7 percent Seattle city hotel tax.
While seafood is the obvious culinary highlight of Seattle, there are many other excellent dining options for visitors. See our restaurants guide on the next page for suggestions.