Photos: The Emerald City

loading photos...
  1. Art & architecture

    The Experience Music Project and the Seattle Space Needle share acreage on the Seattle Center Grounds. (Tim Thompson / Seattle CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Bell Harbor Marina

    Boats move in and out of the Bell Harbor Marina, with the Seattle skyline as a backdrop. (Tim Thompson / Seattle CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Ballard Locks

    Visitors watch as boats make the transition from the fresh water of Lake Washington and Lake Union to the salt water of Puget Sound through Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard, Seattle's Scandinavian neighborhood. (Seattle CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Seattle Art Museum

    The downtown Seattle Art Museum, designed by architect Robert Venturi, opened to rave reviews in 1991. (Seattle CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Lake living

    Modern apartments and condos sit on the hill above houseboats on Lake Union. The small Houseboat Tour takes passengers on a one-hour trip around the lake showing off the homes. (Barry Sweet / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Fish do fly

    Seattle's Pike Place Market is world-famous for its fresh seafood and produce, and its lively arts and crafts scene. (Seattle CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Curl up with a book

    With shelves specifically arranged in a non-linear formation, the main lobby of the Seattle Central Library. (Ted S. Warren / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Seattle Central Library

    A visitor to the new Seattle Central Library views an art installation set into an escalator wall in downtown Seattle. (Ted S. Warren / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Arch exhibit

    A stunning arch with usable space connects old and new exhibit areas at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center. Set in the heart of downtown Seattle, the center is within easy walking distance of more than 6,000 hotel rooms. (Tim Thompson / Seattle CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Fun, sun & sports

    Parasailing on Puget Sound, with SAFECO Field (home to the Seattle Mariners) and the Qwest Field (home to the Seattle Seahawks) in the background. (Tim Thompson / Seattle CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. A mile a minute

    Seattle Center's Monorail was built for the 1962 World's Fair, making the one-mile trip between the fairgrounds (now the Seattle Center campus) and the downtown retail district in less than two minutes. The Experience Music Project museum is in the background (Tim Thompson / Seattle CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Mount Rainier

    The majestic Mount Rainier watches over pleasure boats on Puget Sound. (Tim Thompson / Seattle CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  1. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  2. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  3. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  4. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

updated 9/25/2006 5:24:47 PM ET 2006-09-25T21:24:47

Best Historic Hotel

Built in 1924, the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, 411 University St. (tel. 800/223-8772 or 206/621-1700; www.fairmont.com/seattle), is styled after an Italian Renaissance palace and is by far the most impressive of Seattle's handful of historic hotels. The grand lobby is unrivaled.

Best for a Romantic Getaway

Though Seattle has quite a few hotels that do well for a romantic weekend, the Inn at the Market, 86 Pine St. (tel. 800/446-4484 or 206/443-3600; www.innatthemarket.com), with its Elliott Bay views, European atmosphere, and proximity to many excellent (and romantic) restaurants, is sure to set the stage for lasting memories.

Best for Hipsters

This is a city that likes to keep up with the trends, and the Hotel Ändra, 2000 Fourth Ave. (tel. 877/448-8600 or 206/448-8600; www.hotelandra.com), has given Seattle a boldly contemporary lodging. Best of all, it's on the edge of the trendy Belltown neighborhood, which makes this an ideal base for club-crawling night owls.

Best for Families

Situated just across the street from Lake Union, the Silver Cloud Inn-Lake Union, 1150 Fairview Ave. N. (tel. 800/330-5812 or 206/447-9500; www.silvercloud.com), is far enough from downtown to be affordable -- but not far from Seattle Center. Plus it has a great location overlooking the lake. There are indoor and outdoor pools and several restaurants right across the street.

Best Budget Hotel

It may be a bit out of the way and a little old, but the Mercer Island Travelodge, 7645 Sunset Hwy., Mercer Island (tel. 800/578-7878 or 206/232-8000; www.mercerislandhotel.com), has a lot to recommend it. You drive across a floating bridge to get here, it's right on a walking/biking path, and there's a very pleasant neighborhood a few blocks away.

Best B&B

  1. Don't miss these Travel stories
    1. Lords of the gourd compete for Punkin Chunkin honors

      With teams using more than 100 unique apparatuses to launch globular projectiles a half-mile or more, the 27th annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin event is our pick as November’s Weird Festival of the Month.

    2. Airports, airlines work hard to return your lost items
    3. Expert: Tourist hordes threaten Sistine Chapel's art
    4. MGM Grand wants Las Vegas guests to Stay Well
    5. Report: Airlines collecting $36.1B in fees this year

Set in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, the Gaslight Inn, 1727 15th Ave. (tel. 206/325-3654; www.gaslight-inn.com), is a lovingly restored and maintained Craftsman bungalow filled with original Stickley furniture. Lots of public spaces, very tasteful decor, and a swimming pool in the backyard all add up to unexpected luxury for a Seattle B&B.

Best Location

Located on a pier right on the Seattle waterfront, The Edgewater, Pier 67, 2411 Alaskan Way (tel. 800/624-0670 or 206/728-7000; www.edgewaterhotel.com), is only 5 blocks from Pike Place Market and the Seattle Aquarium, and 3 blocks from the restaurants of Belltown. The Waterfront Streetcar, which goes to Pioneer Square and the International District, stops right in front of the hotel; ferries to Victoria, British Columbia, and leaves from the adjacent pier.

Best Views

If you're not back in your room by sunset at the Westin Seattle, 1900 Fifth Ave. (tel. 800/WESTIN-1 or 206/728-1000; www.westin.com/seattle), you may not turn into a pumpkin, but you will miss a spectacular light show. Because this is the tallest hotel in the city, the Westin boasts fabulous views from its upper floors, especially those facing northwest.

Best Health Club

So you're on the road again, but you don't want to give up your circuit training. Don't worry: Bring your gym gear and book a room at the Bellevue Club Hotel, 11200 SE Sixth St., Bellevue (tel. 800/579-1110 or 425/454-4424; www.bellevueclub.com), where you'll have access to a huge private health club complete with an indoor pool and tennis courts.

Best Pool

Most hotels in the city center stick their swimming pool (if they have one at all) down in the basement or on some hidden terrace, but at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel and Towers, 1400 Sixth Ave. (tel. 800/325-3535 or 206/621-9000; www.sheraton.com/seattle), you can do laps on the top floor with the lights of the city twinkling all around you.

Best Room Decor

If you plan to spend a lot of time in your room, then the Bellevue Club Hotel, 11200 SE Sixth St., Bellevue (tel. 800/579-1110 or 425/454-4424; www.bellevueclub.com), is the place to be. The rooms here are plush enough to please the most demanding of hedonists.

Best for Pets

If you're traveling to Seattle with your pooch and don't mind shelling out big bucks for top-end accommodations, then the Alexis Hotel, 1007 First Ave. (tel. 800/426-7033 or 206/624-4844; www.alexishotel.com), should be your home away from home. Special pet amenities include designer doggie beds, dog treats, a dog bowl with distilled water, pet-sitting services, and even in-room dining for your pooch.

The Best Splurge Hotels

The Edgewater, Pier 67, 2411 Alaskan Way (tel. 800/624-0670): For a sense of being immersed in all things Seattle, there is no better hotel choice than the Edgewater, which is located on a pier on the Seattle waterfront. The hotel is also only 5 blocks from Pike Place Market and the Seattle Aquarium and 3 blocks from the restaurants of Belltown.

Fairmont Olympic Hotel, 411 University St. (tel. 800/223-8772): Built in 1924, this classic hotel is styled after an Italian Renaissance palace and is by far the most impressive of Seattle's handful of historic hotels. The grand lobby is unrivaled.

Grand Hyatt Seattle, 721 Pine St. (tel. 800/233-1234): Stylish without being trendy, this luxury downtown tower hotel provides not only the finest room amenities but also the best service.

Hotel Ändra, 2000 Fourth Ave. (tel. 877/448-8600): This is a city that likes to keep up with the trends, and the Hotel Ändra has given Seattle a boldly contemporary lodging to compete with the W Seattle. Best of all, it's on the edge of the trendy Belltown neighborhood, which makes this an ideal base for club-crawling night owls.

Inn at the Market, 86 Pine St. (tel. 800/446-4484): Though Seattle has quite a few hotels that do well for a romantic weekend, the Inn at the Market, with its Elliott Bay views, European atmosphere, and proximity to many excellent (and romantic) restaurants, is sure to set the stage for lasting memories.

Woodmark Hotel on Lake Washington, 1200 Carillon Point, Kirkland (tel. 800/822-3700): If you're here on Microsoft business, head for this waterfront hotel not far from Bill Gates's Xanadu. Most rooms have water views.

The Best Moderately Priced Hotels

Summerfield Suites by Wyndham, 1011 Pike St. (tel. 800/996-3426): This modern hotel, with rooms that are more than big enough for you, your spouse, and your luggage, is only a couple of blocks from the city's huge convention center and many of its priciest hotels. Why so cheap? Well, it's on the wrong side of the freeway for one thing, and it's a steep walk back to the hotel from the waterfront. But, if you're willing to walk, you can save a bundle.

Comfort Suites Downtown/Seattle Center, 601 Roy St. (tel. 800/517-4000): Located only about four blocks from Seattle Center and the Space Needle, this modern budget hotel offers spacious rooms and a convenient location. Throw in some good restaurants within walking distance and you have a little gem in a well-hidden corner of the city.

Silver Cloud Inn-Lake Union, 1150 Fairview Ave. N. (tel. 800/330-5812): Situated across the street from Lake Union and close to Seattle Center, this hotel is just far enough from downtown to be affordable -- and, best of all, it has a great location overlooking the lake. There are indoor and outdoor pools and several restaurants right across the street.

Gaslight Inn, 1727 15th Ave. (tel. 206/325-3654): Set in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, this B&B is in a lovingly restored and maintained Craftsman bungalow filled with original Stickley furniture. Lots of public spaces, very tasteful decor, and a swimming pool in the backyard all add up to unexpected luxury for a Seattle B&B.

Best Western University Tower Hotel, 4507 Brooklyn Ave. NE (tel. 800/899-0251): This hotel is surprisingly reasonably priced for what you get -- it's one of the most stylish contemporary accommodations in Seattle. Ask for a room on an upper floor and you'll also get good views.

For a complete listing of Frommer's-reviewed accommodations, visit our online hotels index.

Frommer’s is America’s bestselling travel guide series. Visit Frommers.com to find great deals, get information on over 3,500 destinations, and book your trip. © 2006 Wiley Publishing, Inc. Republication or redistribution of Frommer's content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Wiley.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments