Only a block from the waterfront, the Alexis Hotel is actually a complex of three buildings, all with a place on the National Registry of Historic Places. The oldest part of the hotel was built in 1901, the newest in 1908. Beautifully renovated and restored in 2007, the Alexis (part of the Kimpton Hotels brand) maintains much of its historic character with features like wood-burning fireplaces, exposed brick, and yes, even secret passageways. Because the hotel is comprised of three different buildings, none of the rooms are the same and the features vary. Some rooms have balconies, some face the courtyard, and the fireplaces aren’t limited to the best-of-the-house suites. The rococo-meets-modern design scheme, a rotating art collection (to complement current showings at the nearby Seattle Art Museum), nightly wine reception (5–6 p.m.), and pet-friendly policy all add to the relaxed, residential atmosphere. And because the hotel is small and full of character, it’s a favorite for destination weddings.
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The Alexis Hotel sits on the western edge of Seattle, halfway between Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square. It’s also just a few blocks from Coleman Dock, the ferry terminal; take a hotel bike and ride on the ferry to make a day trip to Bainbridge Island. It’s a short stroll to Seattle’s newest shiny object on the skyline, the Great Wheel. For cocktails and small but super-delicious plates, try the tiny bar at the back of E. Smith Mercantile (208 First Ave. South).
Need to Know
Rooms: 89 rooms, 32 suites. From $250. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: What’s not to love about a dining room that’s lined with books? The Bookstore Bar and Café serves brunch, happy hour, and dinner in an environment that reflects Seattle’s literary leanings. There’s an extensive scotch and whiskey menu so patrons can drink well while arguing about the Oxford comma. Spa and gym details: Chroma Salon Spa offers beauty treatments and in-room spa services using Aveda products. The hotel has a fitness center that includes a reservable private steam room. For those with quads strong enough to brave Seattle’s hills, the Alexis has complimentary loaner bicycles.
Who's it for: Book lovers, couples looking for a romantic getaway, and travelers who appreciate the extra space in the hotel’s large suites. Our favorite rooms: The Author Suite is filled with signed editions by some of the many writers who have stayed in the hotel. Look on the shelves for works by the distinguished Maya Angelou, who was a regular at the Alexis. Rooms with a view: Some of the rooms face an atrium-like courtyard with an elegant archway and a small roof garden. They’re quiet because they’re off the street, and they have a rather romantic feel to them.