The 1926 brick building that houses Hotel Ändra has an interesting history: Originally built as efficiency apartments, it served as a transfer station for the Women’s Army Corp from 1945 to 1947. Although this downtown site has operated as a small hotel since the 1970s, it was fully redesigned in 2004 to become the Hotel Ändra, now a showcase of design using Pacific Northwest materials like wood and stone, combined with Scandinavian style—a nod to the city’s Nordic roots. Even though it’s at the nexus of the city, the hotel feels cozy. The fireplace in the living room–style lobby and the casual, inviting atmosphere make it a refuge from the buzz of the streets outside. The restaurant, Lola, is a partnership with one of Seattle’s best-loved celebrity chefs, Tom Douglas, making Hotel Ändra an excellent home base for those in town to experience Seattle’s abundant local restaurants.
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Downtown Seattle’s biggest shopping centers are steps away—both Westlake Plaza and Pacific Place have a variety of major labels and smaller independent stores. Peek into Fireworks for fun, artsy, one-of-a-kind jewelry, household items, and cool toys. The magnificent Paramount Theater is a few blocks away, too; the theater is a beauty of 1926 grandeur and today showcases everything from classic rock to classical ballet.
Need to Know
Rooms: 119 rooms, 22 suites. From $189. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The Ändra is lucky to have Lola, one of Seattle chef Tom Douglas’s many excellent restaurants. This one has a Greek-inspired menu and is just as popular with locals as with hotel guests. Right next door, Assaggio Ristorante serves fresh, non-fussy Italian; it’s also a hugely popular local spot. The Ändra Loft and Bar, just above the lobby, serves cocktails and small, Swedish-inspired plates—plus pastries, coffee, mimosas, and Bloody Marys on the weekends. Spa and gym details: The hotel has no spa, but there is an onsite fitness room with basic but modern fitness equipment. For access to a lap pool and group classes, hotel guests can purchase a $15 day pass to the Seattle Athletic Club (located within walking distance, at Western Avenue & Virginia Street).
Who's it for: Business travelers who prefer less austerely stylish surroundings than the usual corporate chain; out-of-town Seahawks fans making a game weekend in Seattle. Our favorite rooms: All the rooms show immaculate attention to detail, and the thoughtfully designed bathrooms make excellent use of the minimal space. The Superia rooms, which measure 400 square feet, have extra seating areas and wet bars, great for in-room snacking. Cooking school: The second floor houses a cookbook library and the Hot Stove Society cooking school. Take a class from one of Seattle’s best chefs while staying here.