El Gaucho, with outposts throughout the Pacific Northwest, established its roots in Seattle back in 1953 when its first restaurant opened downtown. The 1990s brought El Gaucho back to popularity, and in 2005, the restaurateur expanded by opening this boutique hotel in Belltown, just upstairs from its Seattle flagship. The inn features retro-chic 1950s decor, with deep leather sofas and rich warm colors. Of course, the iconic steak house handles the room-service menus. The many extras, like signature snacks in the minibar and fireside winetasting during the afternoon, are an extension of El Gaucho restaurant’s traditional, over-the-top service.
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The Inn at El Gaucho is in lively Belltown, a neighborhood popular for dining out. A short walk takes you to the waterfront and the Edgewater Hotel, which offers a lovely happy hour at the bar. The Olympic Sculpture Park is just a few blocks north of the hotel, and it’s a short walk to the Space Needle and Seattle Center.
Need to Know
Rooms: 17 junior suites. From $249. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: El Gaucho Restaurant recreates the idea of dinner as theater. While it provides the dinner-room service for the inn, guests should plan to make a night at the restaurant itself for carefully selected cuts of meat and fresh seafood. For breakfast, head out to your pick of great neighborhood cafés—Macrina Bakery & Café, Cyclops Café, and Bang Bang Café are steps from the hotel. Spa and gym details: The hotel offers day passes to the Seattle Athletic Club, about half a mile away. The club offers some spa services like massage, manicures, and pedicures.
Who's it for: Diners celebrating a special occasion at the restaurant (and wanting to sleep off the meal) and those looking for an intimate romantic getaway. Our favorite rooms: The General Manager, David Shapland, admits that his favorite rooms are number 8 (because of the Marilyn Monroe photograph) and number 17 (because of the Jane Mansfield photo). Good to know: There’s no elevator up to the hotel, whose lobby is on the second floor. Duck into the restaurant to let someone know if you need help with luggage.