This New Seattle Hotel Is Perfect for Design Lovers

The new Lotte Hotel Seattle is a design-driven retreat with historic roots in the heart of the city.

Interior of white Premier Suite King room at the Lotte Hotel in Seattle, with view of Elliott Bay

This Premier Suite King room at the Lotte Hotel in Seattle features views of Elliott Bay.

Courtesy of Lotte Hotel Seattle


Lotte Hotel Seattle

The vibe: A contemporary retreat with an art deco flavor

Location: 809 Fifth Ave., Seattle | View on Google Maps

Book now: Website



The AFAR take

The ongoing $780 million development of the Seattle waterfront—which added trees and plants, new biking and walking trails and is restoring once-dilapidated piers—has revitalized the area around the iconic Pike Place Market and Elliott Bay. The area’s hotel scene is seeing signs of reinvigoration, too: The Lotte Hotel, located in the heart of Downtown, opened in September 2020. It’s part of the South Korea–based hotel group Lotte Hotels and Resorts.

Renowned French industrial designer Philippe Starck imbued the hotel with a past-meets-present spirit, which is captured in the juxtaposition of its exterior, a modern 44-story glass skyscraper (the hotel occupies the top 16 floors of the F5 Tower) joined by a glass connector to one of Seattle’s historic landmarks. The country’s oldest Beaux-Arts–style building, founded in 1908 and previously the nation’s first United Methodist Church, was restored as the Sanctuary, its ballroom. The careful renovation has preserved traditional aspects of the church, such as the pipe organ, stained-glass windows, and original dome ceiling. All the rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows featuring expansive views of Elliott Bay or West Seattle, depending on which side of the building you’re on.

Throughout the hotel, there are references to the Pacific Northwest’s temperate rain forests. The long front desk is crafted out of a reclaimed 3,000-year-old sequoia log from California, there are tree trunk–shaped stools in the rooms and spa, and the carpets in the lobby and rooms feature abstract timber patterns.

The high-ceilinged first-floor entrance (L) and glass exterior of the Lotte Hotel in Seattle

The Lotte Hotel Seattle takes its deisgn inspiration from the Pacific Northwest’s famous temperate rain forests.

Courtesy of Lotte Hotel Seattle

Who’s it for?

Design-minded travelers looking for a central base from which to explore the Seattle area. First-time visitors to Seattle will find the location helpful as it’s within walking distance of key sites. Families traveling with kids will appreciate the sizeable rooms and kid-friendly meals available at the restaurant, and business travelers will benefit from the high-speed Wi-Fi and on-site 24-hour business center. The hotel is pet friendly: Dogs under 40 pounds are welcome for a $100 fee, which includes a bed, food and water bowls, and treats. The fee is waived when you book the puppy pampering package, complete with a dog robe, an in-room dining menu for dogs, and a dog-friendly City Guide.

The location

The Lotte Hotel is a 15-minute walk from Pike Place Market, the Sky View Observatory, and the striking Rem Koolhaas–designed Seattle Central Library. If art and culture are what you’re after, the historic Moore Theater, Benaroya Hall, Olympic Sculpture Park, and the Seattle Art Museum are also within ambling distance. The Colman Dock ferry terminal at Pier 52 is within 10 minutes by foot and allows access to the numerous islands dotting Puget Sound, including Bainbridge Island and Bremerton.

Renowned French industrial designer Philippe Starck imbued the hotel with a past-meets-present spirit.

The rooms

The Lotte Hotel offers 189 guest rooms, including 32 suites and a 2,100-square-foot Presidential Suite with a baby grand piano in the living room. The accommodations have floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views. The western facing room I stayed in was bathed in natural light, and I had a front-row seat to glorious sunsets every evening. The Starck-designed interiors feature a neutral palette of whites, grays, and tans. Blond-wood walls and furnishings are juxtaposed with a heavy use of marble, mirrored finishes, and warm metallic details. The result is a quiet and comfortable opulence.

The bathrooms were my favorite part, with their glowing travertine surfaces, whimsical arched mirrors, and rain showers. A large arched window above the sinks—with closable blinds for privacy—faces into the rest of the room, adding light and spaciousness. All rooms come with an electric kettle, Nespresso coffee maker, a selection of local teas and coffees, and wireless Bose speakers. Guests can also choose their pillows from a pillow menu for an extra personalized touch.

The main dining room of Charlotte Restaurant is clad in warm wood.

Charlotte Restaurant serves seasonal Pacific Northwest fare.

Courtesy of the Lotte Hotel Seattle

The food and drink

Thanks to its steady and predictable rain cover, the Pacific Northwest is blessed with bountiful produce—including blackberries, apples, cherries, and wild mushrooms. Charlotte Restaurant and Lounge, located on the 16th floor of the Lotte Hotel, celebrates local ingredients with seasonal changing menus and cocktails. Dinner might include such dishes as Hama Hama oysters with horseradish crème fraîche and blood orange mignonette, white bean soup with stinging nettles, and black garlic–roasted octopus.

Dessert is the domain of executive pastry chef Artis Kalsons and provides a fruit-forward end to the meal with chocolate cake served with a cherry sorbet and rose-infused cream, and PB&J churros with a berry jelly. A meal at the restaurant, much like the rest of the hotel, comes with postcard views of Puget Sound and downtown Seattle alongside the ocean and the Olympic mountain range.

The bathrooms at the Lotte Hotel Seattle are clad in travertine stone.

The bathrooms at the Lotte Hotel Seattle are clad in travertine stone.

Courtesy of Lotte Hotel Seattle

Staff and service

The staff aims to anticipate customer needs to create an environment that feels warm and personalized. In a nod to the hotel company’s cultural roots, I was formally addressed by name and greeted with a traditional Korean bow upon arrival. When I got to my room, I found a refreshing cocktail and macarons waiting for me. The staff is also happy to put together personalized itineraries for guests who want to explore the area.


There are four accessible room types and a total of eight rooms available to book. The hotel features Braille signage in all common areas (including meeting rooms, elevators, and guest rooms), ramps and ramp bars, and ADA-compliant restrooms and elevators. Accessible rooms are equipped with roll-in showers, restroom grab bars, and ADA-friendly workstations. All doors and hallways can accommodate wheelchair use, and doors include an additional eyehole for wheelchair users.

Two people at the front desk, fashioned out of a reclaimed sequoia trunk

The front desk was fashioned out of a reclaimed sequoia trunk.

Courtesy of Lotte Hotel Seattle

Urban pampering

On the third floor of the hotel, Le Spa de l’hôtel Lotte is open to both overnight guests and day visitors. In a soothing, white-walled space, the spa has five treatment rooms, one of which can accommodate couples. Visitors have access to both the sauna and steam rooms. The spa menu offers massages, facials, body treatments, hair and makeup services, and services for men using luxury skincare brands, including Biologique Recherche and MBR Skincare.

Supriya Kalidas is the creative director at AFAR.
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