Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hotel Spotlight: Fairmont Olympic Hotel - Seattle, WA

Circular Drive into Hotel
The Fairmont Olympic Hotel is located in one of the easiest areas to navigate in the Seattle area. Anybody who has read my blog before knows that I have specific hotel requirements, and while the Fairmont is a lovely property with an understated elegance, it is not totally "me." I say that with the utmost respect.

Located in a premier area surrounded by such high-end retailers like Louis Vuitton, the Fairmont Olympic Hotel is in good company. What I appreciate the most about this location in general, is its easy walking distance to great restaurants, shopping, wine shops, Pike Place Market, Nordstrom, the theater district and additional shopping. Also, other delicious and trendy hotels are located well within the same area like, the 'W' Seattle, Hotel 1000 (two of my favorite hotels in Seattle, by the way), the Hotel Monaco, and many more.

You can valet at the hotel or park around the corner at one of the parking garages. Like every major downtown area, parking is not an inexpensive proposition. Even with the slightly discounted rate you receive by having the charges billed directly to your room key, you are still essentially paying $30 a day for parking. My strong recommendation would be to avoid parking at all cost and take either the Gray Line service into Seattle, a shuttle service, or a private car service, because even at a private car service rate, once  you throw in the cost of the rental car and parking, you would still be paying about the same price, if not slightly less by having a private car service, and obviously with the Gray Line and shuttles being approximately $15.00 or so each way, this is definitely the least expensive route. Once you are in Seattle, parking is not only atrociously expensive, but if you are not use to hills and slanted parking, you are in for a rude awakening. This was the first trip I've ever driven myself in Seattle, and I can tell you right now, I will not be repeating this mistake ever again.

Sitting Area Entering Hotel From Valet
There is no shortage of doormen as you enter into the hotel; they are all polite and attentive. The first lobby area upon entering the building by the valet court is a simple and elegant sitting area. It is a bit worn for wear, and I think that the entire property could use a face lift. There were no blatant items that were in need of immediate repair; yet, the property did not leave me with a "WOW" factor. The check-in process was much like any check-in at a major hotel. They were sufficiently staffed, and the total process took approximately five minutes; including my waiting, giving her my credit card and obtaining my room key.
The elevators are conveniently located off of the main lobby, so you will not find yourself roaming  randomly throughout the property in an effort to locate an elevator. Also off of the main lobby are comfortable seating areas, as well as the seating for The Georgian restaurant, where high tea is served and the happy hour, served Monday - Friday.

King Size Bed
My room was large, clean and suited my needs. Again, given the type of property the Fairmont Hotel proclaims itself to be, I was not blown away by the room; which contained a King size bed, an armoire, a desk area, closet with an in-room safe, and a well stocked mini bar (sidenote - there is a mini market located directly across the street behind the 'W' hotel and connected to the parking garage, where you can buy water, wine and snacks). The bathroom was spacious and clean, and they also supplied Miller Harris bath products.

All in all, it is a nice property and the main reason I likely would not stay there again is simply because it's in close proximity to other properties in Seattle that I prefer more and fit my personal taste. With that being said, if I knew someone or had clients who were visiting Seattle, and they wanted a laid back, quiet and simple elegant property, I would recommend the Fairmont Olympic property without hesitation. They have several restaurants on the property to suit various tastes from the Georgian, the Georgian Tea, Shuckers, the Terrace, and of course, in-room dining. I did not eat at the Fairmont because there are so many restaurants I love in Seattle, that I simply did not have sufficient time to check out their restaurants.

Seating in Room

Armoire & Desk Area

*photos taken by That Chick Té

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