Four Seasons Hotel Seattle Review
It’s unusual for me to walk to a hotel but, thanks to Seattle’s brand new light-rail system, which transported me from the Seattle-Tacoma Airport to downtown Seattle in 37 minutes for $2.50, I was able to have a pleasurable walk past the Pike Place Market area enjoying unusually, for a mid-February day in Seattle, warm (15°C/59°F) and sunny weather. The new Four Seasons Hotel Seattle, opened in late 2008, is almost directly on the bay and built in a U shape, which means that 80% of the guest rooms have extraordinary views of Elliot Bay and Puget Sound as well as the Olympic Mountains.
Elegant and understated on the outside, thanks to the extensive use of light woods and stone, the Four Seasons is light and airy inside. The lobby has walls of volcanic basalt and the hotel itself is filled with artwork created by artists of the Pacific Northwest.
WHERE IS IT?
The Four Seasons is across the street from the recently-expanded Seattle Art Museum, down the block from concerts at Benaroya Hall and the Pike Place Market, and within walking distance of the financial district.
My room was large and airy and had incredible views of water and mountains which changed color and intensity as the day wore on. The bed was, as has been the case at other Four Seasons hotels, firm and comfortable, one of the few hotel beds where I don’t awaken with a backache.
The contemporary room featured a 42” flat-screen television, a very comfortable chaise lounge, ample closet space, and a dry bar area near the entrance. The marble bathroom featured a small television integrated into the mirror.
ROAD WARRIOR SUPPORT
The generously-sized desk was placed so as to provide optimal bay views. A comfortable ergonomic desk chair completed the package. Lighting was excellent for work and the room itself was bathed in natural light during daytime hours. Reasonably-priced Internet access ($11 for 24 hours) was lightning fast.
The Art Restaurant derives its name from the substantial art collection on display in public areas of the hotel as well as its proximity to the Seattle Art Museum. The hotel’s collection focuses Pacific Northwest artists and internationally recognized abstractionists with works dating from the 1940s and 1950s.
The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and the staff was eager to please. My first morning I enquired if there was any carrot juice available, to which the reply was no but let me check in the kitchen. Literally two minutes later, the waitress had fresh-pressed carrot juice (mixed with apple juice at my request) on the table; the chef simply made it from scratch. The next morning, I was served carrot-apple juice without even having to request it. I should add that the brioche-based French toast alone is worth a visit.
A review of the restaurant at dinner, which has a 12-meter wine wall and offers 160 wines by the glass, will be published separately.
The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Seattle is an oasis of tranquility, with water, basalt rock, and glass tile used throughout the facility to represent the rugged Pacific Northwest. It offers a variety of relaxing and invigorating treatments; many use natural indigenous elements in the eight treatment rooms (one of which is a couples suite with a private soaking tub and views overlooking Puget Sound). Guests receive special pricing on weekdays. I made an appointment for the 80-minute hot lava stone massage. Lava stones are warmed in hot water, covered in essential oils, and rubbed on the body; the warmth induced relaxation and I felt the stresses of everyday life melt away during the treatment.
The hotel also has an excellent fitness center and a magnificent heated outdoor pool next to an open fireplace on the fourth floor terrace.
The concept of an oasis went far beyond the hotel’s spa. The entire hotel seemed to have been designed to remove any stress that might linger after a business meeting.
The staff was super responsive and eager to assist. My requests, which ranged from fixing a broken shower head (it was replaced within 10 minutes), finding a cardboard box to ship papers home (a bellman was at the door with a choice of three sizes within minutes), to getting a plug converter (at my door almost after I hung up the phone), were representative of the service I saw the hotel staff dispensing along with smiles and good cheer consistently throughout my stay.
I feel lucky that my business travels take me to Seattle as often as they do as finding a hotel with a staff that spoils its guests and attends to every need the way this one does is simply an opportunity that should not be passed over.
Four Seasons Hotel Seattle
99 Union Street
Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. 98101
Telephone: +1 (206) 749-7000
–Jonathan B. Spira is the Editor of Executive Road Warrior and Chief Analyst at Basex, a knowledge economy research firm.