Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Seattle, Washington – Review

By Jesse Sokolow on 21 August 2017
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As I approached the soaring windows of the Fairmont Olympic, one thought struck me: “I may not be dressed for this occasion.” Indeed, even with my neat, business-casual look, the grand lobby in the Italian Renaissance-style building, with its gilt metal and crystal chandeliers, oaken walls, and balconies was more opera house than hotel. I stopped to reflect on my attire: Did I bring my tux? This brief moment of introspection notwithstanding, I proceeded into the building where, much to my relief, nary a smoking jacket was in sight.

Built in 1924, what was then called the Olympic Hotel was a tribute to Seattle, an homage to what is commonly called the Emerald City. The structure was erected on what originally was the site of the University of Washington, and, at that time, a night in one of the 450 guestrooms went for $3.50.

The hotel underwent a partial restoration in the 1980s when it was taken over by Four Seasons, and, after Fairmont Hotels and Resorts took over management of the hostelry in 2003, was fully renovated once more in 2005. The property is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places and part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s list of Historic Hotels of America.

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People were milling about and seated in various clusters around the lobby as I made my way to the reception desk. Check-in formalities were completed quickly, and I was soon off to my room.

THE ROOM

My deluxe executive suite offered separate living and sleeping spaces. In the living space, a couch and chair were grouped around a table and faced a wall-mounted flatscreen TV. The area was very well lit by various table and floor lamps, as well as by ceiling luminaries.

The sleeping area was separated from the living area by a sliding door, and had a king size bed with nightstands on both sides. Each was outfitted with a lamp, and both provided convenient outlets.

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