Review: W Seattle Hotel

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Since I lived in the Seattle area for 18 months, it had been years since I’ve checked out the local hotel offerings. So during my recent trip to Seattle I figured I’d check out a few new properties. I love the Hyatt options in Seattle — I usually stay at the Hyatt Olive 8, though love the Grand Hyatt as well. I’ll have reviews of both of them soon.

However, during my recent visit both Hyatt options were sold out one of the nights, so I instead booked the W Seattle, which had a rate of ~$200.

I really hesitated to book the hotel, because long time readers will know I strongly dislike most US W properties. Abroad Ws are among my favorite hotels — the W Taipei, W Sentosa Cove Singapore, W Guangzhou, and W Doha are all absolutely fantastic beyond words. But in the US, W properties just leave a lot to be desired, in my opinion.

I quite enjoyed my recent stay at the W Los Angeles Westwood, which was one of the first US W properties I enjoyed. So I was hoping my stay at this W would be more like that than my stays at other US W properties.

Anyway, the W Seattle is located at the corner of 4th and Seneca, and has a pretty hidden side entrance — there’s no grand driveway or anything, though that’s not so unusual for Seattle hotels.

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W Seattle exterior

I was quickly helped by a bellman, who escorted me to the front desk, which was located through the door to the left.

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W Seattle signage

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W Seattle entrance

At the reception desk I was welcomed by William. He explained they had blocked me into a suite which wasn’t quite ready yet. That worked perfectly for me, since I had a dentist appointment to run to, so was only going to drop my bags off anyway. He already got my credit card registered and asked me which Platinum amenity I preferred (I chose breakfast).

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W Seattle reception

A few steps down from the reception area is the Living Room and the hotel’s restaurant, TRACE. As far as W hotel “public spaces” go, I do think this is one of the nicer ones.

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W Seattle Living Room

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W Seattle Living Room

Anyway, I returned about 90 minutes later, and William was at the desk with my key waiting for me. He addressed me by name, and explained that my bag and breakfast voucher were already waiting for me in my room — wow, that’s impressive service!

I was assigned a Wow Suite on the 26th floor, room 2609, so I took the elevator up there. I was sort of in disbelief that I had received a proactive suite upgrade at a US W property. That has never happened before.

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W Seattle hallway

My suite was located at the far end of the hallway, behind an extra set of doors (presumably it could be converted into a two bedroom suite, if needed).

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W Seattle Wow Suite entryway

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W Seattle floorplan

The suite featured a large entryway with the living room directly in front and the bathroom to the right.

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W Seattle Wow Suite entrance

The living room was huge — there were two couches, a lounge chair, and a leather coffee table of sorts.

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W Seattle Wow Suite living room

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W Seattle Wow Suite living room

Across from that was the desk, which was actually well designed, with conveniently placed outlets. There was even a trash bin below the desk (if you’ve read my previous W reviews, you might appreciate why I’m pointing these things out). 😉

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W Seattle Wow Suite desk

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W Seattle Wow Suite desk

There were gorgeous views from the living room, of both the bay and the Space Needle. Ahhh, I love Seattle!

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W Seattle Wow Suite living room view

Then across from the bedroom was a partition, which led into the bedroom. There was a comfortable W Bed, which I used to have at home before moving into hotels full time.

The TV in the center of the room actually swiveled so that it could be viewed from the living room or bedroom. Personally, I don’t watch TV, so it was a moot point for me.

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W Seattle Wow Suite bedroom

One thing I should note is that there were no easily accessible plugs by the bed. The only way I could plug something in was by removing the cord from the lamp.

Next to the bed was a daybed by the window.

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W Seattle Wow Suite daybed

The bedroom didn’t quite boast the same views as the living room.

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W Seattle Wow Suite bedroom view

The minibar was also located in the console by the TV. It featured the usual selection of odd snacks.

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W Seattle Wow Suite minibar

Then there was a fairly decent selection of booze and soft drinks.

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W Seattle Wow Suite minibar

And then of course the unnecessarily punny “pleasure set.”

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W Seattle Wow Suite minibar

The bathroom was located back near the entrance, and was huge in terms of square footage. It featured a sink, soaking tub, walk-in shower, and toilet.

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W Seattle Wow Suite bathroom

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W Seattle Wow Suite sink

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W Seattle Wow Suite toilet

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W Seattle Wow Suite bathtub

The shower was pretty basic in the sense that it had a single “head,” and didn’t make you feel like you were going through a human car wash. That being said, water pressure and temperature control were excellent.

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W Seattle Wow Suite shower

Toiletries were Bliss branded as usual. They’re not my favorite hotel toiletries, though better than Peter Thomas Roth or Portico…

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W Seattle Wow Suite toiletries

As promised, my Platinum breakfast voucher was also waiting in the room. Not just that, but there was also a voucher for a free cocktail or appetizer — awesome!

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W Seattle Platinum breakfast and complimentary drink voucher

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W Seattle Platinum complimentary drink voucher

Fortunately I managed to find a date to be social with — after he took me to a “speakeasy” bar, Hack My Trip and I headed back to the W Seattle for some more drinks. He convinced me to have an “aviation” (how could I not like that?).

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W Seattle Living Room cocktails

One thing I really appreciated about the W is that they had a complimentary coffee station in the morning — I always find that to be a very nice touch.

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W Seattle complimentary morning coffee

Breakfast is served at TRACE from 6:30AM till 10:30AM on weekdays. The breakfast menu read as follows:

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It’s a decent enough restaurant for breakfast. I’m not a huge fan of their lunch or dinner menu. They have sushi and contemporary food, and what I’ve had has just been mediocre in both categories.

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W Seattle TRACE Restaurant

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W Seattle TRACE Restaurant

As a Platinum member you receive the complimentary $19 continental breakfast, but the hotel lets you apply that credit towards anything on the menu. So since I was with someone, we had a $38 breakfast credit — while it’s not as generous as Hyatt’s breakfast benefit, that works for me!

I ordered some coffee and an egg white “market gathered omelet,” which was excellent, despite the rather odd presentation.

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W Seattle TRACE Restaurant Market Gathered Omelet

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W Seattle TRACE Restaurant coffee

In terms of the hotel’s other facilities, there’s a decent gym as well. It’s compact, but has good equipment.

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W Seattle gym

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W Seattle gym

W Seattle Bottom Line

I was really pleasantly surprised by this property. For one, the elite recognition and service were excellent. This was my first time getting a proactive suite upgrade at a US W property, so they kind of already had me at that. William, who checked me in, was a delight, as was everyone else at the front desk that I interacted with.

Also, while there were some poorly designed aspects to the room, overall it was much better designed than the other US W properties I’ve been to.

I’d definitely return to the W Seattle if the price is right.

How To Book The W Seattle

Rates at the W Seattle vary drastically. They can range from $160 to well over $400 depending on the time of year. The W Seattle is a Category 5 SPG property, making a free night redemption 12,000-16,000 Starpoints per night. If Cash & Points is available, it goes for 6,000 Starpoints plus $110 per night.

W-Seattle-Rate

In general you’re better off paying cash at this hotel, though during peak periods (either in summer or during major conventions) rates can even dip above $400, so redeeming points earned through the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express can make sense. Keep in mind when you redeem points for a free night, the fifth night is always free.

I should also note that this hotel belongs to Starwood’s Luxury Privileges program, so if you book the flexible rate through that program you should receive:

  • Upgrade on arrival if available
  • Early check-in if available
  • Daily continental breakfast for two guests
  • One 100 USD food and beverage credit per room, per stay
  • Late check-out if available

Have you stayed at the W Seattle? If so, what was your experience?

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Comments

  1. They’ve always tried hard. Good to see you get a suite, they don’t have a ton. I was married here, so it’s long been a favorite, but do think it could use some refresh.

  2. @Santastico exactly what you think it is. I don’t know what kind it nut would put it there, though. (In guessing they were just screwing around, and in that case, their boss must have nailed them when they heard) Ok. I’ll stop drilling my bad puns in… 😛

  3. Actually I am looking at this particular hotel for my visit to Seattle next summer. From the pictures that I saw on the Starwood website this doen’t look very good (looks like they just tried to make something dated look new), and reviews were not great either? I stayed at W Boston in August and it was great.

  4. @ Moon — Kind of funny because I’m not at all a fan of the W Boston, though really liked the W Seattle. If you’re loyal to Starwood then I think this is a good option in Seattle.

  5. RDP – I’d read before about the kit being included in the mini-bar. That was a W San Francisco, as I recall. I am being serious,

  6. Question for you. I have a one night stay in Seattle in December – connecting thru to HKG on DL. I was looking at the W but the reviews on TripAdvisor weren’t great. And I like the Westin in Bellevue.

    Am I crazy to stay in Bellevue instead of the W? I’ll be checking in around 9 pm and my flight is 2 pm the next day, so not there for a long time.

    What do you think?

  7. @ Neil S. — I don’t think it’s crazy at all, I prefer the Westin as well. The only major consideration is that the light rail is easy and cheap to take from the airport to Seattle, though there’s not a similar option to Bellevue. So it’ll be pricier getting to Bellevue. If that’s not an issue for you then I don’t think it’s crazy at all.

  8. Ben – funny that you and I were in Seattle at the same time last week, though I was departing the evening of the 17th. Would have been cool to meet, though a hack isn’t always that bad of a date. ;^)

  9. I’ve stayed there a few times and have generally been happy with the place.

    Ben, did you spend any time there on a Friday or Saturday night? The front lounge area turns into quite the social scene, at least for Seattle. I was consistently one of the poorest-dressed at the W in the evenings. 🙂

  10. I agree that W hotels usually strike me as pretentious in their effort to be cool.

    Never heard of pulled pork benedict. Not sure about how that would taste but I am getting hungry.

    The pleasure set says “Get Lucky”. Did they intentionally personalize it with your nickname? 😉

  11. Lucky, you definitely got the blogger treatment here. I am a SPG plat and have stayed at the property for ~25 stays in the last 2 years, many of which during low season. And I have never been upgraded to a suite. I was told by a manager that they offer suite upgrade very rarely, mostly because they have very few suites. So blocking a suite for you is definitely not norm. I also think that handing out the free appetiter voucher is not something they normally do.

    This is an excellent review. But “regualr” SPG platinum shouldn’t expect treatment close to this.

    Personally, I prefer Olive 8 and Grand Hyatt much better than the W. I’ve been shifting business to Hyatt.

  12. This W looks sad and outdated. And the mix match of furniture/sofas in your living room looks like an after thought.

  13. 1. You can buy W Beds for your home?!
    2. So did you “get lucky” with HMT, or did you just say “find a date to be social with” to stir us up? 😉

  14. I guess it’s all a matter of personal taste, but from the pics, this is one of the nicer rooms/suite’s I’ve seen of the W…both in the US and out. True, the shower does need a tile upgrade, but I the rest looks good.

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