Heathman Hotel Kirkland

Staying on the business side of Seattle

By: Marty Wentzel

The Heathman Hotel, Kirkland
The Heathman Hotel, Kirkland’s
turn-of-the-century exterior.
Travelers who do business in Seattle tend to stay in downtown Seattle. But clients with business on the Eastside the nickname for a group of Seattle suburbs where big companies like Microsoft, T-Mobile USA, Nintendo and Expedia have their headquarters usually book accommodations close by.

Banking on that philosophy, a new Heathman Hotel opened on Oct. 2 in the Eastside city of Kirkland, 20 minutes from downtown Seattle and one block from Lake Washington. The first sister property to the award-winning Heathman Hotel in Portland, Ore., the Heathman isn’t the only hotel in Kirkland; the waterfront Woodmark Hotel sits less than two miles away. But the Heathman holds distinction as the only hotel in the cultural center of Kirkland, a small yet sophisticated city. During a recent stay, I found myself steps away from delightful shops, galleries, restaurants, a performing-arts center and a vibrant downtown waterfront with parks, walkways and boat tours.

Heathman Hotel sales and marketing director Nancy DeMond stressed the benefits of her property’s proximity to the Eastside’s high-tech headquarters.

“We have the advantage of being both close to, and a world away from, the craziness of a large downtown metropolitan city,” she told me.

“This is good not only for business travelers, but leisure clients who are looking for access to Seattle’s key tourist areas but who want to stay a bit away from the busy city center. For all clients, our key values are guests first, relentless attention to detail and the elimination of guest sacrifice.”

A terrace suite the lobby
A terrace suite the lobby.
Another Heathman selling point is its seamless service, what general manager Jeff Jobe described as “service from curbside to check-out.” As general manager at the Heathman Portland, Jobe pioneered this concept, which provides every guest with a personal concierge. When I arrived, a concierge named Michael met me at the porte cochere and escorted me directly to my room, without stopping at the front desk. Michael, who had called me ahead of time to find out how he could customize my room, followed up with a phone call after check-in.

“The objective of personal concierge service is to achieve the sense of intimacy guests would experience at a smaller hotel with all the services and resources of a large hotel,” Jobe said.

Another Jobe innovation is the Art of Sleep, allowing clients the opportunity to select their bedtype preference. Each of the Heathman Kirkland’s 91 rooms is outfitted with either a European Featherbed, European Pillow-top or Tempur-Pedic mattress.

Heathman Hotel guest services manager Chris Wehmeyer stressed the importance of the community to the hotel.

“Before we opened, we went to every single shop and retailer in the neighborhood, letting them know we’re here to support them, not take away their business,” Wehmeyer said.

Case in point were the little amenities awaiting me in my room; since I brought along my dog and stayed on the pet-friendly first floor, Michael had provided dog treats and play toys from a local pet store.

The Kirkland community, in return, has embraced the Heathman. That was obvious on a Saturday night, when a congenial crowd gathered in the lounge for live piano jazz. Locals are also loving Trellis, the Heathman Kirkland’s 90-seat wine country-inspired restaurant and bar. Chef Brian Sheehser features fresh produce that he tends on a three-acre farm, while sourcing other products from the region’s artisan and organic suppliers.

“Trellis is Kirkland’s answer to the desires of discerning Eastsiders who long for downtown Seattle quality and sophistication closer to home, without sacrificing the neighborhood friendliness they enjoy,” said DeMond.

Organic products and personal attention play an equally big role in the hotel’s 5,000-square-foot Penterra Spa. Features include side-by-side hydrotherapy soaking tubs for single or two-person use, seven treatment rooms, a manicure/pedicure area, fitness center and relaxation sanctuary.

Emphasizing all things green, the Heathman Kirkland recovers and recycles all of its expended energy in a heat-recovery loop, and it conserves energy in its guestrooms through a network of occupancy sensors.

The Heathman has a turn-of-the-century exterior and guestrooms offer views of the lake, mountains and Seattle skyline that are just far enough away to give clients the feeling that they are getting away from the busy metropolis.


Heathman Hotel
220 Kirkland Ave., Kirkland, WA 98033

Nightly rates start at $239, with a presidential suite for $3,000. Travel agents get 20 percent off the best available rate when staying at the Heathman.

Commission: 20 percent on bookings for travel through April; 10 percent starting May 1