Seattle’s Favorite Season

An iconic hotel remakes itself and retains its elegance

By: By Marty Wentzel


Four Seasons Hotel Seattle

Rates: Nightly from $365-$495, with suites from $695-$5,000

Packages: The Art and Art package includes dinner and breakfast for two, tickets to the Seattle Art Museum and champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries (from $475). The Kids in the City offer includes a welcome amenity, an in-room movie, an excursion to the hotel’s pastry shop and reduced rates on a second room (from $405). The Romantic Spa Escape includes a spa lunch or breakfast, a massage, a couple’s spa soak and champagne (from $765).

Commission: 10 percent

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From 1982 to 2003, the Four Seasons Seattle held forth in the historic Olympic Hotel, now part of the Fairmont chain. The spectacular Italian Renaissance structure wowed clients with its sweeping staircases, elegant chandeliers and decades of stories to tell.

So, as I walked through the doors of the brand-new Four Seasons Hotel Seattle, open since early November, I wondered how longtime guests would feel about its new incarnation as a sleek, modern tower. By the end of my visit, I felt confident that clients will find the change an easy one.

The hotel’s lobby has a modern ambiance warmed by Pacific Northwest materials. // (c) Four Seasons Hotel Seattle
The hotel’s lobby has a modern ambiance warmed by Pacific Northwest materials.

Outside and in, the new Four Seasons Hotel Seattle constantly reminds visitors of its Northwest location. The exterior is a showcase of glass, stone, aluminum and wood, while the lobby features such local touches as a cedar bench by the fireplace and, behind the check-in desk, a collage by Seattle artist Paul Horiuchi. Four Seasons Hotel Seattle sales and marketing director Beverly Magee said that while her hotel provides guests with the chain’s standard trademarks — such as attention to detail and intuitive service — its design is among the most contemporary of any Four Seasons in the world.

"Our art collection is also unique," said Magee, referring to the hotel’s museum-quality original works on loan from private collections. "Embellishing our public spaces, it provides an intriguing introduction to the city’s vibrant, creative community."

The U-shaped design of the waterfront building plays to its setting with unobstructed views of Elliott Bay, the Olympic Mountains and the city skyline. The hotel features a fourth-floor outdoor terrace with the city’s only infinity-edge pool, a whirlpool and a fire pit, all overlooking Puget Sound.

The Four Seasons’ 147 guestrooms are situated on the building’s first 10 floors. Averaging 550 square feet, the guestrooms are bright and contemporary, with light woods and Northwest artwork. The chaise lounge became my favorite place from which to watch the 42-inch plasma-screen television. When it was time to get some work done, the custom ergonomic chair made for a comfortable seat by the elliptical desk. My bathroom, a marvel in marble, featured a glass-enclosed rain shower, a deep soaking tub and a television integrated into the mirror.

The hotel’s Art restaurant gives clients a variety of choices, from the Lounge with its casual food and drinks, to the Counter, an interactive dining experience with seating for up to 25 guests. Art’s formal dining room is presided over by a 12-foot-tall wine wall displaying more than 150 varietals. Throughout the restaurant, acclaimed local chef Kerry Sear is constantly shaking up the menu, working with local organic growers.

The hotel’s 6,000-square-foot spa pays further tribute to its surroundings with body treatments drawing upon Northwest elements, particularly those native to the coast and rain forests of western Washington. For the active set, the state-of-the-art fitness center is lined with windows.

If you need more selling points for this new property, tell your clients about its location, just a few blocks away from such top visitor draws as Pike Place Market and the Seattle Art Museum, and the hotel is within walking distance of the financial district for corporate travelers.

Even if your clients are having a hard time saying goodbye to its old setting, the new Four Seasons Hotel Seattle is doing a great job of helping them embrace the change.

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