I get the remote feeling that I am back in France as I traipse around downtown Seattle and eat croissants at the Belle Epicurean across from your hotel. You must have your fair share of French and European guests at the Monaco.
Art Ruiz, concierge at Seattle's Hotel Monaco finds a bit of Paris in Seattle on a daily basis.
Yes, we recently had two separate groups of French travelers stay with us. We welcomed them with our trademark amenity of complimentary live goldfish in the room, each one named after a French city. We served those guests special yogurt parfaits [for breakfast] that they really seemed to love. We showcased Northwest cheeses with cheese plates in the rooms, and served Northwest wines at our nightly hosted wine hour.
What are some of your favorite French bakeries in Seattle?
There is a wonderful bakery in Pike Place Market called Le Panier (www.lepanier.com), which is authentically very French. There’s also Macrina Bakery (www.macrinabakery.com), in Belltown, which is part of downtown, with rustic European bread and baking. Parisians would feel right at home there.
For an authentic "ooh la lah" French dinner in Seattle, where would you suggest?
If money is no object, I would send guests to Rover’s, a very fine French restaurant in Madison Park not far from downtown. It’s very romantic with an extensive wine list. Of course, I like to refer guests to our own restaurant, Sazerac, which has a southern/New Orleans feel. On the brunch menu is a rustic pain perdue, while on the dinner menu is grilled dates en brochette as well as oozing St. Andre [cheese].
I heard that the Hotel Monaco is pet-friendly, as is France, where dogs are welcome everywhere. Do many of your guests bring their pampered pets along to your hotel?
Many of our American travelers do come with their pets. Whenever a guest brings their dog, that dog receives a complimentary dog bed and water bowl in the room, along with some doggie treats and a selection of dog/pet-themed magazines. I can arrange all kinds of grooming or spa-type services for dogs at some nearby places.
Kristi’s Grooming Company on Capitol Hill is my favorite. I’ve sent some really high-profile people’s pets there. I can also arrange for dog sitting, and our bellman and front desk team will walk the dogs if they stay at the hotel. The front desk will even keep most dogs behind the desk for the day at the guest’s request. We also have no restrictions on pets or size. We’ve even had albino kangaroos stay here! They were part of a traveling zoo exhibit.