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At the new Hotel Max, the door to every guestroom is a work of
art. From top to bottom, it’s covered with a black-and-white image
by a local Seattle photographer, creating an eye-catching and
innovative statement from the moment guests walk in.
Hotel Max is the reincarnation of the former Vance Hotel in
downtown Seattle. After a seven-month, multi-million-dollar
renovation, the 163-room property opened on Oct. 15. Since then,
the hotel has captured attention with its unusual decor and
intelligent design recently winning an honorable mention from the
International Interior Design Association. The judges acknowledged
Hotel Max for creating a unique experience while overcoming such
challenges as small rooms, quirky bathrooms, cramped corridors and
a limited budget.
Atop the 10-story building, a mammoth red neon “Hotel Max” sign
sets the tone for arriving guests, who check in at a shiny,
cherry-red desk and ride elevators of rosy-hued interiors. Stepping
off the elevator to their floor, guests are greeted by a striped
carpet of bright orange, deep red, gray and black running along the
hallway. At the end of the hall hangs a touch of whimsy: an eye
chart like those used by opthamologists. For the guestroom doors,
designers selected works by 39 artists, whose subject matter ranges
from broad street scenes to intimate moments in the Northwest and
around the world.
Inside each Hotel Max room awaits equally hip touches. Decor is
decidedly contemporary, from the brushed stainless headboard to the
curved shower rod with pinstriped gray curtain in the bathroom.
Works by local artists hang on the charcoal walls. A dark rug
offsets a red ottoman, and a long writing desk is flanked by a
highly comfortable swivel chair.
Hotel Max makes a big deal about its personal service. The
dual-line phone features a button labeled “You Got It,” emphasizing
that no request is too outrageous. The Do Not Disturb sign says
“Yep” on one side and “Nope” on the other. Clients can personalize
their mode of relaxation by picking a choice from a pillow menu.
Guests can even request specific bedside reading from a spiritual
menu, including books on several religions.
Other Hotel Max amenities include plush robes, an in-room bar,
coffee maker, valet parking, 24-hour room service, round-the-clock
use of a fitness center, high-speed wireless Internet access and a
business center. Guests can lounge next to the fireplace in the
lobby, and groups can meet in the Max Boardroom, which holds up to
A plain, unassuming black door leads from the lobby into Red
Fin, the attractive new restaurant. With a contemporary mix of
American and Asian foods, Red Fin has already earned praise for its
range of breakfast, lunch and dinner fare.
In the morning, clients can order a smoked salmon scramble or go
with a Japanese bento breakfast of miso soup, steamed rice, pickled
vegetables and fish. Midday, they might decide on a burger or try
stir-fried chicken and rice noodles. The dinner menu includes small
plates of signature dishes like Indonesian chicken satay and large
plates like grilled ribeye, not to mention an extensive sushi
As guests check out of the hotel, they might want to buy a copy
of “Maximalism: Art at the Hotel Max,” a book showcasing its
featured artists and photographers. It sums up the hotel’s
aesthetic spirit in fitting fashion.
Nightly rates for 2006 range from $159-$269.Hotel Max620 Stewart St.
Seattle, WA 98101
Commission: 10 percent