As Seattle takes its place among top-tier cities, its portfolio of luxurious accommodation has kept pace. Choose from lofty perches in the city center or something a little more tucked away, and prepare to discover what this side of the Pacific Rim can offer connoisseurs of the finer things in life.
Light-filled rooms at the Four Seasons Hotel Seattle feature floor-to-ceiling windows, with views of Elliott Bay, and deep soaking tubs. Savor fresh-caught seafood and craft beverages at Goldfinch Tavern, the hotel’s partnership with noted local chef Ethan Stowell, either in your room or the waterfront restaurant. The hotel is a block away from Pike Place Market and the Seattle Art Museum.
Hotel Ballard offers a small-hotel experience in one of Seattle’s larger-than-life neighborhoods. Suite accommodations – some overlooking a courtyard, others with a view of busy Ballard Avenue – feature California king beds and full-size sleeper sofas in separate rooms. Relax on the rooftop pavilion with its fireplace and sweeping views.
Yes, the “market” in this hotel’s name is none other than Pike Place Market. The inn is mere steps from flying fish and the Gum Wall, yet it still feels like a hideaway. A rooftop deck and some guest rooms face west, where you’ll see ferry boats crossing Puget Sound. One of the inn’s three restaurants serves breakfast all day, so go ahead and sleep in.
Renovated in 2017, this hotel in Downtown has a soaring art deco-inspired atrium with large murals and skylights, along with art and artefacts curated by Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry. The guest rooms reflect Pacific Northwest themes, with heavy paisley-print draperies and gleaming white-tiled bathrooms. The red neon Roosevelt Hotel sign on the roof honors the original name of this historic hotel.
Chic and cheeky, the Kimpton Palladian Hotel is named for the windows that anchor its grand corner entrance. The elegance continues inside, with terrazzo flooring and dark wood mixed with surprising elements, such as the lobby portraits of modern celebrities reimagined in Napoleonic style. The guest rooms offer a soothing blend of vintage appeal and modern accents (we love the artful Seattle maps), and some feature a clawfoot tub with a separate shower.
Inspired by Excelsior Vittoria in the Italian city of Sorrento, this hotel opened in 1909 as a rare seat of luxury in, at the time, rough-and-tumble Seattle. It retains that refined charm, with wood-paneled public areas, comfortable vintage furnishings and artwork (plus excellent local coffee) in the guest rooms. Hotel Sorrento sits on First Hill, a bit of a climb from Downtown Seattle.
Walk into the W Seattle, and you’ll see it’s one of the city’s favorite meeting spots, with a buzzy bar area doubling as the lobby. The guest rooms are a bit more pared back but not boring, with woodsy headboards framing comfortable beds and spacious, well-appointed bathrooms. Book a room on a higher floor for a view of Mount Rainier, Elliott Bay or the rest of the Downtown Seattle skyline.
Many of Seattle’s early European settlers came from Scandinavia, an influence that is visible in the clean lines and inspired design of Hotel Ändra. This small Belltown property is home to the Hot Stove Society, a cooking school run by top local chef Tom Douglas. If you love all things Scandinavian, be sure to visit the National Nordic Museum in the Ballard neighborhood.
Designed by Olson Kundig Architects – a top architectural firm based in this innovative city – the much-acclaimed Thompson Seattle, with its angled glass façade, opened in 2016. Rooms are plush, and some have water views. You can also flock to the Nest, the on-site rooftop bar with lush landscaping, cozy firepits and panoramic views. Pike Place Market is a block away.
The Edgewater is Seattle’s most storied hotel, and it plays up this past with several suites honoring rock legends who stayed here. You can book the Beatles Suite for the ultimate stay, but every room offers guest access to electric guitars, turntables and other props for your rock’n’roll fantasy. True to its name, the hotel is on Pier 67 in Elliott Bay.
If none of these take your fancy, Seattle is home to a range of accommodation types. For a budget option, see our top pick of cheap hotels in the city. Alternatively, discover our guide to the best boutique hotels or places to stay with pools, and book now on Culture Trip.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.