Several months ago, some friends and my husband and I looked into going to Seattle to see the Rolling Stones in concert there, scheduled for May of this year. We booked rooms and then, when we saw the price of the tickets, decided we’d keep our rooms, possibly get our tickets outside the stadium the day of the concert, and still enjoy a few days in Seattle, with or without the Stones. As it turned out (with the concert cancelled due to Mick Jagger’s health issue), that proved to be a wise move, especially as the few days we were there, Seattle enjoyed some lovely, sunny, spring weather.
Harry and I flew to Seattle from our home in Southern Oregon, an easy, 90-minute flight on Alaska Airlines, and then took the Link light-rail train from SeaTac into the city. At about 50 minutes and for $3.00 ($1 for seniors), it proved a smooth, easy and economical ride. (Via car, the trip takes about 25 minutes . . . when traffic is light.) Our only quibble is with the hike you must make from the terminal to the station (about a quarter mile on a covered walkway still exposed to the elements) — we’re spoiled with PDX’s right-there MAX station — but there are free electric carts available to shuttle riders and their luggage if need be.
We then strolled a few blocks from the underground Westlake Station in the heart of downtown to our hotel, The Camlin, a WorldMark timeshare property owned by Wyndham. This 1926 11-story landmark, on the National Register of Historic Places, first served as a residence hotel for the elite and affluent of Seattle. Its original style and grace shine through in the refurbished public rooms and guest accommodations (studios and 1-bedroom suites). Perhaps the best thing about the Camlin, though, is its location.
The Camlin sits kitty-corner from the Paramount Theater (where Neil Young was playing that night) and within a block or two of the Washington State Convention Center. (The block across the street from the hotel will host the expansion of the convention center and was a hive of construction activity during our stay). Excellent shopping at Pacific Place and Westlake Center lies a few blocks away, and with the monorail stop at Westlake, linking to the Seattle Center (Space Needle and much more), one could easily enjoy days in Seattle without a car.
That first evening we walked over to the next block for dinner at Dragonfish Asian Café, located at street level of the boutique Paramount Hotel. This locally and family-owned restaurant serves up American breakfasts (starting at 7 a.m.) and Pan-Asian cuisine for lunch and dinner, as well as what has been dubbed “Seattle’s favorite happy hour.” Available 2–6 p.m. and 9 p.m.–1 a.m. daily and all night Mondays 2 p.m.–1 a.m., it serves up some of the best food, cocktails and beer at the most reasonable rates in town.
We arrived early enough to order up several of the small plates to share for a delicious dinner along with drinks. (House specialties include a Lychee Drop cocktail — house-infused lychee vodka and lemon — and the Dragonfish Lemongrass Collins.) Every dish was delectable and a feast for the eyes (Thai Dungeness crab cakes, avocado rolls, spring rolls, potstickers, egg drop soup, spicy fried chicken), and we’re determined to return to try some of the other items on the lunch and dinner menus (bento boxes, sushi and more). Dragonfish is clearly a popular spot; the bar was full, the service was friendly and excellent, the ambience elegant but warm, and the food fabulous.
More on our Seattle sojourn next week.
— Patty Vanikiotis, associate editor/copy editor
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