Arrival/Check-in: I arrived around 10 p.m. There was no doorman outside, but the front desk staff welcomed me with a smile and quick check-in. I was asked if I knew the amenities of the hotel. I did not, and was given a brief explanation at the front desk of the bar/restaurant, gym, spa and golf club located within the hotel. Shortly after, I was in my room. (27/30)
Guest Quarters: I found my room spacious and comfortable. The décor was sleek and modern with a fusion of Asian and Pacific Northwest influences. Dark woods and earth tones accented the room and the large modern bathroom. I had a separate sitting room and bedroom, each equipped with a large flat-screen TV. I found the sitting room useful for its workspace. The bed was one of the most comfortable I’ve tried, comparable to my favorites at the Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Westin Heavenly Beds. (29/30)
Services/Amenities: The cutting-edge technology in the room and throughout the hotel caught my attention the most. It was implemented to truly enhance the guest’s overall experience. My favorite technological detail, and there were many, was the doorbell outside the room for housekeeping, which was invisible to guests. A housekeeper is able to press the button, which then sends an infrared signal through the room, detecting heat and whether a guest is still in the room. This is a wonderful breakthrough; one of my biggest pet peeves in the morning is when I am rushing to get out the door and housekeeping either marches right in or continuously rings the bell until I answer. This piece of technology eliminates all unnecessary disturbances. Wireless Internet is free, and the VOIP phone is a great tool. Fully wired meeting space is available for small- to medium-sized functions. The hotel is also equipped with a small state-of-the-art gym and spa. A digital golf club sports two life-sized digital screens that replicate 50 of the world’s great courses, where guests can play a full 18-hole course, with Scotch and even cigars to go along with it. This is a great idea for client meetings/entertaining within a city property or a way to pass time on a rainy Seattle day. I also enjoyed lunch at the BOKA Kitchen and Bar and sampled some the freshest salmon, thanks to the close proximity of the famous Pike Place fish market. BOKA turned into a lively Seattle bar in the evenings. (39/40)
The Experience: I enjoyed the hotel as a whole, as it offered a high-tech, luxury experience in an approachable-sized hotel. The hotel was big enough to give guests their own space, but small and professional enough to give each guest full attention. I found it to be a world-class experience. I would recommend requesting a room with a full view of Puget Sound for the ultimate stay.
Total Score: 95/100
1000 First Ave.
Seattle, WA 98104
tel 206 957 1000
Awareness about fair and sustainable travel continues to grow around the globe, with travelers everywhere considering a destination’s eco-friendly options before visiting. As public consciousness for this important aspect of tourism strengthens, tourists also look beyond just ecotourism and delve deeper into types of travel that allow them to respect the local culture, interact with locals and distribute benefits fairly.
Without visiting, it’d be easy to throw Chicago into any number of categories. Everyone thinks they know Chicago; after all, it’s the third-largest city in America, the most prestigious foodie city in the country, the city of jazz, a comedian’s playground, an architect’s dream, a writer’s paradise. The list goes on. Only when walking the streets themselves do you realize there’s nothing categorical about the Windy City, especially as it continues to evolve.
PHOTO: © ADRIAN OLSTAD
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