I’ll be brutally honest…the thought of staying at the W scares me. Maybe it’s the neon purple tones, the aggressive attempts to be hip or that the elevator feels like a Vegas night club. I’d take SPG’s more subdued brands any day.
Anyone who spends a lot of nights on the road knows that the W chain can be a little hit or miss. The W South Beach is fantastic, but the W Lexington feels like an old railway hotel dressed up for Halloween. So when I let my boyfriend pick the hotel for our Seattle trip, I was a little unnerved when “estin” didn’t follow the “W”.
Maybe I’m getting old, maybe I’ve spent too many nights on the road, but I prefer comfort over design. I want amenities over aesthetics. And this is totally counter to the W’s philosophy, a brand that invests in swanky lobbies but skimps on the spa facilities. Nonetheless, I was willing to give it a try and was pleasantly surprised.
1) THE LOBBY
I usually find the W’s staple lobby bar to be somewhat irritating. No one likes to parade through a crowded bar with a pile of luggage after a four hour flight, so why put one in a lobby?
Unlike so many other W properties, the layout at the W Seattle actually works. Because the hotel (and much of Seattle) is built on a slope, we dropped the car off at the Valet and walked right into the 2nd floor check-in area catching only a glimpse of the bar on the ground floor below. It offered us a chance to get up to our room, swap outfits and make our way down to happy hour at our leisure.
2) HAPPY HOUR
Aligning my complex travel schedule with happy hour is something I usually fail to do, but this time it worked out. Lucky for me, the extensive snack menu featured fried Brussel sprouts, pulled pork slides and oysters.
After a day of travel, it was the perfect first meal in a city obsessed with great food.
3) THE WOW SUITE
One of the perks of being an SPG Platinum member is that it usually gets me an upgrade to the best room available in the house. (It pays to be loyal!) Even when the city was chock full of football fans, the W still managed to put me up in the Wow Suite. On the 26th floor, this massive condo-like suite had a spacious sitting area, an immaculate washroom and all the bells and whistles you could need.
Best of all, the room was full of (dreamy) Boeing-inspired design accents such as pillows and Boing 747 bed runners! As an aviation nerd, this was the icing on the cake.
4) THE STAFF
Working in a hotel full of rowdy football fans would be enough to drive a Buddhist monk to insanity. Despite the chaos, the staff handled the volume of people, and their peculiarities, with ease.
They even sent up a bottle of wine to the room for us to enjoy after a long wait in the lobby (yes please)!
5) BLISS SPA PRODUCTS
I’m a total junkie for good bath products and the W does this really well by offering a wide selection of Bliss bath products.
Unlike most properties who offer just the standard bar soap and hand lotion, the W’s amenity spread includes eye makeup remover pads, exfoliating face wash, and hand lotion that smells divine and actually works. No need to MacGyver a make-shift face wash – the W’s got you covered.
You can’t have the sweet without the bitter, so here we have it:
1) ELEVATOR CONGESTION
It just so happens that checkout time aligns with the start of bar-gating for the Sunday Seahawks game. This can be hugely problematic if you have lots of luggage, suffer from claustrophobia, or simply aren’t fond of massive crowds. *Raises hand.*
2) EXPENSIVE PARKING
At an exorbitant $67 USD per night, you might think twice about getting a rental car. Seattle is an expensive place to park, but we found a place around the corner for $40. So points deducted for such a significant markup.
As stylish and modern as the W’s decor is, the rooms struggle to deliver on comfort. The suite was massive but full of large empty purposeless spaces and unlit corners. Unlike the W South Beach that uses space wisely, it felt a bit like a sparsely furnished condo and lots of space I didn’t know what to do with.
In summary, the pros far outweighed the cons and I would happily spend a few more nights at the W the next time I’m in Seattle.