Which Hotel are You? The Seattle Edition
I’m sure you have done it. I’ve done it, my friends do it, even complete strangers do it. What am I talking about? Those totally useless but utterly fun quizzes like you find on Buzzfeed or my new favorite, Meaww, which analyzes your data on Facebook and discovers who your ideal Netflix and Chill partner should be, who is your secret fan and even who owes you the most money. Based on these types of quizzes, I have found out that I look Egyptian, I should live in Sydney and I should be a writer. OK I will stop here. In the spirit of my upcoming trip to Seattle (where Starbucks, Pearl Jam, Singles and Fraiser come from!), and my search for the perfect hotel for me, I am compiling a quiz of “Which Hotel are You?” which determines what kind of traveler you are. I wonder how other travelers out there choose a place to stay when in a new town. Is location the most important? Reward points? Free WiFi? Jet Jacuzzi in the bathroom? Let’s find out!
The Luxury Chain Hotel
This is for the traveler who enjoys a certain standard of hotel service and they don’t like to be surprised there’s no bellhop to get their luggage from the car. These hotels are found in a prime spot in town and usually feature five-star amenities such as a gym, hotel pool, room service, car service and more. It’s most likely whenever they travel in the world, travelers who opt for this hotel, they almost always stay in same hotel chain. For the points, you know. The luxury hotel chain traveler also usually uses the same airline every time they travel, for the same reason. They enjoy the extra service and perks that come being a “regular”: such as free upgrades or room stays, a complimentary bottle of wine in the room and being called by their name upon check in (“Hello, Vicki! Your requested hypoallergenic pillows are in your room.”). As expected, these hotels are very comfortable, offer a homogeneous look and should there be a problem with your stay, the hotel manager will ensure to make you happy in every way. This type of hotel is for the traveler who doesn’t mind paying for luxury and comfort and may be experimental when it comes to restaurants and walking around the city, but not with the bed they will sleep on. These type of hotels usually charge for everything that doesn’t come with the room such as business center services, valet parking, WiFi, breakfast and more. All the usual hotel chains are also found in Seattle: Fairmont, Hyatt (which has several), Hilton, and the rest.
The Boutique Hotel
The boutique hotel is for the traveler who enjoy new experiences unlike any other. A boutique hotel may have a vibrant history, feature local artist’s works in the guest rooms that look totally different from each other and perhaps offer complimentary community cocktails serving homegrown wine or beer so that hotel guests can mingle and get to know each other. Boutique hotels don’t usually have reward cards but their rates are usually more affordable than luxury hotel chains. Boutique hotels are more in touch with locals in the community and they might not offer room service but the front desk agent can tell you where to find a good place to eat after midnight or let you order delivery. They are more willing to give freebies like WiFi, discounted parking and craft beer and local organic coffee. These hotels are usually located in neighborhoods surrounded by restaurants and shops the locals enjoy too. In Seattle, there are two hotels that I would consider booking: hip Ace Hotel Seattle or artsy Hotel Max, both located close to Seattle’s top sights to see and do.
Ace Hotel Seattle is set in a former maritime worker’s hotel and exemplifies “unfussy luxury living.” It’s within walking distance to hip restaurants and nightclubs in the trendy Belltown neighborhood as well as tourist sites like Space Needle, Pike Place Market and the Olympic Sculpture Park. The building features eco-friendly and sustainable elements such as repurposed or vintage furniture, loft ceilings, hardwood floors and artwork by their artist friends like KAWS and Shepard Fairey.
Rooms are clean and minimalist with a choice of Standard Shared Bath or Deluxe Room. Shared bath? According to customer reviews, the shared bathrooms are all individual rooms, much like staying over your cool aunt’s house. I’m going to have to see that for myself! I do like their other community rooms such as their lobby and Ace Space where you can DIY waffles for breakfast. Kinfolk would approve.
Ace Hotel Seattle 2423 1st Avenue, Seattle WA Tel: (1) 206 448 4721
Hotel Max is a trendy boutique hotel that acts as a nontraditional art gallery featuring works commissioned from artists such as Jackie Barnett, Andrée Carter, Jay Backstrand, Junko Yamamoto and Pam Baker. Located in the heart of downtown, close to tourist spots and the Westlake Center, it boasts of a nightly craft beer happy hour, pillow menu, loaner iPods and take this – a pet spiritual menu for your literal downward dog.
Continuing the love of art and music, Hotel Max provides record players in each room, which you can listen to while you drink the local liquor from your mini-bar. Each room features the work of a Seattle-based photographer making each room feel unique. Award-winning chefs prepare your meal at their restaurant Miller’s Guild. Expect modern furniture and a very uplifting “You Got It!” button on every room telephone. Obviously, both of these hotels spell Instagram!
Hotel Max 620 Stewart Street, Seattle WA Tel: (1) 206 728 6299
Airbnb or Homeaway Condos
These vacation rental condos are for two types of travelers: families and those who want to feel like a real local. An apartment from HomeAway won’t be as exciting as a place with cool local art and a pillow menu or one with high ceilings, white walls and a storied history but it does offers a living room and kitchen aside from the bedrooms and bathrooms, free WiFi and Netflix, free or discounted parking (in case you decide to rent a car) and even a washer and dryer for clothes. Some apartments offer unique rooftop hangouts with great views of the city and sometimes you can even see the Space Needle from your own balcony! The only issue with these condos is if something isn’t to your liking, there is no manager to come and fix it for you. You will have to clean up after yourself, just like at home. Some people don’t like the idea of sleeping in a strangers apartment.
Hostels are for those traveling on a budget, extroverts who enjoy meeting new people wherever they go or those who would rather spend their money on experiences. They don’t mind sharing a room with strangers. Sometimes, the furnishings are sparse. Rooms can be dorm-style and shared and bathrooms can also either be shared or private for one room. Hostels usually offer free stuff like breakfast and services such as computer and printing or luggage storage. City Hostel Seattle, located in Belltown, features trendy furniture and local art – probably unique when it comes to hostels. Rates are much cheaper than all of the above hotels. You can check out this blog post by Savoir Faire Abroad here – he talks about his experiences in hostels in Seattle. Hostel travelers just go with the flow – they don’t know how long they are staying and they don’t know where they are going next. They don’t have too many possessions, and they must be pretty street smart.
So what kind of hotel would you be? Find out which place I plan to book for June!
May all your gypsetting dreams come true,
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We are two friends who were former magazine editors. Having moved onto other things, we both realized that the creative flow the publishing world used to offer us was missing from our lives. Armed with a common love of travel to the exotic and familiar, a penchant for the bohemian, an obsession with food and a lust for writing, we decided to collaborate our unique and fashionable journeys through life together in one passion project.
We are The Gypsetters.