Seattle is a modern city. Located in the pacific northwest, its young, vibrant, and the home of modern day corporate giants such as Microsoft and Amazon, and of Grunge music. So, on a recent visit, I was surprised to find a hotel that stands as a homage to 1920s elegance right in the heart of the Seattle’s downtown core.
The Mayflower Hotel is located in the shopping district, and only a couple of blocks away from Seattle’s Famous Pike Place Market – a must-see for any foodie. The hotel was built in 1927 and has been lovingly restored to reflect a more elegant era.
The rooms are spacious and could do with a few more modern touches like an iPod dock and more modern accents in the general decor. However, the bed was comfortable and the location is perfect for enjoying the city’s sites and attractions.
On Wednesdays, the elegance continues with a complimentary wine tastings where you can get a taste of local Washington wine, and some international ones too. The tasting takes place at the hotel’s signature restaurant, the Andalucía. Despite the name, there seems to be little in the way of Spanish food. The menu is a fusion of American and European dishes.
From refined elegance to dive bars and grunge, this city has many faces. Seattle was firmly put on the map when Grunge band Nirvana rocked the world in the 90s. If you head up the steep hill that rises up from behind the hotel, you will come to Capitol Hill: the birthplace of grunge, and it’s where band members from Nirvana and the Foo Fighters hung out.
Capitol Hill is the place to go for a night out. The dive bars is where it’s all happening in these dingy, dark bars. For the first drink, head to Montana Bar – it has some excellent local cider. Then make your way to Linda’s Tavern. Linda’s is famous for being the last place that Kurt Cobain was seen alive.
Linda’s has a lovely patio and showcases the best of local microbrewery beer and cider. No matter what day of the week you go out, it’s always full of students and young professionals, and there is a great atmosphere as well as live music.
That’s your night taken care of. During the day take the monorail to the Space Needle, to the Experience Music Project (EMP). The EMP is a celebration of popular culture, and if you are a film, Sci-fi, or music fan, you can easily spend a whole day in this architectural unique-looking museum.
To enjoy many of the city’s attractions, buy The Seattle City Pass. You can get an adult’s pass for £40 (EQ: is ‘£’ correct here? —Query putting in both GBP and USD amount?) and it will get you into five attractions, such as the Seattle Aquarium, Space Needle, EMP, a harbour cruise, and the Museum of Flight.
The Mayflower Hotel brings old world charm into a modern thriving city – it’s a change from the glass and steel sky scrapers and hotels that hold minimalism dear, and have little character. After a day or night exploring the modern attractions, you can fall back with a glass of wine in a place that has rooted itself in the city’s past. This is especially poignant in a place that has a relatively short history.