Glasses clinked and grills flared, as the sun slid towards Puget Sound, sharply silhouetting the snow-gilded Olympic Mountains. The city’s iconic “Public Market Center” sign—a cherry-colored neon—popped against the darkening blue of the sea and sky. Crowds gathered on the street below, phones snapping. But we floated above it all on a fifth-floor terrace, watching the lights of the ferries and the Great Wheel reflected on the waves.
Seattle may be known for its “freeze”—how locals are slow to bond with newcomers—but the area’s coolest hotels are creating spaces that invite instant camaraderie. The trendiest blend high-tech touches with chic design, often incorporating the area’s heritage or showcasing its staggering natural beauty. Their menus continue this celebration of the Pacific Northwest. Expect a lively selection of local craft beers, spirits, and premium Washington wines, backed by ingredients drawn from the abundance of the sea, shores, fields, and orchards.
Here are eight of the coolest hotels in Seattle that capture the city’s sparky zeitgeist for business and leisure travelers alike.