Monday, August 9, 2010

Alexis Hotel, A Slice Of Underground Seattle

Library Bristo"As I turned to look back it [a glue pot on a stove] was blazing right up, and I saw Berg seize a pail of water to throw upon it. I shouted for him not to do it, but the ignorant Swede seemed excited and danced about with the pail before he dashed the water." — Seattle Post-Intelligencer

What started as a small glue pot fire in 1889 quickly erupted into Seattle's Great Fire, growing to consume about 30 blocks (25-33, depending on sources). When the city redeveloped the burnt-out area, new buildings were built of brick, stone, and directly over the remnants of the old, creating the famed Seattle Underground.

While the fire stopped across the street from the where the Globe Building was later built in 1901, adjacent areas often followed suit and built over existing storefronts. Some of them can be seen in the building's underground parking structure.

The Alexis Hotel Offers Location, Art, And An Historically Modern Seattle Vibe.

In 1982, the Globe Building was acquired, renovated and reopened as the historic Alexis Hotel. And 10 years later, another restoration returned the hotel to its original architecture with a minimal use of new materials. It's a work of art — a luxury 121-room Seattle boutique hotel — housing exhibits of local artists that are rotated quarterly.

Alexis HotelThe rooms are spacious and tasteful, with 300-count Frette linens, and feather duvets to wrap yourself up in on a rainy morning. It's one of the few hotels offering 24-hour room service and provides in-room spa services. You can also find the Milagros SalonSpa, a renowned full-service salon and day spa destination on premises, but we were too busy taking in the city.

Like many boutiques, the rooms tend to be fashioned around previous spaces. This occasionally leads to an out-of-place review on some travel sites. The room we booked had a small outdoor patio that overlooked a rooftop courtyard of sorts. I'd probably request the same on another stay.

Another stunning feature of the Alexis Hotel is the adjacent Library Bistro and Bookstore Bar (pictured above), which is reminiscent of a 1940s-style restaurant with high back booths, 10-foot-high bookcases, checkerboard tiles, and oak floors. Remarkably, all the books that line the walls are only for decoration. Some rare finds are for sale.

Alexis Hotel, SeattleThe location is more than an asset; it's remarkable. The Alexis Hotel is just a few blocks away from everything you might want to do and see in Seattle. It's only a few blocks from Pike Place Market, Seattle Waterfront, and Pioneer Square. This provides for an abundance of art, museums, culture centers, and shopping during the day. At night, the adjacent street hops with live entertainment and Seattle-style clubs.

Parking isn't cheap, but the valet is always quick and accommodating. The plus side, however, is you seldom need a car unless you plan to include a run to one of the Silver Platters stores, especially if you happen to be in town when they're hosting live in-store performances.

The Alexis Hotel Sets A Standard With A 9.2 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

The Alexis Hotel is frequented by artists, musicians, and journalists for meet-ups to discuss their latest work. It's also Green Seal™ Silver Certified and earned a National GeoTourism Award in 2006. Even used amenity bottles are donated to local charities. It also has complimentary high speed WiFi.

It would be difficult to find a more cultural-centric hot spot to stay in Seattle, and I've told a few friends on more than one occasion that breakfast at the Library Bistro is a must, whether you stay there or not. You can save up to 60 percent off via Fare Buzz.
blog comments powered by Disqus