A misty city that made a huge global impact in the early 1990’s when the Seattle grunge rock music scene exploded worldwide and gave us legendary rock bands such as Nirvana, ad Pearl Jam.
Since then things have never been quite the same for the Pacific Northwest USA city which is surrounded by water, mountain ranges, and sprawling evergreen forests.
Hollywood took notice of Seattle’s rising star, and Sleepless in Seattle, Frasier, and Grey’s Anatomy quickly followed.
It also has the accolade of being Washington State’s largest city, is home to a thriving tech industry and visitors seem to lap up Seattle’s formidable attractions such as the world-famous Space Needle, and the buzzy Pike Place Market, Forget Sleepless in Seattle, this is coolness in Seattle…and if you’re planning a stay, here are my collection of hip, creative, and unique hotels in the city (in no particular order)…
1. Thompson – this sleek, upscale gem with stunning views is one of the coolest places in the city
This 12-story iconic building is located slap bang in the middle of downtown Seattle and just a short walk from the Puget Sound waterfront.
Close to the famous Pike Place Market and Seattle Art Museum, the 4-star exceptionally rated Thompson Seattle is spot on in terms of location, there are many romantic hotels in Seattle but this is definitely up there as one of the very best!
The interior and facilities on offer are also first-class, with sleek and contemporary bedrooms complete with floor-to-ceiling windows, 42-inch TVs, and rainfall showers in the bathrooms.
Upgraded rooms have truly incredible panoramic city or sea views. Visitors can choose from the Scout PNW farm-to-table restaurant space or the rooftop bar, cocktail lounge, and terrace that can be found in the famous Nest area on top of the building.
A truly gorgeous and very cool Seattle hotel with fabulous views – you really can’t go wrong!
- To book, check prices or availability for Thompson Seattle
2. Palihotel – a gorgeous hip boutique set along the coast of Elliot Bay
One of the most popular accommodation options in Seattle, this gem of a place can be found along the peaceful coast of Elliot Bay.
The very cool Seattle boutique hotel has a relaxed atmosphere that will lift the tension from your shoulders the second you arrive.
It’s close to popular destinations like the Pike Place Market and the Seattle Art Museum. Not to mention that you have the long stretches of coastline to enjoy each day on your travels.
Within Palihotel Seattle, you will find the style of each room to be quite whimsical without being over the top.
A vintage vibe can be felt throughout the building, and some rooms even offer bunk beds if you are traveling with friends and want to mix things up a little.
If you fancy a little room upgrade, you may also find yourself blessed with a stunning water view!
- To book, check prices or availability for Palihotel Seattle
3. The Graduate – a hip, striking and unique boutique with a youthful vibe
The Graduate Seattle is in the middle of the University District just a 10-minute stroll from the University of Washington main campus.
It is a quirky deco-style tower with the most amazing rooftop bar cheerfully named the Mountaineering Club because of the breathtaking views.
The cool boutique hotel is an ever-so-slightly mad ruched-velvet and mahogany art deco explosion wrapped in a tartan blanket and splashed with the sporting purple of Washington University Huskies.
It is budget-priced eccentricity for the bon-vivant of unusual quirky-cool designed as an island of fun in a sea of academia.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Graduate Seattle
4. MOXY Downtown – fun, Insta-worthy and upbeat accommodation located in the South Lake Union neighborhood
MOXY Seattle Downtown in the city’s South Union Lake area is a youthful, millennial hotel with quirky decor and serious comfort.
The location puts you near a range of dining and entertainment venues as well as the Space Needle, Pike Place Market and an awesome array of food trucks.
Guests are greeted at the contactless check-in with a free cocktail, giving them a chance to take in the unique decor in the lobby with a fireplace backed by book-lined shelves, an axe wall recalling the area’s history, and a lifesized and lifelike statue of a bear presiding over the space.
The rooms have comfortable beds and seating and restful decor with occasional touches of color like the flamingo pattern on the shower curtains.
There’s a Grab and Go food service area downstairs and for a more relaxed time you can stop by at the Bar Moxy for wine or a local brew and their signature naan-with-toppings meals.
• To book, check prices or availability for MOXY Seattle Downtown
5. Inn at The Market – a trendy waterfront abode located in a foodie’s paradise in Downtown
Uniquely located directly inside the world-famous Pike Place Market only a mile from the Space Needle, the 4-star and exceptionally rated Inn at The Market Seattle offers modern Pacific Northwest styling and comfort throughout and is ideally positioned for exploring the entire downtown area.
Choose from city-side rooms that offer bright retro interiors for a cost-effective price, or splash out on a water-view room that looks out over Elliott Bay which is home to a variety of state ferries, sailboats, yachts, and cruise ships.
All offer ultra-trendy floor-to-ceiling windows, flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, free Wi-Fi, and in-room spa treatments.
Wherever you choose to lay your head, the rooftop deck will still mean you can catch breathtaking views out across the water as far as the Olympic Mountains beyond.
A superb collection of eateries and bars are available in the hotel itself or in the surrounding neighborhood. A hip and quirky hotel in Seattle that is bound to please!
- To book, check prices or availability for Inn at The Market Seattle
6. Lotte Hotel – a trendy upscale high-rise stay with incredible views and decor by Philippe Starck
Not far from the island ferry in downtown Seattle is the award-winning Lotte Hotel Seattle. At street level the stone deco frontage is impressive, and it just gets better. Everything about Hotel Lotte is designed to bowl you over – this hotel is all about the experience.
The vast windows give panoramic views of an ever-changing city skyline outside; whereas inside there’s pictures, mirrors, and furnishings cleverly chosen to delight the senses with color, reflection, and shape.
Even the spa and sauna have been unusually sculpted to make you smile. On the 16th floor is the renowned Charlotte Lounge & Restaurant with views of the ocean and mountains, contemporary fresh local cuisine, and clean, crisp, comfort in abundance.
• To book, check prices or availability for the Lotte Hotel Seattle
7. The Ace – this funky hipster’s paradise is one of the coolest stays in the city
With a penchant for unfussy luxury, quirky interiors, and an unrivaled cool atmosphere, the exceptionally rated The Ace Hotel Seattle is a hip and happening hotel situated in the heart of Belltown, close to the attractions of downtown Seattle.
Lofty ceilings, hardwood floors, and art by original artists like KAWS and Shepard Fairey come as standard in this affordable but very hip Seattle hotel.
Keep costs down by booking a well-styled double bedroom with access to a shared bathroom, or go all out and book a spacious room with private facilities and water views.
This unique, urban Seattle accommodation is located in a trendy part of town, with a dedicated breakfast room offering the Pacific Northwest favorites of waffles, juice, and Stumptown coffee. A fantastic choice for any passing hipsters!
- To book, check prices or availability for The Ace Hotel Seattle
8. citizenM – this fun, creative and trendy chain brings its new version to South Lake Union
This modern and funky hotel in downtown Seattle defines affordable luxury with quirky decor, well-appointed rooms and contactless check-in. Nearby in the South Lake Union neighborhood, you’ll find theAmazon HQ, the Space Needle and Pike Place Market.
Like other citizenM hotels, the entire first floor is set up like a shared living room, with Vitra furniture, books and eclectic artwork, much of it from local artists.
Rooms at citizenM Seattle South Lake Union have a simple layout and decor, with a focus on comfort that includes extra-large king-size beds, fluffy pillows, power showers, blackout blinds and seamless tech that operates everything off an iPad.
There are morning and evening shower gels in the bathrooms, and smart TVs with a free movie selection.
If you get any food cravings in the middle of the night, you can hit the 24/7 canteenM kitchen in the lobby for food, drinks, snacks and cocktails.
- To book, check prices or availability for citizenM Seattle South Lake Union
9. The Edgewater Hotel – a beautiful and romantic upscale waterfront abode
Jutting out into the water atop Pier 67 on Elliott Bay, this four-story upscale hotel is Seattle’s original waterfront hotel. Originally built for the 1962 World’s Fair, the 4-star highly-rated Edgewater Hotel is an iconic landmark in the city.
Close enough to downtown to be convenient, yet with a waterfront vibe, this trendsetting Seattle accommodation has been home to such rock and roll legends as The Beatles, Pearl Jam, Led Zeppelin, and The Rolling Stones.
The unique and stylish bedrooms feature custom-designed furniture, buttery soft leather chairs, and open fireplaces, and come complete with uninterrupted views across the bay as well as all mod cons.
Some have separated bedrooms and claw-foot tubs. Don’t leave without experiencing Northwestern cuisine at its finest courtesy of the elegant Six Seven Restaurant or enjoying craft cocktails overlooking the bay.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Edgewater Hotel
10. Hotel Max – a funky, colorful and trendy boutique located on the edge of the hipster neighborhood Belltown
The perfect place to stay for the creatively inclined, the highly-rated Hotel Max Seattle is geared towards lovers of all things arty and musical.
Just a 5-minute walk from the Westlake Centre and the Washington State Convention Centre, this funky Seattle hotel will entice you with stylish bedrooms featuring original paintings, iPods and work desks, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi as well as its reasonable prices.
Everything your inner urban artist could desire can be found at the Max, including a complimentary craft beer hour, locally brewed coffee, the cool Miller’s Guild grill, and exhibits of iconic local photographers.
Located in the heart of downtown Seattle, this cool and fun boutique hotel is a delight for anyone interested in the creative side of the city!
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Max Seattle
11. Hotel Theodore – a chic and contemporary boutique located in the Downtown
Lifting itself above the streets of the Pike/Pine shopping core in the heart of Seattle is Hotel Theodore Seattle. A masterfully designed hotel with generous spaces that grab elevated views at every opportunity.
This place feels properly comfortable like you can flump on the couch if you want, and the entire place is cleverly enhanced with cool art and artefacts – not prints you might pick up in IKEA, but genuine pieces curated from a partnership with Seattle’s Museum of History.
Hotel Theodore is a thoughtful, hand-crafted, quality-cool slice of Seattle with everything you’d expect in a top-class hotel plus many little quirks you’ll simply love.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Theodore Seattle
12. Hotel Andra – a unique and creatively designed downtown boutique with Scandi chic decor
This swish boutique hotel is situated on Fourth Avenue, right in the heart of downtown Seattle. With a charming atmosphere and a lobby that could easily be mistaken for a cozy living room, the 4-star very highly-rated Hotel Andra Seattle is a relaxing oasis in the heart of the city.
This contemporary and chic Seattle hotel is within walking distance of such central iconic destinations as Pike Place Market, the Seattle waterfront, and downtown Seattle’s thriving retail core, you can enjoy the best of both worlds here.
The bedrooms at this gorgeous Seattle boutique hotel are comfortable and ultra-stylish and offer calming textures and a subtle Scandinavian design, complete with LCD flat-panel TVs, free WiFi and spacious desks for mixing business with pleasure.
Head to the onsite gym, relax in the lobby by the fire or the bar or dine in style at the Lola or Assaggio Ristorante during your stay – just an all-around fine place to stay!
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Andra Seattle
13. Hotel Maxwell – a funky, cute and contemporary boutique
Cool, ultra-colorful and contemporary, this art-filled unique Seattle hotel is just a 10-minute walk from the Space Needle and 2 miles from Pike Place Market.
At the very highly rated Hotel Maxwell Seattle choose from hill rooms that look inwards towards the city or view rooms that face out across the Space Needle.
All the funky rooms offer sumptuous surroundings and comfortable sleeping quarters complete with free WiFi, flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, mini-fridges, and coffeemakers.
Feeling hungry? Grab a coffee and a light snack at the Pineapple Espresso bar, or ask the friendly staff to point you in the direction of the best eateries in town.
You can also take advantage of the indoor pool, gym, onsite pizzeria, loaner bikes, and even afternoon pineapple cupcakes – how cute is that?
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Maxwell Seattle
14. W Seattle – a hip upscale urban retreat and fun place to party
A hip urban retreat close to the very best of downtown Seattle, the 4-star and very highly-rated W Hotel Seattle is awash with big-city energy.
With scenic views across Puget Sound, this luxurious and effortlessly stylish hotel is perfect for anyone looking to catch the true vibe of Seattle. With a funky gym, live music and DJs, a lobby bar and lounge, and the signature TRACE restaurant, this cool Seattle stay is a hit with hip and trendy visitors of all ages.
The bedrooms at this Seattle boutique hotel are stylish, modern and sleek, and offer guests their very own urban lodge experience that combines Native American design with the beauty of the Emerald City, complete with Bluetooth speakers, WiFi, and flat-screen TVs.
Opt for an upgrade or a suite and find gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows, lush city views, and even whirlpool tubs – nice!
- To book, check prices or availability for W Hotel Seattle
15. Motif – a unique, hip and very Instagrammable downtown boutique
Offering a superb rooftop lounge with fabulous views across the city, this highly-rated 4-star destination hotel is located between 5th Avenue and Pike and Union making it perfectly placed for your downtown Seattle adventure.
With a sun deck and fabulous decor which includes natural hardwood floors and themes inspired by the Pacific Northwest, Motif Hotel Seattle is a first-class hotel of distinction that is in touch with the rich art and music culture that the city is so famous for.
One of the best boutique hotels in Seattle, the bedrooms at this modern and chic Seattle accommodation are comfortable and spacious and are dotted with artworks, lyrics, and album cover art from the city’s influential music scene.
Superior suites also have views over the water and offer the best of both urban living and waterfront chic.
Don’t leave without dining at their hip restaurant which features a patio, fireplaces, and shuffleboard or drinking a cocktail on their truly fabulous rooftop bar – coolness in Seattle!
- To book, check prices or availability for Motif Hotel Seattle
16. Kimpton Hotel Vintage – one of the best boutiques with chic vintage-style decor
A favorite with wine connoisseurs, the 4-star and much-loved Kimpton Hotel Vintage combines rustic charm with elegant surroundings in a stunning space in downtown Seattle.
As an outpost of Washington Wine Country, the chic Seattle stay offers nightly wine tastings and has a full staff of vino aficionados to help you make your choice.
With an award-winning Italian restaurant onsite, yoga mats in every room and complimentary hotel bicycles for use during your stay, this hotel is perfect for anyone looking for fine wines, fine dining, and a little bit of “me” time.
The bedrooms at this trendy Seattle boutique hotel are bright and comfortable and offer a little taste of the wine country, right in the heart of the city.
- To book, check prices or availability for Kimpton Hotel Vintage
17. Kimpton Palladian Hotel – a beautiful boutique with an elegant vintage chic style
Setting the standard for boutique hotels across the city, the Kimpton Palladian Hotel offers the ultimate in retro-chic and edgy design. Located in the trendy central Belltown neighborhood of the city, guests can sample the eclectic delights of this hip part of town, yet still easily access the main tourist attractions like Pike Place Market and the Space Needle.
The chic Seattle’s hotel lobby is truly unforgettable with dark walls, and oversize historical works of art, whilst the bedrooms are all uniquely beautiful and feature pop-art pillows, swish bathrooms, in-room yoga mats, Italian linens, minibars, and in-room spa services and a color palette inspired by the sky outside.
Some have claw-foot tubs and lush views of Puget Sound. Other hotel highlights include a sociable free afternoon wine hour, loaner bikes, a fitness center, a trendy restaurant, and a cool cocktail lounge. The Kimpton Palace really is a work of art and easily one of the best boutique hotels in Seattle.
- To book, check prices or availability for Kimpton Palladian Hotel
18. Astra Hotel – a new, upscale boutique with very stylish and artful decor located near The Space Needle
You can preview the future at the Astra Hotel Seattle with its clean, simple decor and high-tech amenities like lightning-fast wifi, mechanized window shades and 65-inch LCD Samsung TVs with Screencasting.
The Downtown location puts you in the heart of Seattle’s tech and enterprise district, which is also near the waterfront and other attractions. Rooms have views of the city and the Space Needle, and are clean, restful places to rest and recharge.
With several dining options onsite, you can start the day with breakfast at Caffe Ladro, grab a casual lunch at Otium Grill & Greens, and unwind with cocktails and small plates at the rooftop Altitude Sky Lounge.
Other hotel facilities for work and play include a state-of-the-art meeting room and a fitness center.
- To book, check prices or availability for Astra Hotel Seattle
19. State Hotel – stay like a local in this chic and contemporary downtown boutique
The vibrant arts and design scene are part of the push behind making the State Hotel Seattle one of the best design hotels in the nation. The hotel perfectly blends its historic setting with a chic modern design.
Unlike chain-owned operations, the State Hotel is independently and locally owned by people who care about putting a local touch into each stay. Enjoy “only in Seattle” details such as complimentary coffee, craft cocktails, and proximity to attractions such as Pike’s Place Market.
- To book, check prices or availability for State Hotel Seattle
20. Alexis Royal Sonesta – a gorgeous luxury 5-star stay named as one of the ”500 Best Hotels in the World”
A stay at the Alexis Royal Sonesta Hotel Seattle becomes an essential part of the Seattle experience. This historic hotel has been updated with the latest in tech and art while maintaining traditional standards of comfort, all of which has earned it a place in the list of ”500 Best Hotels in the World” by Travel + Leisure.
Located near the waterfront, it’s an easy walk to Pioneer Square, Pike Place Market and other local attractions. The rooms are oases of comfort, with large beds, relaxing decor in soothing neutral shades, and wood accents and furniture.
Onsite amenities include The Bookstore Bar & Café, Chroma Spa, and a fitness center. Best of all, the hotel is pet-friendly, so you can bring your furry friends along to enjoy a luxurious stay.
- To book, check prices or availability for Alexis Royal Sonesta Hotel Seattle
21. Kimpton Hotel Monaco – a swish, themed boutique gem in a downtown location
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Seattle offers you a luxurious oasis of comfort with everything the city has to offer just outside the door.
The understated elegance is accented with unique artwork and decor like the lattice frames and dolphin mural in the lobby and the whimsical clouds decorating the guest rooms, in a playful nod to the Seattle climate.
The upscale boutique hotel is located close to everywhere you might want to go for work or play in downtown Seattle. The large rooms are full of light and furnished in grey, white and red for a soothing and energizing effect.
They are equipped with workstations, fine Italian Frette linens, and views of the city.
The Outlier restaurant offers a typical Seattle menu of craft cocktails and shareable bites.
- To book, check prices or availability for Kimpton Hotel Monaco Seattle
22. Sound Hotel – a chic and contemporary spot with an urban style located in the Belltown neighborhood
A contemporary chic boutique hotel in the Belltown area of Seattle, the Sound Hotel Seattle is located near the Amazon and other corporate offices, the Washington State Convention Center, Pike Place Market, Pier 66, Space Needle, Chihuly Garden and Glass, and the city’s justly famous nightlife.
The decor is welcoming and comfortable with spacious, light-filled interiors and a bespoke art collection curated by Kevin Barry Art Advisory.
Rooms have large comfortable beds, windows with views of the city or the garden, large walk-in showers and luxurious Nest bath amenities,
At the Currant Bistro, you can enjoy meals with fresh, seasonal and local ingredients, accompanied by craft beers and Washington state wines.
- To book, check prices or availability for Sound Hotel Seattle
Becky Moore – Owner, writer and photographer
My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I’ve lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up visits to over 40 countries. I’m a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian – from cloudberry liquors to Nordic noirs. When not wandering the world and running Global Grasshopper, you’ll find me walking my ex Athens street dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Lanes on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about my favourite places; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Borneo, Finland, Greece, Berlin, Laos, California and the surreal and beautiful landscapes of a wintry Iceland.
I’ve been quoted in Forbes, National Geographic, The Times, Yahoo Travel, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Thrillist, British Airways Magazine, Entrepreneur, express.co.uk, Wanderlust, Telegraph Travel, Daily Mail and metro.co.uk. Find me on Linkedin or Facebook.