Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few months you will no doubt have heard of the success of the Fifty Shades Trilogy of books. Love them or hate them, the steamy bestsellers have been credited with boosting tourism to America’s favourite rainy city – Seattle. Apparently, at least 20 “young and attractive” women arrive each day from all over the globe, stay in a hip Seattle hotel and stop by the Escala to take their picture taken in front of the swanky high-rise building. Many even ask for a tour of Christian Grey’s $6 million penthouse (they should be so lucky). You can find reasonable flights to Seattle all year round and for popular fiction loving visitors who want to create their own heat in Seattle there is no shortage of book-mentioned hotels and landmarks to explore:
This is the high-rise downtown condo where billionaire entrepreneur Christian Grey woos his love interest. The building – located in the Belltown neighbourhood of Seattle – is the most opulent building you can find in the city and is home to the swanky Escala penthouses. While gaining access is likely to be difficult (and could possibly get you arrested) standing outside and having your photo taken is a much more viable option.
Mile High Club Columbia Tower Seattle
Christian takes Anastasia for a celebratory dinner at the “Mile High Club” (78th floor) in Columbia Tower following her promotion to acting editor. In real life, the swanky club offers some of the best views of the city as well as networking events, although be aware it’s an exclusive members club and you may need your very own Christian Grey to get in.
Fairmont Olympic Hotel
Christian takes Ana to keep her safe while Leila evades his security team and they check into the Cascade Suite under the names Mr. and Mrs.Taylor. The historic hotel five star Fairmont Olympic has long been a favourite with international heads of states, royalty and celebrities. Occupying the city block between 4th and 5th Avenue and between University and Seneca Streets, a stay is likely to set you back at least $250 a night.
Okay, we may have cheated on this one as although these weren’t mentioned in the book, there are many bars in Seattle that Anastasia and best friend Kate could well have visited. A watering hole for late night hipsters is the Black Bottle. Conveniently located in the nightlife area of the Belltown neighbourhood, it’s a wine bar attracting a young and lively professional crowd who keep coming back for more.
Another gorgeous Seattle wine bar is the Purple Cafe and Wine Bar. Ranked as one of Seattle’s best wine bars and restaurants you can climb the spiral staircase to watch sous chefs prepare appetisers from the upstairs balcony, or sip cocktails by the beautiful floor-to-ceiling windows.
The Edgewater Hotel
The Edgewater Hotel doesn’t feature in the novel but it does offer a ’50 Shades Of Romance’ package. The hotel enjoys a prime location on the waterfront and the saucy package includes accommodation in a Premium Waterside suite, a sailing jaunt on Puget Sound, the obligatory bottle of Bollinger, a map of Seattle sites that crop up in the story and a test drive in a high-powered Audi sports car (fans of the book will instantly recognise the Audi connection). Available until 30 September, this package costs from $914 per night.
Seattle’s Hotel Max is another hotel cashing-in on Seattle’s Fifty Shades fame. The four-star downtown hotel offers a $1669 two-night package that includes a chauffeured town car service, a helicopter tour and a skippered-sunset cruise (inspired by the Puget Sound sail enjoyed by the book’s main characters) complete with a gourmet picnic and a bottle of Bollinger Grande Annee Rose 1999 champagne – a favourite of Mr Grey’s himself.