Fresh and funky: Seattle's Hotel FIVE nails modern whimsy within walking distance to the waterfront.

By Erin Behan

Seattle is a city of many wonders — flying fish at Pike Place Market, an entire museum devoted to pop music, and foam-perfect cappuccinos to name a few — but if you haven’t checked out these four new Seattle hotels, you’re doing it wrong. Sure the rooms are guaranteed to be modern and fresh, but you also get hip restaurants serving local, seasonal cuisine, in-hotel coffee shops and pristine views of Elliot Bay.

One of Seattle’s newer hotels has been LEED certified, and it’s the first mixed-use hotel and residential project to receive the award in Seattle. Hyatt at Olive 8 opened in January of 2009 and occupies the first 17 floors of the building. As you’d expect from a modern green property, there’s eco-friendly Elaia spa — try the Market Fresh manicure, which uses seasonal ingredients — and the farm-to-table Urbane restaurant, which got a nod from Seattle Magazine in 2011 for best happy hour bites. Pike Place Market, the Seattle waterfront and the Seattle Art Museum are within walking distance.

You’ll find another of Seattle’s newer hotels located near Seattle vacation destinations such as Pike Place Market and the Space Needle. Seattle’s Hotel FIVE nails the fun and funky vibe. Bright, happy colors dot the lobby and room interiors (perhaps to counteract all that rain?), and luxury bedding and complimentary WiFi make you want to camp out at this Seattle hotel, which opened in March 2011. This being Seattle, there’s also an in-hotel coffee shop, Max’s Café.

The Hyatt Place Seattle/Downtown, opened in June 2010, is also located near major Seattle tourist attractions, such as Experience Music Project. Expect both suits and anoraks in the lobby—its modern amenities package of free hotel-wide Wi-Fi, free breakfast buffet, indoor pool and free shuttle service within a mile draws everyone from the fresh-scrubbed to the funky.

Views of Elliott Bay set the 15-story Marriott Courtyard Pioneer Square hotel apart, as does its historic digs in the 1904 Alaska Building, the state’s first steel building. Qwest Field, Safeco Field and cruise terminals at Piers 91 and 66 are nearby, as is the Pioneer Square Station. The business crowd appreciates the free Wi-Fi and on-site Starbucks (born in Seattle, don’t ya know?). There’s a rather boutique hotel feel about the room linens and furniture, making what could be stuffy feel rather zen-like.

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Erin Behan is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn, N.Y., who counts good food, intoxicating drink and adventurous travel among her favorite things.

Tagged: Business Travel, Hotels, Travel news

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