Seattle Lodging Planner
Seattle Lodging Planner
Despite the recession, Seattle is still undergoing growth and development. Parts of South Lake Union, the Eastside, and Downtown areas are seeing major construction, and projects in progress can be found throughout the metro area. It's worth inquiring about such things while booking and asking how local construction projects may affect the views, noise levels, and traffic situations around your hotel.
In the past, air-conditioning was never a deal-breaker—mild summers and cool evenings made it unnecessary. However, recent heat waves have sent many residents running to the nearest movie theater for relief. If you require air-conditioning, make sure your room has it in summer. In another surprising trend for such a tech city, many hotels, particularly the chains, charge for Wi-Fi, and a handful only offer wired Internet. You can skirt the issue at some properties by joining their "clubs," but be sure and check the Wi-Fi policy if it’s important to you.
Where should we stay? With so many Seattle hotels, it may seem like a daunting question. But fret not—our expert writers and editors have done most of the legwork. The selections here represent the best this city has to offer—from the best budget-friendly B&Bs to the sleekest designer hotels. Scan "Best Bets" for top recommendations by price and experience. Or find a review quickly in the listings. Search by neighborhood, then alphabetically.
The best way to save? Travel off-season. Amazing deals at the hottest properties can be had in spring (and sometimes even in early June). Weather is more hit or miss this time of year than in July or August, but there are often many beautiful dry days. Rates drop dramatically again once October rolls around. Mild, picture-perfect fall days are a well-kept secret here—hiking's often good until the end of the month and the Cascades get some beautiful fall colors.
But you probably want to see the city in its late-summer glory. In that case, good luck to you. Lodging-wise, there isn't much of an upside to Seattle's high season—the best you can do is book as far in advance as possible and stay out of the Downtown core. Midweek prices may be lower than weekend rates, but don't count on it (in business hotels, the opposite is true). You'll always save more with multi-night stays, particularly at B&Bs, which often have unofficial policies of giving discounts to long-term guests. The best collection of good deals is on Capitol Hill because most of its properties are B&Bs; the Queen Anne and Lake Union neighborhoods also turn up some good deals and are much closer to Downtown than the U-District, which is the other neighborhood that has a decent selection of mid-range properties.
Seattle's peak season is May through September, with August at the pinnacle. Prices throughout the city skyrocket then; some are nearly double what they are in low season.
The lodgings listed are the cream of the crop in each price category. Prices in the reviews are the lowest cost of a standard double room in high season; they do not take into account discounts or package deals you may find on consolidator websites.
The city has banned smoking in most public places, including all restaurants and bars, and the new and pervasive trend is for hotels to be completely smoke-free. It's now extremely difficult to find smoking rooms; puffers may want to reconsider upgrading to that balcony room.