No matter which set of giant glass doors you find yourself entering at W Seattle, one thing’s for sure—you are going to immediately realize that you and Toto are not in Kansas anymore.
Welcome. A soothing and warm respite from the bustle and rush of Fourth Avenue at 4 p.m., walking towards the W reception desk and the larger than life media wall behind it, really is like walking into another world entirely. The staff is bright and cheerful and dressed in what looks more like W fashion than hotel uniforms. The concierge is helpful—letting us know about a few places for dog walks nearby, and that we can enjoy complimentary WiFi in the lobby and all public spaces throughout the hotel. And with that, we’re on our way up.
Our elevator ride is quick and no one seems to mind being stuck in a moving box with a human-sized dog, in fact quite the opposite, our fellow guests ask to pet Olivia and ask the usual questions; “What’s your dog’s name” “How old is she” “How much does she eat?” Both Olivia and I are smiling when we step off the suddenly empty elevator on the 26th floor.
The walk to our room is surprising at first, the swanky hallways with halogen spot-lights on framed prints beside us and bold patterned carpet below us, make for a dramatic transition.
Wag. Our corner suite is nothing short of wow. Immediately upon opening the heavy wood door I spy a generous soaker tub with a wall-window view of the city below.
Also in the bathroom I am thrilled to discover lovely Davines bath products, as well as the presence of both jets and a neck massager built-in to the bathtub. Wonderful.
With an entirely different agenda, miss Olivia trots in to inspect the goodies that await her near the royal blue velvet couch. After her typical sniff-inspection she settles on the red, bell-filled rubber ball and proceeds to happily pounce around the room chasing her new jingly little adversary.
In her haste, she has overlooked the delectable bone-shaped treats crafted by the W’s own Chef Steven Ariel, who oversees all dining at W Seattle, including in-room treats for canines. The morsels smell so fresh and sweet that I nearly grab a bite for myself before calling her Highness over for a nibble.
Wish. Although Olivia seems sated with her wholesome treat, I still have a craving for a snack, so we make our way down to Living Room Bar. Open from 5 to 9 p.m. on weeknights and 5 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday nights, Living Room Bar offers a delightful menu of bites and an excellent selection of beer, wine and specialty cocktails. Of note are the Crispy Brussels Sprouts available at Happy Hour (weeknights from 5-7 p.m.) for only $5! Pair that with a house wine or draft beer also for $5 and you’re golden. Other menu highlights include its Ahi Poke Bombs, Crispy Pork Belly Sliders and Coconut Shrimp.
Meanwhile, Olivia is warmly greeted and attended to as if she were a proper human on the couch, rather than a giant canine sprawled (and probably shedding) on the glamorous black carpet. Our server asks if Olivia would like a bowl of water, which she brings promptly, along with a few more treats.
The surprisingly cozy Living Room in which we are reclining, is essentially a luxurious mash-up of a low-lit hotel lobby, trés chic nightclub and designer furniture showroom. The two-story-high space is accented with a towering fireplace wrapped in over a thousand steel panels that resemble a jet engine. Individual light fixtures near the 4th avenue entrance radiate above to ignite the space with hundreds of color options to set the mood. At the north end of the Living Room, the W Stage is the star with an over-sized vinyl record collection as a backdrop nodding to some of Seattle’s legendary artists. Local bands and DJ’s perform here regularly.
Just as noteworthy as the décor is the artistic collection of humans inhabiting the room. Business travelers with laptops, Seattle scenesters sipping on a signature Mezcal Margarita, the occasional couple or family celebrating something, and me, the writer, trying to be discreet with a 17” glowing laptop and a 130 lb cow-spotted Great Dane.
Sitting here, I can’t help but notice what a complete sensory experience my vantage point has provided; the velvet touch of the settee, the sweet but subtle aroma of scented candles and gourmet appetizers, the bustling array of people and art to fill up my view and of course, the comforting tastes of warm goat cheese and cold, crisp beer lingering on my tongue. Along with my snoozing pooch at my feet, I couldn’t wish for more.
Walk. In the morning, with the sun streaming through the floor-to-ceiling blinds and a drowsy dog yawning and stretching, I’m obligated to dress and explore an outdoor place where a certain four-legged someone can take care of business.
Before heading out, I grab a coffee and delicious pastry made in-house at the new TRACE Market. The original, fine dining TRACE has pivoted into a fast, local and planet friendly dining experience. Open for breakfast and lunch, TRACE Market’s menus are inspired by the regional bounty of the Pacific Northwest. From staples like a full coffee bar and the signature Blazing Bagel Breakfast Sandwich to their signature Uli’s Sausage Platter, TRACE Market caters to the elevated taste of the modern guest and business traveler.
For a quick stroll around the block the options are numerous. Although the staff doesn’t recommend visiting at night, in daylight hours Freeway Park, just two blocks East of the hotel, is a grassy oasis in a sea of concrete and bustling traffic. You might even spot a squirrel or two.
If your pup is in need of more running and less leash, take a longer walk North on 4th Avenue, turning left on Bell Street, where you will find yourself at Regrade Park. This urban dog spot is not grassy but it is fenced as well as a bone-i-fied off-leash area where you are bound to find some other city dogs having a romp.
With no weight, size or breed limitations, complimentary walks offered by Lassie-loving W staff, wholesome treats made fresh in-house and a generous collection of essentials and extras included in the amenities, W Seattle may just have the most liberal and luxurious pet program in Seattle. But, as with most luxuries, there’s a pretty price. The pet fee includes a non-refundable $100 cleaning deposit as well as a $25/per night pet fee.
1112 4th Ave., Seattle
206.264.6000 | Website
Rates starting at $159, variable by room/season. Be sure to check out the Wifi: Free in the lobby, $14.95/day in room.
about the author
Brandie Ahlgren is founder and editor of CityDog Magazine. She, and her team of dog-loving editors, dig up the best places for you to sit, stay and play with your four-legged friends. Brandie, 12-year-old boxer Thya and Mexican foster failure Pancho, reside in West Seattle and can often be found hanging out at Westcrest Dog Park.