I feel rather Carrie Bradshaw’ish writing about my most recent trip to Seattle. Although it’s a city I love, this time around, it seems the city that everyone claims to be so sleepless in didn’t love me back.
Here’s a quick look at my week in Seattle:
I arrived in Seattle hungover from my 5-day #BiSC (Bloggers in Sin City) trip in Vegas and had spent the entire flight writing a love letter (of the digital variety) to my boyfriend because I was literally, in more ways than one, on cloud nine. I missed him dearly, but promised myself to make the most of my visit to Seattle followed by an embarrassing tackle-hug a week later when he picked me up at the airport.
Hotel #1 – Inn at the Market
Checked into Inn at the Market, which sits pleasantly inside Seattle’s infamous Pike Place Market (and is the only hotel that can claim that). Situated inside an ivy-covered courtyard, the Inn at the Market is more like a hidden gem in all that bustles steps away in and around Pike Place (not to mention the original Starbucks which lacked every bit of splendor I had imagined).
The Inn at the Market boasts a Pacific Northwest look and feel as well as an incredibly friendly and knowledgeable staff to help navigate you The Emerald City. It’s a smaller property – 70 guestrooms total and each with a breathtaking and unique view. My room overlooked Seattle’s waterfront, the Puget Sound and for even better views, check out the rooftop deck, which overlooks the entire city in all its hazy clouded glory. Inn at the Market has been nationally recognized by the likes of Travel + Leisure and Conde Naste, and now, Jayme Lamm. (I wonder if they’ll add that latest accolade to their awards page?)
Inn at the Market | 86 Pine Street, Seattle, WA 98101 | 206.443.3600
Hit By a Car
Unbeknownst to the rest of the world and my surroundings, 5-minutes after I jumped in a cab to head to the Mariners game, I was in a car accident and headed to the hospital. Not exactly the trip I had in mind. No matter how great the healthcare system may or may not be, hospitals are never fun, especially in a city where you know no one.
Lunch – Koral
After waking up sore and damaged from last night’s accident, I headed over to Koral in Bellevue (about a 20 minute drive, but the views along the way and the stops once you arrive are more than worth it). Koral is described as a “New American Kitchen” located on the first floor of the Hyatt Regency Bellevue offering an upscale menu with delicious comfort food, which was the definition of perfect for a chilly, rainy and battered day in Seattle. I wouldn’t consider myself a foodie by any means, but eating good food and sipping a glass of champagne are probably two of my favorite things to do – and I guess you could say after all my years of practice, I’m pretty good at it.
Suggestions: fried Wisconsin cheese curds or the fried chicken sliders (with paprika-bacon gravy) for appetizers and the Kitchen Burger (where the menu warns of “serious goo factor” which is just another way of saying “you had me at hello”) or the chicken fried chicken sandwich (a massive open-faced sandwich with potato bread, mashed and bacon gravy) and of course…champagne.
Koral | 900 Bellevue Way Northeast, Suite 100 | Bellevue, WA 98004 | 425.623.1125
Walking the Streets of Bellevue
This easy-to-walk small but vibrant town had more to offer than I could have imagined. Aside from quaint and romantic bistros and coffee shops, there were hole-in-the-wall bars, art galleries, some unique and local shopping, and above all, more character than you could ever imagine. Bellevue is also home to the Shops at Bravern, which boasts stores like Jimmy Choo, Neiman Marcus (the only one in the region), Sur La Table, Hermes, Tory Burch and much more.
There is more shopping to be had at The Bellevue Collection with more than 200 stores for your choosing. The town of Bellevue is only a short 10-miles from Seattle and is well worth the visit – the serene mountain top views over the bridges of Lake Washington just to get there is cause for return.
Hotel #2 – Hotel 1000
This hotel was the highlight of my last visit to Seattle, so without question, it was on my list of places to revisit. Whoever said too much of a good thing was a bad idea clearly has never visited Hotel 1000. Having “abolished the predictable” when it comes to the likes of luxury and travel, this hotel truly has about 1000 points of interest that I love so much. From friendly, courteous staff, to an awesome on-site restaurant, the spa, the fitness center, the virtual golf, the proximity to so much of what Seattle has to offer, this property gets an A+ in my book – again. 1000 1st Ave., Seattle, WA 98104 | 206.957.1000
Yes, in the midst of my trip, a phone call ended my relationship. The same relationship I so ridiculously thought was forever. Seems a bit crass to do over the phone, but it only adds to my Carrie Bradshaw deep-in-thought narrative, and I’m not sure four straight days of gloom-and-doom rain really helped.
(And Happy Hour at Dukes). Two necessities on any given day and Duke’s passed the test with flying colors. Known all over Seattle by locals for its chowder, Duke’s prides itself as an “upscale casual restaurant”, which to me means tasty, all-natural food without the standard pretentious hype that usually accompanies it. With over 38 years doing business in some of Seattle’s finest neighborhoods, they’ve figured two very important things out: how to make (and serve) good-write-home-to-mama-chowder and a happy hour that can make just about anyone happy (except maybe the recently dumped).
Dukes: Multiple locations
My main reason for heading to Seattle in the first place – the Texas Rangers | Seattle Mariners series at Safeco, which was less than a mile walking from Hotel 1000. With a Rangers win, I start to crack a smile and remember that baseball really does make everything better. Granted it’s Seattle and all, but a MLB ballpark with a Starbucks inside is such a novel concept, even more so after a long night of crying.
Massage at Spaahh
Just the mere act of traveling (sitting on planes, adjusting to new beds, carrying baggage through airports) can stress your muscles out and cause tension. Add to that a car accident and a breakup and a 60-minute massage at Spaahh, located on the basement floor of Hotel 1000, is just what the doctor ordered.
I’ve had many massages in my day and the trained staff at Spaahh takes calm and relaxing to a new, much needed level. The massage targeted areas that had tensed after the accident and got my body back on the right track. After my appointment, my therapist took a few minutes to discuss stretches and other at-home remedies to help heal my aches and pains. A few more minutes in the dry sauna and I was almost good as new.
Time to catch only my second Major League Soccer game ever – the Sounders lost to the Crew 2-0, but what an atmosphere! Having witnessed two professional teams from the same city in one day, I can easily draw this conclusion: Seattle Sounders fans > Seattle Mariners fans. Also, a huge plus that this is stadium is also less than a mile walking from Hotel 1000 with cute shops (and bars) along the cobblestone way.
Dinner: BOKA Restaurant + Bar
After a fun-filled day of sporting events, the only amenable way to top it off is with a few glasses of bubbly and a good meal. BOKA Restaurant + Bar is located right inside Hotel 1000 and offers up a delicious menu day and night. There’s just something about good fried chicken – my mouth still waters thinking about the Southern Fried Stokesberry Farm Chicken (fried chicken with Washington russet puree, slow cooked green beans and bacon, cream gravy). The chicken was sustainably raised by the Stokesberry familly in Olympia, WA, as much of the food served at BOKA is local to the Washington area.
I’m not much of a golfer, but after a few glasses of champagne, and in the confines of a virtual golf setting (and I’m not talking PlayStation), I like to hit a few balls. The Golf Club sits in the basement of Hotel 1000 – just a few floors from your room and a quick phone call from room service.
The system comes with an infrared tracking system, a set of right and left-handed clubs, two tee boxes (up to 4 players on each) where you can play a round on 50 of the world’s best courses (like Pebble Beach or Pinehurst) rain or shine. With over 680 sensors meticulously calculating the velocity, spin and trajectory of the ball, the virtual golf provides an accurate game right on the HD screen in front of you. Did I also mention you could bring a few beers or bottles of champagne with you?
Although my love for Seattle (and now Bellevue) still rests high atop my list of favorite US destinations, the few sad memories I experienced there do not. Here’s hoping that in a couple months when all my recent physical and emotional scars have healed, that I can revisit this great city and repeat this itinerary To a T.
Jayme Lamm is a freelance writer and marketing consultant based in Houston focusing on travel writing and is in a full-court press writing her hugely opinionated sport’s column, The Blonde Side.