It was my third full day in Seattle, and I was so happy to leave downtown behind me. As the bus headed north, I excitedly caught glimpses of Lake Union and was sure I looked like an overeager twelve-year-old, but didn’t care. Somehow just seeing more of this city I knew I already loved filled me with such glee and anticipation. I’m easy to please that way, I suppose.
Once I disembarked in the less urban neighborhood of Fremont, I took a deep breath and took in my surroundings: a quiet residential street that sloped gently downhill toward a busy, inviting downtown with plenty of trees, eateries and shops. And just ahead on my right I spotted a large neon sign with a bumblebee on it: my destination, Hotel Hotel!
Fellow travelers: there any feeling more satisfying and relieving than seeing the sign for the place you’re going to rest your head? I think not.
Hotel Hotel Hostel couldn’t be in a more convenient location. The bus stop is a five-minute walk away, the lakefront is maybe ten more minutes, and I was spoiled for choice when it came to great (vegetarian!) food options (Pie, Flying Apron, Silence Heart Nest, to name a few).
This trip was a mix of hostels and hotels, and I liked it that way. Ideally, I’ll stay at a B&B when I travel with Andy later this year, but I decided to stay in two hostels in Seattle. It felt appropriate: the whole vacation felt like a nice throwback to my single-girl travel days.
The great thing about Hotel Hotel Hostel is that it has the look and feel of a hotel. It’s stylish and funky and its owner, Nancy, is a traveler herself, so she went into business knowing how to make her space feel like a welcoming home-away-from-home.
Hotel Hotel has three communal spaces: the lobby (where complimentary breakfast is served, since it’s the largest space), a TV room with a couple of couches, and the kitchen. The kitchen makes nice use of its narrow layout, with the countertop & appliances on one wall, and a long eating area on the opposite wall. It’s the kind of set-up that fosters conversation, as if it’s an apartment kitchen instead of one where travelers from all over the world are meeting by happenstance. When cafeteria-style dining is the norm, a feeling of intimacy in a hostel is a rare and refreshing thing.
I requested a private room for my two nights at Hotel Hotel (turned out to be especially necessary after dealing with a snorer at my previous hostel!), and was beyond contented to throw myself on the king-sized bed when I arrived:
Oh, what a lovely space this was! I fell in love with the aesthetic right away. Seven pillows? How on earth did Nancy know of my love affair with pillows? And that brick wall! This is the original exterior wall and original undertakers lettering that she decided to preserve. Good call!
I loved all of the lighting options: the two lamps on either side of the bed, one floor lamp by the door, and another on a shelf opposite the bed. I loved the clothing rack next to the door where I immediately hung up my jacket and other outer layers (make no mistake, I was prepared for fickle Seattle late-winter weather!). And the outlets! An array of power outlets is another huge bonus.
The bathroom, across the hall from my room, was jaw-droppingly bright and large. It was fantastic:
The staff at Hotel Hotel were all wonderful and eager to help whenever needed– for example, when you’re standing at the bus stop all ready for your day trip up to the highest mountain in the state, and then somehow watch your bus go by without you on it (!!), and find yourself in desperate need of a taxi. This may or may not have happened to me. But I can tell you that the lovely young man at the front desk did call a cab for one frantic guest my first morning there.
I like that they served breakfast in addition to having a full-service kitchen. If I’d had more time or the inclination, I could have prepared a meal for myself after eating complimentary yogurt, granola, toast, and fruit.
My only complaint about Hotel Hotel was the the band playing downstairs at night. But it was the weekend, and I had the option of getting ear plugs from the front desk. Putting in my ear buds and listening to Pandora on my phone worked just fine to get to sleep.
I wish I’d had more time to explore Fremont, but I’m so glad that I had Hotel Hotel as a base for two days. It’s a lovely place to stay and my photos don’t do it justice at all. Do yourself a favor and consider booking Hotel Hotel Hostel for your next visit to Seattle.
Welcome to the first day of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge! Throughout the month of April, I will blog every day except Sundays, and each post has to correspond to a that day’s letter (Day 1 is A, day 2 is B, and so on). This is my second year participating, and my first time with a (rather broad) theme: travel! For the letter A, I decided to do Accommodations. Some letters will be be for destinations, others for things related to travel itself, like packing.
Disclaimer: One of my two nights at Hotel Hotel Hostel was complimentary. As always, all opinions are my own.
Wow, once again, your blog post has made me want to visit a special place! Your pictures are beautiful, and super informative, and lead me to consider a stay at Hotel Hotel hostel if I ever get back to Seattle. On our next trip, we are trying a few nights at a horse ranch, truly very different from the chain hotels we often visit. You have inspired me to share the details and special experiences to help other travelers be inspired as well. Thanks for sharing!
That’s awesome, I’d love to stay somewhere unique like a horse ranch! And as long as I’m inspiring others, I think I’m doing my job right 🙂
Seattle is one of my favorite places. I’ve spent a vacation two times there. It is a wonderful city. I hope to go back one day. I am visiting from A to Z challenge.
It quickly became a favorite city of mine, too. I was only there for one week but I really could have stayed for longer, if my husband wasn’t waiting for me at home! Thanks for the visit, Ann!
O, that looks like such a fun place! Love staying in places that aren’t your boring typical hotel! It adds so much to the experience!
Exactly, Rebecca! This place definitely had character; I loved that.
I love the the brick wall and the lamp shades. Hotel hotel – what a cool name!
Rea recently posted…Monthly Review: March Delight!
Yes, I loved the lamps, too!