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The 18 Essential Seattle Hotels, November 2013

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In today's new release of Curbed's Hotel 18 map, we're once again attacking the question, "Where should I stay in Seattle?" While our first version of this map included 38 choices, we've carefully editing this version down to 18. In this smaller, leaner selection, we've made some tough choices to bring you the best of the best, and only those hotels considered most essential via reader and expert recommendations.

Most of our Hotel 18 naturally end up downtown or close to the waterfront. However, if you want to find a good hotel outside of the luxury high-rise sector, you'll find options in Ballard, Fremont, Queen Anne and elsewhere, too.

We'll be updating the map again in due time, so if you have a favorite that wasn't included, please mention it in the comments or tip us for next time. If you spot a hotel unworthy of the Hotel 18 distinction, we want to hear about that, too.

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1. The Edgewater Hotel

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2411 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 441-4119
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The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam, The Rolling Stones, you. That's some impressive company and it's the kind of company you'll be joining if you stay here. Historically-speaking, this is Seattle's "rock and roll" hotel and a who's who of legends have walked these halls and slept in these beds. See if you can get the water-facing suite the Beatles fished out.

2. Hotel 1000

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1000 1st Ave
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 957-1000
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If you consider yourself a "hip" traveler, this ultra-modern spot might be perfect for you. The lobby features a dramatically backlit staircase and futuristic fire pit while the rooms have walls of glass and bathrooms that have to be seen to be believed. One cool perk is a virtual golf room even that lets you play over 50 famous courses.

3. Hotel Andra

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2000 4th Ave
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 448-8600
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Coming to Seattle with an intent on partying until the break-a-break-a-dawn? Hotel Andra is right on the cusp of Belltown, one of Seattle's nightlife epicenters. The contemporary lodging might be described as "urban luxury," so just because you're partying with the unwashed masses, you don't have to smell like them the next morning.

4. Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle

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2125 Terry Ave
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 264-8111
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Truth be told, if you're going to stay downtown, the Pac Pacific probably isn't the best locale around. It's a little bit out of the way. However, if you do choose it, know you're going to bathed is warm colors (blond woods, tan marbles, cinnamon accents) that make you feel right at home even if you're not.

5. The Westin Seattle

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1900 5th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 728-1000
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Great views are a dime a dozen in Seattle. But the Westin might actually have the best of them all. Make sure you're back for sunset at least once to witness it from the tallest hotel in the city. Since you're right in the middle of all the action, it won't be too time-consuming to go back and forth from all the sights.

6. Ace Hotel Seattle

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2423 1st Ave
Seattle, WA 98121

Located in the heart of Belltown, this 28-room hotel puts you at walking distance for just about every downtown Seattle tourist attraction you want. Once a Salvation Army halfway house, this historic building has been completely remade into an eco-friendly boutique hotel full of sustainable elements such as re-purposed furniture. If you've got a Bohemian image to keep up but want the luxuries and location of an upscale hotel, the Ace is a solid bet.

7. The Alexis Hotel

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1007 1st Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 624-4844
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Every single one of the Alexis Seattle's 121 rooms are different thanks to the countours of this century-old building. Before you step outside to see the sights of Seattle, take a moment to savor the ever-rotating art exhibit in the lobby. The hotel offers various specailty rooms, including the Canlis Glass Suite, which isn't full of meals from legendary Canlis Restaurant but includes hand-blown glass pieces and photos of artist Jean-Pierre Canlis.

8. The Arctic Club

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700 3rd Ave
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 340-0340
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Located in the Financial District, this luxury spot comes with a curious history. Built in 1917 as an exclusive men's club, it features an Art Deco travel theme in its decor. These days, everyone is welcome, though it's gonna cost them. It's among Seattle's most expensive stays.

9. Fairmont Olympic Hotel

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411 University St
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 621-1700
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Originally built in 1924, the Fairmont Olympic Hotel resembles an old Italian Renaissance palace and is considered by many to be the most impressive of Seattle's historic hotels. Between the restaurants and connected shopping arcade, it's the closest you'll get to feeling like you're in Vegas. And like Vegas, you'll spend a lot of money to do so.

10. Hotel Ballard

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5216 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 789-5012
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A recent addition to the Seattle hotel scene, it puts you right smack in the middle of one of Seattle's restaurant scenes, which now includes the hotel's own restaurant, Stoneburner. The 29-room lodging is connected to the Olympic Athletic Club, making it easy for you to work off those mouthwatering meals the next day.

11. Hotel Hotel

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3515 Fremont Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 851-7828
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City Hostel's "other" property might be overcompensating by putting the word hotel in its name twice, because in reality it's more of an "upscale hostel." There are private rooms available as well but the appeal here is that it's the only lodging option in the heart of quirky Fremont. A bar, ice cream shop and pie shop are all located downstairs...what more do you need?

12. Hotel Monaco

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1101 4th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 621-1770
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If you're looking for an upscale hotel but don't want to leave your pet at home, this is your ideal spot. And if you don't have a pet, they'll even bring a goldfish to your room to hang out. Among the non-pet-related offers this boutique hotel can charm up is a nightly wine reception in the lobby.

13. Hyatt at Olive 8

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1635 8th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 695-1234
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Sleek, modern and environmental responsibility, the building also happens to be one of the top condo towers around and puts you footsteps from all of downtown Seattle's tourist spots. Enjoy eco-friendly dining and the acclaimed Elaia spa.

14. Inn at the Market

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86 Pine St
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 443-3600
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Between the Elliott Bay views, European atmosphere, and proximity to so many romantic & historic restaurants, you'll find one of Seattle's most romantic hotel setting here. It's not just what's going on around it, the ivy courtyard and quaint rooftop deck add to the experience.

15. The Maxwell Hotel

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300 Roy St
Seattle, WA 98109

Looking for a moderately-priced hotel that puts you right next door to the Space Needle? You'll be hardpressed to do better than the Maxwell Hotel. Flourished with theatrical decor, it relies heaviliy on its connection to Seattle's theater scene. Rooms even feature names such as Aria and Prima Donna.

16. Hotel Vintage Park

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1100 5th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 624-8000
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Wine is the theme in this smaller Kimpton hotel. Rooms are named after Washington vineyards and they host a complimentary evening wine hour downstairs every night. You might want to leave the car at home, not just because of all the booze but also due to extremely high parking rates.

17. W Seattle

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1112 4th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 264-6000
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You know what you're getting with a W hotel. It's gonna be stylish, it's gonna be ultra-modern, and it's gonna be pricy. There are complimentary Bliss bath products in the rooms and omplimentary Acura MDX car service to take you around town. Probably for the best since parking will run you $37/night.

18. Hotel Max

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620 Stewart St.
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 728-6299
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Located in the former home of the Vance Hotel, it was transformed in 2005 as "a magnet for musicians, art lovers and the creatively inclined." That's clear from the music-themed rooms and the extensive collection of paintings throughout the building. It's a hotel stay for all the senses.

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1. The Edgewater Hotel

2411 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98121

The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam, The Rolling Stones, you. That's some impressive company and it's the kind of company you'll be joining if you stay here. Historically-speaking, this is Seattle's "rock and roll" hotel and a who's who of legends have walked these halls and slept in these beds. See if you can get the water-facing suite the Beatles fished out.

2411 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA 98121

2. Hotel 1000

1000 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

If you consider yourself a "hip" traveler, this ultra-modern spot might be perfect for you. The lobby features a dramatically backlit staircase and futuristic fire pit while the rooms have walls of glass and bathrooms that have to be seen to be believed. One cool perk is a virtual golf room even that lets you play over 50 famous courses.

1000 1st Ave
Seattle, WA 98104

3. Hotel Andra

2000 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

Coming to Seattle with an intent on partying until the break-a-break-a-dawn? Hotel Andra is right on the cusp of Belltown, one of Seattle's nightlife epicenters. The contemporary lodging might be described as "urban luxury," so just because you're partying with the unwashed masses, you don't have to smell like them the next morning.

2000 4th Ave
Seattle, WA 98121

4. Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle

2125 Terry Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

Truth be told, if you're going to stay downtown, the Pac Pacific probably isn't the best locale around. It's a little bit out of the way. However, if you do choose it, know you're going to bathed is warm colors (blond woods, tan marbles, cinnamon accents) that make you feel right at home even if you're not.

2125 Terry Ave
Seattle, WA 98121

5. The Westin Seattle

1900 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101

Great views are a dime a dozen in Seattle. But the Westin might actually have the best of them all. Make sure you're back for sunset at least once to witness it from the tallest hotel in the city. Since you're right in the middle of all the action, it won't be too time-consuming to go back and forth from all the sights.

1900 5th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101

6. Ace Hotel Seattle

2423 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

Located in the heart of Belltown, this 28-room hotel puts you at walking distance for just about every downtown Seattle tourist attraction you want. Once a Salvation Army halfway house, this historic building has been completely remade into an eco-friendly boutique hotel full of sustainable elements such as re-purposed furniture. If you've got a Bohemian image to keep up but want the luxuries and location of an upscale hotel, the Ace is a solid bet.

2423 1st Ave
Seattle, WA 98121

7. The Alexis Hotel

1007 1st Ave., Seattle, WA 98101

Every single one of the Alexis Seattle's 121 rooms are different thanks to the countours of this century-old building. Before you step outside to see the sights of Seattle, take a moment to savor the ever-rotating art exhibit in the lobby. The hotel offers various specailty rooms, including the Canlis Glass Suite, which isn't full of meals from legendary Canlis Restaurant but includes hand-blown glass pieces and photos of artist Jean-Pierre Canlis.

1007 1st Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101

8. The Arctic Club

700 3rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

Located in the Financial District, this luxury spot comes with a curious history. Built in 1917 as an exclusive men's club, it features an Art Deco travel theme in its decor. These days, everyone is welcome, though it's gonna cost them. It's among Seattle's most expensive stays.

700 3rd Ave
Seattle, WA 98104

9. Fairmont Olympic Hotel

411 University St, Seattle, WA 98101

Originally built in 1924, the Fairmont Olympic Hotel resembles an old Italian Renaissance palace and is considered by many to be the most impressive of Seattle's historic hotels. Between the restaurants and connected shopping arcade, it's the closest you'll get to feeling like you're in Vegas. And like Vegas, you'll spend a lot of money to do so.

411 University St
Seattle, WA 98101

10. Hotel Ballard

5216 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107

A recent addition to the Seattle hotel scene, it puts you right smack in the middle of one of Seattle's restaurant scenes, which now includes the hotel's own restaurant, Stoneburner. The 29-room lodging is connected to the Olympic Athletic Club, making it easy for you to work off those mouthwatering meals the next day.

5216 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107

11. Hotel Hotel

3515 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

City Hostel's "other" property might be overcompensating by putting the word hotel in its name twice, because in reality it's more of an "upscale hostel." There are private rooms available as well but the appeal here is that it's the only lodging option in the heart of quirky Fremont. A bar, ice cream shop and pie shop are all located downstairs...what more do you need?

3515 Fremont Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103

12. Hotel Monaco

1101 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101

If you're looking for an upscale hotel but don't want to leave your pet at home, this is your ideal spot. And if you don't have a pet, they'll even bring a goldfish to your room to hang out. Among the non-pet-related offers this boutique hotel can charm up is a nightly wine reception in the lobby.

1101 4th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101

13. Hyatt at Olive 8

1635 8th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101

Sleek, modern and environmental responsibility, the building also happens to be one of the top condo towers around and puts you footsteps from all of downtown Seattle's tourist spots. Enjoy eco-friendly dining and the acclaimed Elaia spa.

1635 8th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101

14. Inn at the Market

86 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101

Between the Elliott Bay views, European atmosphere, and proximity to so many romantic & historic restaurants, you'll find one of Seattle's most romantic hotel setting here. It's not just what's going on around it, the ivy courtyard and quaint rooftop deck add to the experience.

86 Pine St
Seattle, WA 98101

15. The Maxwell Hotel

300 Roy St, Seattle, WA 98109

Looking for a moderately-priced hotel that puts you right next door to the Space Needle? You'll be hardpressed to do better than the Maxwell Hotel. Flourished with theatrical decor, it relies heaviliy on its connection to Seattle's theater scene. Rooms even feature names such as Aria and Prima Donna.

300 Roy St
Seattle, WA 98109

16. Hotel Vintage Park

1100 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101

Wine is the theme in this smaller Kimpton hotel. Rooms are named after Washington vineyards and they host a complimentary evening wine hour downstairs every night. You might want to leave the car at home, not just because of all the booze but also due to extremely high parking rates.

1100 5th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101

17. W Seattle

1112 4th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101

You know what you're getting with a W hotel. It's gonna be stylish, it's gonna be ultra-modern, and it's gonna be pricy. There are complimentary Bliss bath products in the rooms and omplimentary Acura MDX car service to take you around town. Probably for the best since parking will run you $37/night.

1112 4th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101

18. Hotel Max

620 Stewart St., Seattle, WA 98101

Located in the former home of the Vance Hotel, it was transformed in 2005 as "a magnet for musicians, art lovers and the creatively inclined." That's clear from the music-themed rooms and the extensive collection of paintings throughout the building. It's a hotel stay for all the senses.

620 Stewart St.
Seattle, WA 98101