Friday, May 1, 2009

NOT Sleepless in Seattle

pan pacific hotel seattle
It's rare that I walk into a hotel room when I'm on business travel and start grinning like the cat who ate the canary. But that's exactly what happened when I first set foot in my corner suite at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Seattle. While my cheap bastardly colleagues decided to stay at the run down Marriott Renaissance Seattle, I opted for the Four Diamond Pan Pacific even though it was located on the outskirts of Downtown Seattle and a farther walk to our daytime office.

Located on the 10th floor of the hotel (11 floors total), my suite was large with panoramic windows running across the entire length of the living room and extending into the bathroom. There's a good size patio area that would be perfect to relax and enjoy a fine cigar, only if the hotel wasn't 100% smoke-free (OK, so it's not perfect). There are so many things right with the room, from the Herman Miller Chair, to the cumfy-as-hell Hypnos bed with Egyptian cotton bedding, the plasma TV, and the over-sized bathtub perfect to soak that aching body after a day walking around downtown. And unlike many hotels that nickel and dime you, the Pan Pacific offers complimentary high-speed Internet connection.

The only part of the room that I had a real complaint about was the couch. It's small and uncomfortable. As soon as you sit on it, the cushions seem to implode. Oh, and the room only comes with a steamer instead of an iron and ironing board. That seemed kind of odd. But no worries, just call the front desk and one of their friendly staff members will rush one up for you.

And are the staff members friendly. From the door men that greeted me with a smile every time I walked in and out of the hotel, to the lovely front desk ladies who helped me throughout my stay, I was very impressed with the level of service I received. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'm in love with the Asian hottie that works the front desk during the morning.

If you're hungry and not in the mood to travel far, you can either grab some healthy organic grub at the Whole Foods located just below the hotel, or you can dine on some pretty decent seafood at the Seastar Seafood Restaurant and Raw Bar located right next to the hotel. Their oyster sampler is a must and their nigiri sushi is as fresh as any you'll find at a traditional sushi house. I also had the Chinook Salmon which I learned is only available for a short period during the year. It was deelish. The only thing I would stay away from is the poke which was prepared in way too much soy sauce.

After eating all that seafood, you'll probably want to hit the gym. Luckily, the Pan Pacific has a good size fitness center located across the way (the hotel shares a courtyard with some retail stores and adjacent condos) next to the hotel's Vida Wellness Spa complete with free weights, thread mills, elliptical machines, cardio-bikes and weight machines. I didn't get a chance to try the spa but I definitely will book a treatment next time I'm in town.

The hotel is a nice, leisurely jaunt from both Downtown Seattle and the Space Needle. There was some silly conference in town during my stay so my suite was about $350 per night. Normal mid-week rates appear to be in the $200 range.

Oh, and before I forget, our Green Crusader friend Callie would dig this hotel because it has whole host of green attributes including: a dual flush toilet (half flush if you go #1 and a full flush if you go #2), in-room recycling, eco-friendly chemicals for cleaning, energy saver TV's, and non-CFC based refrigerant in the mini-bars.

If you're ever in Seattle, Greeny or not, give the Pan Pacific a try. Ask for room 1004. You'll love it.

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