I feel badly that I took this long to review the Alexis Hotel after Megan and I got married in August because our stay was truly exceptional in every respect. Ignoring your preference for a loyalty program, it is now my number one recommendation for visitors to Seattle. (But the Alexis is one of three Kimpton Hotels in Seattle, and they do offer an easy status match with generous benefits. In the interest of full disclosure, I did obtain a status match to Inner Circle, but I don’t recall mentioning my blog to the hotel.)
This hotel has a prime downtown location equidistant from Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square, plus just a couple blocks from one of the more developed areas of the waterfront. Originally two adjacent condominium buildings, the Alexis Hotel connected and renovated these spaces to create some rather interesting floor plans with lots of high ceilings. Be sure to contact the front desk if you are interested in a specific room. I asked for a quick tour after signing the agreement for our wedding block, and I noticed later that they must have kept notes on which rooms I said I liked, putting important family members there.
Several of the suites have been named and independently decorated, and my favorite room by far is the Library Suite. This suite falls within the “fireplace suite” category but has been modified with lots of books and other literary decoration. Megan always complains that we don’t have a fireplace in Seattle, so when the hotel offered to upgrade us for the duration of our stay, I asked that they put her there. (I shared a different room with my best man.) Surprises like that are why Megan puts up with all my other travel antics. It had a large round table and a few sofas she and her bridesmaids could use for getting ready. The staff were also extremely generous with the usual Inner Circle welcome amenity. Megan got quite a spread, and I had ingredients and a recipe for some craft cocktails waiting in my room.
My parents also paid for a suite since they were interested in entertaining family friends. Rather than the cozy, private suite Megan got, they received an amazing corner suite (the Pacific Northwest Ballet Suite) with huge windows looking out to Elliott Bay. If you prefer a view, this one is for you, and it’s in the “one-bedroom suite” category. We had great weather that weekend, and this is where my groomsmen and I got ready. But if you are coming in the winter, expect some grey. A fireplace suite like Megan’s might make more sense.
Finally, I received a suite even though I thought I’d given up that benefit to Megan. More of a junior suite with an open bedroom and living area, this room had very high ceilings and no special view or fireplace — unless you count Post Alley, a minor landmark that has never quite caught my attention. However, it did have a complete kitchen. Someone visiting for an extended stay might find it more useful than going out to eat every night — even though Seattle and the Alexis Hotel in particular have some pretty good restaurants.
Finally, the Honeymoon Suite. I know it won’t interest most of you, but people may be scouting around for a host hotel for their own wedding and I want to make a good recommendation here. I thought this suite was a bit small. It has a four-poster bed, which Megan liked more than I did, but otherwise there is just a small sitting area like in a standard room. The real difference is the bathroom. It’s huge. And to my knowledge it is the only room with at the hotel with a separate tub and shower — both of them pretty big. I didn’t take any pictures, but you can find a shot of the Jacuzzi on the Alexis Hotel’s website. It’s hard to miss with the steps leading up to it and a bright skylight overhead.
Throughout our stay the hotel staff bent over backwards to help us out with the wedding. They coordinated arrivals and departures in advance since our ceremony and reception were off-site, making sure the valet had cars available. The bell staff got a workout from my father as he sent them on errands (for generous tips, of course). Just be aware that during rush hour the valet stand moves around the corner. If you can’t find a bellman to take your car or open the door while your hands are full — as mine were — this may be the explanation. The Alexis also has separate event spaces if you want to host your wedding there. It’s a pretty hotel, but Megan wanted more creative license.
We ate at the Library Bistro (the main restaurant) on the morning before the wedding, and our guests agreed that the service and food were good. The menu was fairly traditional (eggs and bacon, that kind of thing) but there were a few flourishes I would expect from a Kimpton, or really any decent Seattle restaurant, including a selection of house-made jams and the use of real French bread to make toast rather than some processed white stuff. Sadly I did not have a chance to try the Bookstore Bar. There were still things on our to-do list up until the morning of the ceremony, and we were out late drinking at the rehearsal dinner. There was just no opportunity.
Otherwise it was a fabulous stay with great rooms and great service. Certainly the best Kimpton I’ve been to yet, and my best domestic hotel stay in all of 2013. It almost makes me wish I could get married again. Hah! No, not really. I think the stress of getting married the first time ought to be the biggest motivation to stay hitched. But the Alexis did all they could to make it more enjoyable.