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5 Historic Hotels in Seattle

A local preservation expert highlights the best historic hotels in Seattle. By Lawrence Kreisman

    The elegant Georgian Room at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel.

    The elegant Georgian Room at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel.

    Fairmont Olympic Hotel
    411 University Street
    (206) 621-1700

    Since it opened in 1924, the Olympic Hotel has been the grande dame of Seattle. Treat yourself to dinner in the hotel’s Georgian Room, the city’s most elegant restaurant.

    Alexis Hotel
    1007 First Ave.
    (866) 356-8894

    Behind a Gold Rush-era façade, the Alexis Hotel (in business since the 1890s) offers comfortable boutique lodging.

    Arctic Club Hotel
    700 Third Ave.
    (206) 340-0340

    The most spectacular adaptive reuse project in the city, the Arctic Club Hotel brought vitality to one of the city’s most beloved terracotta buildings, embellished with walruses. It’s now a Doubletree Hotel.

    A Rookwood tile fireplace is the centerpiece of the Sorrento Hotel's lobby.

    A Rookwood tile fireplace is the centerpiece of the Sorrento Hotel's lobby.

    Sorrento Hotel
    900 Madison Street
    (800) 426-1265

    The Sorrento Hotel, built for tourists coming to the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, is a five-minute walk up the hill from downtown. Its mahogany lobby with a Rookwood Italian garden scenic tile fireplace will delight collectors of the American Arts & Crafts movement.

    Hotel Deca
    4507 Brooklyn Ave. NE
    (800) 899-0251

    Decophiles might choose architect R.C. Reamer’s award winning 1931 Edmond Meany Hotel in the University District, now called the Hotel Deca. The poured-in-place concrete structure boasted that every room was a corner room—and they still are. While the lobby and interiors have been completely changed over the years, it still is one of the most progressive high-rises of its age.

    Click here to see the best of Seattle’s historic neighborhoods.

    Published in: Old-House Journal October/November 2011


    Lee Conarroe January 3, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    We are trying to locate the “old” Brunswick Hotel in Seattle from the turn of the Century(1800/1900). We have a picture of a relative taken in front of the Brunswick Hotel/Seattle.

    laura heinlein October 17, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    To answer lee, i believe you are looking for the same bldg that is now the grand central arcade at 214 1st ave s. This was the new brunswick hotel back in the late 1800s.

    Ed Moore April 19, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    I am engaged in doing genealogy. Family stories report that my maternal grandparents met each other while working at the Hotel Hungerford in Seattle – my grandmother reportedly worked on the switchboard and my grandfather reportedly was a bell hop. I would love to confirm their employment if nothing else. Any ideas on any resources to consult. I believe the Hotel still stand but I am not sure.

    A. Mayhew December 16, 2015 at 9:18 am


    I am researching my family tree and one of my relatives stated on his military record that he was living at the Jefferson Hotel in Seattle USA in Mar 1917. I cannot seem to find a Jefferson Hotel in Seattle but do see one in Washington D.C? Any info would be of help:)


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