Lotte Hotel brings South Korean hospitality and inspired design to the heart of downtown Seattle
Rising from 5th Avenue and Columbia Street, Lotte Hotel Seattle glimmers in the sun on an uncharacteristically clear day. Lotte Hotels is reputed for its luxury hotels across Asia, and its Seattle property—which opened September 2020—marks the company’s first hotel on the West Coast and its third in the U.S. The 189-room luxury hotel, outfitted by world-renowned French designer Phillippe Starck, occupies 16 levels of a 44-floor modern glass skyscraper in Seattle’s downtown business district. Coined a “modern lodge,” Starck’s playful design incorporates nature and history with carpeting and light fixtures featuring timber patterns.
Past meets present in the first-floor lobby where the tower seamlessly transitions into its neighboring building, The Sanctuary, formerly known as America’s first United Methodist Church. The nation’s oldest Beaux Arts-style architectural building, this treasured Seattle landmark underwent a $40 million restoration and was incorporated into the hotel as a unique event space. Aside from striking aesthetics, the hotel also encompasses an expansive spa, restaurant, and lounge—not to mention its exquisite guest rooms. Column-free floors and floor-to-ceiling windows offer sweeping views of Elliott Bay and the city’s sea ports, while marble and mid-century modern furniture lend a stylish, luxurious feel. Residential-style suites on the upper floors also offer unparalleled privacy in the heart of the city. The 2,097-square-foot Presidential Suite is ideal for an extended stay in Seattle, an opulent retreat set up for in-suite entertaining with a dining room, full kitchen, bar lounge, and sitting room complete with a Yamaha baby grand.
Back on the 16th floor, Charlotte Restaurant & Lounge is buzzing at happy hour. Helmed by executive sous chef Caleb Babcock, a seasonal menu showcases Pacific Northwest cuisine with a contemporary spin on local ingredients. The rotating cocktail program also keeps things fresh with inventive drinks I found myself savoring with dinner or as a standalone nightcap. Asian influences can be seen in ingredients such as Szechuan buttons, and the standout bar team also incorporates house-made and local ingredients—such as MarketSpice tea from Seattle’s iconic Pike Place Market—all of which lend themselves to brilliant flavor combinations.
Those seeking the ultimate in wellness and relaxation will want to visit to the hotel’s third floor spa and fitness center. The ethereal Le Spa de l’hôtel LOTTE offers a wide range of services, from customized facials using exclusive products (the hotel is Bellefontaine’s only spa partner in Washington) to a full slate of massage and body treatments. The hotel’s prime location also means drivers can whisk you to the waterfront or Pike Place Market in a matter of minutes.
Wineries are ample in Woodinville, just 20 miles northeast of downtown Seattle in a region known for its production of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot. Oenophiles can also enjoy tasting at boutique wineries—as well as a spectacular view of Seattle’s skyline during the 35-minute ferry ride—on Bainbridge Island, one of Washington’s best kept secrets. Art collectors and appreciators would be remiss to skip a private tour of the Chihuly Boathouse (by appointment only). Even if you aren’t in the market for one of pioneering glassblower Dale Chihuly’s magnificent chandeliers, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience to explore this stunning space. The Boathouse not only showcases Chihuly’s work and eclectic collections (including a 1954 Austin-Healey 100M), but it is also home to the workshop where you can witness his extraordinary team pull molten glass like taffy.
Lotte Hotel Seattle is a perfect convergence of Seattle’s past and future, skillfully merging its storied history with its contemporary creative spirit. Perched above the Emerald City with immaculate vistas, the hotel is a jewel of the Pacific Northwest, a home away from home with unmatched service and attention to detail.