What I saw when I got off the elevator at my floor. I reminds me of some of the better loft-o-miniums I’ve seen in Toronto.
Microsofties get sweet hotel deals from Fairmont. When I was one, I’d get charged something in the mid-$100 range per night where ordinary schlubs would get charged something closer to the mid-$200s or even mid-$300s. I’m now at Shopify, which isn’t a Fortune 50 company buying tens of millions of dollars of hotel bookings, so I don’t have access to The Empire’s hotel booking system. I have to go hunt bargains like a chump again.
A table in the hallway at Hotel FIVE. Right angles are sooo mainstream.
I went bargain hunting a couple of weeks before flying to Seattle for BarCamp. Among the so-so choices that Expedia offered was an unusual little gem: Hotel FIVE. The photos looked intriguing; unlike the others, it wasn’t a cookie-cutter lodging, but something that seemed a little funkier. I like my hotels offbeat (see my writeup on the aLoft in Minneapolis) and I’ve managed to deal with dumps (such as Hotel Cecil, which I called “A dump with a future”), so I said “Why not?” and booked it.
The door to my room.
Hotel FIVE is on the corner of 5th and Blanchard, or as I like to say, “The corner of 5th and Top Pot”. For me, being next door to Top Pot Doughnuts is a big plus. The hotel was close enough to Seattle’s Westlake Station that I instead of taking a cab from the airport, I took the light rail. That’s $2.75 versus about $40 with tip, and given the way traffic can be, it’s almost as fast.
Approaching maximum hipsterness!
The room’s pretty nice. It’s a decent size, with lots of rooms for bags, and if you have one, an accordion. The decor is considerably funkier than Ramada standard; if you changed the colour palette to something brighter with more pink, green and baby blue, it could pass for an aLoft. I can’t remember the last time I stayed at a hotel with hardwood floors. The bedsheets are comfier than you’d expect.
And yes, there’s wifi.
Pretty funky for a recovering Ramada.
There are outlets aplenty, a decent-sized TV (they could stand to add Comedy Central to their cable package), a workable desk and one of those iPhone/iPod docking station alarm clocks. As a Microsoftie and especially as a designated Windows Phone 7 champ, that docking station was useless to me, but as a new iPhone user, it’s now almost a must-have.
There’s a Keurig coffee machine in the room, but I didn’t use it, as Hotel FIVE is across the street from Top Pot, which was my coffee source while I was there.
In case you wake up wondering where you are, just look at the roll-down blind.
Here’s the bathroom sink. I want one of these at home. The bathroom’s nice, but could stand to be better-lit.
I like looking at art when I’m pooping:
Here are the bathroom shelves. The soap’s really good: a lot of people commented on how good I smelled, and I’m sure it’s not just because I was at a conference full of nerds, whom I’ll admit set the bar pretty low.
The room had what I might have to declare as the best damn hotel shower I’ve been in in the past few years. I’m talking better than any Fairmont or W I’ve been to in recent memory. There’s only one way to improve it: it needs actual shelves or someplace to put the shampoo and soap.
One last quibble: the closet is an nook in the bathroom without a door. If you don’t like getting your clothes steamed from the shower, you’re not going to be all to keen on it.
Hotel FIVE has the sort of small but usable gym that you’d expect: a couple of multi-exericse weight machines, an exercise bike, an elliptical machine, a water cooler and TV set.
Expedia got me 5 nights at Hotel FIVE for about $150 a night, and the hotel gave me 5 $20 vouchers for the breakfast restaurant (it’s a “breakfast restaurant” because it closes at about 1 p.m.). The restaurant’s a good deal: nothing’s above $12, and they make a very nice chicken fried steak. It’s staffed by cute women from Capitol Hill who dig accordions, which always gets top marks in my book.
I’m likely to come back to Seattle soon, and I’m very likely to stay at Hotel FIVE again.