ALA Midwinter: Don’t Be Sleepless In Seattle – Read This!

So you’ve registered for Midwinter Meeting 2013, and you’re looking forward to attending the meetings, walking the exhibit hall, and sightseeing in Seattle. Now it’s time to find a place to stay. Unless you live in the area or have friends or family in Seattle with a spare bedroom, you’re going to need to start thinking about accommodations.

Luckily ALA has already worked out special rates for 14 different hotels which are all fairly close to the Convention Center. You can peruse those hotels here‘  and’ learn about booking here.

I went ahead and dug a little deeper, researching each of the hotels handpicked by ALA. I’ve provided a brief review, highlighting some of the features that make the hotel stand out. I did not include information on pools, fitness centers, refrigerators in rooms, smoking & smoke free rooms, and handicap accessibility, as ALA covers that here.’ All ALA hotels have complimentary internet except the Paramount.

I included a Google pedestrian map for each hotel that directs you to the parking entrance of the Convention Center, but most conference goers on foot utilize the Pike Street entrances. You can check out a map of the Convention Center and surrounding areas here.

Please note that Seattle’s famous “Ride Free Area” will no longer be in existence as of September 29, 2012, so please be’ cognizant’ of this when booking accommodations. Disregard the “Free Ride Area” on ALA’s Midwinter hotel map.


Hotels

CLOSEST TO THE CONVENTION CENTER

Grand Hyatt Seattle
Across the street from the Convention Center,’  http://goo.gl/maps/tJvlV.’ Located half a mile from Pike Place Market, it features Grand Bedsâ„¢, spacious bathrooms, and a sauna on site.

Hilton Hotel Seattle
Connected to the Convention Center via a concourse,’ http://goo.gl/maps/TE900.’ It’s 3 blocks from the light rail, has an Alamo/National rental car at the ground level, beds feature the Hilton Serenity Collection’®. All guest rooms are on the 14th – 18th floors with large bay windows that offer a view of the city, mountains, etc.

Hyatt at Olive 8
Practically across the street from the Convention Center, http://goo.gl/maps/2Ut9W.’ They call themselves a “luxury green hotel,” and are the first LEED certified hotel in Seattle. The Hyatt is a new building with a modern design, they offer pay yoga & Pilates in guest rooms, and feature Hyatt Grand Bedsâ„¢.

The Paramount Hotel
A block away from the Convention Center,’ http://goo.gl/maps/ePXlX.‘ They are located two and a half blocks from the Westlake Center bus/light rail station. They are a member of the Coast hotel chain and feature a new building, multilingual staff, and many of their rooms have views.

Sheraton Seattle
One block away from the Convention Center,’ http://goo.gl/maps/VYtdr.’ Home of the Sheraton Sweet Sleeperâ„¢ bed, the Sheraton features a renovated heated lap pool, has received a variety of “green.” ‘ Their “Make a Green Choice” program invites guests to opt out of housekeeping services. To be eligible for the $5 food or beverage gift card (hang the Green Choice door hanger on the outside of your guestroom door by 2am or let staff know you’re interested at check-in).
There’s an app for that!

The Roosevelt Hotel
A two block walk to the Convention Center,’ http://goo.gl/maps/F6FTd. Yelpers say that the rooms off of Pike can be loud, but the beds are comfy. They are pet friendly. Their featured restaurant, Von’s RoastHouse, carries over 800 spirits – the largest selection in Seattle.

Red Lion Hotel Seattle
Great downtown location that’s about a three block walk to the Convention Center,’ http://goo.gl/maps/QuHAI. Room service will not be available due to renovation of the Terrace Garden. They feature new “Stay Comfortable beds with Sealy plush pillowtop mattresses.” Pets are welcome for a fee of $15/stay.

FANCY PANTS
Fairmont Olympic Hotel
A .4 mile walk to the Convention Center,’  http://goo.gl/maps/a13N8. Opened in 1924, this high-end hotel is an historic landmark, contains a spa & wellness center, features award-winning northwest restaurants, and has a variety of guest services including babysitting. It received high reviews, but many Yelpers say that it is not well maintained with dirty and worn furnishings. I’ve learned to take Yelp reviews with a grain of salt, but I thought I’d warn you. There’s an app for that!

Mayflower Park Hotel
This luxury hotel is close to the Westlake shopping center and is a 4-5 block walk from the Convention Center,’ http://goo.gl/maps/Chcfz. It’s an independently owned, historic building (full of old world charm) that’s been a hotel since 1927. They have a fairly active Twitter feed.’ Their award winning Greek restaurant, Andaluca, features organic food and a separate gluten-free menu. Kids eat for free from 5 – 6pm, Sunday – Thursday. The hotel provides bus subsidies for their staff which is kind of awesome.

Westin Seattle
Half-a-mile walk to the Convention Center,’ http://goo.gl/maps/dKS4E. This AAA Four Diamond award-winning hotel is located on the monorail, very close to shopping, across the street from Avis car rental, and features Heavenly Bed’® & Heavenly Bath’® . Their “Make a Green Choice” program invites guests to opt out of housekeeping services. To be eligible for the $5 food or beverage gift card (hang the Green Choice door hanger on the outside of your guestroom door by 2am or let staff know you’re interested at check-in). There’s an app for that!

UPHILL FROM THE CONVENTION CENTER
Crowne Plaza Seattle
Starts to get hilly in this part of the Financial District, five block walk to the Convention Center,’ http://goo.gl/maps/IUGuW, two blocks from the Seattle Public Library’s Central branch.’ The Plaza is a pet-friendly hotel and they boast new Sleep Advantageâ„¢ beds. They are fairly active on Twitter.

Hotel Monaco
Located about eight blocks (many uphill) from the Convention Center,’ http://goo.gl/maps/c3k9r.
Kimpton Hotels are known as a stylish, eco-friendly hotel chain. They offer plush pillow top beds, a companion goldfish to keep you company (upon request), babysitting services, hosted wine reception in the lobby from 5-6pm, in room (pay) spa services, and a 24 hour yoga channel with free use of yoga accessories.

Renaissance Hotel Seattle
This Marriott hotel is about a half a mile walk from the Convention Center. It’s located at the steepest point of Madison Avenue,’ http://goo.gl/maps/nByNS. Yelpers praise the friendly staff, but they complain about the uncomfortable beds and the excessive elevator waits. There’s a top floor lounge featuring beautiful views and they carry Aveda bathroom products.

W Hotel Seattle
Half a mile walk (somewhat hilly) to the Convention Center and across the street from Seattle Public Library’s Central branch,’ http://goo.gl/maps/C9DD2. This Starwood hotel is cat & dog friendly (including pet bed and litter box), has a “Farewell Kiosk” to print boarding passes, features ‘ in room spa service, and guests can make a reservation for a complimentary ride with a personal driver in an Acura. If you’re prone to allergies, the down duvet and pet friendliness may be a turnoff. There’s an app for that!

Not Part of ALA Special Rates
FANCY PANTS
Sorrento Hotel
The location isn’t ideal with a .6 mile walk to the Convention Center,’ http://goo.gl/maps/Q7yG1. Known as a Seattle icon and Seattle’s first and longest running boutique hotel, the Sorrento feature various evening events, some free, such as live jazz, and others for a fee, such as “Drinking Lessons: Vodka.” The Sorrento also has a deluxe patented mattress – the Sealy Posturepedic Crown Jewel ‘®. They’re not part of the ALA package hotels, but they still have complimentary high-speed wireless internet.

BUDGET
Sixth Ave Inn
The location is not the best, with a half mile walk to the Convention Center,’ http://goo.gl/maps/0kwhB. It’s known as a “budget” hotel, but the rates can still be a bit spendy. They do offer $15/day guest parking which is much cheaper than any of the other downtown hotels. They feature a fitness center and free wireless internet access.

MORE CHEAP OPTIONS?
South Lake Union
The up and coming South Lake Union neighborhood is another option. Hotels in this’ neighborhood’ tend to be cheaper than downtown. It’s located on the outskirts of downtown but restaurants and nightlife establishments have popped up by the dozens due to Amazon moving in. It’s about a mile from the Convention Center, but you can take the South Lake Union Streetcar to downtown/Westlake Center. Hotels in that area include Marriott Courtyard, Marriott Residence Inn, Silver Cloud Inn, Pan Pacific, and more.

 

Hotel Alternative
Airbnb
With Airbnb, you can stay in a private room inside of someone’s home, or you can rent a place all to yourself. You have the option of renting one night, a few nights, or even a month.’ â€œUse the search page to find a property. Enter the dates you need and browse by availability. Message hosts with any question through the onsite messaging system.”

The last two times family members visited me here in Seattle, they stayed at an apartment through Airbnb. One location was an entire one-bedroom apartment for $40/night that was discounted because guests were expected to take care of their low maintenance cat. Another was a basement studio apartment for $90/night with the friendly owner living upstairs. It came with wireless internet and a kitchenette. Both of the experiences were positive, but if that’s not your thing, there are plenty of B&B and hotel options.

 

Bed & Breakfasts
Seattle has a nice selection of B&Bs that are often cheaper than staying in a hotel. To peruse some of these guest houses visit a’ Pacific Reservation Service. They offer the ability to search by neighborhood. Other than downtown, I’d recommend Capitol Hill and Lake Union.

Your Suggestions?
Do you know of any choice spots in Seattle? Please share your suggestions in the comments!

~ ]{risty Gale,’ YALSA Local Arrangements Committee,’ Midwinter Seattle 2013′ (teen services librarian with the Tacoma Public Library) kristygale@gmail.com

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4 Comments

  1. The Alexis Hotel is wonderful and where tons of touring authors stay. It’s in historic Pioneer Square, a little farther from the convention center than the hotels listed above.

    • Local Arrangements Committee

      Thanks for the recommendation, Deanna! I’ve heard great things about the Alexis, and who doesn’t want to hobnob with authors outside of the conference. ~ ]{risty Gale, Local Arrangements 2013, (teen librarian with the Tacoma Public Library) kristygale@gmail.com

  2. Great rundown of Seattle hotels!

    I’ve stayed at the W and loved it (fantastic location, great rooms, excellent service), and attended a conference held in the Hotel Monaco, which was also lovely, with a wonderful staff. The Fairmont Olympic looks gorgeous- I didn’t stay there, but enjoyed their most delectable brunch. Midwinter attendees have so many fabulous choices for lodging!

  3. Local Arrangements Committee

    Thanks for the endorsements, Allison! It’s super helpful to hear from people that have stayed in the hotels. As a Seattleite, I admit to only having been inside some of them and not having overnighted in any of them. 🙁

    Please keep the recommendations coming!

    ~ ]{risty Gale, Local Arrangements 2013, (teen librarian with the Tacoma Public Library) kristygale@gmail.com

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