It’s rare to experience “new hotel smell” (I had it in London once) but I was lucky on my trip to Seattle. When I booked the hotel in February as a post cruise stay, I only knew that it was a new Loews Hotel acquisition in 2016. Hotel 1000 has won many accolades prior to the acquisition so I was surprised to learn a few weeks before my visit that the hotel was under a full renovation “Emerald Elegance Unscripted” by Loews. Renovations began in May during cruise season and are scheduled to be completed in Fall as it transitions to the Loews Hotel 1000. To me, the hotel is best known for business travel which is why I wanted to stay there after years of recommending it to my business travelers when I was a Global Travel Manager.
I called to inquire about the renovations, surprised that they were doing them in summer which is cruise high season. Learning that a few guest rooms were finished, I requested a new room for my stay. While they could not guarantee it, they said they would try to accommodate me when I arrived. Normally, I’m not a fan of staying in hotels during renovation and had thought of cancelling, however, this was a one night weekend stay so I didn’t mind (construction was weekday). I would still be able to review the room, room service and staff which to me was key more so than if the lobby is pretty.
Location – Loews Hotel 1000
Hotel 1000 (soon to become the Loews Hotel 1000) is located on First Avenue just a quick ten minute walk to Pike Place Market, passing the Seattle Art Museum (known as SAM), a Starbucks, Fran’s Chocolates at the Four Seasons. There are 120 luxury guest rooms along with meeting space, a restaurant space and 4th floor rooftop space with the top floors of the building housing luxury condos accessed in the main lobby by a separate entrance.
You can easily walk to the waterfront from the hotel if you want to visit the Aquarium and Ferris wheel. In the other direction, Pioneer Square is only a few minutes away. In Pioneer Square you should definitely do the Underground Tour to understand more about Seattle and why the hills seem steeper than San Francisco. The hotel is also wonderfully situated in downtown for business travelers who can walk up to many of the offices in the area. When the restaurant and meeting space is complete, event planners will have something new for their clients, including a rooftop space on the 4th floor.
I arrived at 9:15 am direct from the cruise ship Pier 91. There was a bellman to take my luggage and walk me inside. The first floor was covered up as the restaurant was under renovation so the check in was on the 2nd floor temporarily. The walls had design boards with what was to come in the guest rooms, restaurant and meeting rooms. I love design boards to see the fabrics and feel the materials. There was also water table set up on the lobby floor. We arrived at the makeshift lobby desk on the 2nd floor overlooking the front door below. I was greeted by two staff members and offered a drink while waiting.
As check in is at 4 pm, I was able to pre-check in with credit card and leave my luggage for storage. At the time, they said they were upgrading me to a standard room with water view (normally a bonus but after a week at sea, I was done with the water view) and I inquired about a renovated room. They didn’t see the notes from my prior call but said that they would do their best to get me sorted. I provided my cell phone number and they texted me at 1:30 pm to say my room was ready (nice service touch). I replied I was at the Infinity Mirrors exhibit at the museum and would be back after 4 pm to which they replied “have fun”.
Loews Hotel 1000 New Guest Room – First Look
After the art exhibit, my friend and her kids walked me to the hotel to check in. I was given the room key and told that they did have a renovated room on the 4th floor for me. We rode the elevator up to the 4th floor and exited to a black curtain and confused where to go. We figured out to walk through the exit doors to see six rooms at the end of the hallway. Nicely decorated with splashes of pink and white flower motif with black doors we could still smell that “new hotel” smell (i.e. – carpenter work, painting, etc.) still lingering. It wasn’t overwhelming but present only adding to the excitement of what was behind the door.
As I opened the door into the room, we all were surprised thinking I was upgraded to a suite as the L shaped room was massive and unexpected. The room was a Deluxe King Room not a suite but it sure felt like a luxury suite to me. Walking a short hallway I was greeted by art and then turned slightly left to the room. The large bathroom was on my right with the bedroom and living area ahead. Before I could take it all in, the kids ran in.
The kids did what kids do – they went around to explore while I was taking in the scene. One girl was playing in the bathroom with the automatic shade between the bedroom and bathroom clear glass wall. Another was stretching out on the couch while her sister was looking at the view outside before opening all the doors and drawers. Gotta love kids.
As the room was so new with only a few guests prior to me, it felt extra special with that new hotel smell. The Deluxe King was decorated like a luxury studio apartment sans the kitchen. It was a simple yet elegant and modern design I wanted to bring home with me and replicate. I liked the art touches throughout since I’ve been on a “hotels need to add art or have better art” kick to enhance the experience and bring the design together.
New Deluxe King Room at Loews Hotel 1000
The king bed was plush and inviting with the soft color palette with gorgeous accents. The work desk and chair along with the closet and minibar area (minibar refrigerator yet to come) were a good size. The L shaped couch was actually a pull out bed + couch. The table was just large enough to enjoy a meal or drinks with friends. The room has a modern luxury design and clever use of space while providing ample room to work, relax and sleep.
Here’s my video (after the kids left when I returned after turn down service)
As the room faced the street on a lower floor, there was normal city noise until about 11 pm after which the streets became a ghost town. I had a good sleep and it was really hard to move with the 4:30 a.m. wake up call (backup to my phone). The hotel does go low tech with the alarm clock in the room.
The closet had slippers (always a welcome treat), an iron and an ironing board (both dinosaurs in my opinion nowadays but there’s still some who use them). Two Loews robes – plush inside and silky outside – were in the closet as well.
Deluxe King Bathroom
Having just endured a cruise cabin and small bathroom, this open bathroom with clear window had a walk in shower and toilet room in addition to the centerpiece tub. It was glorious! The clear glass wall between bathroom and bedroom is a feature I’ve seen at many luxury hotels in the past two years. It definitely opens up the space and the layout appears to be original to Hotel 1000, the only difference is the decor which is all new.
A plethora of towels were stacked on the shelves and hung on the racks. As a solo traveler, I do love when hotels provide more towels. Toiletries, A2B Technology brand by Julien Farel (I chipmunked them all!) were supplied as well as an easy to find hairdryer (on the bottom shelf) and make up mirror.
As noted above the girls were playing with the bathroom technology to raise and lower the bathroom curtain. As it was just me in the room, I kept the curtain open to view the bathroom from the bedroom.
Turn down Service at Loews Hotel 1000
Hotel turn down service put out a robe in the bathroom and removed some of the bed pillows while also providing a small bottle of water bedside. The room lights were dimmed, the curtains closed and the bathroom night-light was turned on. It was a wonderful welcome after a busy day to just fall into a relaxing state. The only thing missing was sleepy time music.
Given that the restaurant is under renovation, the room service menu is limited but still offers a good selection at reasonable prices. During the renovations, the hotel is waiving the room service delivery charge and taking 10% off the room service bill. At check in, I asked about breakfast option at 5 a.m. as I needed to leave early at 5:30 am, they said they would check with the chef to see if he could make my ala carte request (over easy eggs, bacon, toast, potatoes) as room service doesn’t normally start breakfast until 6 a.m.
My breakfast arrived on time at 5 a.m. and was so tasty. The potatoes were white and purple with sourdough bread and crispy bacon. I couldn’t eat it all as my stomach was still asleep, I really tried though because leaving good bacon behind is a travesty.
Seattle Taxi to the Airport
At check in, I mentioned I needed a taxi at 5:30 a.m. and given my issues with Seattle taxis in the past, asked them to order one. They couldn’t do that until the morning. As I exited the hotel, the bellman said he was calling for more than ½ hour to find a taxi and like that it just showed up on time. While I could have walked to the light rail station for a cheaper ride to the airport, I was barely awake at 5:30 a.m. so felt better with a taxi as it was quicker with no traffic.
Final Thoughts – Loews Hotel 1000 Seattle
The new rooms are lovely, a modern luxury design that is warm and relaxing. This was my first stay at a Loews Hotel and I was impressed that the service was spot on despite the renovations. Loews currently owns 28 properties in North America. Each Loews property is unique and tends to reflect the building history and the location (in Philly its Art Deco design) so I look forward to the finished product, the Loews Hotel 1000 Seattle when renovations are complete. The staff was excellent and I would definitely stay here again on my next visit to Seattle. My friend and the three kids gave a thumbs up too!
Hotel Tip: If you hotel is scheduled for renovations, call the hotel to find out what day/times the work occurs. The hotel should note the renovations online to give you a heads up but if like me you are surprised, call before you arrive. The last thing you want on vacation is to hear construction noise above or below you during your stay. I had booked a fully refundable rate so could have changed last-minute if I wanted to (i.e. Hotel Tonight deal) but am glad I didn’t as the hotel delivered a wonderful experience.