The Fairmont Olympic Hotel
If your preferred aesthetic is grande dame rather than high design, this historic property—which has hosted black-tie galas since 1924—is your only choice in Seattle. Afternoon tea in the Terrace Lounge, outrageously expensive shopping in the adjacent arcade, and elbows-off-the-table dining at the vaunted Georgian all create a sense of old-world glamour that’s rare in this city. Extensive renovations, started this year, will refresh all 450 of the rooms, and will replace the dated pastel color scheme with a richer palette of cranberry, gold, and robin’s egg blue accents in others. Designer Jinnie Kim plans to update the hotel’s elegant interiors without turning them into a postmodern hodgepodge; a dark wood chair with classic Biedermeier lines may be upholstered in lime green, while the modern marble sheen of the bathrooms might be tempered by delightful trompe l’oeil wallpaper.
Tip: Corner suites ending in -42 and -44 are particularly large.
Room to Book: A renovated room; 100 of them should be redone by late 2008.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.